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The Sciences

Endeavour's eye view of her last launch

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitMay 27, 2011 7:59 PM

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What's it like to ride up on the Shuttle to space? If you were, say, strapped to the solid rocket boosters? This. Pretty cool. I love seeing these views; I've watched a bazillion launches on video (and one from 10 km away in 1997), so the stack rocking as the liquid fuel ignites, the sudden leap when the SRBs go off, the roll maneuver a few seconds later -- they're all familiar. Seeing them from the point of view of the Shuttle itself is nifty.

ratcliff_endeavourlaunch_cloud-201x300.jpg

Note what happens 45 seconds into the video: Endeavour blows through the cloud deck. That moment, from the ground, is a lot more dramatic, especially when photographed by Trey Ratcliff. It's really amazing to tie together what we see from the ground with what's seen from the rocket. This is the last flight of Endeavour; it's scheduled to land in Florida on June 1 at 2:32 a.m. Eastern US time (06:32 UTC). The last Shuttle launch will be Atlantis, scheduled for July 8 at 11:40 a.m. EDT (15:40 UTC).

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