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TinFoilHat
2002-Nov-11, 05:32 PM
I was watching a Tech TV show on the russian space program yesterday, and they happened to show the video clip of the Challenger space shuttle exploding. It occured to me that it's the same oddly edited video clip they always show - first a shot from "behind" the shuttle showing it climbing away, then a blurry close-up from the side where you can just barely see some flaring around the fuel tank, then a cut back to the first camera right at the moment of the explosion. It seems to me that it's actually harder to tell what's going on than if they had just presented the view from one camera without jumping back and forth.

Anyone know why the footage that's always shown on documentaries and news is edited this way, and if or where uncut footage from all the seperate cameras would be available? Or at least a different video clip of the event?

Colt
2002-Nov-11, 10:10 PM
What you didn't see was the gremlins climbing around the outside of the fueltank. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif -Colt

Espritch
2002-Nov-11, 10:44 PM
The inserted clip shows the jet of fire from the solid fuel rocket engine through the failed O ring that ignited the central fuel tank. I don't think this was visible in the other footage.

Atko
2002-Nov-11, 11:25 PM
Nah....it's a conspiracy

blah, blah, blah....

(Thought I'd get in first...or did I...?)

CJSF
2002-Nov-12, 06:30 PM
I know the above posts were all meant in good fun, but the Challenger destruction struck a MAJOR emotional chord for many of us on this board. A little respect, please.

CJSF



_________________
"Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never,
ever get it out."
-Thomas Cardinal Wolsey (1471-1530)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Christopher Ferro on 2002-11-12 13:30 ]</font>

calliarcale
2002-Nov-12, 08:38 PM
NASA edits the launch footage "on the fly". They do this with every launch; it's because they provide live coverage. The editing you see was created on January 28, 1986 as the events unfolded. The editor could not possibly have known which angle would be best. Basically, the version that goes around is the one that's the easiest to deal with: the one that was created that day.

All of the source footage (and more) is still available, of course, and was used by the Presidential Commission that investigated the disaster. If you wish to create your own freshly edited compilation, you should be able to contact NASA and get the footage. I'm not sure what channels you'd go through, though. NASA did produce a 30-minute video going into close detail of the Commission's findings. It is available on DVD. Look through the documentary section of your local video store. I'm not sure what the title was.

ToSeek
2002-Nov-13, 01:55 AM
On 2002-11-12 15:38, calliarcale wrote:
NASA edits the launch footage "on the fly". They do this with every launch; it's because they provide live coverage. The editing you see was created on January 28, 1986 as the events unfolded. The editor could not possibly have known which angle would be best. Basically, the version that goes around is the one that's the easiest to deal with: the one that was created that day.


Are you sure? I have a lot of experience with watching NASA television, and the usual launch coverage is an edited, camera-switching version live, followed by taped versions from every available camera. So all the material is certainly available - there's no reason they need to go with just the "live" version after the fact.

calliarcale
2002-Nov-13, 02:31 PM
I am positive that the version you most often see is the recording of the original live telecast. And yes, the other footage is certainly available. Somebody just has to get around to re-editing it!

One of the things that I *like* about the original live edit is that you can tell the editor, the camerapeople, and the announcer are every bit as shocked as we all were that day. There is no foreshadowing whatsoever; all of a sudden it just explodes. There is silence from the announcer; somebody in mission control is still reading out telemetry from the SRBs but has not yet realized what has happened; presumably he was staring so hard at his console with the figures on it that he didn't see what happened until he looked to see what everybody else was staring at. A little later, the announcer says, "Obviously a major malfunction." A poignant understatement.

I have a DVD with the video of the Presidential Commission's findings. It has some very interesting footage from other angles. Immediately after SRB ignition you can see the first signs of the disaster to come -- assuming, of course, that you already know what's going to happen and are looking for it. A dramatic puff of black smoke, probably four feet wide, emerges from the aft field joint of the SRB. As the vehicle climbs, you see the smoke puff out and then disappear; the theory is that the leak got blocked up by gummy debris from the hot propellant gasses burning away the O-ring. There's not much else for a long time; the disaster happens very quickly from about 72 seconds on as events cascade.

TinFoilHat
2002-Nov-13, 03:02 PM
Thanks calliarcale, that answers my question.

segfault
2002-Nov-17, 04:57 AM
On 2002-11-12 13:30, Christopher Ferro wrote:
I know the above posts were all meant in good fun, but the Challenger destruction struck a MAJOR emotional chord for many of us on this board. A little respect, please.

CJSF


On that note, I remember vividly when this happened. I was in first grade at the time, and happened to be living in Houston. My father was actually working for the Johnson Space Center at that point as well.

And of course, whenever there was a shuttle launch everybody in the school gathered around the TV to watch it live.

Being live, the footage was obviously not edited (although I doubt it would have mattered if it was).

Needless to say, everyone was shocked to the point of speechlessness as soon as we had realized what had happened. The teachers especially, considering one of their own was on board.

frenat
2002-Nov-17, 09:10 PM
There may have even been less cameras on the Challenger launch. I had heard that most of the networks had stopped covering launches because it had started to seem commonplace and the only station that had footage was CNN.

segfault
2002-Nov-17, 11:19 PM
On 2002-11-17 16:10, frenat wrote:
There may have even been less cameras on the Challenger launch. I had heard that most of the networks had stopped covering launches because it had started to seem commonplace and the only station that had footage was CNN.


I definately saw it live on network TV. But, as I mentioned, I was living in Houston at the time.

ToSeek
2002-Nov-18, 12:32 AM
On 2002-11-17 16:10, frenat wrote:
There may have even been less cameras on the Challenger launch. I had heard that most of the networks had stopped covering launches because it had started to seem commonplace and the only station that had footage was CNN.


I think most of the networks just pick up the NASA feed rather than using their own cameras, since NASA has the launches covered from just about every angle you could imagine.