What’s it like to be a solid rocket booster?

By Aimee Whitcroft 25/03/2013

A question, no doubt, which has kept many of awake over those long, long nights.

And now, we have people to the rescue!

From the upcoming Special Edition Ascent: Commemorating Space Shuttle DVD/BluRay by NASA/Glenn a movie from the point of view of the Solid Rocket Booster with sound mixing and enhancement done by the folks at Skywalker Sound. The sound is all from the camera microphones and not fake or replaced with foley artist sound. The Skywalker sound folks just helped bring it out and make it more audible.

Sadly, and because we’re still dealing with the piffly not-entirely-realistically-modern internet, it can’t give you an idea of the temperature differentials (which would have killed you anyway, without the right gear*) or the utterly insane G-forces at play, but hell, it’s a start!

Now, hook up your best pair of headphones and enjoy the ride…

And then watch it again, but this time, only listening to it. It gets amazingly eery a coupla minutes in.


* And even then, I’m not sure…


Massive HT to the Terrible Fenemor for pointing this out to me this morning.

0 Responses to “What’s it like to be a solid rocket booster?”

  • Hi Aimee, the main source of heat for someone hitching a ride on an SRB would be from friction with the air at such high speeds, over 200C at 2500 MPH (going from the windshield temperatures on the SR-71).

    I’m not sure what you mean by insane G forces, going up it never gets past 3G, going down, well, I suppose the splash-down would be a bit rough.

  • Hi Andrew.

    Ah, brilliant, thanks! No, I guess 3Gs isn’t insane, although I imagine us normal types might find it a wee bit difficult and uncomfortable 🙂 Of course, if one were stuck to the outside of the booster, which is what I was envisaging, there’ll be some rather uncomfortable wind/air speed and friction effects, too. Hell, riding a motorcycle at a mere 100km/hr on a blustery day is bad enough!

    And yeah, that bit where one hits the ocean? Ouch 🙂

    Thanks again for the cool numbers!

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