Best Photos of 2013: Spaceflight

It is hard to believe that another year has already passed since I presented my favorite spaceflight photos of 2012, and wow, what a year that was with the Space shuttle delivery flights around the United States! This year however I got to focus on launches, five of them to be exact from the West Coast at Vandenberg Air Force Base to the shores of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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A ground squirrel emerges from its hole to check out the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from SLC-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base with NASA’s Landsat Data Continuity Mission.

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A remote camera view of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifting off from SLC-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base with NASA’s Landsat Data Continuity Mission from a nearby hill.

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A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from LC-41 at Cape Canaveral carrying the US Air Forces’ Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) providing missile defense for the United States.

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A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Complex 41 at Cape Caveral, FL carrying a GPS satellite for the United States Air Force.

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Orbital Science’s Lockheed  L-1011 “Stargazer” sits on the Hot Pad at the Vandenberg Air Force Base runway on Tuesday, June 25th. The venerable airplane, the final L-1011 in service in the United States is carrying the Pegasus rocket, a 55ft long and 51,000 lb rocket. The mission will carry the IRIS satellite, an exploration mission that will observe the suns atmosphere.Image

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Space shuttle Atlantis sits on display inside the new 100 million dollar exhibit hall at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.Image

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Storm clouds roll over Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is prepared for launch.Image

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Complex-41 at 9:00am Friday, July 19th. The rocket is carrying the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System-2 Satellite providing better communication for U.S. forces.

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NASA’s Mars bound Maven spacecraft launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex-41 on an United Launch Alliance Atlas V. The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN’s (MAVEN) prime mission is to study the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet.Image

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And that concludes my look back at 2013! It was a privilege to cover these launches for Spaceflightnow.com and I look forward to another exciting year in 2014!

Be sure to “like” my Facebook page devoted to my photography where you can stay up to date on recent shoots.

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