Pictures of Spacecraft
The images for this view of the top of Curiosity's instrument-filled deck were taken through the left (wider-angle) eye of the Mastcam while the rover was being assembled at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The front of the rover is toward the right in this image. On the left is the outer cover for the mission's nuclear power source, a radioisotope thermoelectric generator. At far right is the turret a the end of Curiosity's robotic arm. The light-colored hexagonal object in the top left quadrant of the mosaic is the high-gain antenna, which is about 25 centimeters across.
Curiosity took this photo of its left front wheel on sol 411 (October 2, 2013). A hole in the wheel is visible. Holes in the wheels are not a concern for the Curiosity mission; such wear and tear is expected, especially in the thinnest areas of the wheels between the treads.
Artist’s impression of Mars Express set against a 35 km-wide crater in the Vastitas Borealis region of Mars at approximately 70.5°N / 103°E. The crater contains a permanent patch of water-ice that likely sits upon a dune field – some of the dunes are exposed towards the top left in this image.
On September 27, 2013, members of the media were given a final opportunity to view the MAVEN Mars orbiter before it was prepared for launch.
NASA and JPL initially referred to what became the Voyagers as the Mariner-Jupiter-Saturn 1977 Project. The two Voyagers were advanced versions of the Mariner-class spacecraft that JPL had flown successfully to Venus, Mars, and Mercury. Shown here is a 1975 JPL artist's rendering of Voyager after encountering Jupiter and, after a gravity assist, approaching Saturn.
Technicians test the deployment of one of the three massive solar arrays that will power Juno. When Juno arrives at Jupiter in 2016, it will be farther from the sun than any previous solar-powered mission. The choice of solar power for Juno necessitates very large solar arrays 2.65 meters wide by 8.9 meters long. Once in orbit, the three arrays will provide about 450 watts of electricity. The photo was taken on Sept. 13, 2010 at the Materials Test Laboratory at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver.
NASA's Juno spacecraft looms above the assembly floor as technicians prepare the Jupiter-bound probe for a round of testing that simulates the vibrations the spacecraft will experience during launch. Juno's dish-shaped high-gain antenna has been installed in preparation for the test, along with the spindly truss that supports adjacent low- and medium-gain antennas. A single solar array has also been installed for the test, and can be seen in stowed configuration on the far side of the spacecraft. The spacecraft is mounted on a large rotation fixture which allows it to be turned for convenient access for integration and testing of various subsystems. Here, technicians are in the process of rotating Juno into a vertical orientation as they prepare to lift the spacecraft onto a test stand. This image was taken on November 22, 2010, in the high-bay cleanroom at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver.
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:
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.
In 2016, The Planetary Society’s LightSail program will take the technology a step further.