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Cameras on Atlantis' twin Solid Rocket Boosters provide a unique perspective as the shuttle soars into orbit for the final time.
Although it weighs more than 4,500,000 pounds at launch, the space shuttle accelerates from zero to 17,500 miles per hour in less than nine minutes. The shuttle breaks the sound barrier 52 seconds into flight.
The two solid rocket boosters provide more than 83 percent of the shuttle's thrust during the first two minutes of ascent, generating a combined thrust of 5.3 million pounds, equivalent to 44 million horsepower.