Endeavour’s last visit to the International Space Station

The BBC flagged up the stunning first-ever detailed image of a Space Shuttle docked at the International Space Station – Endeavour’s final voyage.  Now NasaTV have released the video

The video was shot by European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli from the Russian Soyuz spacecraft that undocked from the station on May 23. He, Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev and NASA astronaut Cady Coleman were departing the station for a return to Earth after five months on the station. Nespoli documented the station from a distance of 600 feet as it was rotated 130 degrees.

First the still.

As Jonathon Amos says

The picture was taken by Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli as he left the International Space Station in May in a Soyuz capsule to return to Earth.

Safety procedures mean the Russian vehicle would never normally be in transit when a shuttle is present.

It makes this the first-ever image of an American orbiter docked to the ISS.

Endeavour sits firmly on the bow of the station, which is moving across the surface of the Earth at a speed of 27,000km/h (17,000mph) and at an altitude of approximately 355km (220 miles).

Nespoli’s camera is looking along the ISS’s truss, or backbone, which carries the four sets of giant solar wings. The stern is occupied by Europe’s robotic freighter – the Johannes Kepler ship.

The pictures were acquired on 23 May but were only released by the US space agency (Nasa) on Tuesday. They had been eagerly awaited by space fans.

And if you liked that, you’re going to love this.

They’re probably glad to be on the ground at the moment…

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  • joeCanuck

    You’re right. I loved that video. It’s mind boggling to think of the technology we humans developed to allow us to build that “thing” up in space.
    But sad that we (NASA) seems to have lost some of the early spirit; I guess that’s what always happens when explorers are replaced by bureaucrats.

  • Cynic2

    Could we offer this to TUV as their Party Headquarters?

    They would probably accept as it would restore their rightful position ie looking down on the rest of us and always closer to God.

    Who knows. After 20 years or so and a couple of good solar eruptions they might have evolved into something more politically attractive