Recently, Americaspace photographer Julian Leek was given the opportunity to visit space shuttle Endeavour’s flight deck while the orbiter was powered up, bringing OV-105 back to life and giving us a glimpse of what her astronaut crews viewed during their missions. Over 2,000 controls, switches, and displays make up the flight deck – each with a specific purpose.
Considered the baby of the shuttle fleet, Endeavour was the fifth and final space shuttle to be constructed – brought into existence after the loss of Challenger in 1986. Designated by NASA as Orbiter Vehicle 105 (OV-105), Endeavour flew 25 missions from 1992 – 2011, having travelled nearly 123 million miles through space while orbiting the Earth with various crews. Nearly half of all her missions (12) were International Space Station assembly flights, including its last flight on STS-134, which launched from Kennedy Space Center on May 16, 2011.
Now retired from service, Endeavour continues transition and retirement processing at Kennedy Space Center’s Orbiter Processing Facility, where the vehicle is being readied for permanent public display as a museum piece for the California Science Center in Los Angeles later this year. This most recent power up allowed for technicians to flush and drain multiple system lines, many of which cannot be accessed (opened/closed) without the vehicle “on”.
All Photos Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth