Spaceflight Insider

Staff/About / Photographers

MARK USCIAK

Mark UsciakStarting with the launch of Apollo 15 in 1971, Mark Usciak began using his photographic talents to cover the space program. His efforts have garnered him multiple awards from Aviation Week & Space Technology’s photography contest, which he won in 1995, 1998 and 2003. His work has graced the halls of Congress as well as numerous magazines. Mark covered NASA’s shuttle program, since the very first liftoff – until the final wheel stop. He has now turned his trained eye to reporting new efforts to cede control of access to low-Earth-orbit to commercial companies as the space agency focuses on sending astronauts beyond the orbit of Earth for the first time in decades.

JIM SIEGEL

Jim SiegelJim Siegel comes from a business and engineering background, as well as a journalistic one. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, an MBA from the University of Michigan, and executive certificates from Northwestern University and Duke University. Jim got interested in journalism in 2002. As a resident of Celebration, FL, Disney’s planned community outside Orlando, he has written and performed photography extensively for the Celebration Independent and the Celebration News. He has also written for the Detroit News, the Indianapolis Star, and the Northwest Indiana Times (where he started his newspaper career at age 11 as a paperboy). Jim is well known around Celebration for his photography, and he recently published a book of his favorite Celebration scenes. Jim has covered the Kennedy Space Center since 2006. His experience has brought a unique perspective to his coverage of first, the space shuttle Program, and now the post-shuttle era, as US space exploration accelerates its dependence on commercial companies. He specializes in converting the often highly technical aspects of the space program into contexts that can be understood and appreciated by average Americans.

CHARLES TWINE

charles-twine-spaceflight-insider-photogrpherCharles Twine has been actively photographing launches since 2011 (with shuttle missions STS-134, STS-135) but has had an working interest in space for many years prior to that. Trained as an organic chemist, Twine holds a BS from Old Dominion University as well as an MS and PhD from the University Of North Carolina. Twine was also employed by the Research Triangle Institute (a not for profit think tank) in Research Triangle Park for 35 years. Worked on contracts with DOD, NIDA, DEA, NCI and CDC as well as some private companies. Most of his work dealt with the synthesis and radioisotopic labeling (C14, H3, P32,F18 and I125) of various compounds. During this work a photographic record of certain steps was made. Twine started scientific photography techniques in graduate school and continues to them to this day. Twine has had work published in Southern Living and Gourmet magazines as well as in books from Audubon and National Geographic. Twine has worked with SpaceFlight Insider since its inception, but decided to officially join SFI’s team of loyal contributors in 2016.

CARLETON BAILIE

Carleton Bailie at SpaceFlight InsiderCarleton Bailie has covered the launches and events relating to spaceflight along Florida’s Space Coast since 1986, when he was tapped to photograph the final launch of Space Shuttle Challenger on its final mission – STS-51L. Bailie has been interested in the space program since the flights of Project Mercury in 1961. Prior to joining SpaceFlight Insider, Bailie worked for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine – where no fewer than 12 of the magazine’s covers were graced with his imagery. Bailie estimates that he has photographer more than 400 launches in a career where he has worked for United Launch Alliance, Boeing and numerous others.

ANDY SOKOL

Andy SokolAndy Sokol earned a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and a Master’s degree in Space Systems from Florida Institute of Technology. He dedicated the first nine years of his career working hands-on with NASA’s Space Shuttle fleet as an orbiter structures/airframe engineer. Photography was one of his hobbies during his education & career, and his unique visual perspectives of the space shuttle quickly became highly respected. As his portfolio grew & diversified, Andy formed TurboFox Photography in 2009 to provide fine art & portrait services. He participates in juried art shows across Florida, through which he has received multiple awards. See more of his work at TurboFox Photography.

MATTHEW KUHNS

Matthew KuhnsMatthew Kuhns is an aerospace engineer living in California and enjoys capturing the beauty of the aerospace world with his camera. As an engineer he specializes in fuel & propulsion systems and as a photographer his internationally award-winning images are published in magazines and books. Kuhns was introduced to the founder of SpaceFlight Insider during the pre launch activities for SpaceX’s CRS-4 mission and was promptly brought on to the team as SFI’s California photographer. @Mmkuhns

CHRIS HETLAGE – ASTRONOMY

Chris HetlageChris Hetlage is co-founder of the Deerlick Observatory and runs the Imaging the Cosmos website. His stunning pictures of globular clusters, galaxies and solar phenomenon have captured the attention of NASA, with his working appearing on the space agency’s “Astronomy Picture of The Day.” Hetlage is SpaceFlight Insider‘s lead when it comes to astronomy. His work captured the eye of our staff, we asked him to join and he graciously accepted. Hetlage does not limit himself to just pictures of distant worlds and stars, he is also adept at shooting rockets carrying their payloads into the black. You can view more of his work here: Imaging the Cosmos. @chrishet55

JEREMY BECK – KOUROU, FRENCH GUIANA PHOTOGRAPHER

Jeremy Beck SpaceFlight Insider Kourou French Guiana PhotographerJeremy Beck is a mechanical engineer currently living in Cayenne, French Guiana. He obtained his Master’s degree at the National Engineering School of Metz, France and had the opportunity to study in other countries such as South Africa, Australia or Brazil. His interest in exploration, discovery and sciences naturally lead him as a child to be a space conquest enthusiast. He practices photography as an amateur. Consequently, he takes advantage of attending the Arianespace’s launches at Kourou’s spaceport to take pictures. His other interests include travelling, scuba diving and running. Jeremy has joined SpaceFlight Insider to provide coverage over the European space operations in Kourou’s spaceport. @Jeremy_BECK

TOM USCIAK

Tom Usciak at Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia Tom Usciak has covered the space program – since the heady days of the Apollo Program. Despite the fact that his hometown is Lancaster, Pennsylvania – Usciak has frequently traveled extensively to cover space-related events. Usciak attended Brandywine College in Wilmington, Delaware. He has served as both a photographer and photographic editor for Aviation/Space Magazine. He has also worked for Space World, Ad Astra Magazine, Final Frontier Magazine and has now decided to continue covering space exploration efforts – with SpaceFlight Insider. Usciak is the owner of Greenfield Photographic Service, a digital photographic imaging laboratory. He has covered an array of historic missions into the black which include Apollo 15, Apollo 16, Skylab 1, 3, and 4 as well as the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. He went on to cover some 52 Space Shuttle missions from 1979 – through 2009. Usciak covered the first American astronaut launched on a Soyuz rocket to the Mir Space Station from Russia in 1995. Usciak also covered the arrival of Discovery to the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia in 2012.

Steve Hammer

Steve Hammer on SpaceFlight InsiderSteve moved to central Virginia from the Atlanta suburbs. He studied U.S. history, geography and social sciences at Virginia Tech and began teaching in the public school system in Southampton County, in Virginia’s Tidewater region. While there, he developed a passion for photography focusing on transportation and anything historic. With encouragement from family and friends, he moved backed to central Virginia where he currently lives and works as a computer science teacher. In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family and exploring the beautiful Virginia county side with his camera.

Matt Gaetjens

William Matt Gaetjens at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A photo posted on SpaceFlight InsiderGaetjens has been behind cameras for more than fifty years now. Over the course of his 25 years of working at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Gaetjens had the opportunity to photograph more than a 100 shuttle launches. Gaetjens job required that he take extensive payload bay and crew module technical photos. One of his job requirements was to proof numerous astronaut photography procedures. He also had to verify installation and configuration of Shuttle cameras that were used to photograph external tank separation for foam insulation loss. One of his closeout photos of the crew module just prior crew ingress was displayed in the Smithsonian museum. Since his retirement, he has photographed five years of launches at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and has obtained Florida State photography certification from Eastern Florida State College in 2012.

Ashly Cullumber

Ashly Cullumber - West Coast Lead PhotographerAshly Cullumber, known as “Ash” to her friends and family, is a California native. Cullumber’s appreciation for nature and space exploration has led her to pursue a bachelors degree in environmental science. When she moved to the small town of Grover Beach on the Central Coast of California, she had no idea that she was living in the West Coast spaceport’s back yard. She has a passion for anything Coastal California, including photographing everything from wave-scapes to rocket launches. It only took one launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, to spark her interest in the science, history and future of space exploration. Since that day she has been perfecting her photos of launches and has shared her knowledge and passion through the online photography community. In her spare time, she enjoys taking her dog “Mic” for walks on the beach.  

Greg Edwards

Greg Edwards central Nevada, red hat posted on SpaceFlight InsiderGreg Edwards developed an interest in Astronomy as a child and was able to see Sputnik 1 headlines when walking home from school further directing him to pursue a career relating to space. Edwards has built a number of telescopes. After graduating from high school he served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1967-71. He obtained a physics degree at UC Davis and worked with radioactive drugs for several years. He was hired by Lockheed (later Lockheed Martin) and worked with the aerospace titan from 1978-2011 where he built or helped build 12 of the first 13 microprocessor labs at Lockheed in Northern California. Edwards has extensive experience with technology and space hardware having worked on various optical and electro-optical projects for Earth and space usage. After a lifetime working with technology, Edwards retired in 2011 and pursued another passion of his – photography. His work has drawn praise with his photos winning numerous awards.