2011. július 26., kedd

Endeavour's Final Mission - Alan Taylor - In Focus - The Atlantic

NASA's space shuttle Endeavour completed its final mission this morning, touching down safely in Florida. Endeavour spent a total of 299 days in space, traveling more than 122.8 million miles during its 25 flights. Its first launch took place on May 7, 1992 -- its final launch on May 16, 2011. "We want to thank all the tens of thousands of employees who have put their hands on this incredible ship," shuttle commander Mark Kelly said moments before liftoff. Endeavour and its six-member crew delivered the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2, the Express Logistics Carrier-3, and additional spare parts for the Dextre robotic helper to the International Space Station. Collected here are images from Endeavour's final trip as NASA prepares for to launch its final shuttle, scheduled for July 8th.

The docked space shuttle Endeavour, backdropped by a nighttime view of Earth and a starry sky are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 28 crew member on the International Space Station, on May 28, 2011. (NASA) 

On May 15, 2011, At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the rotating service structure (RSS) moves away from space shuttle Endeavour on Launch Pad 39A. The structure provides weather protection and access to the shuttle while it awaits lift off on the pad.(NASA/Jack Pfaller) # 

This high angle, partial view of the port side of the space shuttle Endeavour's crew cabin was provided by an Expedition 27 crew member during a survey of the approaching STS-134 vehicle prior to docking with the International Space Station on May 18, 2011. (NASA) # 

In the grasp of the International Space Station's Canadarm2, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 (AMS) is transferred from space shuttle Endeavour's payload bay for installation on the station's starboard truss on May 19, 2011. (NASA) # 

A portion of the International Space Station is visible in this view of a starry sky and Earth's horizon, photographed by an STS-134 crew member while space shuttle Endeavour remains docked with the station on May 27, 2011. (NASA) # 

Part of space shuttle Endeavour, with the Earth, Moon and space in the background, photographed by an Expedition 27 crew member aboard the International Space Station on May 19, 2011. (NASA) # 

A mirror shot in orbit -- NASA astronaut Michael Fincke, STS-134 mission specialist, uses a digital camera to capture his own image, reflected in part of the International Space Station, during a spacewalk on May 25, 2011. (NASA) # 

A fish-eye lens attached to an electronic still camera was used to capture this image of NASA astronaut Michael Fincke (top center) during the mission's fourth session of extravehicular activity (EVA) as construction and maintenance continue on the International Space Station. (NASA) # 

Its final space mission complete, space shuttle Endeavour is towed to the Orbiter Processing Facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Wednesday, June 1, 2011. Endeavour now begins a long decommissioning process, preparing to be delivered as a display for the California Science Center in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/John Raoux) # 

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