Penultimate Space Shuttle launch captured by incredible amateur snaps

Stefanie Gordon captured the following snap while en route to Palm Beach International Airport in Florida from New York’s La Guardia Airport to visit her parents. Luckily, although she’d been sleeping for most of the flight, the pilot alerted the passengers to the sight of the 0856 EDT (1256 GMT) launch of Endeavour as they neared their destination and Stefanie grabbed the stunning shot with her iPhone out of the window.

She quickly became a hit on Twitter (@Stefmara) after tweeting “My plane flew right past the shuttle!” with the photos.

Credit: Stefanie Gordon

Meanwhile, in a slightly less accidental photograph, students of the Quest for Stars program successfully snapped a photo of the shuttle from a helium-filled balloon known as Senatobia-1 they’d sent into the stratosphere.

Launched from Gainesville, Florida, the balloon took off over an hour before the Space Shuttle to allow it to get into position 30,000 metres (100,000 feet) in the sky.

Endeavour is currently making its way to the International Space Station and is expected to dock tomorrow morning at 0615 EDT (1015 GMT).