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Pictures of Spacecraft

Hayabusa approaches Earth

Hayabusa approaches Earth

Hayabusa approaches Earth; in this artist's view, it has just released its sample capsule. The spacecraft bus will follow the capsule, breaking into pieces and burning up.

Filed under pretty pictures, Hayabusa (MUSES-C), Earth, spacecraft, art

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Names Microchip

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Names Microchip

Engineers with the LRO microchip containing 1.6 million names, including member names of The Planetary Society. The microchip is encased in a radiation hardened container and attached to the back of the propulsion module access panel.

Filed under Messages from Earth, pretty pictures, Planetary Society Projects, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, spacecraft

Bill and Emily Visit Curiosity

Bill and Emily Visit Curiosity

A special video visit to JPL by Bill Nye the Science Guy and Emily Lakdawalla from the Planetary Society to Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory rover.

Filed under pretty pictures, spacecraft, Planetary Society People, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory), Planetary Society, Bill Nye

Spirit launches

Spirit launches

Amid billows of smoke and steam, the Delta II rocket with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A, Spirit) payload lifted off the pad on time at 1:58 p.m. EDT on 10 June 2003 (17:58 UT) from Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Filed under Spirit, mission status, Mars Exploration Rovers, spacecraft, rockets

Chang'e 3 Animation Trailer

Chang'e 3 Animation Trailer

A fan-produced animation of the Chang'e 3 lunar lander mission.

Filed under podcasts and videos, spacecraft, Chang'E program, art

India's PSLV-C25 prepared to launch the Mars Orbiter Mission

India's PSLV-C25 prepared to launch the Mars Orbiter Mission

On October 31, 2013, the Mars Orbiter Mission rested atop its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) during a rehearsal of the launch, planned for November 5.

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

How to Wrap a Mars Rover

How to Wrap a Mars Rover

On June 16, 2011, visitors to the Curiosity Cam had their last-ever glimpse of the rover while on Earth. Bunny-suited engineers placed her (already turned upside down, in her launch configuration, with wheels tucked up tight against her body) on a mount and wrapped her in a silver biocidal foil called Amerstat, holding the wrapped present together with orange Kapton tape. Then they placed her in the bottom half of her shipping container, in which she will be flown to Kennedy Space Center to prepare for her launch on an Atlas V in November.

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

LEGO Voyager

LEGO Voyager

From the book LEGO Space: Building the Future by Peter Reid and Tim Goddard

Filed under fun, Voyager 1 and 2, spacecraft

Hayabusa-2 at Asteroid

Hayabusa-2 at Asteroid

Hayabusa-2 will arrive at an asteroid in 2018 to investigate it for one and half years, before returning to Earth in 2020.

Filed under pretty pictures, spacecraft, art

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle assembled and waiting for Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft, October 3, 2013

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle assembled and waiting for Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft, October 3, 2013

PSLV-C25 after the integration of all its four stages at Moible Service Tower in Sriharikota.

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

Curiosity's first 'deck pan'

Curiosity's first 'deck pan'

The images for this view of the top of Curiosity's instrument-filled deck were taken through the left (wider-angle) eye of the Mastcam while the rover was being assembled at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The front of the rover is toward the right in this image. On the left is the outer cover for the mission's nuclear power source, a radioisotope thermoelectric generator. At far right is the turret a the end of Curiosity's robotic arm. The light-colored hexagonal object in the top left quadrant of the mosaic is the high-gain antenna, which is about 25 centimeters across.

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

Curiosity's left front wheel, sol 411

Curiosity's left front wheel, sol 411

Curiosity took this photo of its left front wheel on sol 411 (October 2, 2013). A hole in the wheel is visible. Holes in the wheels are not a concern for the Curiosity mission; such wear and tear is expected, especially in the thinnest areas of the wheels between the treads.

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

Mars Express over an ice-filled crater

Mars Express over an ice-filled crater

Artist’s impression of Mars Express set against a 35 km-wide crater in the Vastitas Borealis region of Mars at approximately 70.5°N / 103°E. The crater contains a permanent patch of water-ice that likely sits upon a dune field – some of the dunes are exposed towards the top left in this image.

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

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

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