Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2006 July 13
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

A Space Shuttle Climbs to Orbit
Credit: STS-121 Crew, NASA

Explanation: You are going into space. New small cameras allow anyone with a web browser to virtually ride along with the space shuttle, at times from numerous angles, as it launches into Earth orbit. Small cameras mounted on the tall thin solid rocket boosters have captured last week's launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery from a unique perspective and in fascinating detail. The above movie picks up just before the space shuttle separated from the thin boosters. The tiles on the bottom of the shuttle are clearly visible. As the movie progresses, the shuttle Discovery and its brown external fuel tank break away from the boosters and continue onward and upward. The new cameras not only make cool movies -- they help NASA monitor details of its shuttle launches better, with the promise of making future rocket launches safer and more efficient.

Tomorrow's picture: open space

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: EUD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.