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The Daily Need

Photo: Farewell flight, inside and out

From the outside, space shuttle Endeavour roars into orbit Monday from the Kennedy Space Center as it embarks on its 25th and final spaceflight. Commander Mark Kelly leads the six-person astronaut crew. Liftoff occurred on time at 8:56 a.m. ET. Photo: NASA

From the inside: NASA officials view the launch space shuttle Endeavour from the inside Firing Room 4 at Kennedy's Launch Control Center after an on-time liftoff at 8:56 a.m. EDT. Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls

If witnessing a shuttle launch is on your bucket list, kick yourself into high gear, as you just lost another opportunity to see one. Today’s launch of the space shuttle Endeavour is the second-to-the-last shuttle launch ever, as NASA prepares to retire its 30-year-old space shuttle program. This summer, the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis will officially end the program.

When Endeavour returns home on June 1, it will begin a new life as a museum piece at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. It entered service in 1992 as a replacement for the space shuttle Challenger.

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