<p>The last of five shuttles in the U.S. space shuttle program, &nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/shuttleoperations/orbiters/endeavour-info.html">Endeavour</a> </em>was formally retired on Thursday and made its final aerial journey, bound for the <a href="http://www.californiasciencecenter.org/">California Science Museum (CSC)</a> in downtown Los Angeles.</p><p><em>Endeavour</em> was the youngest of the shuttle fleet, having been built after the 1986 explosion of the <em>Challenger</em> shuttle during liftoff.</p><p>Most of <em>Endeavour</em>'s missions ferried cargo to the International Space Station. But it famously flew the first mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. In all, the shuttle flew to space 25 times, and made nearly 4,700 orbits around Earth.</p><p>(See <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/06/pictures/110601-space-shuttle-endeavour-nasa-mark-kelly-landing-final-last/">pictures from space shuttle <em>Endeavour</em>'s final mission</a>.)</p>

Farewell Voyage

The last of five shuttles in the U.S. space shuttle program,  Endeavour was formally retired on Thursday and made its final aerial journey, bound for the California Science Museum (CSC) in downtown Los Angeles.

Endeavour was the youngest of the shuttle fleet, having been built after the 1986 explosion of the Challenger shuttle during liftoff.

Most of Endeavour's missions ferried cargo to the International Space Station. But it famously flew the first mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. In all, the shuttle flew to space 25 times, and made nearly 4,700 orbits around Earth.

(See pictures from space shuttle Endeavour's final mission.)

Photograph by Sheri Locke, NASA

Space Pictures This Week: Endeavour, Mars Rock, More

The space shuttle Endeavour makes its final flight, the Mars rover explores the red planet, and more in this week's best space photos.

DON'T MISS THE REST OF THIS STORY!
Create a free account to continue and get unlimited access to hundreds of Nat Geo articles, plus newsletters.

Create your free account to continue reading

No credit card required. Unlimited access to free content.
Or get a Premium Subscription to access the best of Nat Geo - just $19
SUBSCRIBE

Read This Next

Did this mysterious human relative bury its dead?
This new birth control for cats doesn't require surgery
How the Zoot Suit Riots changed America

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet