Thursday, May 26, 2011

Riding the Stacks

Want to see the coolest 36:49 video you've ever watched?

They call it "Riding the Stacks" when you go up on a shuttle because of the way the solid rocket boosters are assembled. Like stacking one soda can on top of another on top of another on top of another, until you have a long cylinder. (no ends on the cans of course.) Riding the Stacks.

When you watch , they usually show you the view from a camera mounted on one of the SRBs, pointing back toward the earth. Once they reach the point where the SRBs separate, they usually go to a ground tracking station and give you the telescopic camera view until the shuttle is too faint to see. Then it's back to the camera mounted on the external fuel tank, and they usually stay with that until the EFT is jettisoned, and the shuttle is in low orbit. End of show.

Well, this video gives you a somewhat different perspective. If you can stay patient during the 30 seconds or so after SRB separation, what you get is absolutely awesome, and get multiple angles.

Gabby Giffords was at the Cape to see her husband Mark Kelly ride the stacks of Endeavour. Here's the view from the stacks.

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