The Labor of Space Exploration

The Labor of Space Exploration
© Michael Soluri

Rocket Man
Achieving levels of access and time granted to few other photographers, Michael Soluri has returned regularly to NASA's operational flight centers to document the extraordinary human effort that goes into putting astronauts and robotic hardware into space. Here, orbiter technician Chad Krueger stands by one of three rocket-engine sections at the rear of shuttle Discovery, being prepared in July 2006 for its second return to flight. The reusable rocket engine that will be fitted into this circular compartment will produce more than 375,000 lb. (170,000 kg) of thrust.

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