Shuttle launch – behind the scenes

This is a long youtube with some extremely cool slow-motion video of a three different Space Shuttle launches.


Remember they are engineers, not voice-over actors, so please forgive the uh’s and um’s.
If you don’t have time for the whole thing, check out:
4:25 Space Shuttle Main Engine on the left flexing as it starts up
16:10 Why they call it a flame trench
20:35 Composite nose cone on the External Tank (I worked on that). Also it’s slow enough to see the natural frequency of the solid rocket boosters – they surge and slow down just a tiny bit.
36:15 Tyvek covers coming off the small maneuvering engines. The covers protect the engines from rain and salt.
37:20 Close-up view after launch – the lens alone for this camera weighs 250 lbs.
40:20 In high-def, you can see Eileen Collins through the shuttle window.
41:45 Boundary layer visible at the leading edge. Keep watching through 42:30 to see flames around the bottom of the External Tank then 42:50 for burnout and separation of the Solid Rocket Boosters.

6 thoughts on “Shuttle launch – behind the scenes”

  1. There were classes here in launch vehicle design and engineering lessons learned taught by three of the Redstone/Jupiter/Saturn/Skylab/Shuttle/ISS engineers. It was like drinking from a fire hose.

  2. I don’t know if you will find it interesting or not RFH, but the Boeing Museum of Flight in Seattle will be announcing in a few days the donation of a Soyuz capsule for permanent display. Heard it from a museum board member while sitting in a barber shop.

    1. Mushdogs, there was a traveling Russian space exhibit here some years ago called “Red Star in Orbit”. One of these days, I’ll scan the photos and put ’em up here.

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