Canon SX30is thoughts and 5 Best Photos from NASA KSC and Shuttle Discovery STS-133

First the images, then the review. Oh, and a little contest: Can you guess what and where each of these shots are?  (Click each for larger image, post your answers to the comments.)

I ordered a Canon SX30IS 14.1MP Digital Camera with 35x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom because I was lucky enough to be asked to NASA for the final launch of Shuttle Discovery. I wanted as much zoom as possible in a small, easy to use and affordable package. I wanted most of all to be present and see everything with my own eyes. I wanted to capture images along the way with a minimum of distraction from the equipment.

I knew to expect amazing access through the #NASATweetup, including the press area (as close as you can get for a launch, but still three miles away), at the launch pad, and inside the Vehicle Assembly Building. Not to mention briefings by Astronauts, engineers and managers, and meeting Robonaut 2. Thanks so much to NASA (in particular @NASATweetup and @NASA) for your wonderful hospitality and amazing opportunity to learn and see so much these past five days! Still looking forward to viewing the (delayed) launch from the press area!

So how well has the Canon meet my needs for these conditions so far? Continue reading

Back to NASA KSC for Space Shuttle Launch STS-133

photo courtesy NASA

After almost 20 years, I’m honored to have been asked back to NASA. This time for the Space Shuttle launch scheduled November 1, 2010, as part of #NASATweetup.

Over two days I’ll get tours and the opportunity to speak with shuttle technicians, engineers, astronauts, and managers as well as to watch the launch from the press area. Of course I’ll share on Twitter, Facebook and blog while I’m there.

This is the last scheduled mission for Space Shuttle Discovery, and the Shuttle program is scheduled to end with the final Endeavor mission, STS-134 in February, 2011. [Update: the new budget approved recently adds one last mission in June for Atlantis.] My friends Rusty Hodge of SOMA-FM Mission Control and Scott Beale of Laughing Squid have been to invited to past #NASAtweetups.

The last time I was to KSC and the Cape was as an engineer. Yes, on some level I can claim the title rocket scientist (without even resorting to the model rockets I built and launched as a child)… Continue reading