Space Shuttle Discovery Launch 10 Second Exposure of Smoke Trail

July 1, 2012 UPDATE.... So sad to hear of the death of Captain Alan Poindexter, the Commander of the STS-131. Here is a copy & paste of the email I received from him after returning from this mission.... Rest in Peace:


date: Sat, May 22, 2010 at 10:23 AM

subject: Your 131 Launch Pics


Hi Danny,


My name is Alan Poindexter. I was the Commander of STS-131. We've been searching for a launch picture like yours. You seem to be the only one that caught it at just the right time with the plume, the high altitude clouds and the great light of early morning. Really, really nice work!!!


If you feel so inclined, I'd love to be able to have a copy of your Raw file for my own personal use. I know that you are selling these prints, so I would be extra careful with it. I just would like to have it in my library.


As you may know, I'm a bit of a photographer myself. I hope that you've been able to view some of my work from the shuttle and space station, as well as the time lapse movie that was released to the internet yesterday.


I took over 14,000 images on 131. As soon as I can, I'll have the selects up on a gallery and will send you a link.


Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.



Alan Poindexter










About 5 minutes after the Space Shuttle Discovery took off this morning, I was able to capture the orbiter before it dipped below the horizon on its journey to the International Space Station.


This was shortly after finishing a long 264 second exposure of the launch itself. I can honestly say that if I would have gone to a launch over 20 years ago when I first got to Florida, I probably would not have missed another. If you haven't experienced a launch in person, you don't know what you are missing!


f5.6, ISO 200, 10 seconds @ 15mm


Special thanks to Trey Ratcliff from Stuck In Customs for inspiring me to look at things in a different light! Click here to visit Stuck In Customs.


307 faves
Taken on April 5, 2010
  • ƒ/5.6
  • 15.0 mm
  • 10
  • 200
  • Flash (off, did not fire)
  • Show EXIF
This photo is in 52 groups
This photo is in 2 albums
This photo is in 9 galleries

Additional info

  • Viewing this photo Public
  • Safety level of this photo Safe
  • S Search
    Photo navigation
    < > Thumbnail navigation
    Z Zoom
    B Back to context