A Birds-Eye View Photo of Space Shuttle Discovery’s First Launch


NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery’s first launch was back on August 30th, 1984 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. During the event, astronaut John W. Young was flying nearby in a Shuttle Training Aircraft, which astronauts use to assess weather conditions prior to launches and landings.

Shortly after Discovery lifted into the air, Young pulled out his camera and snapped the above picture-perfect photograph of the orbiter climbing into space. He managed to catch the shuttle and its fiery trail framed by the reflection of the sun on the Atlantic Ocean. You can find a much higher resolution version of this photograph here.

Image credit: Photograph by John Young/NASA

  • Jonathan Maniago

    “To infinity … and beyond!”

    That’s the vibe I’m getting from this photo.

  • Ray Chiasson

    That isn’t the reflection of the shuttle’s fiery trail. It is a reflection of the sun. You can tell by the shadow (on land) of the smoke trail.) Still awesome though!

  • 3ric15

    Yes Einstein it says that in the article.

  • bolongotropo

    They had instagram back then???


    this picture was taken by Superman.

  • Ralph Hightower

    Of the Shuttle launches, I like this video from the Shuttle’s rear view mirror:

  • Ivan

    You mean square format film cameras? Yes.

  • Chimo

    You’re a little late to the game 3ric15, they changed the article after Ray’s comment dipshit.

  • 3ric15

    Well gee asshole, was there any way for me to know that? NO. So stop acting like there was! To me and everyone else on this damn planet it looked like he was pointing out the obvious. And so are you, buddy, by approximately 14 hours. Compared to you, I was “late” by only an hour.

  • AAA

    Horizon is crooked. Ha Ha.

  • name

    How the instagram-look color?

  • Bryan Folstad