The last views of Endeavour and ISS

By Phil Plait | June 8, 2011 12:30 pm

Yesterday, I posted a beautiful picture of the Orbiter Endeavour docked to the International Space Station. The shot was taken by European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli from about 200 meters away; he was inside a Soyuz capsule that had just disembarked. What I didn’t know last night is that NASA wanted a series of pictures of the Orbiter and ISS together, a legacy gallery to commemorate Endeavour’s last flight.

The ESA has just posted the gallery, and it’s truly wonderful.

You really need to take a stroll through those images. They are the last ones that will ever be taken of Endeavour docked to the space station it helped build. The one above is my favorite, but there are a couple of dozen others that give you a good idea of how huge and how complicated ISS is.

Not only that, but NASA just released video taken by Nespoli as well:

Endeavour landed safely on June 1, and Atlantis, the last Shuttle launch, will make its way skyward on July 8.

Credits: ESA, NASA

CATEGORIZED UNDER: NASA, Pretty pictures, Space

Comments (23)

Links to this Post

  1. Rum and Reason » Sunrise on Atlantis | Bad Astronomy | June 28, 2011
  1. Sure, like I don’t have enough wallpaper material and videos to look at. I’m going to have to get a larger hard drive just for these.

  2. CJSF


    I see in the video and in some of the photographs, that one of the radiator panels is damaged on the station. I don’t recall reading anything about when that happened and what implications it has for the station. Anyone have any links handy to any stories or press releases about it?



    Ken B: “I’m going to have to get a larger hard drive just for these.”

    That’s why I’ve got myself a 3TB external hard drive — WHOA!

  4. CJSF, see “Radiator damaged on ISS – Off-Nominal Soyuz investigation update”

  5. Shamik

    Weren’t there plans to de-orbit the ISS? Why in the world would you go through all that trouble to build this and then de-orbit it so quickly? Why did they do the same with all the previous space stations as well?

  6. CJSF

    @weezmgk: Thanks for the link. Wow, that happened back in 2008!


  7. Kevin

    It’s available on YouTube as well.

  8. Egad

    Just a random thought, but what you’re looking at consists of a fair number of individual parts, each of which cost multiple hectomegabucks to build and get there.

  9. Bob_In_Wales
  10. Douglas Troy

    The Space Shuttles are like old friends, they’ve been a part of our lives for so long now, it’s difficult to imagine we won’t see them launching into space anymore. My 3 year-old most likely will never recall even seeing these last two launches; and despite the countless videos of them, it’s not the same thing as to watch the launch live … there’s just something wonderful about that very moment in time. Something special that cannot be put into words, that speaks to us as human beings.

    It is in our very nature to want and desire to be better, to learn, to discover and overcome all odds to do so.

    In my opinion, the Space Shuttles have always been a representation of that drive, and it saddens me to see them go.

  11. noen

    Just a heads up about a story making the rounds.

    Reported on MSNBC — Martines: structure may prove life on Mars

    YouTube video here:
    NEW MARS ANOMALY ‘Bio Station Alpha on Mars’ ?

    Not as obviously insane as most. It was discovered on Google Mars. NASA says they cannot find the raw data from which it was derived.

  12. Thankyou BA, thankyou NASA, ESA and Paolo Nespoli – and especially thankyou and farewell Endeavour. Vale.

  13. Meanwhile in the latest space news :

    the latest flight to the International space Satation has taken off successfully.

    Interesting to note from there that the Soyuz has only flown 110 flights to the Space Shuttles 134.

  14. SkyDancer


    If ever a video begged for a soundtrack, this is the one…

  15. Sam H

    I just remembered – some news articles stated that the station is now “finished”. I for one am skeptical of that, but for all practical purposes that is basically true (and besides, new modules could be added at practically any time), but if this is true then NASA has made a grave mistake – THEY FORGOT TO BRING THE CHAMPAGNE!!! Even if we can’t take out on a spacewalk, and throw it at one of the modules à la Star Trek: Generations, they could at least have some inside.
    BTW: What would the risks of that be? Since the station is meant to withstand the impacts of micrometeoroids some glass shattering on its exterior shouldn’t be a problem. The champagne itself should immediately vaporize, but what bothers me is all the glass shards – seems like a big satellite collision hazard.
    But either way: THEY MUST BRING THE CHAMPAGNE!!! (Make it non-alcoholic if you have to, just bring the stuff!!)

    *Note: I’m not a troll, but I already posted this on the last ISS entry. That thread now seems to be closed, so I’m just brining it up to date 😀

  16. Come on Phil, as a drummer, you gotta put at least a cool beat to this.

  17. Messier Tidy Upper

    @15. Sam H. : “*Note: I’m not a troll, but I already posted this on the last ISS entry. That thread now seems to be closed, so I’m just brining it up to date.”

    Okay by me – & the thread ain’t closed. See :

    For my response there. :-)

  18. mrk

    why would AMERICA just stop making trips? There must be some new craft that we plan to send up in near future (right) we need to stop jerkin around and set-up shop on the moon. Then build bigger n better craft designs to start exploring our own galaxy, Utilizing resources from all over our own front and back yard. could maybe involve the whole planet in this proccess so we all have more secure futures and take part in something wonderfully awesome hmmmmmm just maybe.dah

  19. Gerry

    We can’t set up shop on the moon because the damned Department of Defense is too busy wasting resources by crashing rockets into the moon, and that’s the God’s honest truth.

  20. r.b.ibarracuda

    Save the space shuttle!

  21. Alex

    That is sad it is its final mission forever :}


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