As we say goodbye to Endeavour and look to the future of space travel in the US and around the world, we wanted to take a moment to admire the futurist concepts that inspired NASA’s space shuttle program.
Endeavour was NASA’s fifth and final space shuttle to be built. Construction began on Sept. 28, 1987 and it rolled out of the assembly plant in Palmdale, Calif. in April 1991. It was named after a ship chartered to traverse the South Pacific in 1768 and captained by 18th century explorer James Cook. Endeavour flew 25 times, traveling more than 122,000 miles and accumulating 299 days in space. Like shuttles Discovery, Enterprise and Atlantis, Endeavour is embarking on its next mission – to inspire the next generation of explorers and engineers at the California Science Center. -NASA
To commemorate the end of Endeavour’s mission the futurist site i09 and Brain Pickings shared some amazing retro concept art. The collection contains thousands of proposed images of the space shuttle, including interior diagram drawings, from 1972, 1977 and 1981.
The collection of futuristic images from the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s archive contain fantastic concept art and models. These futurist drawings even show the 747 “piggyback” that we all know so well today.
That is true future vision in action! Check out the full collection here.