A Moving Video of Every NASA Space Shuttle Launch at One Time

A scene in two parts: triumph and tragedy


Up and away they go, humans sailing off this Earth and into space. The first half of the video is a joy, a testament to the ingenuity and courage that has repeatedly lifted astronauts right off the planet. The second half is heartbreak, as every little square but one fades out, successful -- all except that little patch of blue where the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in the sky in 1986.

In the second row from the bottom, eight from the left, you can also see the 2003 launch of Columbia. Though its launch was successful, that mission too ended in tragedy when the shuttle disintegrated upon reentry 16 days later. 

(And yes, this video has been around for a while, but I'd never seen it before and I'm probably not the only one.)

For more work by McLean Fahnestock, visit http://www.mcleanfahnestock.com/.


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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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