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Shuttle Cameras Yield Excellent Footage 275

Jivecat writes "All those extra cameras NASA has added to the Space Shuttle to watch for debris impacts have yielded what may be the coolest Shuttle launch footage ever. The forward-facing view from the right-hand SRB shows, at about the 2:58 mark, booster separation and Discovery zooming away. Other views are available at the main mission site."
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Shuttle Cameras Yield Excellent Footage

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  • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Monday July 10, 2006 @03:09PM (#15692989)
    Government access doesn't begin and end with office document formats, and proprietary video formats are probably one of the worst problems of this kind. Massachusetts' and Belgium's plans are a good start, but they need to start using things like Theora etc. too.
  • by ZachPruckowski ( 918562 ) <> on Monday July 10, 2006 @03:15PM (#15693030)
    Does your webcam do that at Mach 25? How about at very high (hundreds or thousands of degrees F.) of heat? Something tells me the quality of your webcam suffers (ie, it melts) in those sorts of situations...
  • worth watching (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Speare ( 84249 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @03:16PM (#15693035) Homepage Journal

    For the one video linked, I'm amazed it didn't get slashdotted immediately. Very interesting to watch the launch sequence. At 3 min, I thought it was getting a bit boring, but wondered what else was interesting in the rest of the footage. At about 8 min, it got interesting again, with the very quick transition from "over the clouds" to "underwater". Not much new to see after 9 min though.

    I do wish my webcam could deal with that wide a range of operating environments though! You quickly forget the engineering that goes into something as simple as a camera housing.

  • Rain of Ice (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10, 2006 @03:18PM (#15693053)
    These are cool views, but NASA has always had a set of cameras (albeit smaller) watching launches. In the "Leaving the Cradle - Apollo 8" series of DVDs from the NASA archives, you can (repetitively!) watch the launch from a variety of viewpoints.

    In every view, you are amazed to see a shower of ice and who-knows-what kind of debris as these huge missiles shook themselves off and flung themselves into orbit.

    Who decided on a delicate shuttle, anyway?
  • Re:Sounds like (Score:4, Interesting)

    by displaced80 ( 660282 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @03:33PM (#15693164)
    Has this stuff really become that run-of-the-mill to you?

    There's been over 100 successful shuttle missions. Every single one of these is astonishing to me, even though I may agree with plenty of the criticisms of the programme. There's a visceral joy in seeing these things do their stuff -- ageing, expensive and cumbersome though they may be.

    I cannot for a second understand how [i]anything[/i] to do with spaceflight -- even the simplest satellite deployment -- could be classed as mundane.
  • Re:worth watching (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Alizarin Erythrosin ( 457981 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @03:41PM (#15693207)
    Its all running a little slow now...

    Anyways, if you haven't seen it yet, check out the right SRB looking-down-o-cam []. Great shot of the shadow of the smoke trail, and as the main orbiter engines light off you can see the whole orbiter start to press up on the structure. Then the explosive bolts blow and the boosters rip to life. Very cool.
  • Re:worth watching (Score:3, Interesting)

    by oni ( 41625 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @03:51PM (#15693284) Homepage
    At about 8 min, it got interesting again, with the very quick transition from "over the clouds" to "underwater".

    That was pretty cool, wasn't it. I also thought it was pretty cool how the booster stood up after it hit the water. I wasn't aware that they were designed to do that. I guess that makes them easier to spot from the recovery ships.

    Man, those engineeers thought of everything didn't they - here's another example that I heard recently: the metal that the external tank is made of isn't strong enough to withstand the stresses of launch with that big heavy shuttle hanging from the side - at least, it isn't strong enough at room temperature or above. But when they fill the tank, they let some of the fuel boil off and that freezes the metal and makes it stronger, allowing it to survive launch.

    I mean seriously, how cool is that?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10, 2006 @07:05PM (#15694522)
    I am reminded of a story by a former professor I once had, which was Dr. Greene from MIT. While taking his data-mining course, he said one day, that he had a friend at NASA that was in charged with gathering data on the shuttles when they were launched, until they returned, so Dr said him, "How do you make sense of any of these long list of numbers?" This was back in the 1970's, by the way. The answer was this, "I have no idea. I pray everytime it goes up nothing goes wrong, because they will all look towards me and I will not have an answer." Now this was a very smart guy, it is just that they had so much data recorded for each launch and not enough tech developed to sift through it to find patterns, answers, etc that iw as a very hard task to make sense the readings from the hundreds of sensors they had on board the shuddle.

    Hopefully by now they are able to use all of the data that is amasses per flight.
  • by mshurpik ( 198339 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @11:35PM (#15695728)
    What is the long black contrail seen in the downfacing camera at 2:58? It's not the shuttle, because the camera is on the shuttle and the black contrail is miles away.

    Also, what is the object seen at least 3 times as the camera rotates? It is most visible at 3:32 and resembles the object someone called a "lens flare" in the upfacing video. It is too solid to be a lens flare here.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright