What a fantastic launch photo — and hey, it’s Discovery! The orbiter currently upheaving my life! Or that’s how it seems, anyway. The color, shadows and silhouettes are what make this a stand-out launch photo. (Also pleasantly grainy, before NASA made the switch to digital photography.)
This spectacular photo is of the May 27, 1999 liftoff of the Orbiter Discovery (STS-96). The STS-96 mission, of almost 10 days, was the second International Space Station (ISS) assembly and resupply flight and the first flight to dock with the station. The crew installed foot restraints and the Russian built crane, STRELA. The Shuttle’s SPACEHAB double module carried internal and resupply cargo for station outfitting and the Russian cargo crane was carried aboard the shuttle in the integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC).
NASA posted a nice retrospective of Discovery on Wednesday — it’s an orbiter with a lot of accomplishments!