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Back in April 2010, my niece Ana, an RMS engineer at NASA got guest passes in the last minute to bring family members to watch the launch from Turn Basin, the closest viewing area they have at Kennedy Space Center; it is located at about 6 miles from the launch pad. This appears to be one of the last shuttle flights, so these passes are in high demand.

I didn’t have much time to take the shots I would have wanted to take; everything happened so fast, that I barely had time to setup my gear after a long 8-hour trip from Atlanta, Georgia to Titusville, Florida. Let me warn you ahead of time, this is nothing spectacular, just a few night shots with a long lens—which make things even more difficult, but at the end, I’d like to think that is worth watching. One note of interest is that the shot at minute 00.54, was slowed down using a method described in detail by Eugenia Loli, in which 60i interlacing streams are converted to 60p (progressive), and then edited at 30fps, I liked it, but you'll be the judge.

STS-131 was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station. Space Shuttle Discovery launched on 5 April 2010 from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A. The mission marked the longest flight for space shuttle Discovery.

All shots were taken with the Canon 5DMKII; a Canon 500mm f/4.0 L IS USM lens and a x1.4 Canon extender. The distance from the launch pad was approx. 6 miles.


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