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Although NASA is currently between manned launches at the moment, sending American astronauts to the International Space Station via Russian rockets, it’s always awe-inspiring to look back at the spectacular space shuttle. The latter years of the program–the last launch was in 2011–benefited from leaps forward in camera technology, affording Earthlings views previously only experienced by astronauts.
This dashcam gem was filmed onboard the final flight of Discovery in 2011. The shuttle flew 135 times, but footage like this exists from only two missions.
At the :48 mark, you will see bag-like objects blowing away from the nose area. These are membranes protecting the orbiter’s reaction control systems, ensuring that moisture didn’t enter the equipment as the space shuttle waited on the launchpad.
Or you can use the pad tech’s somewhat less scientific, but more colorful name for them: “Monkey snot.”