After 30 years of spaceflight, more than 130 missions, and numerous science and technology firsts, NASA’s space shuttle fleet will retire and be on display at institutions across the country to inspire the next generation of explorers and engineers.
GeoEye-1 (0.5 m) Satellite Image
Space Shuttle Endeavour on Launching Pad 39A.
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This half-meter resolution satellite image shows the Space Shuttle Endeavour on Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida, awaiting launch to the International Space Station. According to news reports, as of May 4, 2011, Endeavour will launch no sooner than May 16, 2011, which would be the 36th shuttle mission to the station and the 134th and final flight of Endeavour. GeoEye tasked its GeoEye-1 Satellite on May 1, 2011 to collect this image of Cape Canaveral at 10:53 a.m. local time, while flying 423 miles above the Earth at an average speed of 17,000 mph.
The Endeavour was launched on April 12, 1981 and was named after the first ship commanded by 18th century British explorer James Cook. On its maiden voyage in 1768, Cook sailed into the South Pacific and around Tahiti to observe the passage of Venus between the Earth and the Sun. During another leg of the journey, Cook discovered New Zealand, surveyed Australia and navigated the Great Barrier Reef.