In this unique time-lapse video created from thousands of individual frames, photographers Scott Andrews, Stan Jirman and Philip Scott Andrews condense six weeks of painstaking work into three minutes, 52 seconds. The action starts in the hangar-like Orbiter Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where Discovery has been outfitted for its STS-131 mission. The vehicle is then towed to the 525-foot-high Vehicle Assembly Building, hoisted into a vertical position and lowered onto its external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters. Then it’s off to the pad on the giant Mobile Launcher Platform, where the shuttle is encased in its protective Rotating Service Structure until just before launch on April 5, 2010. The film ends with a glimpse of Discovery and the STS-131 astronauts coming in for a landing 15 days later, back in Florida where it all started.
Video: Scott Andrews/Stan Jirman/Philip Scott Andrews (3:52)