Americans have been driven to explore beyond the horizon ever since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. In the twentieth century, that drive took them to the moon and inspired dreams of setting foot on other planets and voyaging among the stars. The vehicle that was built to launch those far journeys was the space shuttle--Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour. This fleet of reusable spacecraft was designed to be a taxi to earth orbit, where man would board spaceships heading for strange new worlds. While the shuttle program never accomplished that goal, its 135 missions sent more than 350 people on a courageous journey into the unknown. Last Launch is a stunning photographic tribute to America's space shuttle program. Dan Winters was one of only a handful of photographers to whom NASA gave close-range access to photograph the last launches of Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour. Positioning automatically controlled cameras at strategic points around the launch pad--some as close as seven hundred feet--he recorded images of take-offs that capture the incredible power and transcendent beauty of the blast that sends the shuttle hurtling into space. Winters also takes us on a visual tour of the shuttle as a marvel of technology--from the crew spaces with their complex instrumentation, to the massive engines that propelled the shuttle, to the enormous vehicle assembly building where the shuttles were prepared for flight. A unique historical document, Last Launch powerfully evokes an all-American story--the quest for new frontiers.
"One of the aspects of Dan Winters' photography that I've really enjoyed throughout the years is his fascination with science. Although he's well-known for his celebrity portraits, he also does a fair amount of work for science magazines like Discover, where he also shows off his penchant for set building. But even with this knowledge, I was pleasantly surprised to find his new book Last Launch, which chronicles the last days of NASA's Space Shuttle program with his special access - let's call it "court-side seats," for lack of a better term." Allen Murabayashi, PhotoShelter.com, November 21st 2012 "Some may argue that there are many more photos of those final shuttle launches available for free online, including many by NASA itself. And that's true: if all you want to do is gorge on launch photos, the Internet is happy to accommodate you. However, Last Launch is a book of art: a presentation of photos, some conventional and others not, that recall those final missions and revere the vehicles that flew them. And "revere" is not too strong of a word: in the introduction, Winters recalls going inside Discovery and likening the experience to a visit to a cathedral. "I felt the presence of the souls that had passed through her during the thirty years and millions of miles that she had traveled," he writes. "It too felt like a spiritual place to me." It's in that frame of mind - reverence of a fantastic, yet flawed, spaceship - that this book should be kept." - Jeff Foust, editor and publisher of The Space Review
Number Of Pages: 176
Published: 8th November 2012
Dimensions (cm): 31.2 x 25.7 x 2.3
Weight (kg): 1.474