Thursday, January 03, 2008

Heads up display of the space shuttle Discovery landing

Spaceships take off and land easily in science fiction films. In the world of fantasy, flying between planets is as easy as flying between two cities on a bargain airline.

Most science fiction filmmakers do not even bother to deal with re-entry in their films. X-Wing fighters and the Millennium Falcon may look pretty on the big screen, but in real life they would burn up in a few seconds of contact with the outer atmosphere.

Every landing of the space shuttle is a dramatic event, sadly underscored by the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003.

This video of the Space Shuttle Discovery in 2006 shows viewpoint of the astronauts as they glide tons of spacecraft in for a soft landing.

Watching the features of the Earth emerge and the green glow of the heads up display creates a symphony of nature and machine, similar to what Stanley Kubrick filmed in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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