Riding the booster rocket

Alert reader Michael sent me this swell year-old video taken from a booster rocket carrying the space shuttle into space. Be sure to watch for when the booster goes supersonic, separates from the shuttle, and then plunges slowly into the sea.

An added bonus is that the sound is real and there’s a speedometer readout.

The website for this project, which mentions an unreleased DVD, is here, and this is the caption for the video:

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.


  1. gbjames
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink


  2. uglicoyote
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Road.

  3. Jesper Both Pedersen
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    That was an awesome trip.

  4. kansaskitty
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Wow. What a thrill!

  5. Woof
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Appropriate (with Halloween coming up) spooky noises on the way down…

  6. Posted October 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Wow! The sound was really cool. I can imagine that being performed by some percussion ensemble.

  7. Glenn Butler
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Wow! That’s what science can do when mathematicians and engineers get their numbers right!

  8. Brygida Berse
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    What a ride! It’s amazing that the camera was working till the very end.

  9. Marella
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Impressive.

  10. Posted October 10, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Truly amazing. I went to Youtube to watch it fullscreen, and for once the sidebar wasn’t filled with moon hoax videos. (only one video about “NASA’s Alien Anomalies”)

  11. Diana MacPherson
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    I loved this! It would be awesome to go on the ride. Too bad are bodies are meat sacks. Now I really understand what Cavil meant when he said he wanted a metal body in BSG or when Roy Batty tells us about the things he has seen in Bladerunner!

  12. Kevin
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Repeat watch. Inspires me to work harder. Too bad it feels like it has little effect on many Americans. Thanks for posting.

  13. Diane G.
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 12:03 am | Permalink


    Far out.

  14. Dominic
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    Loved it.

  15. Chris
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 3:17 am | Permalink


  16. compuholio
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    Amazing. What really surprised me is that both SRBs came back down almost exactly at the same spot (assuming that the big splash at the end of the video is actually the other SRB and not some other part that was jettisoned prior to impact).

    I would have suspected that because of the incredible speed at the time of separation they would come down much further apart.

    • Woof
      Posted October 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      The big splash at about 7:15 is the SRB nozzle that was just jettisoned from the SRB you’re riding down. I imagine that just sinks.

      Later [7:47] you can see the other SRB on the horizon.

      Later still [8:00] you can see the frustum (cone-shaped thingy from the top of the SRB) coming down on 1 chute.

  17. Siegfried Gust
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Thanks for posting that. I always thought that the booster rockets burned up during reentry. Nice to see that they get retrieved.

    • Woof
      Posted October 11, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      The SRBs are recovered and reused.

      It takes a lot of time and manpower and 2 entire ships to get this started, then they have to take everything apart, rinse the saltwater out of it all, replace the parts that are expended on each flight, inspect the rest (the weight of the inspection paperwork must exceed the weight of the vehicle), refurbish everything, refill the propellant & such, and put it all back together.

      It’s not entirely clear that this procedure saves any actual money. But HEY! We worship at the Altar of Reusability!

  18. Chak
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Great video – saw this earlier. Great sound – most are watching/listening on a computer and those speakers dont do justice. In fact even dedicated systems cannot handle the low frequency below 50-60Hz. Watching on a very capable speaker/subwoofer combo takes this to a whole new level. My system (two 150pound subwoofers) handles upto 15Hz at reference level and probably around 12Hz at lower volumes.

  19. Stephen Barnard
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    After reading a few of Iain M. Banks SF novels about the Culture this seems very clunky. 🙂

  20. Posted October 13, 2013 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks for posting this. I teach 8th grade science, and we do a unit on astronomy. It’s sad how little my students know about space exploration when they come to me, a condition I try hard to correct. To that end, I’ll not only be showing this video, but will probably open with one that has a slightly different twist to it, compliments of our friends from the Great White North and recent inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – Rush!

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted October 13, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Nice! I’ve had the Rush Song, Free Will in my head all weekend because of the free will discussions on another post. 🙂

      I hope you inspire those students of yours. I had some good ones in elementary school that I didn’t appreciate until I was much older.

  21. marksolock
    Posted October 14, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Mark Solock Blog.

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