This video is exceptional for several reasons: it’s a complete flight sequence shot from the Space Shuttle boosters, from take-off to landing, from multiple angles and it’s in HD, and the sound has been remastered by Skywalker Sound. Make sure you watch till the end, when you can see the other booster crashing in the ocean just a few hundred feet from the one the camera’s riding.
How do you read a digital display when you’re an astronaut siting on top of a giant vibrating rocket blazing through the atmosphere at mach 20? Good question and NASA is lucky to have plenty of teams they could consult to solve issues.
A few years ago, back when the Constellation Program was still alive, NASA engineers discovered that the Ares I rocket had a crucial flaw, one that could have jeopardized the entire project. They panicked. They plotted. They steeled themselves for the hundreds of millions of dollars it was going to take to make things right.
And then they found out how to fix it for the cost of an extra value meal.
Great example of lateral thinking here, akin to what happened in the 60’s when astronauts needed pens that could function in zero gravity. The Americans had a company spend a bazillion dollars to develop a pressurized ink ballpoint pen while the Soviets used pencils.
BlogTO has a very nice series of photos of Toronto seen from space. The contrasts offered by urban lighting and snow are particularly striking.