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Pictures of Spacecraft

Philae CIVA portrait of Rosetta's solar panels, April 14, 2014

Philae CIVA portrait of Rosetta's solar panels, April 14, 2014

During Rosetta's post-hibernation instrument commissioning phase, the CIVA cameras on the Philae lander were powered on and commanded to take photos. From their position on the lander, they saw sunlight glinting off of edges in Rosetta's two solar panels.

Filed under Rosetta and Philae, pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, spacecraft

Phobos-Grunt imaged in orbit

Phobos-Grunt imaged in orbit

Ralf Vandebergh is an amateur astronomer who specializes in imaging spacecraft. He took several photos of the wayward Phobos-Grunt, stuck in low-Earth orbit.

Filed under pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, Phobos and Shuttle LIFE, Planetary Society Projects, amateur astrophotos, spacecraft, Phobos-Grunt and Yinghuo-1

Scanning electron microscope images of two pieces of Surveyor 3

Scanning electron microscope images of two pieces of Surveyor 3

Left: a part that was not exposed to the sandblasting of Apollo 12’s lunar module, showing the original form of the paint texture. Right: a part that was sandblasted by Apollo 12’s lunar module, showing paint texture that has been crushed and mixed with lunar dust, with a crack propagating across its surface.

Filed under NASA lunar missions before 2005, pretty pictures, spacecraft

Curiosity departs Earth

Curiosity departs Earth

Austrian amateur astronomer Gerhard Dangl captured this video of the Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory) spacecraft departing Earth about 10.5 hours after its November 26 launch. A still image is available from his website.

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

Mars Science Laboratory on its way

Mars Science Laboratory on its way

On the 26th of November 2011, the Mars Science Laboratory was launched from Cape Canaveral. This timelapse sequence shows a plume drifting against the background stars, probably caused by venting from the Centaur rocket after it carried out a burn over the Indian Ocean. This is the fullest set of images available as a timelapse sequence. The original data is the same as the previous two videos, but with extra processing.

This sequence was built from cropped & processed frames (originals: JPEG; 3504x2336, cropped to 1440x1080). The 1080p HD version is therefore scaled 1:1 from the original image files. Exposure details given on image overlay. Observing site: -27.630779,152.966324, altitude 40m approx.

Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium colleague Mark Rigby was observing visually, from about 16.15 UT, and assisted with initial analysis of the appearance of the plume. There are more images and discussion of this event on the Planetarium's Facebook page. More info from Duncan Waldron here. (Twitter: @ozalba)

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

Opportunity deck panorama, sol 3611-3613 (March 22-24, 2014)

Opportunity deck panorama, sol 3611-3613 (March 22-24, 2014)

While climbing Murray Ridge, Opportunity enjoyed a major cleaning event that left the rover's solar panels cleaner than they had been in many years, powering the rover up for science.

Filed under pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, Opportunity, amateur image processing, Mars Exploration Rovers, spacecraft, Mars

HiRISE view of Curiosity near Dingo Gap, sol 538

HiRISE view of Curiosity near Dingo Gap, sol 538

Curiosity made tracks in softer valley-floor sands as she crawled up and over the dune across Dingo Gap. The image is about 750 meters wide by 500 meters tall.

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

Curiosity inspects Kimberley up close, sol 583

Curiosity inspects Kimberley up close, sol 583

On sol 583 (March 28, 2014), Curiosity placed her robotic arm turret onto the Kimberley outcrop for the first time, examining it with MAHLI and APXS.

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

Curiosity CHIMRA's 150-micrometer sieve, sol 578

Curiosity CHIMRA's 150-micrometer sieve, sol 578

In preparation for drilling work at Kimberley, Curiosity "thwacked" its sieve and then visually inspected it.

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

Curiosity's observation tray, sol 571

Curiosity's observation tray, sol 571

This tray is mounted to the front of the rover; Curiosity can drop samples onto it in order to inspect them visually. Curiosity took this photo of the empty observation tray as a "before" image in preparation for arm and sampling work at Kimberley on sol 571 (March 15, 2014).

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

Oblique view of the Chang'e 3 landing site in Mare Imbrium

Oblique view of the Chang'e 3 landing site in Mare Imbrium

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter slewed 54 degrees to the east on February 16, 2014 to allow LROC to snap a dramatic oblique view of the Chang'e 3 landing site (arrow). The crater in front of the lander is 450 meters in diameter, image width 2900 meters at the center. (LROC image M1145007448LR)

Filed under pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, spacecraft, the Moon, Chang'E program

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter watches over Chang'e 3 and Yutu (animation)

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter watches over Chang'e 3 and Yutu (animation)

Four views of the Chang'e 3 landing site taken by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, from before the landing until February 2014.

Filed under pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, spacecraft, the Moon, Chang'E program

Chang'e 3 and Yutu on the Moon on their third lunar day

Chang'e 3 and Yutu on the Moon on their third lunar day

A photo from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the Chang'e 3 lander and its little Yutu rover on the Moon on their third lunar day, February 17, 2014. On the first and second days, the rover had circled the lander, driven south, and then returned toward the lander. The rover did not move during the third lunar day.

Filed under pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, spacecraft, the Moon, Chang'E program

NASA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite

NASA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite

Visualization of the GPM Core Observatory satellite orbiting the planet Earth.

Filed under Earth observing missions, pretty pictures, spacecraft

Mars Express in orbit around Mars

Mars Express in orbit around Mars

3D model of the Mars Express spacecraft. An interactive version is available here.

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

Yutu image of the Chang'e 3 lander from the mission's third solar day

Yutu image of the Chang'e 3 lander from the mission's third solar day

The Yutu rover took this photo of the Chang'e 3 lander from a position southwest of the lander on the mission's third solar day, mid-February 2014. The photo is from the left eye of its stereo color camera.

Filed under pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, spacecraft, the Moon, Chang'E program

3D Yutu image of the Chang'e 3 lander from the mission's third solar day

3D Yutu image of the Chang'e 3 lander from the mission's third solar day

The Yutu rover took a stereo pair of images of the Chang'e 3 lander from a position southwest of the lander on the mission's third solar day, mid-February 2014.

Filed under pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, amateur image processing, spacecraft, the Moon, Chang'E program

Curiosity SAM instrument atmospheric inlet ports, sol 544

Curiosity SAM instrument atmospheric inlet ports, sol 544

Curiosity took a look at the two atmospheric inlet ports for the SAM instrument over a weekend on February 16, 2014.

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

Saturn Orbiter/Titan Probe (SOTP) (predecessor of Cassini-Huygens)

Saturn Orbiter/Titan Probe (SOTP) (predecessor of Cassini-Huygens)

Cassini-Huygens planning status in 1988, at that time called the “Saturn Orbiter/Titan Probe (SOTP)”. The spacecraft was originally slated to have a scan platform, however in the end Cassini did not end up with one—a significant drawback to imaging during close flybys.

Filed under pretty pictures, Cassini, spacecraft, art

Phoenix self-portrait

Phoenix self-portrait

On sol 116 (September 22, 2008), Phoenix used its Robotic Arm Camera to take a photo of its Surface Stereo Imager -- and vice versa.

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

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