Most of us have seen space shuttles. From the outside. But US Space Program photographer Ben Cooper gets to see them from a different angle. Thanks to him, you can, too. These rare photos of the flight deck (or cockpit to us laymen) of the Space Shuttle Endeavour are nothing short of mesmerizing.
First, an image of the Space Shuttle Endeavour launch, taken by Ben at Cape Canaveral on March, 8, 20o8, to remind you of the exterior:
Space Shuttle Endeavour Interior
Now, a look at the inside:
With enough buttons, gears and switches on an instrument panel to make most anyone’s head spin, it’s simply mind-blowing that anyone, no matter how much training, can navigate these.
These rare photos capture the Flight Deck (cockpit) of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, fully powered for one of the final times. Just a few weeks later, at 9:58am EDT on May 11, Endeavour was powered down for the final time in history. It was the last of the three space shuttles to have power.
Below, other views show the mid-deck, gutted of its lockers and storage areas, and three final photos show the white room entrance in the Orbiter Processing Facility, signed by thousands over the years.
Ben has a large selection of shuttle and rocket launches that are worth checking out. But lest you think he just shoots spacecrafts, Ben has taken many spectacular photos of many subjects all over the world. His travel photos are breathtaking and his panoramic ballpark photos are worth a look.
above: Ben Cooper, Ice in Mt. Cook/Aoraki National Park, 2014
His Astronomy photos give me chills. Below are two of them.
Ben Cooper, Startrails, NamibRand, Namibia
Ben Cooper, The Milky Way above Bryce Canyon
About the Photographer (from his site):
above: Ben Cooper, Launch Pad 39A, September 2010. photo credit:Robert Pearlman
Ben Cooper is a professional photographer based just north of Cape Canaveral & the Kennedy Space Center in Daytona Beach, FL. A professional photographer in the US space program, he has covered launches and other events at Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center since July 1999, having now photographed over 140 missions and launches to date.
For the final few years of the Space Shuttle program, he photographed for NASA and held a position on NASA’s photo and engineering imaging team at the Kennedy Space Center & Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Work included mission-critical imagery of the shuttle’s exterior and orbiter tiles that ensured a safe mission of the space shuttle on every flight, as well as public affairs imagery for distribution by NASA and dozens of portraits and award ceremonies.
He specializes in more aerospace, travel, science and astronomal imaging, including traveling the globe to chase solar eclipses, with experience on six continents including Antarctica. With over 20 years of experience in the field of photography, he is also an alumnus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering and minor in space studies/space history.
all the information and images in this post are copyright of Ben Cooper and may not reproduced without his written permission
Ben’s gorgeous photos can be purchased here