Space | 24. February 2011

L-1: one day to launch, for the fourth time

After nearly four months of postponement of the final mission for Space Shuttle Discovery, I am back on site to document it in photographs. On the day before the launch, the press site at Kennedy Space Center is already filling up again but it is much quieter now than it was before the original launch date in November 2010. There are significantly less NASA activities, such as the Tweet-up, and international guests on this occasion. Launches are so complex and elaborate that any technical or meteorological complications can cause plans to change at very short notice. This has been clearly demonstrated by the delay of STS 133. In the meantime, the countdown for Discovery is running mostly according to plan.

In this blog I would like to photographically document the launch activities for the Space Shuttle Programme, which will come to an end this year. The day before a launch, accredited media representatives are allowed to set up their cameras at the launch site, in close proximity to the Space Shuttle. Of course, the cameras positioned here cannot be operated ‘live’, but must be activated at the right moment by an automated system; time, sound or vibration triggers are usually employed. Once the cameras are set up, fingers are kept crossed for a timely lift-off, as well as correct functioning of the photographic equipment. If all goes well with my equipment, I will post the images of the launch here. It will be worth your while to visit this page again after the launch.

For an optimal display of the images, use the full-screen mode. When in this mode select ‘Show Info’ to display the image captions. If you do not have Flash, click here.