Ride The Space Shuttle’s Booster During A Launch
With the recent retirement of the Space Shuttle program, a long and worthy chapter of human space exploration has come to an end. While several other nations are developing their own space programs, here in the States NASA is having its budget slashed seemingly without regard to the effect such cuts could have on the development of future technologies and the furthering of science in general. Perhaps the immediate destiny of space exploration will be pushed along by private companies and ambitious dreamers, but it’s still sad to know that there will be no more Shuttles launching, and no immediate replacement for them either.
And while it was easy to become jaded about Shuttle launches in recent years, the sight of a Shuttle riding a pillar of fire and smoke into the heavens was still a beautiful and humbling sight, right up to the last. I regret that I never got to see a launch in person, but I remember, as a teenager, standing in my front yard in the middle of the night and staring up with awe as the shuttle reentered through the skies over Texas, carving a golden arc from horizon to horizon. And now, even in retirement, the Shuttle has found a way to make my jaw drop once again. Check out this amazing footage recorded by cameras on the Shuttle’s solid rocket boosters. Turn those speakers up; trust me, you’ve never taken a ride like this.
The dizzying footage is actually from NASA’s Ascent: Commemorating Shuttle iPad app, which compiles film and video from numerous Shuttle missions. The sound in this video is all real and recorded during the launch. Skywalker Sound was enlisted to enhance it and clean it up, but nothing has been faked. It’s a breathtaking ride, and there’s something almost hypnotic about the boosters’ long fall back to Earth. So long, Space Shuttle. You served us well.
Ascent: Commemorating Shuttle is available now, for free, via iTunes. It’s also coming to Blu-ray and DVD at some point, but I can’t find a solid date yet.