Category Archives: KSC

GRAIL moonshot launch






Shot the GRAIL moonshot Atlas launch this past weekend….well, actually I didn’t.

Let me explain. I set my remote camera’s out on Wednesday so that they would capture the launch on Thursday morning at 8:33. We are allowed to set cameras up the day before and have to leave them out until about 3 hours after the actual launch. NASA has to clear the pad and make sure the surrounding area is “Safe” before they let us back out to retrieve our gear.
Well, Thursday night it rained as hard as it has all year, and the gear got totally drenched.
I went out to the Press Site to shoot the launch with my 400 2.8 and a 70-200 on a Bogen Magic Arm… the weather didn’t cooperate though and the launch was scrubbed due to high winds about 3 miles up in the sky. NO GO!!
I was planning on going back out to shoot the launch Thursday morning but that was cancelled on Wednesday evening at 10:40…..and it rained as well.
Luckily I go a bit overboard and cover all of my gear with protective bags and such, due to the rain and dew.
Well, Friday came and a few of us, (those hanging in the media area) were allowed back out to check our remotes and clean our lenses.. Mine was ok but there were some cameras that didn’t fare too well…..the rain had damaged a few lenses and bodies.
Saturday came and the launch was expected to go at around 8:30 but that too was scrubbed due to weather. Though the sky was blue, those danged winds just wouldn’t quit, the second launch window was in jeopardy….
meanwhile, back in Orlando I was preparing to shoot my 400 on a cropped body with a 2x extender from my front porch. All in all it’s about 50 miles from my house and I wasn’t sure if I could even see the rocket through the building clouds.
Now, let me explain, I had made a deal with Alan Walters and Paul Hennessey to pick my gear up if I couldn’t make it to the actual launch on Saturday. I have been travelling a lot lately and needed to spend some time with my family. I decided to miss the launch with a backup plan in place……it seems to have worked.
Though I would have loved to have shot the launch in person, I gambled and took the chance that the remotes would cover me! I don’t recommend this to others who are on assignment, but in this case, I was over the moon!
To see more: log onto www.apimages.com and search Grail Moonshot

Shuttle Atlantis landing


So here I sit in my hotel room, the Mandalay Bay, in Las Vegas waiting to finish the video edit for a client of mine. It has been a hectic 3 days so far and though they are very pleased with what I have captured so far, my mind is mush…..

The space shuttle Atlantis lands in a few hours back in Florida and I don’t leave Vegas until tomorrow afternoon. Safe to say that I won’t make it to the landing pad….and there is no “next time” to get the desired images……guess what….life goes on. There are times when you really want to be there and unfortunately there are times when you just can’t. This is the way the photo industry works, and the sooner you figure that out, the less stressed you will be. Trust Me!
To all of my colleagues who will be there, I wish you nothing but the best. Get the exposure right and make history, you’ve obviously put in the time and deserve to capture beautiful images. Make us proud.
I just came across a cool shot of mine that got picked up today: cool slideshow here-
http://foxnewsinsider.com/2011/07/20/slideshow-nasas-space-shuttle-program/#23

President orders attack on Osama Bin Laden

I had no idea what this photo would mean when I took it on Friday.
I was hoping to photograph President Barack Obama when he visited the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center after the announced scrub of Endeavour’s STS-134 launch. The first lady and his daughters were with the President to watch the launch and to speak for a few moments with Gabby Giffords, the Congresswoman who was shot in Arizona and the wife of shuttle Endeavour Commander Kelly.
The motorcade arrived about 30 minutes after 5 helicopters began hovering around the property, and it was past us in about 10 seconds. Of course Barack was on the opposite side of us and Michelle waved as their cars drove by.
About an hour later, we all hoped the motorcade would leave in the same direction and they did….I pressed the button on the camera and nailed the image we see here!
Today, just two days later, I learned that just hours after these images were taken, President Obama would approve a military strike in Pakistan on Osama Bin Laden which would result in the death of the terrorist and mastermind of the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers.
Sitting here typing this, I admit it feels weird to think of all the problems Obama has to deal with on a daily basis. Perhaps I should feel lucky with how much pressure I don’t have to endure every hour that I am awake…..photography doesn’t seem that hard anymore.
More pics here: http://alexmenendez.photoshelter.com/
Image taken on April 29, 2011. (Photo Credit: Alex Menendez)