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Take a virtual ride on Endeavour

I can testify that watching the shuttle Endeavour's May 16 launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center was awesome. Seeing the liftoff on video just can't show you how bright the rockets' flare is, or how ground-shaking the sound can be. But if I had to pick the coolest video clips of a shuttle's ascent, I'd go with the views recorded by cameras attached to the solid rocket boosters. We don't get to see that video until well after the boosters are recovered from the Atlantic. NASA finally put the clips online on Thursday, and they are beauts. In this 36-minute YouTube video, the best parts come at 0:08, 2:26, 9:40, 14:48, 19:50, 22:05, 29:05 and 32:20. That's when the blastoffs and blast-aways happen. Stay tuned next week for another dose of awesome Endeavour imagery, taken from a departing Soyuz spacecraft.

More cool views of Endeavour and its launch:

You can connect with the Cosmic Log community by "liking" the log's Facebook page or following @b0yle on Twitter. Also, give a look to "The Case for Pluto," my book about the controversial dwarf planet and the search for new worlds.