The Spectacle of the Space Shuttle

The launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis this Friday marks the end of a technological and national era. In the 30 years of NASA's space shuttle program, six orbiters were built, 135 launches occurred, 355 astronauts went for the ride, and 14 never came...

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Jul 6 2011, 10:00pm

The launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis this Friday marks the end of a technological and national era. In the 30 years of NASA’s space shuttle program, six orbiters were built, 135 launches occurred, 355 astronauts went for the ride, and 14 never came home. There’s plenty of speculation today that the program was too experimental, too complex, a waste of money. Still, it’s hard to ignore the raw emotion and awesome spectacle of a lift off. The shuttle may not have done much for science, but the videos below serve as a reminder of what made this experimental craft such a compelling advertisement for scientific exploration and technological mastery. And for the enviable thrill of riding a rocket into space at 7400 meters per second.

The Launch in HD

The launch from every angle

The Crawl

A View To Kill

The Rumble

Rise and Fall of a Booster

Shuttle vs. Bird

Anatomy of a Launch

Landing

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