Expend the notes here for info on highlights of this video!
This is a must-see! Amazing footage of Space Shuttle launches. You can see so many details thanks to the slow-motion video.
4:00 into it; ignition of the main engines
6:29 into it; release of the SRB (Solid Rocket Booster) hold-down bolts. These bolts hold the stacked Space Shuttle to the launch platform and by means of explosives, are released, freeing the vehicle from the pad
9:00 into it; the release of the T-0 umbilicals. Those are the only pad connections to the orbiter for fueling, electrical, cooling etc. Watch how they retract.
9:35 into it; you can see the release from a different perspective. Watch how quickly the door shuts close.
10:55 into it; this view is just plain amazing. Watch how the "smoke" builds up in the back from the sound suppression system. Water stored in a 290-foot-high, 300,000 gallon tank on the northeast side of the pad is released just prior to the main engine ignition and flows by gravity to special outlets on the platform, including six 12-foot-high quench nozzles, or "rainbirds." Nine seconds after liftoff, peak flow rate is 900,000 gallons per minute. The system reduces acoustical levels within the orbiter payload bay to about 142 decibels, below the design requirement of 145 decibels.
15:50 into it; you can see the sound suppression system working below the orbiter.
16:47 into it; this is probably my favorite part. In real time it happens so fast, you don't notice it. The "Shuttle Twang"!
The three main engines light at about T-8 seconds. Since the nozzles are at an angle, the thrust actually bends the vehicle in the direction of the thrust. This is called the "Shuttle Twang." The Shuttle is held down by four explosive bolts on each of the solid rocket boosters.
20:50 into it; the Space Shuttle lifts off. But watch how it doesn't go straight up, but rather "walks" horizontally as it starts its ascent. The liquid engines are at an angle, they cause a slight horizontal trajectory of the vehicle.
27:45 watch for the Twang again! Ain't it amazing? Liftoff is timed when the tip of the tank is coming back through vertical
29:11 Twang again!
Imagery rarely seen by the public that highlights three space shuttle launches is set to music in this special video produced by NASA engineers at the Glenn Research Center.