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Friday, September 21, 2012

Shuttle Endeavour over Silicon Valley (and a bonus pic)

The big news in the Valley today is being buzzed by a space shuttle riding a 747. There will be many, many videos and pictures going around. I'm not one to miss something like this, so here is my feeble cellphone camera contribution.

Shuttle over Silly Valley

[ Click for the relatively uncropped version. ]

I was up on top of one of Sunnyvale's former landfills. Basically, if you're on a hill around here and you're anywhere near the bay, you're standing on top of garbage. A bunch of other people had the same idea and drove, rode, or walked up there along with me. We had a great side angle and perfect lighting from behind.

How do you get a bunch of engineers outside? Fly something sufficiently geeky overhead. They will come.

Verdict? A+++ would go again. Too bad there will be no more. Drat.

Here's a bonus picture of Endeavour. This is one I took on December 9, 2000, during the STS-97 mission:

Shuttle and ISS blobs

Look closely! One of those tiny white blobs is the shuttle, and the other one is the International Space Station. I took it from far below with a simple little point-and-shoot digital camera and managed to snag a few dozen photons. I'm surprised I got as much as I did.

I seem to recall it had just undocked. If my EXIF data is to be trusted, it was taken around 7 PM central time.

Thanks, NASA. Now let's see about this "people on Mars" thing.