Thursday, March 29, 2012

To The Edge Of Space & Back On The Solid Rocket Boosters (Must See)

 This video has been very popular in the last week but with my vacation to California I didn't get around to posting it here. In fact, I didn't even get around to watching it myself until just now. Wow. This is one of the coolest videos I've seen in a long time. You just never know how people will react to an experience like this, but for me, seeing video images from multiple cameras (and truthfully from two different launches) that show both the ascent and the descent of the Solid Rocket Boosters is simply stunning. It amounts to a real-time experience to the edge of space and back (about 145,000 feet) while getting to see the Shuttle and Main Tank from several points of view as well as the other separated SRB at times.

Video screenshot showing the Shuttle and main tank after SRB separation
 The standout visual for me in the video is the deployment of the three recovery parachutes. I really enjoyed seeing some of the reefing process used on the parachutes to control the rate at which they fully inflate. As a parachute guy in a past life, that's really cool stuff. This is just something you never get to see from this perspective... and actually, the whole SRB recovery process has been a bit of a mystery thru the Shuttle era. It's really cool to have so much of the process shown in this video.

Screenshot of the awesome SRB recovery parachutes deploying
 For more interesting SRB info check out my post from a year ago: NASA Releases First-Ever HD Footage of SRB Recovery Mission that includes another great video.
 And for this video, it doesn't hurt that the sounds accompanying it have been tweaked by the folks at Skywalker Sound (Lucasfilm) to maximize the experience. According to the video description tho, these are the actual sounds picked up by the camera mics, they've just been optimized to take it all to a much higher level. Anyway, I hope you take the time to experience all eight and a half minutes of this spectacular video!

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