This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

The arrival of Endeavour in Los Angeles last week has been described by many as the final note in the coda to NASA's shuttle program. To commemorate its end, we turned to the program's beginnings, where we discovered a stunning assortment of high resolution concept art. (If you've been hunting for a new background image for your desktop, consider your search over.)

We began our search at the San Diego Air & Space Museum's archive of public domain images, where Brain Picking's Maria Popova recently happened upon these awesome mockup diagram drawings of the interior of the space shuttle. The Museum's entire collection, which contains thousands of images, is worthy of perusal, but we found ourselves particular taken with this impressive set of Space Related Images, for it was there that we found an awe-inspiring assortment of concept illustrations and models from the Shuttle Program's infancy (including preliminary sketches for the 747 "piggyback" method of shuttle transport). We've included a sampling of the collection below, but we highly recommend checking out the full set.

All captions via San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives | Click any photo for Hi-Res

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00981

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 1981-2010

Additional Information: Space Shuttle Concept

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00958

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 1981-2010

Additional Information: Space Shuttle Concept cut away

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00983

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 1981-2010

Additional Information: Space Shuttle Mission Profile

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00984

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 1981-2010

Additional Information: Space Shuttle Concept

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00960

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 1981-2010

Additional Information: Space Shuttle Concept

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00861

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 8/12/77

Additional Information: Space Shuttle Drawing

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00973

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 1981-2010

Additional Information: Space Shuttle Concept

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00997

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 3/1972

Additional Information: shows a model concept for a space shuttle

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00996

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 3/1972

Additional Information: shows a model concept for a space shuttle

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Catalog #: 08_01006

Date: 11/12/70

Additional Information: shows a model concept for a space shuttle

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00942

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 1981-2010

Additional Information: Space Shuttle Concept Drawing

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00943

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 1981-2010

Additional Information: Space Shuttle Concept Drawing

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00977

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 1981-2010

Additional Information: Space Shuttle Concept

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00860

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 8/12/77

Additional Information: Space Shuttle Drawing

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00944

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 1981-2010

Additional Information: Space Shuttle Concept Drawing

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00862

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 1981-2010

Additional Information: Space Shuttle Drawing

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00999

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 1981-2010

Additional Information: shows a model concept for a space shuttle

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00998

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 3/1972

Additional Information: shows a model concept for a space shuttle

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00962

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 1981-2010

Additional Information: Space Shuttle Concept

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00859

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 8/12/77

Additional Information: Space Shuttle on 747

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00945

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 1981-2010

Additional Information: Space Shuttle Concept Drawing

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous, Deliciously RetroS

Catalog #: 08_00946

Title: Space Shuttle Program

Date: 1981-2010

Additional Information: Space Shuttle Concept Drawing

Repository: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive