Watch The Shuttle Roar: Back in the days when NASA actually had a spaceship capable of launching astronauts into orbit, we became strangely ambivalent to seeing pictures of the space shuttle lighting up the Cape Canaveral launch pad. But now the 30-year-old Shuttle Program is well and truly over, we are seeing the fleet being retired — most recently the youngest of the shuttle fleet, Endeavour, was paraded through Los Angeles streets before taking up permanent residence in the California Science Center. Although this should have been an event to celebrate, many have compared the parade to a funeral — with no manned spacecraft to replace it, there’s little to celebrate.

It seems fitting, then, that we should prefer to see the shuttle, not rolling through Southern Californian neighborhoods, but taking to the skies. And with the help of photographer Dan Winters we can see what Endeavour was really built to do: launch humans into space.

In this wonderfully intimate photo series in Los Angeles Magazine of Endeavour launching for the last time, it’s easy to get lost in the awesome power that was the shuttle and hope that the next NASA manned spacecraft — whatever it may be — will ignite such inspiration. via LA Magazine