Departure - Space Shuttle Endeavour Flyover
Space Shuttle Flyover - Moffett Field
This is the third in my four-photograph sequence of the Space Shuttle Endeavour and its transport aircraft doing a slow and low pass over the NASA/Ames Research Center Moffett Field Facility in the southern San Francisco Bay Area is it continued on its trip to its new home in Los Angeles.
In this photograph the shuttle has passed by my position and was departing. The angle here gives one of the clearest views of the shuttle, with only the tip of the 747 wing obscuring the area behind the shuttle cockpit. In my view, the light here is a bit better as well, as the shuttle is not quite as directly front-lit as in the previous image in the sequence. This brings up a surprise to all of us who were there to watch the flyover. Everything was set up to suggest that the shuttle would fly down the runway of Moffett Field: fences were set up facing the runway, chairs were lined up in that direction, and the crowd mostly pushed up against the fences. I had spent some time thinking about how to best photograph the event with it being back-lit. As we first caught sight of the shuttle at some distance out over the bay, it seemed to be making a slow turn that would, in fact, bring it down the runway. But then it became apparent that it was not going to do this, but that it instead seemed to be over flying the actual Ames Research Center, located on the far side of the Hangar One facility and behind us as we were set up. At this point I was glad that I had decided to not lug along a tripod since I could easily turn and track it as it followed this unexpected route.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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