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Pictures of Spacecraft

Video of Chang'e 3's descent and landing on the Moon

Video of Chang'e 3's descent and landing on the Moon

This version of the video has been flipped 180 degrees to put sky above ground. The mountains on the horizon are the Montes Recti. The lander is decelerating at an angle until about 2:50 when it can be seen to rotate vertical. This was at an altitude of about 2000 meters. It then lowered to an altitude of 100 meters, where it came to a hovering standstill (at about 5:15). It used imaging and laser ranging to determine a safe place for the landing, then continued the descent. At an altitude of about 4 meters, it cut the engines and fell to the surface.

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

Chang'e 3 lander on the Moon

Chang'e 3 lander on the Moon

This screen capture from Chinese state television on December 15, 2013 shows the Chang'e 3 lander sitting on the lunar surface, photographed by the Yutu rover.

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

Jade Rabbit on the Moon

Jade Rabbit on the Moon

Aired live on state television, the Chang'e 3 lander took a photo of the recently-deployed Yutu rover, bearing the bright red Chinese national flag, on December 15, 2013.

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

Chang'e 3 rover Yutu rolls onto the lunar surface

Chang'e 3 rover Yutu rolls onto the lunar surface

Screen caps taken from a Chinese state television feed show the view from a side-looking camera mounted to the lander of the Yutu rover deploying from a ramp onto the surface of the Moon on December 14, 2013

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

Chang'e 3 image from the lunar surface

Chang'e 3 image from the lunar surface

Chang'e 3's footpand sitting on the dusty soil of the lunar surface, taken just after landing.

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

Chang'e 3 lands on the Moon

Chang'e 3 lands on the Moon

Chang'e 3 landed on the Moon at 13:11:18 on December 14, 2013 (UT), transmitting still video frames all the way down.

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

Flyby of Jupiter's moon Europa by the JUICE spacecraft in 2031

Flyby of Jupiter's moon Europa by the JUICE spacecraft in 2031

Movie showing the European Space Agency's JUICE (Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer) spacecraft flying past Jupiter's icy moon Europa in 2013. The design of the spacecraft has not been finalized so this is just a mock-up featuring some of the parts of the spacecraft.

Filed under Jupiter's moons, Europa, podcasts and videos, spacecraft, art, JUICE

The Europa Clipper Spacecraft Concept

The Europa Clipper Spacecraft Concept

The Clipper spacecraft flies over the surface of Europa in this artist's rendering. NASA is currently studying this reduced-cost mission which would use at least 48 flybys to explore the moon instead of entering into orbit.

Filed under Jupiter's moons, Europa, spacecraft, art

Earth from Falcon 9 upper stage

Earth from Falcon 9 upper stage

On Dec. 3, 2013, SpaceX's Falcon 9 version 1.1 placed a communications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit. This view was taken from a camera mounted to the upper stage from an altitude of 13,000 kilometers.

Filed under private spaceflight, pics of spacecraft in space, Earth, rockets

Chang'e 3 launch highlights and lander separation (video)

Chang'e 3 launch highlights and lander separation (video)

Chang'e 3 launched toward the Moon on December 1, 2013. Less than an hour after launch, the Chang'e 3 lander separated from its third stage and departed for the Moon, with the crescent Earth as a backdrop. A few seconds in to the video, a sun glint off the spacecraft produces a blinding flare to the camera. Afterward, the third stage was deliberately rolled to capture Earth in its camera field of view.

Filed under pretty pictures, podcasts and videos, spacecraft, Chang'E program, animation

Chang'e 3 launches toward the Moon

Chang'e 3 launches toward the Moon

At 1:30 a.m. on December 2 local time at the Xichuan launch site in China, a Long March 3B rocket lifted off with Chang'e 2 for the Moon.

Filed under pretty pictures, spacecraft, Chang'E program, rockets

Chang'e 3 on its way to the Moon

Chang'e 3 on its way to the Moon

Just after separation from its third stage rocket on December 1, 2013, the Chang'e 3 lander fires attitude adjustment rockets to trim its course toward the Moon, with a sunrise Earth in the background.

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

3D view of holes in Curiosity's left middle wheel, sol 463

3D view of holes in Curiosity's left middle wheel, sol 463

Curiosity used her hand-lens imager to capture a view of the rover's wheels sitting on Martian soil on sol 463 (November 24, 2013). The clear air permits a detailed view of the distant rim of Gale crater in the background. Several holes have been punched clear through the thin metal between Curiosity's wheel treads.

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

LCROSS rides on a Centaur toward the Moon

LCROSS rides on a Centaur toward the Moon

Artist's rendition of Centaur upper stage rocket firing with the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) 'shepherding satellite' attached.

Filed under pretty pictures, LCROSS, spacecraft, art, rockets

Chang'e 2 Toutatis flyby encounter geometry

Chang'e 2 Toutatis flyby encounter geometry

This diagram is in the reference frame of the spacecraft, meaning that the spacecraft is considered fixed and the asteroid appears to be moving from left to right across the diagram. In this reference frame, the asteroid moved with a relative velocity of 10.7277 kilometers per second, and the minimum separation between the spacecraft and asteroid was 770±120 meters.

Filed under spacecraft, asteroid 4179 Toutatis, Chang'E program, explaining science, trajectory diagrams

Mars 96 Orbiter

Mars 96 Orbiter

Computer generated model of the Mars 96 orbiter.

Filed under Russian Mars missions, pretty pictures, spacecraft, art

Charley Kohlhase and Richard Spehalski with Cassini and the DVD

Charley Kohlhase and Richard Spehalski with Cassini and the DVD

In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at Kennedy Space center, Charley Kohlhase (left), then Cassini's science and mission design manager, and Richard Spehalski, then program manager of the Cassini mission, display the DVD bearing 616,400 digitized signatures from people around the world, before it is attached to the Cassini spacecraft in the background. The handwritten signatures were scanned by volunteers from The Planetary Society.

Filed under Messages from Earth, Cassini, Planetary Society Projects, spacecraft

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