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Last Launch: Discovery, Endeavor, Atlantis [Hardcover]

Dan Winters , Al Reinert
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 32.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

20 Dec 2012
Americans have been driven to explore beyond the horizon ever since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. In the twentieth century, that drive took them to the moon and inspired dreams of setting foot on other planets and voyaging among the stars. The vehicle that was built to launch those far journeys was the space shuttle--Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour. This fleet of reusable spacecraft was designed to be a taxi to earth orbit, where man would board spaceships heading for strange new worlds. While the shuttle program never accomplished that goal, its 135 missions sent more than 350 people on a courageous journey into the unknown. Last Launch is a stunning photographic tribute to America's space shuttle program. Dan Winters was one of only a handful of photographers to whom NASA gave close-range access to photograph the last launches of Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour. Positioning automatically controlled cameras at strategic points around the launch pad--some as close as seven hundred feet--he recorded images of take-offs that capture the incredible power and transcendent beauty of the blast that sends the shuttle hurtling into space. Winters also takes us on a visual tour of the shuttle as a marvel of technology--from the crew spaces with their complex instrumentation, to the massive engines that propelled the shuttle, to the enormous vehicle assembly building where the shuttles were prepared for flight. A unique historical document, Last Launch powerfully evokes an all-American story--the quest for new frontiers.

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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: 31.2 x 25.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 462,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting tribute to the shuttle program 7 Feb 2013
By rrman76
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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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a one note symphony 25 Mar 2014
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEYOND WORDS 15 Nov 2012
By J. Carson - Published on Amazon.com
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!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent -- but covers the launches only. 2 Nov 2012
By C.J. Hustwick - Published on Amazon.com
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 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Outstanding Pictures - GET THIS BOOK! 1 Nov 2012
By Shawn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you're crazy in love with space exploration and/or the space shuttles - GET THIS BOOK! Truly outstanding pictures! Remarkable...
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