A stunning NASA video of a Space Shuttle launch, shot from cameras on board one of the solid rocket boosters, is quickly becoming a YouTube hit.
The clip is for the upcoming DVD/BluRay release “Special Edition Ascent: Commemorating Space Shuttle.” The full movie shows multiple angles of a space shuttle launch in high definition.
In the rocket booster camera clip, you see one camera looking up at where the shuttle is headed while another looks back at the Earth.
At about two minutes after liftoff, the boosters separate from the external tank and begin to tumble away. In one of the angles, you see the shuttle and external tank rocket away. Another camera shows the other booster tumbling off in the distance.
Both boosters, traveling at about 2,700 mph, continue a graceful tumble at about 41 miles above the Earth. One of them can be seen in the distance.
Adding to the visual experience is a haunting sound. The makers say that’s the noise of the booster’s metal shell groaning and the last of the propellant burning off.
Eventually, the boosters begin plummeting back to Earth. The audio again gets your attention as the wind rushes by.
Finally, the boosters’ parachutes open and they gently splash down in the Atlantic Ocean to be retrieved and used again.
The sound mixing and enhancement, done by Skywalker Sound, are what really make the movie stand out. The makers say Skywalker Sound did not fake the sounds you hear or replace them, they just helped bring it out to make it more audible.
The clip, posted on March 15, has been viewed more than 1.5 million times.