Take a Wild Ride on the Space Shuttle Discovery!

Well, actually, take a ride on the outside of Discovery on the solid rocket boosters (SRBs). NASA has 3 cameras on the SRBs: Forward (near the top of the SRB looking down); Intertank (near the top but facing the main fuel tank); Aft (near the bottom of the SRB looking up).

      The NASA video shows the launch from all three cameras on each booster. Each camera offers a unique perspective of the launch with the Intertank cameras providing the additional element of sound. It’s a wild ride anyway you look at it!

      Below is a list of key events on the video with their time-stamp if you don’t want to watch it real time. Some amazing footage to be sure!

STS-133 Launch SRB camera views:

SRB Left Forward Camera

  • 2:25 – SRB separation

  • 2:40 – Can see Discovery blazing on toward orbit

  • 5:30 – SRB starts to settle down under its drogue chute

  • 6:15 – Ocean surface detail can be seen

  • 6:40 – SRB engine nozzle extension is jettisoned and impacts the water about 7 seconds later.

  • 6:52 – The SRB hits the water

  • 7:40 – The SRB floats vertically in the water

SRB Left Aft Camera

  • 7:50 – The launch sequence repeats itself but with the camera view from the left SRB aft camera located near the bottom of the booster.

  • 10:10 – Booster separation (The video is clearer on this camera.)

  • 10:40 – Catch a glimpse of Discovery

  • 14:40 – Splash down

SRB Left Intertank Camera (with sound)

  • 14:45 – SRB left Intertank camera (Location looking at the ribbed side of the Main Fuel Tank). The video starts just before separation which occurs at:

  • 15:17 – Note the separation engines in the nose cone pushing the right SRB away from the shuttle.

  • 15:25 – Neat shot of right SRB as its engines sputter out

  • (Interesting to hear the pops, clicks, hisses, moans and groans of the SRB as it descends.)

  • 17:45 – You can see the exhaust trail from Discovery’s launch

  • 18:00 – Catch a view of Discovery moving into orbit.

  • 19:14 – Main chutes deploy at 19:23 as the reefing lines are cut opening to the first stage and at:

  • 19:30 – Chutes fully deployed

  • 19:45 – Impact on the surface

  • 20:20 – Can see the SRB nose cone parachuting toward the ocean

SRB Right Forward Camera

  • 20:32 – SRB Right Forward camera

  • 22:58 – SRB separation

  • 23:12 – Nice view of Discovery

  • 25:00 – SRB engine nozzle extension is jettisoned

  • 25:16 – Ocean impact

SRB Right Aft Camera

  • 25:45 – SRB Right Aft camera

  • 28:00 – SRB separation

  • 28:38 – SRB Right Intertank from the point of main chutes deployed

  • 28:46 – The chute reefing lines are cut and they open up more, slowing the booster

  • 28:53 – The chutes are fully deployed.

  • 29:09 – Splash down
    Hope you enjoyed the ride!!
    Till next time
    RC Davison

Leave a Reply