Friday, June 06, 2008

Pixar, meet Discovery

Space flight doesn't garner the headlines that it did during the heady days of the Apollo moon missions. The world has changed. Technology doesn't blow us away as it once did. We're distracted by so many other things in life - Internet, cell phones, DVD extras, among others - that it's almost quaint to think back to a time when a launch was able to bring the entire nation to a virtual standstill.

Call me an oddball, then, because I still believe spaceflight is magical. Last Saturday, I watched NASA-TV for hours, first to catch the astronauts getting into the orbiter and later to watch them get hurled into orbit. I hung around for the post-launch press conference, too, and continue to pop in to see how this group of sheer geniuses is doing.

Although it's the busted toilet that gets the headlines, it's a cartoon character that's got my attention on this mission. Buzz Lightyear, Woody's buddy from the Toy Story movies, has a role in STS-124. Specifically, a Buzz action figure has gone up with Discovery, and will be used for some on-orbit educational broadcasts.

Keying off of this unique space education opportunity, Ornaldo Sentinel photographer Red Huber, also got Sheriff Woody involved. The Sentinel is Cape Canaveral's hometown paper, and as such invests more in space coverage than most media outlets. Mr. Huber is one of many photogs who regularly uses remote cameras to capture incredible, close-up views of shuttle launches.

This time out, he strategically placed a Woody doll between one of his remote cameras and the pad. When Discovery launched, he got a shot of Woody saying goodbye to his buddy. I admit feeling tears well up in my eyes when I first saw the shot.

Click here for the explanatory blog entry.

Who says there isn't magic in this business anymore?

Your turn: A picture that made you cry. Please discuss.

One more thing: Thematic Photographic wants you! It's my latest crazy attempt to mine your collective photographic greatness, and I hope you'll jump in with both feet. The rules are simple: Every week I pick a theme (this week's is automotive.) All you gotta do is post a theme-related pic on your blog, then link back to it in a comment. Easy and fun! Click here to get started.


Anonymous said...

I must confess that this one teared me up.

Star said...

Awesome. I was lucky enough to watch the shuttle go up twice, in person. Once from land and once from water. it never gets old.

me said...

r. sherman, I agree 100%
There have been a few shots that the Reuters photographers caught after the earthquake in China that made me cry. The one that sticks in my mind most is a shot of a little girls slippered feet sticking out of the rubble with a butterfly flying by. Crap I need to go get a tissue.

Anonymous said...

I didn't watch the astronauts last week, but I did watch the Phoenix land on Mars, which made me teary.

Also, I confess that after a month, I'm still in love with the Discovery Channel's "Boom de Yada" video.