NASA has released this beautiful, crystal-clear video of Discovery’s launch. It was taken from an HD camera mounted on the left solid rocket booster, during the STS-133.
Take a close look. There have been other booster videos before, but not only this one is especially impressive, but it’s also the last time you are going to see Discovery rising up to the stars.
The space shuttle uses two solid fuel boosters, giant fireworks that produce 1.3 million kilograms of force each. At liftoff, each produces 12,500,000 newtons and continue to burn for 124 seconds. The spacecraft’s own engines produce a combined 12,000 pounds of force (54.4 kN), and accelerate and decelerate as the shuttle goes through different launch phases, to reduce shock.