Working at Washington Dulles International Airport and getting to know the people there for seven years has its benefits... especially when something big and historic flies in. Not only was I lucky enough to be present for all of NASA's operations at Dulles involving Space Shuttles Discovery and Enterprise along with the 747 SCA (Shuttle Carrier Aircraft), but I was specifically chosen by airport management to be the official event photographer. Dulles held its first "Fifty for 50th" drawing, which brought 50 lucky civilians onto the threshold of the runway during the SCA and Discovery's flyovers and touchdown. Some of the people pictured are these participants.
Furthermore, during my coverage of the events, my photography caught the eyes of NASA's SCA Pilots and Flight Engineers as well as some NASA Staff Photographers, all of whom have become fans of my work. This resulted not only in continued correspondence and meeting in person with NASA crew-members (along with receiving some awesome, rare transport mission memorabilia), but also the invitation to visit NASA's operations in New York at John F. Kennedy International Airport, where I met with more of the SCA crew-members onboard the SCA itself, and was invited to also stay for Enterprise's demating. Due to other photography obligations the next day in Washington, DC, I unfortunately couldn't stay in New York to see the demating, which they were preparing for during my visit.
All of this took place in a whirlwind of a month's time, and here, finally, is a sampler of the resulting photos.
The entire set of photography of my NASA coverage (485 photos), from start to finish, can be seen on my Flickr by clicking here.
UPDATE (January, 2013):
This is one of my autographed prints of NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft departing Dulles for JFK with Space Shuttle Enterprise. I shot this photograph on April 27th, 2012. The Space Shuttle Ground Crew signed 9 prints (17x22) of my photograph aboard the SCA at JFK in New York on May 12th, 2012.
Upon returning to Washington, I gave away several copies to some close friends, and individuals who helped make my involvement with the Space Shuttle transport possible. I'll be grateful my entire life for being able to partake in this historical event.
This is my framed copy; I gave my Dad an identical one this past Christmas. During the events, I met most of the crewmembers - they were nice enough to also give me an areal photo of the SCA with Space Shuttle Discovery flying above the Washington Monument, signed by the Discovery transport Flight Crew, as well as a Mission Patch that flew on that mission - I have not had these framed yet.
My print seen here is a 17x22, in a 30x24 frame. It reads:
Shuttle Carrier Aircraft
Space Shuttle Enterprise
SCA Ground Crew
LeRoy Marsh Eugene Smith David Lanmon
Arvid Knutson Robert Hackaday Rick Brewer