Thursday, June 9, 2011

Space shuttle Endeavour docked with the International Space Station

Agent Triple P loved this fantastic photograph of the Space Shuttle Endeavour docked with the ISS, which was published by NASA this week.   Given the Shuttle has flown to the ISS over thirty times (although that includes construction of course) it is amazing that this is the first picture taken of it docked to the space station.

Endeavour lands following its final flight

The photograph was taken on May 23rd this year, by Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli, from a departing Soyuz space craft.  This will be the only way to move personnel to and from the ISS until Project Ares comes online in 2014 (if it ever does).  Mission Control Moscow ordered a 130 degree change in attitude so Nespoli could take pictures and video from about 600 feet away.  There was an equally striking photograph of Endeavour as it landed at Kennedy Space Centre on June 1st after its final flight.    After 25 flights, 299 days in space, 4,671 orbits and 122,853,151 miles flown the Endeavour is being retired to a Californian museum: almost certainly prematurely.  Now there is just the final Shuttle flight of Atlantis due to launch next month.