Pictures of Spacecraft
The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument, largest of the 10 science instruments on Curiosity, includes three different laboratory instruments for analyzing chemistry, plus mechanisms for handling and processing samples. SAM will examine gases from the Martian atmosphere, as well as gases that ovens and solvents pull from powdered rock and soil samples. This schematic illustration shows major components of the microwave-oven-size instrument.
The Sample Analysis at Mars, or SAM, is about the size of a microwave oven. This image was taken before installation of its side panels and before environmental testing. The suite's three instruments are visible: the tunable laser spectrometer (TLS) at lower left, quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) at upper right, and gas chromatograph (GC) at lower right.
An amazing color self-portrait photo of Curiosity standing on Mars, on sol 84 (October 31, 2012). The photo is a mosaic of images shot with MAHLI, the camera on the end of the robotic arm. Although MAHLI is mostly intended as a tool for viewing soil and rocks up close at microscopic resolution, it can focus out to infinity so can be used to photograph things at any distance.
SOLAR is mounted on the Columbus module of the International Space Station. It measures the irradiance received from the sun, contributing to solar and stellar physics research, as well as improving atmoshperic modeling, atmospheric chemistry and climatology models.
RHESSI explores the particle physics behind solar flares. It is a small explorer mission (SMEX) in the original American Explorer line of spacecraft.
PICARD takes simultaneous measurements of the Sun's irraadiance, solar flares, magnetic fields and diameter/shape, studying the link between solar cycles and temeperature changes on earth. It is sponsored by CNES, the French space agency.
GGS WIND measures solar wind and energetic particles emenating from the Sun. It is also creating baseline data for the upcoming Solar Probe+ and Solar Orbiter missions, and supplements data from the STEREO missions.
ACE observes energetic solar, interplanetary, interstellar, and galactic particles. Near real-time data from the spacecraft are used by the Space Prediction Weather Center to provide one-hour warnings of approaching geomagnetic storms.