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Last Launch: Discovery, Endeavor, Atlantis Hardcover – 20 Dec 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press (20 Dec. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 029273963X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292739635
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 2.2 x 30.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 367,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"One of the aspects of Dan Winters' photography that I've really enjoyed throughout the years is his fascination with science. Although he's well-known for his celebrity portraits, he also does a fair amount of work for science magazines like Discover, where he also shows off his penchant for set building. But even with this knowledge, I was pleasantly surprised to find his new book Last Launch, which chronicles the last days of NASA's Space Shuttle program with his special access - let's call it "court-side seats," for lack of a better term." Allen Murabayashi, PhotoShelter.com, November 21st 2012 "Some may argue that there are many more photos of those final shuttle launches available for free online, including many by NASA itself. And that's true: if all you want to do is gorge on launch photos, the Internet is happy to accommodate you. However, Last Launch is a book of art: a presentation of photos, some conventional and others not, that recall those final missions and revere the vehicles that flew them. And "revere" is not too strong of a word: in the introduction, Winters recalls going inside Discovery and likening the experience to a visit to a cathedral. "I felt the presence of the souls that had passed through her during the thirty years and millions of miles that she had traveled," he writes. "It too felt like a spiritual place to me." It's in that frame of mind - reverence of a fantastic, yet flawed, spaceship - that this book should be kept." - Jeff Foust, editor and publisher of The Space Review

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yes, some great shots of the launches, but the tonality is a bit too obviously photoshopped.

I expected more after seeing his amazing 360 shots of aircraft and spacecraft in the iPad edition of Wired.

Oh yes, and neither Amazon, nor Book Depository are any more capable of packaging a book in such a way that it doesn't arrive with the spine bent in or some other marring.

Initially I had one from Amazon and it was in a single wrapping of corrugated cardboard. Both ends of the spine had been bashed it. The cardboard wrapping was not damaged, so I conclude someone at Amazon just chucks books around.

I returned that and ordered from the Book Depository. That arrived in the same kind of wrapping. This time only one spine end was bent, but it was too minor to complain.

However the pages inside are marked with dents where someone has thumbed through the book randomly and roughly.

This is not a case where the denting was made in the printing process, because then you can see the dent consistently in the same place. With this one the dents were on about 75% of the pages in different places.

I'll buy nice books in shops in future. Amazon cannot deliver art books without making a mess of them. Actually the same goes for vinyl LPs. The arrive all bent up as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rrman76 on 7 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Basically if you have any interest in space or the shuttle then you have to buy this book.
The photographs are very detailed and full page showing you shuttle images that you would never otherwise see.
The launch photos are my particular favourite, the power and brutality of the launches is captured perfectly. You can almost hear the deafening roar as the shuttle leaves Earth.
Sad to see the shuttle retired but it will always live on with this book.
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By Monkey Boy on 16 Sept. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very good photographs but there are better books out there if you are fascinated by space. Book was delivered on time and in a very good condition even if the post man did his best to damage it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 23 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
BEYOND WORDS 15 Nov. 2012
By J. Carson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have been waiting with baited breath for the release of this book. I finally saw it in Barnes and Noble today. I spent over an hour looking through every page and I didn't want to put it down. I have been a NASA geek and a space shuttle fan all my life. I have collected photography books for 25 years. Never have I seen a book that more thoroughly chronicles a subject such as the shuttles in such an interesting way. Anyone who is a fan of the space program, young or old, anyone who appreciates true artistic talent when it comes to photographs, will appreciate this book. Anyone who owns a fine art photo book, understands that they generally include spreads (two photos matched to be veiwed together) and single images with a blank facing page. This is nothing new. But for anyone with discerning taste and a fine eye for detail, this book will leave you salivating. Since the shuttle program no longer exists, this book will surely become the standard historical photographic record of something that was once a point of national pride. This will be what we show our grand kids when we talk about the shuttles. Bravo Dan Winters. Thanks for caring enough to devote your time to this so that the rest of us can sit back and recall a stellar time in the history of the U.S. space program. I don't mean to spoil the surprise, but I will be ordering this book, not only for myself, but for everyone of my freinds and family members this year. So Merry Christmas!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Amazing, large format photos in this huge book! 18 Oct. 2012
By James Knapper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well, I received the book today. I ordered this book a year ago in November, so it had been a long time coming. It is big at 12" long and 10" wide. There is a little bit of text, mostly at the beginnig (including some text from Mark Kelly), but most of the book is pictures of the shuttle taking up almost the entire page. The pictures are beautiful, so clear that you can read the numbers on the tiles. There is a picture of the aft-end of the shuttle with all three engines removed which shows spectacular detail of the insides of that area. There are also stand-alone pictures of the engines and other elements such as the control console at Mission Control. As I was looking through the book, I noticed blank pages in the book; I thought maybe I had a mis-printed book. At the end of the book, however, there are thumbnails of each page, telling you what you were looking at, and it shows the blank pages. I just found that a strange choice. I would have liked the author to use all of that real-estate to display other pictures. However, that does not detract from the overall book. The pictures are amazing, and it is a must for any Shuttle fan.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Does not convey a cohesive story 3 Dec. 2013
By Mary E. Young - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a pictorial story of the last launches of three modern space ships. I was not overly impressed with the book. The photographs were only so-so, and did not really convey a cohesive story. There was really nothing, other than the title, to suggested that these were pictures of last launches. Perhaps this was due to the lack of captions, which would have added content to the pictures.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Magnificent -- but covers the launches only. 2 Nov. 2012
By C.J. Hustwick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I checked this out at the book store last night and I could not have been any more impressed. It's like Mr. Winters knew exactly the types of things I would want to see up close and personal about the orbiters, the facilities and all of the infrastructure around the Space Shuttle program -- but mostly there are just tons of incredible photos of the launches themselves, filled the rocket's red glare, towering pillars of noxious gasses... if you think you might like this book you are going to LOVE it.

I will say though -- if you are looking for "bang for you buck", then there is an older DK book on the Shuttle from about ten years ago which is loaded with stellar photographs, not just launches, and tons of first-person narratives by the astronauts themselves. This book here is more of a strictly photographic book by an outsider, covering the most showy but by no means the only stunning aspect of the Space Shuttle program (which goes almost without saying).
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Stunning photography 6 Dec. 2012
By Adam M. Bendig - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this as a gift but will need to order another for myself. This is full of incredible images that are sure to become iconic in remembering the shuttle program. Dan Winters has been able to document these last launches, as well as existing memorabilia of the program, while slathering on a thick layer of bold beautiful art. I love this book, and I love Dan Winters.
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