Click here to link to full resolution images of the shuttle liftoff.
Space Shuttle launch Images taken at the Banana Creek Viewing Site (Saturn Five Building). Banana Creek is 3.29 miles from launch pad 39A and is where the NASA VIP's and Astronaut Families view the launch.
Download Video of Launch in MPEG-4 Video Format. Click here for FREE VLC media player
Learn more about the Space Shuttle external tank - The external tanks are not reusable. They break up before impact in the Indian Ocean (or Pacific Ocean in the case of direct-insertion launch trajectories, which are currently utilized) away from known shipping lanes
Learn more about the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster - The spent SRBs are recovered from the ocean, refurbished, reloaded with propellant, and reused for several missions. The two SRBs provide the main thrust to lift the space shuttle off the pad and up to an altitude of about 150,000 feet, or 24 nautical miles (28 statute miles).
Atlantis, the fourth orbiter to become operational at Kennedy Space Center, was named after the primary research vessel for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts from 1930 to 1966. The two-masted, 460-ton ketch was the first U.S. vessel to be used for oceanographic research. Such research was considered to be one of the last bastions of the sailing vessel as steam-and-diesel-powered vessels dominated the waterways.