UPDATE: Sorry, but the video includes an annoying loud commercial that starts up automatically every time the page loads on UT, but you should really watch this cool video here. Read about it below, though, first!
This is incredible! Smithsonian Air & Space photographers Scott Andrews, Stan Jirman and Philip Scott Andrews created a unique time-lapse video (at the request of shuttle commander Alan Poindexter) from from thousands of individual frames, and they condense six weeks of painstaking work into three minutes, 52 seconds (read here how they did it). The video quickly chronicles the processing of Discovery for the STS-131 mission, and starts at the Orbiter Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, then goes on to the Vehicle Assembly Building, (the video of how the shuttle is hoisted into a vertical position and lowered onto its external fuel tank is absolutely amazing). Then it’s off to the pad for launch, and you even get to see a quick glimpse of Discovery as it lands. This is the shuttle and mission for which I was able to see much of the processing and pre-launch events, so I found it especially meaningful, but it is even more poignant since the end of the shuttle program is quickly approaching.