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