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Pictures of Spacecraft

Simulated New Horizons spacecraft views down spacecraft axes

Simulated New Horizons spacecraft views down spacecraft axes

Six views of the New Horizons spacecraft, looking down each of the spacecraft axes. The spacecraft coordinate system is such that +X is out along the RTG, +Y is up through the antenna, and +Z is out in the direction of Alice and Ralph. Visit this page for individual images devoted to each axial view. The same model was used to produce this animated turntable view of New Horizons.

Filed under New Horizons, pretty pictures, spacecraft, art

The long road to a Pluto mission

The long road to a Pluto mission

From Pluto 350 in 1990 to the launch of New Horizons in 2006, it took 16 years and five spacecraft designs to get a mission to Pluto.

Filed under New Horizons, pretty pictures, Pluto, spacecraft

New Horizons rotation animation

New Horizons rotation animation

An animated tour of the New Horizons spacecraft. Visit the New Horizons web site for more information on the spacecraft and the historic mission to Pluto and beyond.

Filed under New Horizons, spacecraft, art, animation

Building InSight's heat shield

Building InSight's heat shield

In this February 2015 scene from a clean room at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, specialists are building the heat shield to protect NASA's InSight spacecraft when it is speeding through the Martian atmosphere.

Filed under InSight, pretty pictures, spacecraft

Unpacking the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter

Unpacking the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter

The flight model of the BepiColombo Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), which arrived at ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre, The Netherlands, in April 2015. The MMO has been lifted off of the base of its transport container and is ready to be mounted on its integration stand. The MMO integration adapter (on the yellow stand) can be seen in the background. The large disc on top of the spacecraft is the high-gain antenna, which will be used to transmit data back to Earth. The protoflight model of the Mercury Transfer Module (MTM) is visible on the right. MTM will provide solar-electric propulsion for the spacecraft stack during the journey to Mercury.

Filed under pretty pictures, spacecraft, BepiColombo

InSight assembled

InSight assembled

In this photo taken April 30, 2015, Lockheed Martin engineers and technicians test the deployment of the InSight lander’s solar arrays. This configuration is how the spacecraft will look on the surface of Mars.

Filed under InSight, pretty pictures, spacecraft

Schiaparelli lander meets ExoMars orbiter

Schiaparelli lander meets ExoMars orbiter

Schiaparelli, also known as the ExoMars Entry, descent and landing Demonstrator Module (EDM), suspended above the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) on an overhead crane in the Cannes facility of Thales Alenia Space (France) on April 11 2015, in preparation for their attachment.

Filed under pretty pictures, spacecraft

New Horizons at Pluto

New Horizons at Pluto

Artist's concept of the New Horizons spacecraft encountering Pluto and its largest moon, Charon.

Filed under New Horizons, pretty pictures, Pluto, Charon, spacecraft, art

New Horizons Over Pluto

New Horizons Over Pluto

Artist's concept of the New Horizons spacecraft encountering Pluto and its largest moon, Charon (foreground) in July 2015.

Filed under New Horizons, pretty pictures, Pluto, Charon, spacecraft, art

Curiosity's arm at work at Mt. Shields, sol 975 (3D)

Curiosity's arm at work at Mt. Shields, sol 975 (3D)

A three-image animation of Curiosity using the brush, then MAHLI camera, then APXS elemental analyzer on the top of the outcrop at Mt. Shields, in the area called Logan's Run, on sol 975 (May 5, 2015).

Filed under pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, amateur image processing, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory), 3D, animation

Artist’s concept of MESSENGER at Mercury

Artist’s concept of MESSENGER at Mercury

A depiction of the MESSENGER spacecraft is shown flying over Mercury's surface displayed in enhanced color. The crater ringed by bright orange is Calvino crater. The enhanced color imagery of Mercury was obtained during the mission's second Mercury flyby in 2008.

Filed under pretty pictures, Mercury, MESSENGER, spacecraft

Mars Odyssey imaged by Mars Global Surveyor

Mars Odyssey imaged by Mars Global Surveyor

A double image of the Mars Odyssey taken by the Mars Global Surveyor in April, 2005.

Filed under Mars Global Surveyor, pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, Mars Odyssey

Rosetta sees its shadow

Rosetta sees its shadow

Close view of a 228 by 228 meter region on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as seen by the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera during Rosetta's flyby at 12:39 UT on February 14, 2015. The image was taken six kilometers above the comet’s surface, and the image resolution is just 11 centimeters per pixel. Rosetta’s fuzzy shadow, measuring approximately 20 by 50 metres, is seen at the bottom of the image.

Filed under Rosetta and Philae, pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, comets, comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Curiosity's arm in the air, sol 915

Curiosity's arm in the air, sol 915

This Navcam image shows the position in which the rover held its arm for several days after a transient short circuit triggered onboard fault-protection programming to halt arm activities on sol 911 (February 27, 2015). The rover team chose to hold the arm in the same position for several days of tests to diagnose the underlying cause of the Sol 911 event. Observations with instruments on the rover's mast continued during this period. The Navcam took this image on March 4, 2015, during Sol 915.

Filed under pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, spacecraft, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)

Humans orbiting Mars

Humans orbiting Mars

A human crew in orbit around Mars controls a suite of robotic surrogates, including a rover, climbing-bot, and miniature sample-return rocket.

Filed under pretty pictures, Future Mission Concepts, human spaceflight, spacecraft, Mars

Dimensions of Chang'e 3 hardware

Dimensions of Chang'e 3 hardware

Dimensions of the base of the Chang'e 3 lander and the track and wheel width of the Yutu rover.

Filed under spacecraft, the Moon, Chang'E program

Artist's depiction of IKAROS in space

Artist's depiction of IKAROS in space

The Japanese IKAROS spaceprobe in flight (artist's depiction).

Filed under IKAROS, pretty pictures, solar sailing, spacecraft, art

Solar Sail Passing Over Earth

Solar Sail Passing Over Earth

A concept image of a solar sail propelled spacecraft passing over Earth.

Filed under pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, solar sailing, art

Curiosity self-portrait at Pahrump Hills, sol 868-884

Curiosity self-portrait at Pahrump Hills, sol 868-884

Curiosity captured most of the MAHLI images for this self-portrait on sol 868 (January 14, 2015). Several more images on sol 882 (January 29) filled out the left and right "wings", nearly completing the 360-degree panorama. Two final images on sol 884 (January 31) covered the area where Curiosity performed drilling activities at Mojave. This image is also available as a Gigapan.

Filed under pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, amateur image processing, spacecraft, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)

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