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Pictures of Spacecraft

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

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

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

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

Holy Cow! Ice under the Phoenix lander, sol 5

Holy Cow! Ice under the Phoenix lander, sol 5

After landing in Mars' northern polar regions, Phoenix poked its Robotic Arm Camera underneath its belly to look at the positions of its footpads on the ground. The descent rockets had blasted soil away from the surface, revealing lenses of clean-looking, bright ice just beneath the surface. The team named this spot "Holy Cow" because of their reaction to the sight. This version of the image has been enlarged and brightened for print purposes.

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

Curiosity telecommunications hardware

Curiosity telecommunications hardware

The rover achieves communications through three antennas. The cylinder-shaped ultra-high frequency (UHF) antenna is for communications with orbiting spacecraft. The pole-shaped low-gain antenna (LGA) and hexagonal, steerable high-gain antenna (HGA) are for direct-to-Earth (DTE) communications. These images were taken on sol 125 (December 12, 2012), when the rover was in Yellowknife Bay.

Filed under pics of spacecraft in space, explaining technology, spacecraft, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)

Photo album of Phobos-Grunt being un-crated

Photo album of Phobos-Grunt being un-crated

From the Roscosmos website, a photo album of the Phobos-Grunt sample return mission spacecraft being removed from its crate and tipped upright in preparation for final integration onto its launch vehicle. The photos were posted here on October 18, 2011.

Filed under Phobos and Shuttle LIFE, Planetary Society Projects, spacecraft, Phobos-Grunt and Yinghuo-1

Curiosity wheel panorama, sol 529

Curiosity wheel panorama, sol 529

As Curiosity approached Dingo Gap, it was taking images of the wheels following every drive in order to monitor wheel degradation. Here, the wheels have picked up sand from the sand drift across Dingo Gap.

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

Dawn thrusting toward Ceres

Dawn thrusting toward Ceres

Artist's rendition of Dawn thrusting with its ion propulsion system as it approaches Ceres in 2015.

Filed under pretty pictures, Dawn, spacecraft, art, asteroid 1 Ceres

Phoenix landing

Phoenix landing

HiRISE took this photo of Phoenix under its parachute as it descended toward Mars on May 25, 2008.

Filed under pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, Phoenix, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Phoenix lander, parachute, and heat shield

Phoenix lander, parachute, and heat shield

As Phoenix descended, HiRISE captured a photo of the lander, its parachute, and the blackened heatshield that slowed Phoenix' entry into Mars' atmosphere, recently detached and falling ahead of the spacecraft.

Filed under pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, Phoenix, Mars, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Color version of the 'Phoenix Descending' HiRISE image

Color version of the 'Phoenix Descending' HiRISE image

When the HiRISE camera captured the image of Phoenix descending under its parachute, it also captured some color data, though unfortunately not on top of Phoenix. The gaps between the color strips are caused by the fact that the camera's detector is actually made up of 14 staggered CCDs, and the spacecraft had to slew at an angle in order not to capture a distorted view of Phoenix. Most of the color information indicates that the landscape is the usual red of Mars, but some blue spots indicate the presence of frost inside Heimdall crater.

Filed under pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, Phoenix, Mars, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Parts of the REMS boom

Parts of the REMS boom

This image was taken during the REMS integration into the rover, and shows two of the wind sensor boards. Each boom has three identical boards (Boards 1 and 3 on the sides, and 2 on the lower part of th boom). Board 1 and 3 are connected to Board 2 by a flexible circuit and this is connected to the integrated circuit board, in the back of the boom, by another flexible circuit. Each board has four hot dice and one cold die (the four hot dice are in the front of the board and the cold one is in the back). All dice are identical, manufactured in silicon, with three resistors printed on the upper side and thermally isolated from the board by four pillars with a low thermal conductance. In the hot dice, a resistor is used to heat it, another one is used as a sensor to measure the temperature, and the third one is used as reference sensor in the measurement circuit. In the cold die, the only resistor used is the reference resistor. The control loop compares the temperature of the hot dice with that of the cold die, to control the power injected to keep a constant predefined temperature difference (delta temperature) between them. Each board has an additional thermistor on its inside face to monitor the board’s temperature and evaluate the conductive thermal losses of the dice.

Filed under spacecraft, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)

Curiosity REMS sensor boom 1

Curiosity REMS sensor boom 1

On sol 526 (January 28, 2014) Curiosity used its MAHLI camera to investigate one of the two wind-sensor booms sprouting out of the rover mast, part of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) instrument suite. The wind sensors on Boom 1 have not worked properly since landing, although they checked out fine during cruise.

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

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