Drop whatever you're doing and watch this. NASA has released videos shot from onboard the Space Shuttle's Solid Rocket Boosters in the past, but you've never seen one prepared as masterfully as this.
For one thing, the footage was shot in high definition, so the image is exceptionally clear. But what puts this video head and shoulders above most other rocketcams is the sound. The audio has been remastered by the folks over at Skywalker Sound (yes, that Skywalker Sound), and the final product is nothing short of incredible.
Michael Interbartolo — who used to work on the Shuttle Program at Mission Control in Houston — had this to say about the video when he posted it to Google+ earlier this morning:
Just got this from the guys at Glenn who are finalizing the new special edition DVD/BluRay version of Ascent: Commemorating Shuttle which this will be an extra on. The video is shot from the Solid Rocket Booster Perspective up and down with enhanced sound thanks to Ben Burtt's son and the folks at Skywalker Sound. The team is still trying to figure out how to release this all to the public, but for now enjoy an exclusive first look. +NASA youtube doesn't even have the video.
Try to let what you're witnessing sink in. See those numbers flying past in the upper right hand corner? That's the Shuttle's airspeed. See that gleam of light against the inky backdrop of space at 2:08 and 3:11? That's the Shuttle continuing on its flight path into low Earth orbit. Hear the eerie rattling, haunting moans, and weird dinosaur noises? That's what it sounds like to be a Solid Rocket Booster, falling to Earth from an altitude of 150,000 feet.