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Viewing a space shuttle launch from high in the sky

A video making its way around the Internet purports to be of a space shuttle launch as shot from an airplane high overhead.

One of the first things I did on my Road Trip 2008 project this summer was report on the landing of the Space Shuttle Discovery at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It was great to watch the shuttle land, but I was a bit disappointed I hadn't been able to make it to Cape Canaveral just a couple of weeks earlier to watch the launch.

Well, it turns out that all I would have needed to do to see the launch would have been to fly by. At least, that's how it seems, given a video that's going around the Web right now that purports to have been shot from an Air Canada flight that just happened to pass close enough by Kennedy Space Center for a passenger to shoot video of the shuttle rocketing into the sky.

It's not 100 percent clear that the launch in the video is Discovery, which went up on May 31. But it seems likely, given that that was the last shuttle launch and the video only just went up a few days ago.

Either way, it's a pretty cool video, and one of the things that's compelling about it--other than the fact that it's a space shuttle launch filmed from miles above the ground--is that you can get a very good sense of just how fast the shuttle is going when it blasts off.

Next time there's a launch--this fall, in fact--maybe I'll find out what flights might be in the vicinity at the time. On the other hand, given how hard it can be to book tickets on flights serving popular destinations on impacted dates, I might not be the only one.