Friday afternoon I had the great privilege of being one of the very last dozen journalists to ever visit a Space Shuttle on an operational launch pad. While I am not a fan of heights at all, I must admit that to be standing 255 feet above the base of Launch Pad 39-A looking down upon Space Shuttle Atlantis was an incredible experience. Actually, even being on the 95 foot level which is the base of the pad upon which the SRBs are mounted was a thrill of a lifetime. At several points I was mere inches away from the orbiter stack and easily could have touched it. Life as a journalist just does not get better than this.
Here are a few highlights from the afternoon’s adventure. I’ve also uploaded many more photos taken within Launch Complex 39 at my SmugMug site which can be accessed directly via www.ShuttlePhotos.com. All of the photos listed there are available as prints by a professional photo lab on your choice of several high-quality photo papers. My preference is the Kodak Endura metallic paper as it really makes these type of images pop off the paper.