Here’s a unique video of a space shuttle launch, where you get point-of-view shots from the perspective of the astronauts. The sequence is edited from three separate shuttle launches, all of which were on their way to the International Space Station. We especially like the way the shots are accompanied by just natural sound, without any of the usual PR cheerleading narration from NASA.
The three shuttles in the footage were STS-97, a December, 2000 mission of the Space Shuttle Endeavor; STS-102 from March, 2001 with Discovery; and STS-112 from October, 2002, using the Space Shuttle Atlantis, its last flight until 2006.
On a personal note, I've seen a shuttle launch up close from the press area, and it was certainly a profound experience. The roar of those engines lighting up and the crackling sound as the shuttle gains altitude, as well as the sheer speed of its acceleration, is remarkable. If you're ever in the Cape Canaveral area when a shuttle is launching, get as close as you can for an unforgettable experience.
Hit Continue for another edit featuring Shuttlecam, a downward-facing camera mounted on the external tank that gives you another dramatic view of a launch.