Photography: May 2011 Archives

"The Last Blast": Dan Winters Photographs the Shuttle Launch for Texas Monthly

After an aborted attempt on Friday, and another postponement now this afternoon, we are waiting for next Saturday to see the final launch of the space shuttle Endeavour. The trip is part of NASA's final set of missions for the entire space shuttle program, making each trip to the heavens even more rare as they close in on sending the final ship, Atlantis, up in June of 2011. (And causing job security anxiety for the astronauts.) In an amazing photo essay for the April 2011 issue of Texas Monthly, photographer Dan Winters documented the first of these final flights, that of the space shuttle Discovery, launched this past February. TM Creative Director T.J. Tucker and Dan share some of the work published in the magazine with us here, and more of the making-of process that went into creating the historic photo essay. From T.J. Tucker, Texas Monthly Creative Director:
In early 2010, I met my good friend and longtime Texas Monthly contributing photographer Dan Winters for coffee at a cool little spot off South Congress Avenue in downtown Austin. We do this a handful of times a year to catch up and talk about upcoming projects. Since I'm fortunate enough to be working at a magazine that still appreciates a good photo essay, I'm always looking for ideas. On this day Dan was talking about NASA and the end of the space shuttle program. In twelve months, NASA would be sending its final missions into space, and Dan wanted to be there--toting not one camera but eight, with the intention of capturing the most dynamic images from this singular fleeting event. Now, let's see, Dan Winters + space shuttles. Hmm . . .

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