Multimedia department preps for NASA launch

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Multimedia department preps for NASA launch
Multimedia Editor
Multimedia Editor Franklin Hayes

HD camera? Check. Boom microphone? Check. Reporter’s notebook? Check. Journalistic objectivity? Check. Jubilant anticipation that will probably make me lose sleep? Check.

In a dynamic journalism career that has had its ups and downs, I’ve had an opportunity to get close and personal with some intriguing and historic subjects, but none can match the Discovery shuttle.

In 2006 I covered the historic sinking of the world’s largest man-made reef, the U.S.S. Oriskany. Later that year I rode along with a stunt plane pilot practicing for the annual Blue Angels exhibition at Pensacola Beach. The next year I interviewed a Blue Angel pilot and rode along with another stunt pilot squadron performing in that year’s show.

Needless to say, I have a taste for adrenaline and an interest in anything aeronautical. As a young Navy brat who grew up visiting the National Naval Aviation and the Smithsonian Air and Space museums, it seems only natural that I would one day get a chance to cover a space shuttle mission. This latest assignment will also peak my curiosity for anything otherworldly, be it interstellar craft or old reruns of the original Star Trek.

In order to capture the flight of the Discovery and all the cutting-edge technology that goes along with it, I am bringing some very specialized equipment. Video equipment includes a Canon XHA1 high definition camera that shoots 1080i at 23 frames per second and a Canon VIXIA HV 30 handheld camcorder. For still photography we are bringing a Nikon D-200 with 200 and 300mm lenses. We plan to live stream the actual launch and related press conferences and we will also produce more complex video stories related to the Kennedy Space center’s tours and facilities. When there is time, team members will also update blogs about what we are seeing and doing. It looks to be a great time and I’m eternally grateful for the chance to go.

They tell me that the planetarium at PJC is looking for things to play on its massive dome. Does anyone else feel a Science Fiction and NASA Launch film festival coming on?

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