Don’t believe us? Then check out this stunning video of an UP Aerospace rocket launch shot with a bunch of on-board Hero4 cameras.
The mission was to deploy the 11-pound Maraia capsule into space, at the same time testing the capsule’s aerodynamics and stability on its high-speed return to Earth.
Maraia was taken up on the 20-foot tall SpaceLoft-10 rocket, which the GoPro cameras show reaching Mach 5.5 (3800 mph or 6115 km/h) as it hurtles skyward to an altitude 396,000 feet – about 11 times that of a commercial airliner.
While it’s fun to imagine an extreme extreme-sports enthusiast strapped to the side of the rocket with a GoPro on their helmet, sadly this wasn’t the case, though no doubt a few adrenalin junkies would’ve jumped at the chance if offered.
The cameras capture the rocket spinning rapidly as it leaves the launch platform, a normal process that helps steady the vehicle as it speeds toward space. At the 1:16 mark we see the Maraia capsule separate from the launch vehicle before beginning its journey back to terra firma. Perfectly captured and nicely edited – perhaps using GoPro’s recently launched editing tools – the incredible footage may be unlike anything you’ve seen before.
The plan is for Maraia to become an inexpensive, autonomous International Space Station-based vehicle for returning small scientific and engineering payloads to Earth as and when required.
The lift-off from Spaceport America in New Mexico actually took place last November, though GoPro only released the footage this week.
Commenting on the mission, NASA’s Paul De Leon said, “We had a great launch, all the payloads were exposed to the relevant environments that the researchers were seeking.”
The GoPro cameras, too, seemed to cope pretty darn well, bringing back to Earth some amazing footage that’s surely going to take some beating.
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