Groundbreaking Photo of Shuttle Docked to Space Station

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A newly-released portrait taken by departing astronauts about a Russian spacecraft reveal a unique portrait of something not seen in the decades-long history of the space shuttle: the famous vehicle docked at the International Space Station.

Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli (NES'-po-lee) took the photos two weeks ago from inside a Russian Soyuz capsule soon after he left the space station for the trip back to Earth. The space station and attached shuttle Endeavour rotated for the photo shoot while the capsule hovered 200 miles above Earth.

A Soyuz capsule had never headed for home while a shuttle was parked at the space station, providing a rare opportunity for the photo session. At the time, Endeavour was on the next-to-last shuttle mission.

The shuttle fleet is retiring after one last flight next month with a load of supplies for the station.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.