Video of the Day: Stunning Footage of the International Space Station

The day after NASA put out the incredible photos of Space Shuttle Endeavour docked at the International Space Station (ISS) that quickly made their way around the Web, it released the video below. The high-definition footage was captured at the same time those photos were taken by Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli as he and two others left the station in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

"The video and the stills were brought down to earth on data storage cards that had to go through Russian cargo processing before they could be released," Alan Boyle explained on MSNBC's Cosmic Log, noting that this could be why it took about two weeks for the photographs and video to make their way online. "You can see wide-angle shots as well as close-ups in the seven and a half minutes' worth of clips. Perhaps the most poignant part comes in the final two minutes or so, when the space station moves off into the distance ... eventually fading away to a speck of light."

With only one flight left before the Space Shuttle Program comes to a close, this is the first and last video of this kind that we'll ever see. For the Atlantis flight, which is scheduled to take place in early July, a similar fly-around is not scheduled.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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