Awesome Hi Def Launch Videos from Endeavour

by Ken Kremer on May 27, 2011

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As the shuttle era frenetically draws to a close, the launch views of the thunderous climb to orbit captured by NASA just get ever more stunning and vividly illustrate what it’s like to liftoff to space.

Check out this awesome collection of high definition videos of Endeavour’s final blast off as recorded by cameras mounted on each of the twin solid rocket boosters (SRB’s) from multiple viewpoints.

The STS-134 mission lifted off on May 16 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The cameras show the launch from numerous spectacular angles and vantage points, pointed down to Earth and up to space, from alongside the belly of the orbiter and along the sides of the SRB’s.

Space Shuttle Endeavour blasted off from Launch Pad 39 A on May 16, 2011. NASA has released awesome new launch videos taken from cameras mounted on the twin Solid Rocket boosters. Endeavour delivered the $2 Billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station. The AMS will search for dark matter, dark energy and antimatter to determine how the Universe was born. Credit: Ken Kremer


The videos show all the phases of the SRB in flight – including separation, parachute deployment and all the way to the dramatic splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean with rapidly changing backgrounds of the launch pad, Earth and Space.

The STS-134 mission is the 25th and final flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour, NASA youngest orbiter.

Endeavour’s six man crew is led by Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly, husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. She was shot at point blank range and critically wounded during a routine congressional meet and greet with her constituents in January 2011.

Endeavour is set to land back at KSC on June 1 at 2:32 a.m. EDT after a 16 day mission to the International Space Station. The crew carried up the $2 Billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and attached this wor;ld class science instrument to the truss of the ISS. The AMS is a particle physics detector searching for antimatter, dark energy and dark matter. The goal is to elucidate the birth and evolution of the Universe.

Side view of shuttle Endeavour stack and access walkways.
NASA released stunning launch videos taken from cameras mounted on multiple spots around the twin Solid Rocket boosters shown here, including dramatic views with the orbiter belly rocketing to space. Credit: Ken Kremer

Read my related stories about the STS-134 mission here:
Spectacular Soyuz Photo Gallery shows Unprecedented View Of Shuttle Docked at Station
Ultimate ISS + Shuttle + Earth Photo Op Coming on May 23 from Soyuz and Paolo Nespoli
Endeavour Blasts Off on Her 25th and Final Mission
Endeavour Unveiled for Historic Final Blastoff
Looking to the Heavens with Endeavour; Launch Pad Photo Special
Endeavour Astronauts Arrive at Cape for May 16 Launch
NASA Sets May 16 for Last Launch of Endeavour; Atlantis Slips to July
Endeavour’s Final Launch further delayed another Week or more
On the Cusp of Endeavour’s Final Flight
Brush Fires Erupt at Kennedy Space Center during Endeavour’s Last Countdown
Commander Mark Kelly and STS-134 Crew Arrive at Kennedy for Endeavour’s Final Flight
President Obama to Attend Endeavour’s Last Launch on April 29
Shuttle Endeavour Photo Special: On Top of Pad 39A for Final Flight
Endeavour Mated to Rockets for Last Flight Photo Album
Endeavour Rolls to Vehicle Assembly Building for Final Flight

About 

Dr. Ken Kremer is a speaker, scientist, freelance science journalist (Princeton, NJ) and photographer whose articles, space exploration images and Mars mosaics have appeared in magazines, books, websites and calanders including Astronomy Picture of the Day, NBC, BBC, SPACE.com, Spaceflight Now and the covers of Aviation Week & Space Technology, Spaceflight and the Explorers Club magazines. Ken has presented at numerous educational institutions, civic & religious organizations, museums and astronomy clubs. Ken has reported first hand from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral and NASA Wallops on over 40 launches including 8 shuttle launches. He lectures on both Human and Robotic spaceflight - www.kenkremer.com. Follow Ken on Facebook and Twitter

Jeffrey Scott Boerst May 27, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Not to be a nay-saying-Ned… and I KNOW that MANY people find this fascinating (I myself am a huge space enthusiast, don’t get me wrong), and I agree that the end of this era is a bitter-sweet milestone in human space exploration… but I’m beginning to get “Royal Wedding Sickness” from all these news items placing various and sundry bits of space shuttle minutia on the public radar. I can ‘grok’ the coolness of this video, but for me, this is about as deep as I’d like to delve into the whole matter. I mean at this rate, we’re going to be seeing hours long videos of astronauts sleeping and “Bolt-cam” footage from all over the inside and outside of the ship on the next/last go-round later this year… lol! But with that said… “Farewell, Space Shuttle Fleet! May you long live in our collective space exploration dreams!”

Anonymous May 27, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Uhhhhhh, the “Atlantis” Ocean? ;-)

Patrick Ahles May 27, 2011 at 2:31 PM

I knew it! Atlantis was found years ago!

Anonymous May 27, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Are there any videos from the external tanks perspective as its falling back to earth and breaking up?

Patrick Ahles May 27, 2011 at 2:30 PM

search on youtube for “space shuttle et separation”

Anonymous May 27, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Thanks Patrick although they are all cool videos thats not what Im looking for. Im wanting to see the external tank actually burn and break apart. Anyone know of any such videos?

Andrew Manninen May 27, 2011 at 1:44 PM

What was the stuff coming of the nose cone of the shuttle at about 7:40?

Patrick Ahles May 27, 2011 at 2:22 PM

There are thrusters in the nose cone, which are covered before the launch. What you see are the covers coming of.

Anonymous May 27, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Question: Right before splashdown (at 6:48 & 26:21) there’s an explosion and scattering of debris coming from the base of the SRBs, and +-7 seconds later (6:55 and 36:39) something splashes into the water before each of the SRBs.

Any idea what these are?

Anonymous May 28, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Did anyone notice the liftoff plume going through our atmosphere while the rockets were filming their fall to earth? Amazing! I’m going to miss the shuttle.

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