I’ve seen some of this footage before but never heard the commentary. The narrators go into some really interesting detail on the tech involved in capturing the film footage of Shuttle launches. Most of the footage is for review purposes but some is purely documentary. All of the footage is beautiful though. It amazed me that they still used film all the way up until the end of the Shuttle program. They’re also shooting at higher frame rates so you get some great slow motion in there.
The lenses used range all the way up to a 4000mm, 250lb., catadioptric for the medium range tracking system. The Shuttle program was undoubtedly one of the greatest technical achievements humankind will ever produce (and I’m guessing the last of it’s scale), so I suppose it’s fitting that it was documented with a 100+ camera array of some of the most sophisticated optics available.
This was part of a DVD put together detailing some of the best footage from the later Shuttle launches.
Full video is here (be sure to switch to the 720p version!)