The Endeavor shuttle is on its last mission for the NASA space program – a sad moment for astronomers and space enthusiasts. But on this final mission, Endeavor has made a first in space history: it’s the first shuttle to be photographed from another space vehicle while docked to the International Space Station (ISS). The photo (below) was taken from the Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft, 600 meters from the ISS as the crew backed off.

One can only imagine the complexities of docking a space shuttle to a space station without error. In the photo, you can see the shuttle tilted backwards, docked to the left of the ISS.

shuttle endeavor, docked to iss

In 1995, shuttle Atlantis was photographed while docked to the Russian Mir Space Station, resulting in one of the most iconic images ever taken during the space program (below).

shuttle atlantis, docked to soyuz

I look forward to the future of the space program, as we enter into the private realm over the next few years.

Image credit: NASA, Roscosmos, NASA TV