What’s it like to hitch a ride on a rocket? AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWSOME. At least that’s what one commenter wrote after viewing a dramatic new video of a space shuttle launch shot by cameras mounted on the solid rocket boosters (SRBs) that helped propel NASA's now-retired shuttles off the launch pad and into space.
The dramatic high-definition video begins seconds before launch and ends about eight minutes later, when the spent boosters parachute into the ocean.
Visually stunning, the video is like no other launch video you’ve ever seen. But what makes the video even more special is that its audio track captures the surprising variety of sounds of a shuttle launch, including the sputtering roar of the rocket motors, the explosive blasts as the boosters separate from the shuttle, and the eerie clangs and whistles the boosters make as they spiral earthward.
The video was assembled for inclusion in a special edition of a DVD/BluRay entitled "Ascent: Commemorating Shuttle," according to a NASA Facebook page. It contains footage taken on two shuttle flights, STS-117 (June 2007) and STS-127 (July 2009), according to the video's closing credits. The credits also indicate that the video's soundtrack was enhanced by the folks at Skywalker Sound, the Marin County, California firm whose film credits range from "Star Wars" in 1977 to 2012’s "Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax."
And if the the launch looks and sounds incredible, the boosters themselves—the largest solid propellant motors ever developed for space flight--were pretty incredible too. NASA says each booster contained more than a million pounds of propellant—all of which was expended in the first two minutes of a shuttle’s launch.