This past week I was fortunate enough to be in Houston when NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavour was flown through on it’s way to California. I have never been lucky enough to actually see one of the shuttles in person so I made the quick trip to the other side of town to shoot a few images. It was truely awe inspiring.

shuttle Endeavour 2

To think, this shuttle right in front of me has been launched into orbit 25 times, traveled over 122,000,000 miles and safely returned 154 astronauts to earth.

shuttle Endeavour

This voyage would be the last time anyone would ever see a space shuttle on top of the 747 used to transport it from the landings in California to the launch pad in Florida. Indeed, this was the last time one would ever be in the air at all.

I used this opportunity to shoot the normal images above and one special image here:

Small high res shuttle

What’s so special about this picture? This is a resized copy of an set of sticthed images which are almost 200 megapixels in size, that means it can be printed at just over eight feet wide with no enlargement and be razor sharp from inches away. To give you an idea, here is a small glimpse of what a section of the image would look like at full resolution:

Flag closeup

Honestly, because the blog resizes images, this image shows a little too much and would actually be zoomed in a little more than what you see here. This would make an excellent print for hanging on a wall at an observatory or museum.

This is truely an end of an era. No matter how well the new Orion spacecraft performs, it will never reach the majesty and beauty of our shuttle fleet.

Space shuttle facts and more about Endeavour can be found at Wikipedia. You can also learn more at the NASA official website.

Goodbye shuttle Endeavour!