Pictures of Spacecraft
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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).
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)
Four views of the Chang'e 3 landing site taken by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, from before the landing until February 2014.
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.
Visualization of the GPM Core Observatory satellite orbiting the planet Earth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our Curiosity Knows No Bounds!
Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.