—Paolo Nespoti, the Italian astronaut who took this photo, left Earth with three, professional-grade Nikon DSLRs worth over $20,000. He returned with none of them. The images of Endeavor docked to the ISS were his cameras’ last.
Standard procedure for the Soyuz spacecraft he was riding in dictates that no extra weight can be aboard the descent module during reentry. By taking these photos, Nespoti didn’t just bid farewell to the Space Shuttle—after capturing the footage, he left his equipment aboard the orbital module, dooming them to fiery destruction in the Earth’s atmosphere.