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Space Shot: Endeavour Heads Home

The space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center early Wednesday at 2:35 a.m. ET. STS-134, in which it delivered an Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station, was the shuttle's final mission.

But astronauts aboard the International Space Station took a stunning parting shot on May 28, just before Endeavour detached from the space station one last time.

As Wired says, what's amazing about this photo is that the racing Earth below puts the speed at which the shuttle and space station move in perspective. They orbit Earth once every 90 minutes:

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. i i

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. NASA hide caption

itoggle caption 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.

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.

NASA

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whose husband Mark Kelley is commanding the mission, said on her Twitter account that she would not travel to Florida for the landing. Giffords, who was seriously injured during a shooting rampage in Arizona, travelled to Florida to watch Endeavour's launch.

Also of note, is that at 8 p.m. ET today, the space shuttle Atlantis will be rolled out to its launch pad. The scheduled July 8 launch will be the last of the 30-year space shuttle program.

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