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dispatches: March 2008

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12 MARCH 2008

Shuttlerise
Launch: I don't get to the Kennedy Space Center press site much anymore since I don't cover space regularly, but I was excited about the chance to do a streak shot of the early Tuesday morning launch of Endeavour. I got down to the river after 2 a.m., where the local cops - three cars, in fact - were gathering for the same thing. The folks in the big houses on the river were awake, their lights all on. Lots of people on the Space Coast will get up in the middle of the night to see a shuttle go. I set up my tripod with a good foreground of docks and palm trees, and then I noticed the cloud bank. Crap. I hoped against hope that it was thin enough that you could see the shuttle through it. Launch brought a bright glow on the horizon. The shuttle lifted like a sun into the night and vanished within a few seconds behind the cloud, not to be seen again. Only the trail - below the clouds - was visible in the afterglow for a few moments. Grrrr. So my "streak shot" became a shuttlerise. Here is the exceedingly cropped version of it. You can't win 'em all. At least the shuttle made it into orbit, which is all I can hope for.