Shuttle Ballet

by Geoff on April 16, 2011

Below is an incredible video, full of time-lapse footage of Space Shuttle Discovery as it is prepped and launched for STS-131.  The video follows Discovery as it leaves the Orbiter Processing Facility and is raised vertically in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and mated with the solid rocket boosters and external tank.  It’s amazing how graceful this operation looks.  You’ll notice that as Discovery is lifted over the SRB/ET stack, she is angled to fit within the horizontal clearance in that portion of the VAB.

I’m hoping I’ll get to see the inside of the VAB at the #NASATweetup on April 28-29.  According to the Wikipedia entry for the VAB, it is “the largest single-story building in the world.”  It was built to assemble the massive Saturn V rockets that launched men to the moon, and, for the last 30 years, has prepared five Space Shuttles for their missions to low-earth-orbit.

Here’s that great video.  Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Carolyn Ryken April 16, 2011 at 5:29 am

Loved this video, I am getting so excited for you.

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Gene Ryken April 16, 2011 at 5:55 am

That is awesome. Since we did the tour, it has more meaning. Think it takes 8 hours to get from the bldg to the pad.

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