When Expedition 27 crew members Dmitry Kondratyev, Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli left the ISS aboard their Soyuz capsule, they paused briefly so ESA astronaut Nespoli could take the first ever images of a shuttle docked to the station from space.
NASA today has published some of the iconic and historic images he photographed.
NASA officials said these spacecraft “family portrait” images serve as a reminder of the contributions the shuttle program made to the construction of the International Space Station. The 100 billion dollar station began assembly in 1998 with the Russian module Zarya, and then a certain orbiter called Endeavour (STS-88) took the first US built section (the Unity Module) into orbit the same year.
Fitting then that these images should feature the orbiter that helped start it all! Striking photographs, and worth the wait!
The NASA gallery page features several more photographs, take a look here, they’re awesome!