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  STS-133: Viewing, questions, and comments (Page 7)

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Author Topic:   STS-133: Viewing, questions, and comments
lunarrv15
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From: Cincinnati, Ohio, Hamilton
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posted 02-25-2011 12:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunarrv15   Click Here to Email lunarrv15     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KSCartist:
But no worries, there's a LOT of great parking for ten miles along US#1 in Titusville.
Appreciate the answer. Learned where the spots are from the regulars here. Scouting where, maybe, it is not over crowded for STS-134 viewing.

dabolton
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From: Round Lake, IL, US
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posted 02-25-2011 02:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton   Click Here to Email dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They were unable to get good footage of the tank due to entering night during Thursday's launch.

Is there a mechanical reason to drop the tank when they do? Could they keep it on longer for inspection purposes?

OV-105
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posted 02-25-2011 02:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The camera in the ET well should have got some shots before they rolled to get the pics with the handheld cameras.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 02-25-2011 05:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
ISS is due to make its only pass on February 24 in the SW at 1919 GMT. Discovery lifts off at 2150 GMT, so I doubt it.
There's an ISS pass at 18:35 GMT on Saturday 26th. According to Heavens Above the shuttle passes at 18:12 on a fairly low elevation, but visible from the UK. I thought they were supposed to dock on Saturday evening, so these sightings look a bit far apart in time and elevation.

Greggy_D
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posted 02-25-2011 06:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There was some real tension leading up to the resumption of the countdown at T-5:00. How many seconds away were they from missing the launch window? It had to be really close.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 02-25-2011 07:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At the post launch conference Mike Moses indicated there were two seconds to spare... but that was twice as long as Mike Leinbach needed to resume the count.

Greggy_D
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posted 02-25-2011 07:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It sounded like one controller missed her call to turn her switch back to green or go, which in my opinion almost caused a scrub due to missing the window. You could hear the request asked a second time, this time a bit more firmly but with definite stress in his voice. I'm sure a pleasant conversation took place after launch.

issman1
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posted 02-25-2011 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gliderpilotuk:
...these sightings look a bit far apart in time and elevation.

Even if STS-133 had been visible shortly after launch, clouds would have obscured it. I just barely saw the ISS pass overhead a few hours earlier. Did anyone see the shuttle from southern Europe?

The good news, at least for us in the UK, is that Discovery and ISS will be visible right upto landing day, weather-permitting of course.

GACspaceguy
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posted 02-25-2011 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We once again were blessed to watch a launch of the space shuttle and this time the last flight of Discovery. Thanks to Brian we were afforded a great view from the top of the Astronaut Hall of Fame as well as spending the hours chatting with astronaut Bob Springer for the afternoon (giving an astronaut tips on how to succeed on eBay, that was a great way to wait for the launch).

The crowds were not as large as they were for STS-132 and for a while the Hall of Fame were giving people placards to go to the Kennedy Space Center visitor center.

Heart stopping moments near the end but what a beautiful launch it was. We try not to think about the end of the program right now and focus on what is about to be done in the next few days, the end will come quickly enough.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-25-2011 12:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GACspaceguy:
The crowds were not as large as they were for STS-132...
The crowd at the Hall of Fame may have been smaller, but according to local news reports last night, Discovery's launch brought in a recent record number of spectators estimated at over 400,000.

Apparently, many miscalculated the traffic and time needed to get out to the Cape. At launch time (per again local news footage), many on the Beachline (528) simply parked their cars and watched from the shoulder and median of the road.

After the launch, live shots of the traffic showed slow moving cars returning home as late as 10 p.m.

GACspaceguy
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posted 02-25-2011 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting Robert. We were at the AHOF seven hours before launch and did this based on how crowded it was for STS-132. That type of traffic just did not appear on the SR 405 into KSC. We were wondering if they were doing something different and not allowing traffic into the KSC area without a car placard. Usually the traffic is backed up from the check point to the west as far as the eye can see from that roof top. Glad to hear the diminished crowd was only localized to our area. Makes us wonder what to expect and how to plan for STS-134.

The AHOF was not as crowed as I said and we cleared the area in record time (20-25 minutes from AHOF to I-95). We were at our home in Savannah by 10 p.m. I must admit though we have done this trip many times and we know the tricks to get to I-95.

DCCollector
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posted 02-25-2011 10:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DCCollector   Click Here to Email DCCollector     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can attest to the traffic nightmare after the launch. Our Gator Tours causeway bus boarded shortly after the launch at about 5:10, and we did not get back to our pick-up location in Orlando until after 10:30 PM.

lunarrv15
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posted 02-26-2011 01:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunarrv15   Click Here to Email lunarrv15     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does the Astronaut Hall of Fame charge parking on launch days? How early should I be there for a space to park?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-26-2011 01:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is no separate parking fee, but like the viewing opportunities from the NASA Causeway and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, viewing tickets are required at the Astronaut Hall of Fame. The cost is $20 per adult or $16 per child, which includes admission to tour the Hall of Fame.

Blackarrow
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posted 02-26-2011 09:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gliderpilotuk:
According to Heavens Above the shuttle passes at 18:12 on a fairly low elevation, but visible from the UK.
Paul, I don't think Heavens Above can keep up with Discovery's orbital manoeuvrings. The important issue is the location of the ISS.

According to Heavens Above, the ISS is due to pass through my field of view between 6.36pm and 6.41pm tonight, maximum elevation 26 degrees in the SSE. According to the STS-133 flight plan the shuttle should be station-keeping with ISS, probably doing the back-flip heat shield check at that time, preparatory for a docking at 7.16pm.

So, if the information about the ISS pass is accurate, the two should be visible close together in the sky during this pass. (Obviously the timings will be a bit different for you in London). All it needs is for the weather to co-operate. Oh c**p!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-26-2011 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Huntsville Times reports that former astronaut Fred Leslie and his wife had a decidedly different view of Discovery's last launch.
The Leslies are avid skydivers - Kathy has about 2,400 jumps under her belt and her husband, Fred, has 5,600 - and wanted to do something special to commemorate the Discovery launch. They jumped from an aircraft over Deland, Fla., and timed it so they could get a photograph with Discovery taking off in the background.

The jump had a special meaning to Fred, who is a former astronaut and works for NASA. He wanted a picture of himself wearing the flight suit he wore on a 1995 mission aboard Space Shuttle Columbia.


Credit: Fred and Kathy Leslie via The Huntsville Times

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-26-2011 10:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Folks, the space shuttle is going off the right side´╗┐ of the aircraft right now. Those of you on the right side of the aircraft, you can see the space shuttle. People on the left side of the aircraft, you can probably see people on the right side of the aircraft looking at the space shuttle.

Lasv3
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posted 02-26-2011 11:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lasv3   Click Here to Email Lasv3     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just saw both vehicles pass directly over my head, Discovery following the ISS, clear skies above Bratislava, WONDERFUL view! Too sad it's probably been last time to see such a pair together. I enjoyed the three minutes to the last second...

issman1
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posted 02-26-2011 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just observed the ISS fly overhead from my location in England, but could not see the shuttle Discovery.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 02-26-2011 01:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yep, saw the ISS clearly from London at 18:36 GMT but not the shuttle as there was thin cloud.

Lasv3
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posted 02-26-2011 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lasv3   Click Here to Email Lasv3     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw it one orbit earlier than you guys (18:05 local time, 17:05 GMT) when the distance between the vehicles was bigger. When you observed they might have been already too close to be seen separately (just guessing).

Rob Joyner
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posted 02-27-2011 05:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a nail biter this one was! Because I didn't get one of KSC's LTTs I went with Gator Tours and had to be in Titusville by 7:00am to board their bus. After a few free hours at the VC another hour+ was spent in line to get back on the bus, a line that literally went from the KSC bus boarding entrance and snaked it's way through the Rocket Garden on the other side a few times! And this was just one of many different lines. This was definitely the most crowded I've ever seen the VC. By the way, if anyone was at Discovery's previous scrubs and/or got the related souvenir T-shirt, bronze coin or mission program, yes, they were all updated to include Bowen. So now I've got both versions!

Once out at the causeway a few more hours had to go by before seeing Discovery make her last climb into space. Finally it got down to less than an hour. "90% good weather and no technical issues" - said that glorious voice on the PA system! And then - it all screeched to an unbelievable halt. "No go." I felt like I got punched in the stomach! I couldn't believe that because of a computer screen I'd have to try and talk my way out of work and endure the ocean of people all over again the next day. I wonder just how many prayers were said that afternoon?! Of course, I believe it was mine that did the trick. "We're go for launch!" I can't think of any other words I would have rather heard then! By the loud cheers and excitement there at the causeway you would have thought everyone had won the lottery. Well, in a way, I guess we did.

As Discovery cleared the tower it was hard not to let thoughts like 'last time' or 'never again' enter your mind as you watched. As usual, she was high in the sky by the time the roar of the SRBs crackled over the causeway 30 seconds later. And then, in just a minute and a half, that welcome and familiar sound had faded and was gone - and so was Discovery, having disappeared behind the clouds. She's gone and I'll never see her again in person until she's in a museum, I thought.

After sitting at the causeway for at least another half hour the bus finally started out. One of the pros for taking Gator Tours is that after a launch they go directly past the VC and take you back to where you were picked up, getting a head start on those on the KSC busses and spectators departing the VC. I had to make myself remember that there were thousands of others who were going to get to their destination a lot later than myself, and this was after taking until 7:30pm just to get to U.S. 1! When you hear people say that traffic was at a stand-still somewhere, well, they ain't got nothin' on what went on in Titusville that night. Traffic was so thick it took almost two hours just to go the next few miles back to our cars - and then I had a three hour drive home! Discovery had already circled Earth three times before I even left Titusville! Needless to say, morning came quite early the next day. But was it worth it? You bet it was. At least I'll know what to expect when Endeavour launches. I heard they're already expecting well over 400,000 spectators and probably a whole lot more! And then for Atlantis' final launch...a million. You've been warned!

Anyone know anything about the black spot that was on the upper back area of the ET during lift off?

icarkie
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posted 02-27-2011 12:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for icarkie   Click Here to Email icarkie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
I just observed the ISS fly overhead from my location in England, but could not see the shuttle Discovery.
Same here.

Saw the ISS at 6:36pm here in the midlands (UK), I got outside before half past... nothing. I then put NASA TV on (6:50pm) and it was about 30 feet from docking (over OZ).

So the shuttle must have been closer to the ISS then the Heavens Above site had timed. Still good to watch though.

Walter II
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posted 02-27-2011 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Walter II   Click Here to Email Walter II     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was able to view the launch of Discovery from the turn basin. This launch would probably have to be the most exciting yet for me. With everything looking great, then disappointment from the RSO and then hearing "GO" and the cheers from the crowd, it was just awesome. I was shaking from excitement and adrenaline after the launch.

Here is a blog post I made with my photos. Enjoy!

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 02-27-2011 12:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Beautiful shot Walter...

Walter II
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posted 02-27-2011 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Walter II   Click Here to Email Walter II     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rick Mulheirn:
Beautiful shot Walter...

Thanks, Rick! Conditions were great for photos, couldn't have been happier.

stsmithva
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posted 02-27-2011 12:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...a photograph with Discovery taking off in the background. The jump had a special meaning to Fred, who is a former astronaut and works for NASA.
WOW. That shot would be cool even if it had been just anyone; the fact that it was an astronaut who had flown on the shuttle makes it even better.

I'm glad so many cS members had good experiences viewing the launch.

Blackarrow
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posted 02-27-2011 03:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've just seen two consecutive passes of ISS/Discovery from my back garden. The first lasted over 5 minutes, with the docked combination piercing Orion through the heart.

Yesterday, I looked for Discovery alongside ISS between 1835 and 1841 but I was without binoculars and they looked like a single vehicle. Having just seen a live view of Discovery from the ISS on CNN, I realised that the gap between the vehicles was too small to be resolved by the naked eye (or at least my naked eye: maybe I should have cleaned my glasses better!) Anyway, it was (literally) a brilliant sight.

Wish I could have seen the launch live in Florida! I did try, but I had anticipated all of the traffic problems described by others and had decided that the best way to cope with the traffic and the possibility of one or more scrubs was to stay in Titusville. Unfortunately the usual places to stay were full. There are two places perfectly located on the shore of the Indian River but (and I'll not name names) anyone who has checked the reviews of those establishments on Tripadvisor and other sites will perhaps understand why I didn't book, even though rooms were available. Let's say I was put off by reports of the "extras" which came free with the accommodation. If I've done those establishments an injustice, then clearly the bad reviews have been effective. I can't understand why one of the big hotel chains didn't build a quality place to stay right on the Indian River instead of several miles inland. Imagine stepping out onto your balcony to watch the launch and just doing the same thing the next day in the event of a scrub. Too late now - the time to do it would have been 20 years ago.

Fezman92
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posted 02-27-2011 04:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've gotten clouds whenever I try to look for it. The next time I will get a good look is on March 7th, where I can see both for three minutes.

NavySpaceFan
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posted 02-28-2011 08:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw the launch from the Rocket Garden at the KSC Visitor's Center, WOW!!!!!! Also had two successful book signings, one at the U.S. Space Walk of Fame Museum (great folks there!!!) and at the KSC Visitor's Center Space Store (where I signed with Astronaut Mike Mullane). Great experience!!!!!!

Edited to Add: Also had the chance to meet two cSers, Tom (tegwilym) and Tim (KSCArtist), great meeting you guys!!!!!

MrSpace86
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posted 02-28-2011 10:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So is Titusville better than Cocoa Beach for viewing?

Walter II
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posted 02-28-2011 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Walter II   Click Here to Email Walter II     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MrSpace86:
So is Titusville better than Cocoa Beach for viewing?
Titusville is great for viewing, that is where I watch the shuttle launch from when I don't have access to KSC. I believe the pad is a couple miles closer at Titusville, compared to the causeway at Cape Canaveral/Cocoa.

Blackarrow
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posted 02-28-2011 05:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm looking at an enlargement of a beautiful photograph taken from directly above KSC by one of the Skylab crews. The distance from Pad 39A to the point on the Causeway where I saw the launch of STS-117 is just about half the distance from Pad 39A to the Astronaut Hall of Fame viewing area in Titusville. I had always hoped to see a night-launch from Titusville, but that seems very unlikely now...

328KF
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posted 03-01-2011 09:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking at the TV during the PMM berthing, it appears that the view from the cupola is not what it used to be. I remember that this was not the originally intended location for the cupola, and the PMM module was a late addition, but what effect will this have on the SSRMS operations?

It's looks like someone built a new beach house next door that blocks your view of the ocean.

tegwilym
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posted 03-01-2011 04:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wrote up my experiences of the launch on my blog site, Eastside Astro-Blog.

Great launch, nice few days in the sun away from the Seattle rain/snow/cold. Probably my last launch and who knows when I'll get back to Florida again after this.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 03-01-2011 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any listing of the OFK?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-01-2011 05:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I received the revised OFK the day before launch and will be publishing it a bit later in the mission.

Rob Joyner
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posted 03-01-2011 06:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tom, I think we probably yelled "YEAAAHHHH!!!" about the same time!

tegwilym
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posted 03-01-2011 11:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rob Joyner:
Tom, I think we probably yelled "YEAAAHHHH!!!" about the same time!
Oh that was you screaming over there? Ha!

Third time was just as amazing as my first. I'll miss those birds.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-04-2011 08:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA Television video release
New Views of Discovery's Launch from Shuttle's Solid Rocket Boosters

Video taken by six cameras mounted on Discovery's recovered solid rocket boosters offer unique views of the shuttle's Feb. 24 launch on STS-133.


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