Book Review: Dan Winters’ “Last Launch” Chronicles The Great NASA Space Shuttle Program

Book Review: Dan Winters’ “Last Launch” Chronicles The Great NASA Space Shuttle Program

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.

The cover image has a bit of a heavy hand on the contrast knob, but hey, it’s a cover shot.

Dan had some custom end sheets with a “Winters Aerospace Division” design. The Aerospace division of Dan Winters Systems may or may not be a legal entity.

The first part of the book features launch platform and other external shots.

Oh hey, Space Shuttle Atlantis on the double truck spread. Say hi to Poseidon and Aquaman for me.

And the second part of the book has cool photos of equipment like space suits and machines with dials and stuff.

I, like Dan, remember the excitement around the Shuttle program. I even had a little model that I put together with epoxy. I also remember the day the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in 7th grade. So needless to say, I have a bit of nostalgia for the program, and this book is an excellent way to celebrate this part of our space exploration history.

My only real complaint lies in the size of the book, which measures out at 10.1″ x 12.3″. You can’t help but wish that it was printed in a larger format to really enjoy the detail of the photos. But costs are costs, and this book is still a great bargain at the Amazon price of $31.50. Dan, I’ll be needing a Aerospace Division patch for my space suit.

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Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter. He co-hosts the "I Love Photography" podcast on iTunes.

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