A very simple Wednesday Wow for today: a glorious picture of the Space Shuttle’s last flight as it flies low over Los Angeles on its way to land at LAX.
As a life-long fan of space and space-flight, and as a long-time former resident of Los Angeles, this both wonderful and poignant. It’s sad that the shuttles will fly no more and even sadder that we’ve bowed out to the space program as much as we have.
As least we’re still exploring Mars.
And the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn was wonderful.
And the New Horizons is halfway to (former planet) Pluto.
But the space shuttle has made its last flight.
The picture above is a tiny piece of a great picture on todays Astronomy Picture of the Day site. You should go there to see the whole thing. And then click on the picture for the big version: 3628 x 3007!
I used to live in Los Angeles, specifically in Inglewood, and was bicycle distance from the beach and the airport, LAX. There was a common make-out spot on a small bluff overlooking the runways. We use to go there and not watch planes land (or sometimes to watch planes land).
If I lived there still, this would have been something I’d definitely have gone to see! The picture brings back memories of a city I haven’t seen in 20-some years.
For those who care for details, the picture looks to be shot from some place on South Sepulveda Boulevard a bit north of where La Tijera crosses it. The photographer used a very long lens that foreshortens the entire street of Sepulveda (which is the street that famously passes beneath the south runway at LAX.
The large building (with black windows and white grid work) directly below the 747 is nearly directly east of the north runway where I think the plane landed. I’m guessing, but the Google Earth snap below shows what I believe is the 747’s landing path (red arrow) and the photographer’s angle (yellow arrow):
Good luck, little Space Shuttle! You created a lot of memories, dreams and ideas. You’ll always be remembered!