- "Space Shuttle Endeavour has encountered problems on its mission... They've lost thrust vector control. Trajectory settings are irregular, likely from the constant engine burn. Oxygen generation is down..."
- ―A launch reporter
The Space Shuttle Endeavour was an orbiter launched into space by NASA in 1992. It was damaged by energy emanating from the approach of the Phoenix Force, prompting the X-Men to go on a rescue mission to save the lives of the astronauts aboard Endeavour. Though they were successful in doing so, Endeavour was destroyed when the Phoenix Force reached the shuttle and became one with Jean Grey while she was still aboard.
Encountering the Phoenix Force
- "We were picking up solar flares. We believe the heat shorted out their electricity. They lost control, communication, orientation, pretty much everything."
"Not to worry, Mission Control. Help is on the way."
- ―The NASA flight director communicating with Professor X
In 1992, a team of NASA techs oversaw the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Shortly after it reached space, the NASA techs picked up readings of what appeared to be solar flares, subsequently losing communication with the crew of Endeavour. In actual fact, it was the Phoenix Force approaching Earth's orbit, drawn to a mutant known as Jean Grey. The energy radiating off the Phoenix Force damaged Endeavour, resulting in its orientation thruster misfiring. With the shuttle spinning out of control, the commander aboard Endeavour decided to try and fix the thruster in the airlock.
The President of the United States called on the X-Men for help in rescuing the crew of Endeavour. They flew into space using the X-Jet, but the shuttle spinning out of control made it impossible for Nightcrawler to teleport inside. Instructed by Mystique, Cyclops fired an optic blast at Endeavour's thruster through a mechanism installed in the X-Jet. This stabilized the shuttle's rotation enough for Nightcrawler to teleport himself and Quicksilver aboard Endeavour. Storm used her powers to seal the cracks from which oxygen was escaping. Quicksilver gathered all the astronauts on board with his super speed, which allowed Nightcrawler to teleport them all to safety back on the X-Jet. Just as they were about to return to Earth, however, one of the astronauts informed the X-Men that their commander was still aboard the shuttle trying to fix the thruster in the airlock.
With the Phoenix Force rapidly approaching Endeavour, Mystique was not willing to take any risks. Through Cerebro, Professor X urged her to rescue the commander, saying that Jean could hold the shuttle together. With less than a minute left, Mystique informed Jean that she had only 30 seconds before the Phoenix Force hit the shuttle. Quicksilver used his super speed to duct tape an astronaut's helmet to Nightcrawler, allowing the latter to teleport himself and Jean on to Endeavour.
Jean telekinetically held the shuttle together as Nightcrawler teleported through the debris trying to locate the commander. Upon finding him, Nightcrawler tried to get to Jean, but at that moment the Phoenix Force reached the shuttle, forcing him to return to the X-Jet with the commander only. The Phoenix Force entered Jean's body, and she used all her strength to draw the entirety of the force away from the X-Jet and into herself. This culminated in a powerful explosion that completely obliterated Endeavour, but Jean miraculously survived due to being inhabited by the Phoenix Force. The X-Men were then able to successfully return to Earth with the astronauts.