How to Recover a Solid Rocket Booster

NASA shot some very unique high-definition footage of teams recovering the space shuttle’s solid rocket booster segments, including under-water shots of divers working on the recovery in the Atlantic Ocean. Seeing the divers and other recovery team members around the boosters helps give a sense of scale of how big these SRBs are. This is from shuttle Discovery’s final mission, STS-133, and comes complete with underwater breathing sounds!

The video also includes HD video footage from the recovery ships, showing how the teams keep track of and locate the boosters, as well as time-lapse footage of recovery efforts on the Freedom Star ship.

The footage was captured with a Panasonic HPX 3700 high-definition, cinema-style camera with 1080 progressive scanning at 24 frames per second.

NASA says that after the boosters are pulled from the ocean, “they are returned to Hangar AF at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. After they are processed, the boosters are transported to Utah, where they are refurbished and stored, if necessary.” So, these particular boosters will not likely be refurbished.

Thrust of both boosters is equal to somewhere between 5.3 to 6.6 million pounds 144 million pounds of thrust to get the shuttles off the ground.

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004. She is the author of a new book on the Apollo program, "Eight Years to the Moon," which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible. Her first book, "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond.

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