Incredible Photo of Space Shuttle Endeavour Docked in Space

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It’s one of those shots that makes you go “holy word-I-can’t-say-here”: A space shuttle hanging from the International Space Station like a bird caught midflight, or a high diver reaching around about to leap backwards off a diving board. It’s also the first photograph of a shuttle—the very vehicle that helped assemble the space station over the past decade—taken by another spacecraft while snapped into the ISS.

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The Russian Soyuz TMA-20 space capsule grabbed several pictures of the space shuttle Endeavour as it was docked with the ISS during its recent (and final) mission. On May 23rd, Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev, NASA astronaut Cady Coleman and European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli left the ISS to board the Soyuz TMA-20 space capsule and first undocked, then backed away 600 meters from the station to angle for the perfect pictures, before beginning their descent back to Earth.

Nespoli snapped the actual photos and captured high-definition video of Endeavour berthed to the ISS as Mission Control Moscow commanded the laboratory to slowly rotate 130 degrees.

Did I say photos, plural? There’s more. Here’s another. For the full batch (definitely worth perusing), see here.

Photo: NASA

Endeavour‘s final spaceflight is also NASA’s penultimate for the shuttle program. Endeavour‘s total time in space? 299 days, including 4,671 times around the planet for a total of nearly 123 million miles. That’s equal to about 257 round trips, from the Earth to the Moon.

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Next up: space shuttle Atlantis, which NASA finished moving 3.4 miles from its Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A on June 1st. And then that’s it—the fleet’s off to museums, we pass the baton to Russia for trips to and from the ISS, and all eyes shift to NASA’s next projects, which include a capsule-style “space taxi” to carry astronauts into orbit (and home again), and a heavy lift rocket for crewed deep space exploration.