Ride the Space Shuttle into space, on the outside of the booster no less

If you are a space enthusiast, this is well worth 400 seconds of your time for the unique perspective it offers…like strapping a HERO Go Pro camera to a booster and getting it back.

From the upcoming Special Edition Ascent: Commemorating Space Shuttle DVD/BluRay by NASA/Glenn a movie from the point of view of the Solid Rocket Booster with sound mixing and enhancement done by the folks at Skywalker Sound. The sound is all from the camera microphones and not fake or replaced with foley artist sound. The Skywalker sound folks just helped bring it out and make it more audible.

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July 27, 2013 5:13 pm


July 27, 2013 5:15 pm

Brilliant. Thank you for this.

Steve B
July 27, 2013 5:18 pm

A bit dizzying but not bad at all.

July 27, 2013 5:25 pm

Just amazing! Thanks!

July 27, 2013 5:31 pm

Thanks, Anthony.

Hal Javert
July 27, 2013 5:33 pm

Wow! Very nice piece of work. Riding along as it goes transonic is absolutely fantastic.

July 27, 2013 5:34 pm

“when the solids light, you are going somewhere”

July 27, 2013 5:39 pm

And we gave this up for “outreach” to make a certain hell bent for destruction group feel better about themselves….

July 27, 2013 5:40 pm

How about NASA returns to space flight & defunds GISS? And throw in NCAR for good measure. Both worse than worthless wastes of hard-earned taxpayer dollars. Gavin can go back to Britain & Kevin to NZ to look for missing heat in the oceans around their island nations.

July 27, 2013 5:40 pm

Awesome! Than you.

July 27, 2013 5:44 pm

milodonharlani says:
July 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm

How about NASA returns to space flight & defunds GISS? And throw in NCAR for good measure. Both worse than worthless wastes of hard-earned taxpayer dollars. Gavin can go back to Britain & Kevin to NZ to look for missing heat in the oceans around their island nations.

It might be more worthwhile to permanently send them both to White Island with camping gear so that they can keep us apprised of the situation there.
We’ll come get them if it gets bad… really!

Gene Selkov
July 27, 2013 5:51 pm

The most amazing thing I noticed is that the two boosters tumble almost in sync. The other one went only about 1/4-turn out of phase during the entire time it was visible.

Janice Moore
July 27, 2013 5:52 pm

LOL, just think what would have happened if the same people who wrote the code for the global climate models wrote the software for all the modeling done for THAT flight.

Janice Moore
July 27, 2013 5:54 pm
July 27, 2013 6:03 pm

milodonharlani says:
July 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm
“How about NASA returns to space flight & defunds GISS? ”
NASA does not fund GISS. GISS is their profit centre.

July 27, 2013 6:05 pm

GeoLurking says:
July 27, 2013 at 5:44 pm
Your suggestion for a whacky Warmunisto camp out on Whakaari IMO calls for the art of Josh. Maybe Nobel Laureate Mann could join them diving the depths with thermometers. Think of the pain & anguish they’d feel at having to burn vegetation to stay warm in the austral winter. They’d have to stay there a long time to document all the heat going into the depths.

Janice Moore
July 27, 2013 6:07 pm

No engineers laid down their lives to make what we just saw happen. But, if getting the job done had required it, I have NO DOUBT that they would. To real engineers (or pilots) what matters most is seeing the task through, even if it is to the bitter end. You people are my HEROES.

“Mu-s-lim self-esteem” can go to Sheol.

July 27, 2013 6:08 pm

DirkH says:
July 27, 2013 at 6:03 pm
You’re right of course. I should have called for Congress to defund GISS, which is what I meant. The administration is averse to budgeting, so it’s initially up to the House of Representatives, where the power of the purse is supposed to reside anyway.

July 27, 2013 6:15 pm

The glory days of NASA. I saw the space shuttle go up from the Kennedy Space Center one year. I will never forget it. Sometimes I watch the launch sequence from the movie Apollo 13 because it gives me goosebumps. Seeing this makes me nostalgic and angry, look how far NASA has fallen. From visionaries who revolutionized spaceflight to myopic agenda driven leadership.
You better believe I will buy the Blu-Ray as soon as I can.

Margaret Smith
July 27, 2013 6:17 pm

Delighted they didn’t find it necessary to put loud music on this as so enfuriatingly often happens these days.

July 27, 2013 6:22 pm

Hi Anthony – Thanks for posting!
Roger Sr.

July 27, 2013 6:25 pm

Here is that video that gives me goosebumps.

Janice Moore
July 27, 2013 6:30 pm

Alex Wade (at 6:25PM), me, too.
Thanks so much for sharing.

mark ro
July 27, 2013 6:41 pm

“Mu-s-lim self-esteem” can go to Sheol.
responding to this would be thread jacking, why is it here?

Gary Pearse
July 27, 2013 6:42 pm

No wonder the illustrious folks who fly these things joined together to complain about NASA’s NGO-type new world order function.

July 27, 2013 6:53 pm

mark ro says:
July 27, 2013 at 6:41 pm
Because Obama has “repurposed” NASA’s main mission from space exploration to making Muslims feel good about their contributions to science. I kid you not.

July 27, 2013 6:56 pm

Nice! Thanks for sharing.
Where is the Dramamine 😉

Janice Moore
July 27, 2013 7:03 pm

Thanks, Milodon Harlani (6:53PM). Much appreciated.
Why did you not also cite a comment along the same lines by Geo Lurking at 5:35PM, Mr. Mark Ro? Geo’s excellent comment inspired my attempt to address the issue. You will see from the supporting documentation which Milodon H. so kindly supplied that I was not wildly off topic, just tangentially.
I’ve learned a lesson thanks to this experience: from now on, I will always cite a supporting document re: the “M-us-lim self-esteem” issue.

mark ro
July 27, 2013 7:14 pm

Janice Moore says:
July 27, 2013 at 7:03 pm
I am neither Christian nor Muslim and my “esteem” has never been an issue.

July 27, 2013 7:16 pm

You know, I hate to find fault in anything, but sometimes we need to remember why things happen.
More importantly, their impact on an ongoing basis.
Sorry, but I believe the EPA has liability.
More currently to follow with policy propagating though the system with respect to coal fired power plants.
OT? Maybe……….
Just my take >
Here, have some old internet insight?…….

July 27, 2013 7:18 pm

Thank you for that link! That was one of the most enjoyable videos ever. Brings back memories of when I wanted to be an astronaut as a child …

July 27, 2013 7:19 pm

I got people who won’t look at a climate blog, and they were entranced.

July 27, 2013 7:22 pm

mark ro says:
July 27, 2013 at 7:14 pm
Janice Moore says:
July 27, 2013 at 7:03 pm
I am neither Christian nor Muslim and my “esteem” has never been an issue.
Let’s call it a feature, then.

mark ro
July 27, 2013 7:23 pm

u.k.(us) says:
July 27, 2013 at 7:22 pm
Call it what you will.

July 27, 2013 7:40 pm

I saw that a year or so ago, nice to see it again. The creaky metallic sounds sound after burnout were not at all what I expected.
I don’t know if there’s been a reference here, but a recent video does a great job showing how fog and other low stratus clouds flow. It’s from footage in the San Francisco area, home to some of the best fog around. From mail I sent to my group at work:
On a business trip to the Bay area decades ago, I saw a cap cloud on the coastal range during the airplane’s approach.
I saw it again, from below, outside the car rental building.
I had plenty of time, so I drove up to Skyline Blvd to drive through the fog too.
However, the best way to understand fog and cap clouds, is timelapse photography. See

– SF fog. Laminar flow at its best.
And while you’re at it, time lapse stars and stacked star trails:

– Death Valley I

– Death Valley II

July 27, 2013 7:51 pm

Hollywood would have us believe that Moors had the telescope before AD 1200:

History has it that Hans Lippershey or another Dutch or German lens-maker invented it c. AD 1608. I favor the accidental discovery by kids playing around with lenses, but in fact no one knows for sure.
Except that it was in early 17th century NW Europe, not 12th or early 13th century North Africa or western Asia.
Which is not to belittle the contributions that Asia made to ancient, medieval & early modern science, which are of course considerable.

July 27, 2013 7:52 pm

All great things we accomplish when left to create the imagination.

tobias smit
July 27, 2013 8:07 pm

Those two video’s were awesome what an era I grew up in , Thanks guys just awesome

mike g
July 27, 2013 8:08 pm

Nice. A reminder that we were once a spacefaring nation, before Obama.

July 27, 2013 8:16 pm

Per ardua as astra….Insha’Allah..

July 27, 2013 8:21 pm

Off topic but somewhat newsworthy. Joe Romm’s Climate Progress is supposedly ‘going all Hollywood’ on Monday. Big changes to the site.

July 27, 2013 8:25 pm

Per ardua ad astra…

July 27, 2013 8:42 pm

Ben D says:
July 27, 2013 at 8:25 pm
Per ardua ad astra…
Per ardua ad astra (“Through adversity to the stars” or “Through struggle to the stars”)
Dang, must you tax me so, for the reward !!

July 27, 2013 8:43 pm

henry53 says:
July 27, 2013 at 8:21 pm
Is Climate Progress really “the most widely read climate science blog on the web”? I’d like to see Smokin’ Joe’s data supporting that claim.
I’ve seen envious CACCA sites assert entirely data-free that WUWT only gets its traffic through bots. In that case, count me as a bot rather than a human with relevant degrees & experience.

July 27, 2013 8:46 pm

good one…lol

Janice Moore
July 27, 2013 8:47 pm

Thank you for sharing the spectacular beauty of those videos, Ric Werme. What a treat.
“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised!”
“The heavens declare the glory of God.”
[Yes, YES, Mr. Harlani, I know you think that is a bunch of nonsense. I couldn’t help but express my spontaneous praise.]
BTW, Mr. H., what in the WORLD is that man’s point (above) about his self-esteem?? I’m just going to ignore him, for I have no idea what he’s trying to say. I don’t think he read your links re: NASA.

Mike Bentley
July 27, 2013 8:53 pm

I saw these on the NASA site about a year ago or so. We’ve shown them flat screen on our planetarium dome. Trying to get them full dome – if we can buy enough airsickness bags. The sounds of the cooling SRB’s and the wind sounds have been used (modified somewhat) to give an unearthly sound to some of our planet tours – especially around asteroids. Quite fun messing with a full dome digital system and a 5.1 surround sound system, by the way with some 2000 watts (yup, I didn’t hit an extra zero) of subwoofer power.
We also use the lift off, short flight sequence and the SRB SEP as a video logo for our monthly science program. It’s for the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium in Pueblo, CO, owned by Pueblo City Schools, district 60. One of five in the nation owned by a school district.

July 27, 2013 8:59 pm

Janice Moore says:
July 27, 2013 at 8:47 pm
Why would you suppose that because I know that ID is a load of stinking garbage even more anti-scientific that CACCA, that I don’t share your enthusiasm (in its literal, original Greek sense) for Nature & Nature’s God & man’s attempt to participate in & experience the eternal?
ID & creationism are an afront to real theism, the blasphemy of bibliolatry, the worship of a false god, a book written by men (& maybe one woman) trying to grasp the eternal, instead of the creator, reverance for the Word rather that the World as actually made.
When you can understand how deeply anti-scientific is ID, then you might appreciate even more fully the odium of CACCA, its secular kin.

July 27, 2013 9:15 pm

henry53 says:
July 27, 2013 at 8:21 pm
Is Climate Progress really “the most widely read climate science blog on the web”? I’d like to see Smokin’ Joe’s data supporting that claim.
According to him, having lots of twits and faceberks following him somehow represents the number of readers of his blog:

July 27, 2013 9:17 pm

The Green Hills of Earth
Let the sweet fresh breezes heal me
As they rove around the girth
Of our lovely mother planet
Of the cool, green hills of Earth.
We rot in the moulds of Venus,
We retch at her tainted breath.
Foul are her flooded jungles,
Crawling with unclean death.
We’ve tried each spinning space mote
And reckoned its true worth:
Take us back again to the homes of men
On the cool, green hills of Earth.
The arching sky is calling
Spacemen back to their trade.
And the lights below us fade.
Out ride the sons of Terra,
Far drives the thundering jet,
Up leaps a race of Earthmen,
Out, far, and onward yet —
We pray for one last landing
On the globe that gave us birth;
Let us rest our eyes on the fleecy skies
And the cool, green hills of Earth.
–Robert A Heinlein
That was the very first science fiction novel i read.
“LIGHT THIS CANDLE!” Alan B. Shepard…

Luther Wu
July 27, 2013 9:17 pm

Don’t you just love this place?

July 27, 2013 9:20 pm

StuartMcL says:
July 27, 2013 at 9:15 pm
Why am I not surprised that a site advocating post-modern “science” also relies upon post-modern statistics, aka fuzzy math?
Where modern means the scientific method as practiced since Copernicus in 1543, then post-modern really means pre-modern, in which prevailing political, ideological (ie religious then, governmental now) pipers pay to call the tune.

July 27, 2013 9:24 pm

Luther Wu says:
July 27, 2013 at 9:17 pm
I like it, but wish that more Warmunistas would dare to tread here.

Mike McMillan
July 27, 2013 10:10 pm

Janice Moore ,
Thank you for that inspirational video. I never got to drop a big one myself, but I’ve patted quite a few on the nose.

Mike McMillan
July 27, 2013 10:41 pm

The solid booster exhausts are about the brightest light I’ve ever seen. The really bad thing about a launch is that it’s over so darn quickly that if you sneeze, you miss it. All you have left are the booster smoke trails.
I’ve spotted them in a few places in the video.
1:35, 1:49, 2:48, 3:03, 3:39, 5:05

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
July 27, 2013 11:18 pm

Sorry to be a bit of a moaner, but the first part of the video isn’t very good, is it? The cameras have been adjusted wrongly and tend to show a large part of the craft instead of the vista. The second part is good, but again the video pops up squares, but doesn’t say what we’re supposed to be seeing. Worth seeing though.

July 27, 2013 11:35 pm

The Sound must have been filtered since the blast of 747 is 150 dB at a similar distance- if it was merely portionately adjusted down it would be a roar for the subsonic part of its flight path.

mike fowle
July 28, 2013 12:21 am

The first comment was WOW and that was my reaction exactly. Thanks

July 28, 2013 12:39 am

Janice Moore says:
July 27, 2013 at 6:07 pm
“Mu-s-lim self-esteem” can go to Sheol.

Small-minded comment, anti-American in values, and in terms of self-esteem, Islamic science excelled the west in scientific discoveries 1,000 years ago. We’re still using them today. The speculum that probably passes between your thighs every once in a while was invented 1,000 years ago. Ditto modern surgical tools in today’s NYC operating rooms.

July 28, 2013 1:02 am

milodonharlani says:
July 27, 2013 at 7:51 pm
Hollywood would have us believe that Moors had the telescope before AD 1200

Actually, it was Abu Ishaq ibn Jundub (died: 767)

Ed Zuiderwijk
July 28, 2013 3:22 am

It gives a whole new meaning to “being taken for a ride”.

Ed Zuiderwijk
July 28, 2013 3:46 am

The problem with the early Muslim contributions to science was that they were exectly that: contributions made in the first few centuries of the Muslim empires.
It came to an abrupt end when a very strict and pious Caliph of Baghdad declared that, basically, there were only two types of knowledge: that which was in contradiction to the teachings of the Quran and therefore the work of the devil and thus had to be destroyed, and that knowledge which was in agreement with those teachings and therefore surplus to requirement.
It led to what is called the “closing of the Muslim mind” and many subsequent centuries of stagnation and intellectual famine. The Muslim world never recovered from it, one can fear that it is incapable of recovering from it. In the meantime the Renaissance and the Enlightment propelled the West into modernity.
That’s why the Americans went to the Moon, and the Arabs did not.

Doug Huffman
July 28, 2013 4:26 am

A shipmate and I swam north from Port Canaveral’s turning basin to 39A to see Apollo 16 very closely as it was sitting on the pad, then security insisted that we return the way we came, about a ten mile swim.
About NASA political funding; it has become a technology demonstrator, no longer at the cutting edge of hard science. Liquidate its assets in favor of commercial space travel interests to fund an even bigger Super Conducting Super Collider.
Let NASA become the National Advanced SCIENCE Administration and rediscover science precisely.

Doug Huffman
July 28, 2013 4:38 am

Is Mr. Ed Zuiderwijk’s (July 28, 2013 at 3:46 am) comment an informative allegory for post-modern America, with our Federal Executive of D.C. declaring what is politically correct and acceptable to the demotic closed mind?

July 28, 2013 5:12 am

“GeoLurking says:
July 27, 2013 at 5:44 pm”
That’s covered by “Dino Cam”, a pink inflatable dinosaur. More reliable too!

July 28, 2013 5:25 am

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:
July 27, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Sorry to be a bit of a moaner, but the first part of the video isn’t very good, is it? The cameras have been adjusted wrongly and tend to show a large part of the craft instead of the vista.

The cameras were installed for a closeup look at the shuttle and damage during takeoff and to help explain any future explosions. The designers were thinking of craft and crew, not you and me.
That they came up with fascinating stuff off-shuttle was a happy coincidence.

July 28, 2013 6:17 am

A couple other OT videos but interesting. A couple years ago folks associated with the ESO observatories in Chile’s Atacama desert produced some time lapse videos around the site.
This emphasisizes the VLT (Very Large Telescope) optical and ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array) radio telescopes. The bright thing in the sky is the Moon. Sunrise washes out the whole image. The fuzzy things are the Magellanic clouds, as you folks in the southern Hemisphere know.

This is better known but only has the VLT

Pamela Gray
July 28, 2013 7:22 am

I wanna go on that ride!

Bloke down the pub
July 28, 2013 7:29 am

For those who haven’t already seen it and want to see a possible future, try this.

Pretty cool in any case.

michael hart
July 28, 2013 7:36 am

Totally righteous. That’s what NASA should be about, not telling us how we’re all doomed due to carbon dioxide, with water vapor making it three times worse….

Yancey Ward
July 28, 2013 8:19 am

Ok, that was freaking awesome!

Gunga Din
July 28, 2013 11:52 am

That was cool!
I assume that the descent of the boosters was strictly ballistic? (But predicted.)

July 28, 2013 1:41 pm

Gunga Din says:
July 28, 2013 at 11:52 am

That was cool!
I assume that the descent of the boosters was strictly ballistic? (But predicted.)

Very well predicted. In the footage of the second SRB’s splashdown you can see the recovery ships in the distance. The SRBs were recovered, refurbed (with some twittering over the condidtions of the O-rings), and reused.
The Shuttle’s external tank also had a ballistic descent and, like the SRBs, tumbles to avoid a “knuckleball” reentry. On the first shuttle flights people wanted to verify the external tank tumbled at the expected rate, but it separated too far downfield to monitor readily. However, the large radio telescope at Haystack Observatory in Westford Massachusetts was able to use its radar mode to see two or three tumbles as the shuttle just barely made it above the horizon. It provided the first confirmation that the tank tumbled as expected.
I would never have guessed the shuttle made it above the horizon viewed from there.

Steve Lohr
July 28, 2013 2:49 pm

That was very, very cool!! And, the comments are telling of our present state. I remember when we listened to the launch of Alan Sheppard’s flight when I was in school, it was important.
That clip is a cultural artifact produced by people who wanted with all their being to know the truth. It required the application of rigarous science to reveal the true state of nature. How telling that the camera angle is intended to collect data not an interesting view for an audience.
Many think we have lost our way, as do I. There was a time when I thought that science, in the true sense, not gee whiz pop entertainment, would prevail and we could indeed solve the problems of humanity. How profoundly wrong I was. Now all we can do is wallow in cultural pissing matchs and the like, which some could say is what the space program was all about too. But, for a brief moment in history, “we” did fly in space and land on the moon. It was great, and I am glad I was alive when it happened.
This WUWT site has kept my my faith in a better outcome, it’s important. Many thanks, Anthony

Malcolm Miller
July 28, 2013 3:26 pm

What a ride! WoW!

July 28, 2013 4:27 pm

Particularly good view of the sound barrier, though no sonic boom heard from the shuttle side of things. 🙂
Notice the shock wave form and dissipate between 700-800 mph as the Shuttle breaks the sound barrier.

July 28, 2013 4:36 pm

My dad worked on the telemetric side of the Apollo project starting with Apollo 8 through 17. I was just a youngster but watching those rockets take off really inspired me. It’s that inspiration we’re lacking I think – sending our astronauts to Russia for a ride should never have been “ok”. I am a big fan of privatizing space as it will push costs down and make going into space more than just for scientific purposes. Watching this video for me was bittersweet. So many people for so long were engaged in building, supporting, maintaining and readying these vehicles for launch. Now we have next to nothing in the way of human endeavor except for the ISS and launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome… who’s going to go watch those launches or recoveries? Who will be inspired by this kind of effort today?

July 28, 2013 7:08 pm

Apollo ended in 1972 and a shuttle first flew 9 years later in 1981.   NASA’s Orion program has a similar development period and will fly approximately 9 years after the final shuttle flight. 
It is also a good thing for other countries to step up to the plate and take a swing.  Right now we have Russia with low orbit abilities, ESA, and China coming on strong.   That is my opinion as to it being a good thing.  
I expect to see the strategy play out again, like it did with Russian Sputnik pushing the USA to develop space travel.   The best thing that could possibly happen for the US space program is a Chinese manned lunar base.  
The history of humans in space will be a long and very interesting story.  NASA has some incredibly smart people and they take a very long view.  

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
July 29, 2013 12:35 am

Ric Werme, thanks for the explanation.

Martin A
July 29, 2013 4:30 am

Were those things falling of around 32s – 36s insulating tiles?

Martin A
July 29, 2013 4:32 am

OK – it says they were Tyveck covers – whatever that is.

July 29, 2013 5:00 am

Martin A says:
July 29, 2013 at 4:32 am
> OK – it says they were Tyveck covers – whatever that is.
It’s a misspelling for Tyvek – the very strong paper-like stuff used for vapor barriers in houses, signs people don’t want other people to tear up, etc. They loosely covered rocket nozzles to keep rain and pigeons out while on the pad, and are designed to blow off during launch.
The rocket nozzles in question are used to rotate the shuttle around the three axes in vacuum as flight control surfaces don’t have anything to push against.

July 29, 2013 6:45 am

How on earth (sic) did they keep the Hero PRO cameras attached throughout that?! Where hasn’t a Hero PRO camera gone? It’s not just for mountain bikers and snowboarders, any more! This has got to be great marketing for the camera.

July 29, 2013 7:33 pm

SJWhiteley says:
July 29, 2013 at 6:45 am
> How on earth (sic) did they keep the Hero PRO cameras attached throughout that?!
I doubt very much that they used Hero PRO cameras, they may not have existed then.
They likely used stuff that was qualified for use in rocket and airplanes.

July 29, 2013 8:51 pm

thanks Ric!
at NAB this year was the NHK 8K video and 3d sound demo with one of the last launches as part of the demo (for those of you who know what 4K video is, that’s so “last year”) – I was at one shuttle launch and two landings – the only thing the demo missed was the chest thumping of the live event and the difference between a Saturn V (I saw Apollo 17 launch) and the shuttle is very different.
With the Apollo the first several seconds of the main engines burn merely reduced the fuel load such that the negative thrust to weight ratio crossed the line to positive after the engines stabilized and then it began a very slow rise that gradually sped up – at almost two miles away you saw the billowing steam as the engines fired then a few seconds later came the unbelievable thumping sound and then this bright speck appears at the base of the rocket and gradually grows longer as the sound increases then decreases as this inverse candle flies to the moon (to this day I still consider it one of the most moving things I’ve ever experienced) – with the shuttle you see the billow of steam as the main engines ignite and can see the assembly rock on the launch pad but once they ignite the SRB’s and blow the bolts (a second or two before the sound hits) it almost leaps off the pad and is gone from sight in a matter of seconds.
the difference in sound is also interesting, with the Saturn V its a constant sound, with the Shuttle’s combo of liquid and solid you get a second or two of that then when the SRB’s light it is almost like there is a continual series of explosions very close together.

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