This NASA video has been doing the rounds on Google+ and elsewhere but we absolutely couldn’t resist posting it here. It shows the launch of the Space Shuttle (two in fact) from a number of HD cameras attached to the Solid Rocket Booster. As an added bonus the audio was enhanced at George Lucas’s Skywalker Sound, and is just as stunning as the video.
The video is taken from a yet-to-be-released DVD/BluRay called Special Edition Ascent: Commemorating Space Shuttle and was first posted online by NASA’s Michael Interbartolo who worked for 10 years on the Shuttle Programme before it closed. Michael’s Google+ post has been shared over 800 times on the site and viewed nearly 600,000 times on YouTube in three days.
The video shows the ascent, detachment, and decent of the Shuttle and Solid Rocket Boosters in just over 400 seconds, which is fast considering the boosters are falling from a height of 150,000 feet. The sequence is a combination of footage from two Shuttle launches, STS-117 and STS-127.
STS-117 was a launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on June 22 2007 commanded by Colonel Frederick W. Sturckow. The mission was the longest undertaken by Atlantis and the 250th orbital human spaceflight. Atlantis delivered the second starboard truss segment to the ISS.
STS-127 was a launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour on July 15 2009, again to the International Space Station. Notably this mission marked the most number of people in space at the same time, 13. Endeavour brought with it two modules for the IIS, including the Japanese Experimental Facility. NASA’s Mark Lewis Polansky led this mission.
Video highlights (click to jump to the section)
- When the Shuttle breaks the sound barrier (we think).
- When the Solid Rocket Boosters dethatch from the Shuttle
- First view of the curve of the earth
- View of the Space Shuttle in space with the external tank still attached
- The Boosters’ re-entry
- Deployment of parachutes
- Splash landing
Hat tip to @gregomeara for this one.