NASA engineer Ernie Wright looks on as the first six flight ready James Webb Space Telescope’s primary mirror segments are prepped to begin final cryogenic testing at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Photo by David Higginbotham.
The Over Land Transporter (OLT) is moved into position below the space shuttle Endeavour not long after it was demated from the NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) during the early morning hours on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, at Los Angeles International Airport. Photo by Bill Ingalls for NASA.
Endeavour, built as a replacement for space shuttle Challenger, completed 25 missions, spent 299 days in orbit, and orbited Earth 4,671 times while traveling 122,883,151 miles.
Beginning Oct. 30, the shuttle will be on display in the California Science center’s Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion, embarking on its new mission to commemorate past achievements in space and educate and inspire future generations of explorers.
Dr. Anna Fisher, an American chemist and a NASA Astronaut. She graduated from UCLA with a BS in Chemistry in 1971, an MD (specializing in emergency medicine) in 1976, and eventually an MS in Chemistry in 1987. She was in the first class of women selected to go into space in 1978.
Dr. Fisher’s flight into space (on the Discovery) launched on November 8, 1984, a little over a year after the birth of her first child. She was the first mother to fly into space, and the crew’s flight patch was designed with six stars: Five representing each of the crew members, and one star for her daughter. She also kept a picture of her baby girl on her shuttle locker while she was in space, and later gifted each of her girls part of the necklace she wore on the flight.
NASA’s Project Gemini was designed to test technologies and techniques for the Apollo Program. The two-man Gemini spacecraft was larger and more sophisticated than its Mercury predecessor.
The spacecraft was designed by a team of NASA engineers led by Jim Chamberlin, and built by McDonnell Aircraft, in St Louis. There were two uncrewed test flights (1964, 1965) and 10 crewed (March 23, 1965 until November 11–15, 1966) all launched on a Titan II missile. The Gemini flights helped NASA learn to work and live in space, paving the way for the successful Apollo human landings on the Moon.
Panorama of Mars. This full-circle scene combines 817 images taken by the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.
Check out the full resolution photo here (warning: 23096 x 7981px, 13.8MB).
Launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery from the NASA Kennedy Space Center, 1984. It was the third operational orbiter following the Space Shuttle’s Columbia and Challenger.
The SR-71 Blackbird’s Pratt & Whitney J58-P4 engine afterburner is being tested at a NASA facility.
The Soyuz TMA-04M rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on May 15, 2012, carrying Expedition 31 Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka, NASA Flight Engineer Joseph Acaba and Flight Engineer Sergei Revin to the International Space Station (ISS). Photo by Bill Ingalls.
The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank, and Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin in a remote area outside of the town of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan, on Friday, April 27, 2012.
NASA Astronaut Burbank, Russian Cosmonauts Shkaplerov and Ivanishin are returning from more than five months onboard the International Space Station where they served as members of the Expedition 29 and 30 crews. Photo by Carla Cioffi.
Flowing Barchan sand dunes on Mars, looking like liquid. Although liquids freeze and evaporate quickly into the thin atmosphere of Mars, persistent winds may make large sand dunes appear to flow and even drip like a liquid. Visible on the above image right are two flat top mesas in southern Mars when the season was changing from Spring to Summer.
A light dome topped hill is also visible on the far left of the image. As winds blow from right to left, flowing sand on and around the hills leaves picturesque streaks. The dark arc-shaped droplets of fine sand are called barchans, and are the interplanetary cousins of similar Earth-based sand forms. Barchans can move intact a downwind and can even appear to pass through each other.
When seasons change, winds on Mars can kick up dust and are monitored to see if they escalate into another of Mars’ famous planet-scale sand storms.
At the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft is positioned beneath space shuttle Discovery in the mate-demate device. Discovery will be lowered and mated to the aircraft in preparation for its departure from Kennedy on Tuesday. The device, known as the MDD, is a large gantry-like steel structure used to hoist a shuttle off the ground and position it onto the back of the aircraft, or SCA.
The SCA is a Boeing 747 jet, originally manufactured for commercial use, which was modified by NASA to transport the shuttles between destinations on Earth. The SCA designated NASA 905 is assigned to the remaining ferry missions, delivering the shuttles to their permanent public display sites. NASA 905 is scheduled to ferry Discovery to the Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia on April 17, after which the shuttle will be placed on display in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
Moon Io gliding past planet Jupiter. The most volcanic body in the solar system, Io (usually pronounced “EYE-oh”) is 3,600 kilometers in diameter, about the size of planet Earth’s single large natural satellite.
The Cassini spacecraft captured this awe inspiring view of active Io with the largest gas giant as a backdrop, offering a stunning demonstration of the ruling planet’s relative size.
Although in the above picture Io appears to be located just in front of the swirling Jovian clouds, Io hurtles around its orbit once every 42 hours at a distance of 420,000 kilometers or so from the center of Jupiter. That puts Io nearly 350,000 kilometers above Jupiter’s cloud tops, roughly equivalent to the distance between Earth and Moon.
The Cassini spacecraft itself was about 10 million kilometers from Jupiter when recording the image data.
Lined up in a row, six dismantled Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne space shuttle main engines sit on stands inside the Engine Shop at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on October 14, 2011.
For the first time, all 15 main engines were in the Engine Shop at the same time. They were being prepared for shipment to NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi for storage following the completion of the Space Shuttle Program.
The engines are being repurposed for use on NASA’s Space Launch System heavy lift rocket. Photo by Dimitri Gerondidakis.
After a two-year delay, the space shuttle Columbia is posed for launch this spring from Cape Canaveral. Photo by Jon Schneeberger, National Geographic, Vol. 159, No. 3, March 1981.
Note the tiny tiny photographer between the caterpillars of the crawler-transporter.