by Clara Moskowitz, SPACE.com Assistant Managing Editor
NASA's reusable spaceship has had countless photogenic moments over the years. In fact, the iconic space shuttle can hardly take a bad picture.
While the list of best shuttle photos could go on forever, here are 10 stunning pictures that we thought stood out from the space shuttle's 30-year run as NASA prepares for the program's final countdown on July 8:
10. Atlantis Lifts Off on STS-27
9. Shuttle Endeavour's Night Landing
to touch down on Runway 15 at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Credit: NASA
8. Shuttle Discovery Flying High
7. Space For Sale
6. Hubble Gets a Tune UpMost Amazing Hubble Discoveries]
In this photo, astronauts F. Story Musgrave, anchored on the end of the shuttle's robotic arm, and Jeffrey A. Hoffman inside the orbiter's payload bay, conduct the fifth and final spacewalk to fix Hubble during the shuttle Endeavour's 1993 servicing mission to the orbiting observatory. Credit: NASA
5. Solar Starbust
4. Launch From Aboveamazing launch photos have come from those also in the air.
Here the space shuttle Columbia launches on its STS-52 mission from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39B on Oct. 22, 1992. The picture was taken by astronaut Steven R. Nagel, who was flying over the Florida spaceport in a Shuttle Training Aircraft, which is a modified Gulfstream jet. Credit: NASA
3. Space Bubbleduring the STS-131 mission in April 2010. In front of him is a water bubble that reflects an upside-down image of the spaceflyer because the light has been refracted. Credit: NASA
2. NightEndeavour's final mission before retirement, the STS-134 flight. The picture, snapped by astronauts inside the International Space Station, shows the orbiter docked to the outpost on May 28, 2011. Credit: NASA
1. Goodnight Moonfull moon sets. Discovery is poised to launch on the STS-119 mission in March 2009. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
NASA's first space shuttle mission launched on April 12, 1981 and by the end of the program, the agency will have flown 135 shuttle flights in just over 30 years.
The final shuttle flight will be STS-135 aboard the shuttle Atlantis, which NASA plans to launch on July 8 to deliver spare parts and other vital supplies to the International Space Station. The delivery mission will help prepare the space station to keep flying after the shuttle fleet retires for good.
Next: 9 Weird Things That Flew on NASA's Space Shuttles
Visit SPACE.com for complete coverage of Atlantis's final mission STS-135 or us @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.
Clara has been SPACE.com's Assistant Managing Editor since 2011, and has been writing for SPACE.com and LiveScience since 2008. Clara has a bachelor's degree in astronomy and physics from Wesleyan University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.