That's Pretty Phallic Even for NASA.
On Sept. 10, 2009, NASA and industry engineers lit up the Utah sky with the initial full-scale, full-duration test firing of the first stage motor for the Ares I rocket. The 154-foot solid rocket motor produced heat two-thirds the temperature of the sun and its 12-foot-diameter cylinder delivered 3.6 million pounds of thrust.
Pardon this nerds fascination with space. I did live on the space coast of Florida for a good yar and some change. Whenever there was a space shuttle launch, I could hear it. I could see it, I could smell it.
There really was nothing like seeing a rocket ignite and fly into space. Going to Kennedy Space Center and seeing the distance that these things ranged from in terms of size was amazing.
NASA's Ares 1-X rocket lifts off from launch pad 39-b at the Kennedy Space Center October 28, 2009 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
These were something that you had to witness with your own eyes. The power... In Florida it is legal to buy fireworks. They have shops all over the place. I suppose the mentality is that you're not going to light much on fire anyway, so go ahead and start as many explosive things up as you want. But those would be peanuts to the actual shuttle launches. Check out this aerial pic of the shuttle Atlantis taking off on STS-115
Look at that thing go. Just zooming out of here like a bat out of hell. Pretty god damn amazing, really. Maybe it's just cause I dig science. Maybe it's cause I'm a nerd. But these shots are utterly amazing. When you get up close to these things or if you see it just taking off, you'll be surprised that man was ever able to just get the determination to tell gravity to fuck off and fly away.
That's pretty phallic even for NASA.