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Space Shuttle Columbia Mission STS-4, April 1982 | by Jeffrey Sullivan
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Space Shuttle Columbia Mission STS-4, April 1982

At first glance this may not seem like it ties in with my landscape photography, but Carl Sagan's original Cosmos series in 1980 inspired me to attend the 1st and 4th space shuttle landings in 1981 and 1982. My classes at U.C. Berkeley included things like Solar Engineering and physical geography (stucying weather and it's effect on the landscape). I had taken a darkroom photography course in 8th grade, and my interest in photography and satellite photos encouraged me to do an internship at the world's leading color monitor and printer company (Tektronix). I continued on there 5 years after graduation. It was a great immersion in digital imaging, and when digital cameras with full frame sensors came out at more reasonable price points with the Canon 5D Mark II, of course I trained my lens on the night sky. I've been pursuing meteor showers and other astronomical events for over five years now.

 

It's great to see the new Cosmos show inspiring a whole new generation to value science and engineering. Whether or not you're directly employed in the field, advancements in engineering and science fuel growth in the economy.

 

I'll be out again at night every chance I get in 2014, training my camera on astronomical events occurring over the stunning landscapes of the American West.

 

This photo was taken on my Canon AE-1 35mm film camera. I'm on the far left, next to other members of our student chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). We had entered and won an AIAA contest to design an experiment to fly in a "Getaway Special" canister on a future space shuttle flight.

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Taken on December 28, 2004