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Shuttle Unplugged: Endeavour Powered-Up for Last Time

Enlarge Image credit: Ken Kremer MORE IMAGES

For 19 years, space shuttle Endeavour traveled more than 196 million kilometers and tallied 299 days in space in 25 missions. Now the decommissioned shuttle sits at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, awaiting its final journey to a science center in Los Angeles on the back of a specially adapted Boeing 747 later this year.

On Monday, May 7, all power into Endeavour’s cockpit will be cut off forever. "And it's the last shuttle that will ever get turned on," says science journalist Ken Kremer, who visited the powered-up shuttle on Thursday and snapped a photo of the flight deck (the commander's seat is on the left, the pilot's on the right). "It was like being on the bridge of the starship Enterprise," Kremer says. "Those blue screens are real and they were moving. The gauges were active. The only thing better is being in orbit." But it will probably be almost a decade before the next generation of NASA-built spacecraft carries anyone into space.

—Sarah Fecht

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