STS-119 March 15, 2009
Third launch of this series. Even though the STS designator is next in the series (strangely enough), this shot was well over a year after the previous two, with five intervening launches between itself and STS-118. And compared to the two previous launches in this series, it comes as quite a letdown, photographically. It tried to create a noctilucent cloud, but the effort was a weak one in comparison with the spectacular results generated by the others in this series. But I decided to include it anyway, as it was a gorgeous shot going up shortly after local sunset, and there was a bit of noctilucence right at the end of things. Photos taken from a mosquito/flood-control dike, just north of Old Audubon Road on Merritt Island, looking north after sunset. All shots are presented in the order in which they were taken, and differences in lightness or darkness of the sky are a result of differing exposure settings. Photos were taken hand-held with a Nikon D40 using the standard 18-55mm zoom lens that comes with it.