See Space Shuttle Endeavour fully powered for one of the last times

first_imgMankind’s explorations into space have yielded some incredible imagery over the years. NASA’s first photo of Earth looming over the surface of the moon is remains stunning, even though we’ve now captured much more colorful shots of our planet from the International Space Station. More recently, pictures of the Curiosity rover’s shadow stretching over the surface of Mars were an incredible reminder of how far our reach has grown.But as the video of Curiosity’s final descent proved, the technology that we use to explore space can be as awe-inspiring as what we find there. Before Space Shuttle Endeavour was decommissioned in May, freelance/media photographer and former NASA photographer Ben Cooper took some rare photos of the craft fully powered for one of the last times.The images of the cockpit completely lit up provide a sense of what Endeavour would have looked like in space during one of its missions. The numerous switches, buttons, and screens glowing around the cockpit’s two seats are an overwhelming reminder of how much goes into breaking Earth’s atmosphere. Cooper’s gallery also includes photos of the shuttle’s white room, which has collected signatures from astronauts, technicians, and guests touring the interior.Endeavour’s 25 flights included multiple Spacelab experiments, the first Hubble Space Telescope service mission, and a rendezvous with the Mir space station. It’s final trip to the International Space Station in May was the next to last mission of the American Space Shuttle program. After being decommissioned, Endeavour was flown on top of a 747 Shuttle Aircraft to its new home at the California Science Center.Prints of all the photos are for sale in various sizes through the site’s order page.See the full gallery at Launchphotography.comlast_img read more