A Shuttle Night Launch from Titusville, Florida
If you don't have a special invitation to the space center, Titusville is the best place for observing a launch. From the mainland you can see the assembly building on Merrit Island in the background. We took our place in the afternoon. We did not have a tripod, so we walked to the end of the footbridge and placed all our cameras on the handrail that you see in the picture.
I had a 500 mm mirror tele, while Carola chose the 50 mm lens. It was very exciting, because we had no idea how bright it would get, but we knew that the time would be too short to change any settings of the camera and that especially the 1/30 sec with a 500 mm mirror would be very critical.
It was bright as a sunrise, and although we were about 8 km away, we could recognize the shuttle in the first seconds of the launch.
Our equipment was not so good at that time, and I don't think the pictures are very good. But the pictures remind us of this unforgettable experience, and perhaps they encourage you to try it yourself one day.
If you want to read detailed information about observation
of shuttle launches, please read the Unofficial
shuttle launch guide.
Link: NASA live cameras