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Pictures of Spacecraft

MAVEN launches to Mars

MAVEN launches to Mars

MAVEN lifted off at 18:28 UTC on November 18, 2013, atop an Atlas V 401 rocket.

Filed under pretty pictures, MAVEN, spacecraft, rockets

Spirit's lander

Spirit's lander

After rolling off its lander onto the surface of Mars, Spirit turned back to capture this 20-frame mosaic of its empty nest on sol 16 (January 18/19, 2004). The Red Rover Goes to Mars DVD is visible toward the back of the right-hand lander petal.

Filed under Messages from Earth, pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, Planetary Society Projects, Spirit, Mars Exploration Rovers, explaining technology, spacecraft, Mars

The CD on Cosmos 1

The CD on Cosmos 1

Close-up of the CD with The Planetary Society logo, that was carried on board Cosmos 1.

Filed under Messages from Earth, Planetary Society Projects, Cosmos-1, explaining technology, spacecraft

434,738 names to Pluto

434,738 names to Pluto

A technician installs a compact disc on the exterior of the New Horizons spacecraft. The disc contains the names of 434,738 people who signed up to send their names to Pluto, including all current Planetary Society members.

Filed under New Horizons, Messages from Earth, Planetary Society Projects, explaining technology, spacecraft

Installation of the names microchip on Dawn

Installation of the names microchip on Dawn

At the Astrotech Space Operations facility at Kennedy Space Center on May 17, 2007, technicians install a microchip onto a side brace of the Dawn spacecraft. The microchip (inset, upper left) contains the names of more than 360,000 people who signed up to send their names to the asteroid belt, as well as the names of all Planetary Society members.

Filed under Messages from Earth, Planetary Society Projects, Dawn, explaining technology, spacecraft

Diagram of MAVEN instrument locations

Diagram of MAVEN instrument locations

Six instruments comprise the Particles and Fields package: Solar Energetic Particle (SEP); Solar Wind Ion Analyzer (SWIA); Solar Wind Electron Analyzer (SWEA); SupraThermal and Thermal Ion Composition (STATIC); Langmuir Probe and Waves (LPW); and Magnetometer (MAG). There is also an Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph (IUVS) and a Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS).

Filed under explaining technology, MAVEN, spacecraft

Curiosity

Curiosity "belly panorama", sol 34

On sol 34 (September 9, 2012), Curiosity made the first use of her MAHLI arm-mounted camera to take a good look at her wheels and her four Hazcams.

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

Phobos-Grunt undergoing thermal vacuum tests

Phobos-Grunt undergoing thermal vacuum tests

The flight version of the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft minus its main solar panels is being lowered into a vacuum chamber at NITs RKP test facility in Peresvet, north of Moscow, for thermal, vacuum and electric tests around beginning of June 2011.

Filed under pretty pictures, Phobos and Shuttle LIFE, Planetary Society Projects, spacecraft, Phobos-Grunt and Yinghuo-1

Kaguya (SELENE) Spacecraft

Kaguya (SELENE) Spacecraft

Artist's concept of Kaguya, also known as SELENE (SELenological and ENgineering Explorer), consisting of three spacecraft (a main orbiter and two much smaller satellites, Okina and Ouna).

Filed under Messages from Earth, pretty pictures, spacecraft, the Moon, art, Japanese lunar missions

Foil containing 412,627 names installed on Kaguya

Foil containing 412,627 names installed on Kaguya

On June 5, 2007, JAXA installed a thin piece of metal foil onto the outside of the Kaguya spacecraft. Micro-written on the foil were the names of 412,627 people. The text in the image reads:

Top line: “Wish Upon the Moon” Campaign;
Bold text to upper right: Open application period: 12/1/2006 (Friday) – 2/28/2007 (Wednesday). Soliciting 412,627 people (234,498 from Japan, 178,129 from abroad);
Text in image to the upper left: ~Send your name and message to the moon~ Selene “Wish Upon the Moon” Campaign;
Text in lower right: Size: 280x160 mm Character size: 70 micrometers;
Text in lower left: 1 name sheet set (group of two sheets) attached to two faces of Kaguya.

Filed under Messages from Earth, pretty pictures, Planetary Society Projects, spacecraft, Japanese lunar missions

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

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