05/16/2011 10:01 am ET | Updated Jul 16, 2011

Space Shuttle Endeavour's Last Launch: See Photos From The May 16 Blastoff

Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off for its final mission just before 9 a.m. ET on Monday.

An estimated crowd of 500,000 spectators and well-wishers gathered to watch the blastoff, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The craft disappeared into an overcast sky soon after launch, but photographers on the ground were able to capture some show-stopping images of the launch pad.

Take a look at the best photos from this historic launch (below). If you missed the launch, you can see a video recap at

Photos From Space Shuttle Endeavour's Final Launch