October 4, 2002
ROUTINE?:An Extraordinary Movie (Dr. Tony Phillips, Oct 4, 2002, Space Science News)
[T]he best part of Apollo 13, the most thrilling scene, has nothing at all to do with the accident. The best part, in my opinion, was the launch.
When Lovell's Saturn V rocket blasted off the pad in Florida--seven million pounds of pure power soaring toward space with angelic voices singing in the background--it gave me goosebumps. The footage revealed what I had never "got" from books: The Saturn V was terrifyingly powerful. No one who saw it lift off could imagine spaceflight was routine.
I remember wondering when I watched that scene whether a "routine" shuttle launch might seem equally thrilling--if only we could see it from the right point of view.
On October 2nd we get to find out.
That's when the space shuttle Atlantis (STS-112) is slated to blast off from Cape Canaveral on a mission to visit the International Space Station. For the first time ever, a camera attached to the shuttle will record the ascent and transmit images live to NASA TV. The point of view will be similar to the launch scene in Apollo 13.
The camera--called the "ET camera" around NASA--will be mounted near the top of the shuttle's burnt-orange external fuel tank (ET). It will look down toward Atlantis's nose, the 40 degree field of view encompassing most of the fuel tank, one of the white solid rocket boosters (SRBs), and the shuttle itself.
The camera will "go live" about 15 minutes before liftoff.
One small step up since those of us of a certain age watched in fuzzy black and white as Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface. Posted by Orrin Judd at October 4, 2002 9:10 AM