Across The Ocean In Seven Minutes, Realtime!

Republibot 3.0
Republibot 3.0's picture

In twenty-nine years of following the Shuttle program, this is singularly the most amazing footage I've ever seen. It's taken from a camera on the side of on of the Solid Rocket Boosters, those big things on the side of the main fuel tank that killed all those folks in '86.

The first two minutes are just a fixed shot of the side of the External Tank, but at about 120 seconds, they SRBs separate from the ET, and then the amazement and glory and wonder start! You can see space, you can see the shuttle zip by, you can see the other SRB in the distance, you can see Florida off to one side, and can even make out the Saint John's river, and the Gulf of Mexico behind it. You can see a long vapor trail arcing over the earth, you can see re-entry. At about five and a half minutes, the camera apparently burns out, and is replaced by footage from an internal nose camera that gets exposed when the parachutes come out. Even this is fascinating, as there's so much crap billowing around.

This is all real time, no special effects, from Florida to the African coast in under Seven Minutes (Two of which are boring). It's even got real sound! Those are the sounds of re-entry you're hearing at the end.

This was filmed on the liftoff of the Space Shuttle Discovery back in May of 2008. Details: