NASA’s Space Shuttle program was the United States government’s manned launch vehicle program from 1981 to 2011. The winged Space Shuttle orbiter was launched vertically, usually carrying four to seven astronauts and up to 50,000 lb (22,700 kg) of payload into low Earth orbit .
When its mission was complete, the Shuttle could independently move itself out of orbit using its Maneuvering Systemand re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere. During descent and landing the orbiter acted as a re-entry vehicle and a glider, using its OMS system and flight surfaces to make adjustments.
NASA retired the space shuttle to devote its resources to sending astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit, to an asteroid, back to the moon and eventually Mars.
So in this thirty years, 135 launches were made. Filmmaker and artist McLean Fahnestock gives the NASA Space Shuttle program a proper send-off with a four-minute clip showing every launch at once.
Seeing so many launches simultaneously is a uniquely powerful symbol of the strength, tenacity and curiosity that are so central to what it means to be human. And while watching all but one of these launches soar onward into low Earth orbit is a humbling reminder that we are not perfect, and that we are at times fragile, the collective whole is a stirring testament to the fact that we are brilliant, we are bright, we are resilient, and we are strong.
Full screen, HD, crank the volume. You know the drill.