Can’t Get to Today’s Launch? See the Space Shuttles in Intricate Detail


We’ve mentioned the NASATech website before, but this unique website and the incredible images by John O’Connor bear repeating. And for those of you wishing you were at the STS-133 launch today but can’t be here, seeing John’s high resolution, pan-able images is almost better — you’ll probably never get as close to the orbiters as these images can bring you. The image above is a screen clip of space shuttle Discovery on the launchpad, from the perspective of looking up at the orbiter from standing by the right OMS pod, and I was looking at another of John’s images of Endeavour in the Orbiter Processing Facility where I was able to read the markings on each of the heat-resistant tiles on the orbiter’s underside. John creates extremely high resolution virtual tours, and the interactive 360 degree images he creates are nothing short of stunning — but they are also very bandwidth intensive — so be prepared, and watch out if you don’t have high speed internet or if you have a lot of browsers or windows open on your computer.

Right now on his website you can see different views of Endeavour preparing for the next mission, STS-134, and scroll down a bit to find all sorts of images of Discovery from several different perspectives. See her before she launches on her final mission, STS-133.

John describes his photography work on his website as “featuring the people, the technology, and the mission of the Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Compiled within is a unique gallery of the inner workings of America’s reach for the stars.” Beautiful!