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Pictures of Spacecraft

Twin STEREO Spacecraft

Twin STEREO Spacecraft

Artist's depiction of NASA’s twin Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft.

Filed under pretty pictures, the Sun, spacecraft, art, solar observing spacecraft

Voyager 1 as seen by the Very Long Baseline Array, February 21, 2013

Voyager 1 as seen by the Very Long Baseline Array, February 21, 2013

Artist's impression of Voyager 1's position on the sky when observed by the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) on February 21, 2013, at which point Voyager had exited the heliosphere. The actual image from the data (enlarged section) is 0.5 arcseconds across. The radio signal as shown is a mere 1 milliarcsecond across. Credit:

Filed under mission status, pretty pictures, spacecraft, pics of spacecraft in space, Voyager 1 and 2

MAVEN solar panel deployment test

MAVEN solar panel deployment test

Deployment of the two "gull-wing" solar panels on the MAVEN spacecraft at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado on March 21, 2013. Wingtip to wingtip, the spacecraft measures 11.43m in length.

Filed under pretty pictures, spacecraft, MAVEN

MAVEN in ATLO time-lapse

MAVEN in ATLO time-lapse

The MAVEN spacecraft is shown in this time-lapse video during its Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations (ATLO) phase. MAVEN began ATLO procedures on Sept. 11, 2012 and was shipped to Kennedy Space Center's Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility on Aug. 2, 2013 to begin preparations for its scheduled launch on Nov. 18, 2013.

Filed under podcasts and videos, spacecraft, MAVEN

Soyuz TMA-08M touches down

Soyuz TMA-08M touches down

Soyuz TMA-08M, carrying the crew of Expedition 36, touches down on the Kazakh steppe on Sept. 11, 2013. The bright orange flash under the vehicle is caused by retro-rockets firing to slow the spacecraft's descent.

Filed under spacecraft, human spaceflight, Russian human spaceflight

Curiosity undergoing environmental testing

Curiosity undergoing environmental testing

In March 2011 the Curiosity rover was housed in a space-simulation chamber to be put through its paces at simulated Martian temperatures and pressures. Curiosity is fully assembled with all primary flight hardware and instruments. The test chamber's door is still open. After the door is closed, a near-vacuum environment can be established, and the chamber walls flooded with liquid nitrogen for chilling to minus 130 degrees Celsius (minus 200 degrees Fahrenheit). A bank of powerful lamps simulates sunshine on Mars. The technician in the picture is using a wand to map the solar simulation intensities at different locations in the chamber just prior to the start of the testing.

Filed under pretty pictures, spacecraft, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)

LADEE heads to the Moon aboard Minotaur V

LADEE heads to the Moon aboard Minotaur V

LADEE to the Moon! As seen from the Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Center, about 200 miles north of the launch pad, the first Orbital Sciences Minotaur V rocket sends NASA's LADEE spacecraft on its way to the Moon! The Empire State Building was lit up green and blue in honor of the U.S. Open of Tennis, being played in Flushing, Queens, the week of the launch.

Filed under pretty pictures, best of, LADEE, spacecraft

The Deep Impact Impactor spacecraft, an hour after separation

The Deep Impact Impactor spacecraft, an hour after separation

The bright spot in this photo is the Deep Impact impactor, as seen by the Medium Resolution Imager on the flyby spacecraft. It was taken at 06:58 UTC, spacecraft event time, which is just short of an hour after the two spacecraft separated.

Filed under mission status, pics of spacecraft in space, Deep Impact

MESSENGER as seen from Earth, a year after launch

MESSENGER as seen from Earth, a year after launch

This image, taken with the TAROT CNES telescope (Latitude: 43.75deg N - Longitude: 6.92deg E) in southeastern France, reveals the position of MESSENGER as a streak of light near the center. At the time that the image was taken, 20:16:39 UTC (8:16 pm), the MESSENGER spacecraft was about 21,640 km above the eastern Atlantic Ocean near the western coast of Africa - due west of Luanda, Angola and due south of Cote d'Ivoire. Photo credit:

Filed under pretty pictures, spacecraft, pics of spacecraft in space, MESSENGER

Spirit forward hazcam animation, sols 2078-2138

Spirit forward hazcam animation, sols 2078-2138

Sixty days of efforts to extricate Spirit from the sand trap at Troy have been, so far, unsuccessful. This animation is composed of 21 right-front hazard avoidance camera images captured from sols 2078 to 2138. The camera has a wide "fish-eye" field of view that can see the workspace in front of the rover, between the two front wheels, all the way to the horizon and Husband Hill in the background.

Filed under pics of spacecraft in space, pretty pictures, Spirit, amateur image processing, mission status, Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars, animation

The sun sets on Phoenix

The sun sets on Phoenix

In this artist's concept illustration, NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander begins to shut down operations as winter sets in.

Filed under pretty pictures, Phoenix, spacecraft, Mars, art

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