While on August 30, 1984 NASA first launched the space shuttle Discovery, astronaut John Young was in a Shuttle Training Aircraft passing nearby. As the orbiter left the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Young managed to capture the moment as the shuttle flew up into space. The resulting shot is a beautiful composition of Discovery leaving Earth as the sun is reflected on the ocean. The Discovery may now be retired, but many know that over 27 years it completed 39 successful missions. This photo is, in many ways, an ode to its origins.

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[via PetaPixel]