This project all started when Ray and I were bouncing off ideas for the new Lego NASA Space Shuttle Discovery set, and she brought up the idea of stop-motion. I was easily swayed, despite our editors warning us with a “You know, stop motion takes a lot of time. You guys sure you want to do this? Also, you’ve never done this before”.
“Pssht, we got this in the bag,” I answered, not really realising what we have gotten ourselves into. In retrospect, neither me or Ray anticipated what we needed to put in the metaphorical bag—we just knew that we wanted to try something new.
Here’s a note to my future self: stop-motion is no joke. This specific project required literal thousands of pictures to be taken over a period of 3 days, as Rory suggested that stop motion would look best with at least 6 frames a second.
The three days of stop-motion didn’t include the working and reworking the script, voice-over recordings, measuring how long each VO part is so we could measure the amount of picture we needed to take for one scene, Ray’s illustrations, and the editing process. Ray and I also had to learn how to animate the photos together to make the scenes looks cohesive.
The result was about 4 minutes worth of stop motion animation in a 10 minute video where I talked about what the Lego set was about—the Discovery Shuttle and the Hubble Space Telescope during their STS-31 mission, and why it was the most important space shuttle mission.
The Discovery Shuttle is one of six space shuttles created for the STS, or the American Space Shuttle program. It has flown to space more than any other craft, has spent the longest time in space, and has carried more crew members in total.
As for the Hubble Space Telescope, it is the world’s first space-based optical telescope, and it’s still being used today. On mission STS-31, the Hubble was launched from the Discovery Shuttle on 25 April 1990.
NASA’s Space Shuttle program sent out a total of a total of 135 missions using reusable space shuttles from 1981 to 2011. The entire programme has seen a lot of great feats in space science—including STS-80, when Space Shuttle Columbia flew the longest orbital flight of a Shuttle, and STS-37, when the Atlantis shuttle deployed the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.
But with so many amazing accomplishments under its belt, STS-31 arguably became known as the most important of the STS missions. It’s where the Discovery Shuttle launched the Hubble Space Telescope.
The Hubble has been in space helping us learn more of the universe through their images. Thanks to the Hubble, we’ve learnt about the rate of the expansion of the universe. The Discovery might not be in use anymore, but it’s thanks to the strong and spunky shuttle that the Hubble is still there today, a force to be reckoned with, 31 years later.
The Lego NASA Space Shuttle Discovery set has an insane build of 2354 pieces, and it’s a 1/70th scale of the actual Discovery. It comes with two stands and plaques and it’s priced at RM799.99.