Last Call- Mach 1 Edition

In order to stay in orbit, the Space Shuttle has to accelerate to around 17,000 miles per hour on its way up there. This amazing photo, shot from the ground, is of the shuttle and its attached fuel tank and boosters hitting mach one- the speed of sound. The cloud surrounding it is a transonic phenomena called a Prandtl-Glauert Cloud. If you ever experience one of those while accelerating in your car, you probably should pull over.
image source: [Buttercej via Flickr]

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  1. engineerd Avatar

    That's awesome!
    There's a picture of an F-18 Hornet with a very well defined P-G Cloud floating around the interwebs. I've also seen this phenomenon on rocket launches.

  2. lilwillie Avatar

    If I experience that in my car, I'm going to go for that last 1/8th of throttle and see if I can hit Mach 2…

    1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      Passing through the pearly gates at Mach 2, upside down, and on fire should be everyone's ambition.

    2. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      I was thinking I'd probably just shift into 6th.

  3. coupeZ600 Avatar

    I just got a job pulling fuel-tankers, and the old hands have said something similar happens right before they blow…….
    It's really amazing that the default response is "Run!"
    What happens if "X" occurs, I ask.
    Well, don't I have a moral obligation to communicate the risk to everyone else?
    "Run, You stupid son-of-a-b***ch, they'll figure it out the hard way!"

    1. joshuman Avatar

      If they are still getting older, and they are if you are getting their advice, I'd take heed.

      1. coupeZ600 Avatar

        I guess the sight of a tanker-driver sprinting away from his truck communicates the risk pretty well!

    2. dr zero Avatar

      I guess the water vapour is coming from a rapid decompression of the gas in the tanker or something. When running away, don't forget to put in an action movie dive at the end.

  4. Tripl3fast Avatar

    I'm gonna miss the old bird. So bad ass.

  5. tenbeers Avatar

    Mmm, singularity.
    [youtube Lezt4tjD0Bw youtube]

  6. Betty McCollum Avatar

    I’m very delighted to see there is actually a little fantastic content left out there. I’m tired of google delivering me junk.