First, watch the video (you can skip the first minute and thirty seconds), keeping in mind that this is actual footage of a space launch. The Nova blog called this “NASA’s accidental video art.”
The film below is a space shuttle launch from the perspective of a solid rocket booster, one of the giant white rockets attached to the belly of the shuttle during its ascent. Thanks to a tiny camera and contact microphone attached its frame, you can ride along with it as it sends the shuttle into orbit, then free falls back to earth.
At first I had no words. This is incredible. I just watched this video, with sound — I think the sound is important. It emphasizes the utter contrast from one event to the next…
Rarely does my mind get truly blown anymore. But, my goodness. The thought kept coming back to me — this is real footage! Not some fictional movie of alien contact or human heroism. But an actual camera attached to a rocket that went into the yawning nothingness of space, then came back to land softly in the ocean.
Thank you ever so much to Tommy G for bringing this to my attention.