Space Shuttle Endeavour
I came from a large family,
with lots of people looking after me.
My family now lives all over the place,
but I have my very own space.
There are six space shuttle orbiters, each require lots of maintenance crew. Now, they are located all around the US, Endeavour in particular is displayed in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Science_Center
My oldest sister was one of her kind,
but she could not do things that were more refined.
My third sister was the first to pass,
when it happened, there were many questions asked.
The first shuttle, Enterprise, was not capable of spaceflight. The third orbiter, Challenger, was the first to be lost, resulting in many questions asked about the Shuttle program.
My second sister left for good when I was young.
But she had a house that looked after the folks and the punks.
She took loads and loads of videos and studied really hard,
She also had her own place where many people bark.
The second shuttle, Columbia was lost in an accident that many should still remember; this was about 11 years after Endeavour's first flight. The rest of the stanza refers to Columbia House (folk and punk songs), Columbia Pictures (videos), Columbia University (studied really hard). The place where people bark is the US Congress, which is located in the District of Columbia, or Washington D.C.
My fourth and fifth sisters were really hard working,
but my fourth sister was always on TV, constantly looking.
My fifth sister seemed to be lost,
but no-one really knew what was the cause.
The 4th shuttle, Discovery and the fifth, Atlantis, flew 39 and 33 flights respectively, the highest of the fleet. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Space_Shuttle_missions).
Discovery is the name of a TV channel, while Atlantis is named after a "lost" continent.
When I was born, I wasn't meant to be.
But after much collaborations, I became a reality.
We were the sleeping beauties, until it was time to work,
but only with a selected few who could prove their worth.
The first two lines probably refer to the fact that Endeavour was built using spare parts. The shuttles were kept safe until their missions. They were piloted by astronauts, a select few indeed who must be accomplished both mentally and physically.
We had two half-sisters, who were too lazy to work,
but upon closer inspection, they have their own quirks.
We had a distant cousin who could do our job,
but until now, we were the only ones who could hold down the fort.
The two half-sisters are probably Independence and America, two space shuttle replicas not actually intended, or capable of spaceflight. The distant cousin is the Russian space shuttle, Buran.
My sisters and I have traveled a lot,
one of these places was very hot.
We got up at any time of the day,
we weren't lazy, just needed good weather our way.
Shuttles travel long distances through space. Re-entry temperatures are very hot. Shuttles can launch at any time of day, but the weather must be favourable.