Last weekend, Telstar Logistics flipped on NASA TV for a few minutes to unwind. We don't normally watch NASA TV as leisuretime entertainment, but we heard via the Twitter that Space Shuttle Endeavor was doing some formation flying with the International Space Station somewhere in Earth's orbit, and that sounded nifty. So we tuned in to watch.
The spectacle was hypnotic. Endeavor was flying 620 feet directly below the ISS. The shuttle's cargo bay doors were open, and the orbiter floated effortlessly above Oceania and Western Australia.
It was beautiful. And given that this is Endeavor's last flight ever, the event also prompted a quiet moment as we absorbed the spectacle for all it represents -- because soon the sight of manned space shuttles drifting above the planet's surface is not something any of us are likely to ever again see in our lifetimes.
UPDATE: 1 June, 2011
Here's another awe-inspiring shuttle moment, just released by NASA:
Backdropped by a night time view of the Earth and the starry sky, the Space Shuttle Endeavour is photographed docked at the International Space Station on May 28, 2011. The STS-134 astronauts left the station the next day on May 29, after delivering the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and performing four spacewalks during Endeavour's final mission.
PHOTOS: Screen grabs from NASA TV, 28 May, 2011