The internet archives abound with videos of space rocket launches and shots of the interior of the International Space Station. What’s been missing were videos of spacecrafts falling down to earth. Until recently, high definition video cameras needed a human operator, and most returns of spacecrafts return from orbit were empty.
Portable video recorders like GoPro are a game-changer in this respect. On June 5, SpaceX released a GoPro video shot from the inside of a Falcon 9 rocket as it hurtled back to earth, set to the Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss II.
As background music, the Blue Danube Waltz has a curious pedigree: it was featured extensively in Stanley Kubrick’s scifi classic, “2001, A Space Odyssey,” a film that has thematic resonance with one of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s deepest concerns: the threat of artificial intelligence.
In the film, the computer system Hal 9000 goes rogue on the human pilots of the Discovery One, tricking one astronaut to leave the spacecraft with false reports of an antennae malfunction, then murdering him by severing his oxygen tank in outer space.