What can I say about this bird that hasn’t already been said? Endeavour, whose name was borrowed from Captain Cook’s first exploration ship. Endeavour, the ship that replaced Challenger after her accident, carrying her spirit. There’s a lot to live up to. I’ll give this a shot.
OV-105, the newest ship of the orbiter fleet, rolled out in 1991, just after I was born. I grew up with her; she was always my favorite. Endeavour was also the first orbiter that I ever saw up close. I visited first the California Science Center in Los Angeles on January of 2014, fully intending on thoroughly photographing the ship for this project. I walked into the hangar, and immediately had to fight tears welling up in my eyes. The emotions I felt were oddly similar to a time when I saw Van Gogh’s Starry Night in person. How could I have taken a picture Starry Night and call the photograph art? I snapped two or three photos of the orbiter, and realized that there was no way I could capture what she meant to me in a photograph, so I stopped snapping.
It wasn’t until my second visit on August 2, 2014, when I was finally able to photograph the bird. Endeavour will always hold a special place in my heart. Every orbiter is beautiful, but I think OV-105 will always be my favorite.
“I didn’t know what to call him and [to] Dorothy, my wife, I said ‘Will you have a look through the Mayflower, the Christian names of everybody who went over to America’, and she came across a man called Determination Davis and another man called Endeavour Jones.” – Colin Dexter
“It certainly informs pretty much everything we do, that name.” – Russ Lewis
“It shows you a massive part of who this person is. To endeavour, to … try. There’s something about that name which is interesting and sort of essential.” – Shaun Evans