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Pictures of Spacecraft

MAVEN in the clean room

MAVEN in the clean room

Ben Cooper was one of a few members of the media privileged to visit the MAVEN Mars orbiter in the clean room at Kennedy Space Center as it underwent its final preparations for launch to Mars.

Filed under pretty pictures, MAVEN, spacecraft

MAVEN with solar panels open in the clean room for the last time

MAVEN with solar panels open in the clean room for the last time

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.

Filed under pretty pictures, MAVEN, spacecraft

Mariner-Jupiter-Saturn 1977 Spacecraft Artwork, 1975

Mariner-Jupiter-Saturn 1977 Spacecraft Artwork, 1975

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.

Filed under pretty pictures, Voyager 1 and 2, spacecraft, art, Saturn, Jupiter

India's Mars Orbiter Mission nearing completion

India's Mars Orbiter Mission nearing completion

ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission undergoing final assembly and testing in Bengaluru.

Filed under Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), pretty pictures, mission status, spacecraft

Antares in infrared

Antares in infrared

Using a modified SLR camera, NASA photographer Bill Ingalls captured this infrared image of Antares rising from the launch pad on Sept. 18, 2013.

Filed under private spaceflight, spacecraft, International Space Station

Juno solar panel

Juno solar panel

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.

Filed under pretty pictures, spacecraft, Juno

Juno prepares for vibration testing

Juno prepares for vibration testing

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.

Filed under pretty pictures, spacecraft, Juno

ICE swings past the Moon

ICE swings past the Moon

NASA's ISEE-3 spacecraft streaks just 116 km above the lunar surface December 22, 1983, as it is catapulted by the Moon's gravity toward a September 11, 1985, encounter with Comet Giacobini-Zinner.

Filed under pretty pictures, art, spacecraft, comet Halley armada

Twin STEREO Spacecraft

Twin STEREO Spacecraft

Artist's depiction of NASA’s twin Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft.

Filed under pretty pictures, the Sun, spacecraft, art, solar observing spacecraft

Voyager 1 as seen by the Very Long Baseline Array, February 21, 2013

Voyager 1 as seen by the Very Long Baseline Array, February 21, 2013

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:

Filed under mission status, pretty pictures, spacecraft, pics of spacecraft in space, Voyager 1 and 2

MAVEN in ATLO time-lapse

MAVEN in ATLO time-lapse

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.

Filed under podcasts and videos, spacecraft, MAVEN

MAVEN solar panel deployment test

MAVEN solar panel deployment test

Deployment of the two "gull-wing" solar panels on the MAVEN spacecraft at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado on March 21, 2013. Wingtip to wingtip, the spacecraft measures 11.43m in length.

Filed under pretty pictures, spacecraft, MAVEN

Soyuz TMA-08M touches down

Soyuz TMA-08M touches down

Soyuz TMA-08M, carrying the crew of Expedition 36, touches down on the Kazakh steppe on Sept. 11, 2013. The bright orange flash under the vehicle is caused by retro-rockets firing to slow the spacecraft's descent.

Filed under spacecraft, human spaceflight, Russian human spaceflight

Curiosity undergoing environmental testing

Curiosity undergoing environmental testing

In March 2011 the Curiosity rover was housed in a space-simulation chamber to be put through its paces at simulated Martian temperatures and pressures. Curiosity is fully assembled with all primary flight hardware and instruments. The test chamber's door is still open. After the door is closed, a near-vacuum environment can be established, and the chamber walls flooded with liquid nitrogen for chilling to minus 130 degrees Celsius (minus 200 degrees Fahrenheit). A bank of powerful lamps simulates sunshine on Mars. The technician in the picture is using a wand to map the solar simulation intensities at different locations in the chamber just prior to the start of the testing.

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

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