Space Exploration
{thumb} Moon and Earth -- 2002.11.15
Taken by the crew of Space Shuttle Discovery during mission STS-103, we see the full moon over the glow of Earth's atmosphere.[=] Credits: NASA Shuttle Program, STS-103, 1999.12.21.
{thumb} Apollo 11 -- 2003.09.20
This image of the lunar surface, taken by Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, shows the lander spacecraft and Buzz Aldrin unfurling a long sheet of foil known as the Solar Wind Collector, which was returned for analysis in earthbound laboratories.[=] Credits: Apollo 11, NASA (Image scanned by Kipp Teague).
{thumb} Apollo Ascent Module -- 2006.01.08
Awkward and angular looking, Apollo 17's lunar module Challenger was designed for flight in the vacuum of space. This picture from command module America, shows Challenger's ascent stage in lunar orbit.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2006.01.07. Apollo 17, NASA (Image scanned by Kipp Teague).
{thumb} Apollo 12 -- 2003.09.15
In November of 1969, Apollo 12 astronaut and photographer Pete Conrad documented colleague Alan Bean's lunar soil collection activities on the Oceanus Procellarum. The harsh environment of the Moon's Ocean of Storms is echoed in his helmet's perfectly composed reflection of Conrad and the lunar horizon.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2003.0-3.15. Charles Conrad, Apollo 12, NASA.
{thumb} Apollo 17 Launch -- 2003.11.06
Atop its massive Satrurn V rocket, the last moon shot, Apollo 17, awaits its Dec. 1972 night launch. Spotlights play on the rocket and launch pad at dusk. Humans have not walked on on the lunar surface since.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2003.10.18. Apollo 17, NASA (image scanned by J.L. Pickering).
{thumb} Lunar Rover -- 2002.11.23
In Dec. 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt spent about 75 hours exploring the Moon while Ronald Evans orbited overhead. Cernan and Schmitt were the last humans to visit the Moon. Here, Cernan stands at the back of the Lunar Rover. A high-gain antenna and TV camera are mounted at the front. The vehicle was driven about 18 miles on the Moon at an estimated top speed of 8 miles per hour.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2001.06.09. Apollo 17, NASA (image scanned by Kipp Teague). Retouched by Jess Anderson.
{thumb} Apollo 17 -- 2002.12.15
In Dec. 1972, Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt took this picture of Eugene Cernan flanked by an American flag and their lunar rover's umbrella-shaped high-gain antenna. The prominent Sculptured Hills lie in the background while Schmitt's reflection can just be made out in Cernan's helmet. After thirty years, Cernan and Schmitt are still the last to walk on the Moon.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2002.12.12. Apollo 17, NASA (image scanned by Kipp Teague).
{thumb} Lunar Landscape -- 2003.11.10
Buzz Aldrin described the lunar landscape as "a magnificent desolation". Near the Apollo 17 landing site, Family Mountain (center) and the edge of South Massif (left) frame this photo of astronaut Harrison Schmitt working alongside the lunar rover. Schmitt and Eugene Cernan were the last to walk in this magnificent desolation.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2003.11.10. Apollo 17, NASA (image scanned by Kipp Teague).
{thumb} Moon Boulder -- 2006.01.12
An Apollo 17 astronaut examines enormous lunar boulders resting in a crater at the Taurus-Littrow landing site.[=] Credits: NGPOD, 2004.01.01. Photo by Apollo 17 crew, NASA, 1972. Copyright National Geographic Society, 2004.
{thumb} Shuttle Dawn Launch -- 2002.11.23
Trailing a thick column of exhaust, the Space Shuttle Columbia blasts into the twilight morning sky, its thundering rockets briefly flooding a cloud bank with the light of a false dawn.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2002.03.08. A. Barrett, KSC, NASA.
{thumb} STS114 Launch -- 2005.12.25
Space Shuttle Discovery launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center July 26, 2005, ending a two-and-a-half year wait for the historic return to flight mission. STS-114 included breathtaking in-orbit maneuvers, tests of new equipment and procedures, and a first-of-its-kind spacewalking repair.[=] Credits: NASA.
{thumb} Shuttle Landed -- 2002.11.13
The Space Shuttle soon after landing. Which vehicle, which mission, when and where (very likely Kennedy) I've not been able to discover, but it's an impressive photograph.[=] Credits: Unknown.
{thumb} Shuttle and Mir -- 2002.11.12
Before the International Space Station, the reigning orbiting spaceport was Russia's Mir. This 1995 photo shows the Space Shuttle Atlantis docked with Mir during shuttle mission STS-71. After 15 years of successful service Mir broke up in 2001 as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2002.10.20. Nikolai Budarin, Russian Space Research Institute, NASA.
{thumb} Shuttle Piggyback -- 2003.09.16
Space Shuttle Atlantis being ferried from California back to Florida on the back of a modified 747 in September 1998.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2003.0805. Carla Thomas, NASA.
{thumb} Free Fall -- 2002.11.24
In 1994 astronaut Mark Lee found out what would it be like to fly free over the seas and clouds of Earth when he tested the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER) system, a backpack propulsion unit that incorporates small nitrogen thrusters controlled by hand and moderated by computer. Lee jets about the bay of Space Shuttle Discovery, over 200 km above Earth.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2001.10.02. Shuttle crew STS-64, NASA.
{thumb} Suit Sat -- 2006.02.22
An unneeded Russian Orlan spacesuit, fitted with a faint radio transmitter and released to orbit the Earth for a few weeks before burning up on re-entry into the atmosphere.[=] Credits: ISS Expedition 12 crew, NASA.
{thumb} Sunview STS82 -- 2003.09.14
In low Earth orbit there is not enough atmosphere to diffuse and scatter sunlight, so shadows are black and the sky is dark, even when the Sun shines. The harsh lighting produced this dramatic effect as mission specialist Gregory Harbaugh photographed Joseph Tanner during their second spacewalk to service the Hubble Space Telescope. The aft section of the Space Shuttle Discovery is visible in the background with the Sun hanging over a delicate crescent of the Earth's limb. A checklist is attached to Tanner's left arm, and Harbaugh's reflection is just visible in Tanner's visor.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2003.05.17. STS-82 Crew, NASA.
{thumb} Moon Illusion -- 2006.01.01
Seen from the Space Station, it appears the Moon is floating within Earth's atmosphere. In fact it is a quarter million miles away, as usual. The illusion arises because it's broad daylight on the right side of the photo, while on the left night is falling.[=] Credits: ISS POD archive, 2003.05.11. Photo by ISS Expedition 7 crew.
{thumb} Moon Rising -- 2006.03.04
The crew of the ISS looks down on hurricane Emily in the Gulf of Mexico and eastward toward the rising moon.[=] Credits: NASA Image of the Day, 2006.03.04. Photo date 2005.07.16.
{thumb} Hang Ten -- 2006.01.01
Astronauts Ken Bowersox (shown) and Don Pettit emerge from the International Space Station's Quest airlock for a 6.5-hour space walk to perform a variety of maintenance tasks.[=] Credits: ISS POD archive, 2003.04.11. Photo by ISS Expedition 6 Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin.
{thumb} Space Bubble -- 2006.01.01
A tiny bubble of air hangs suspended inside a water drop. The drop rests in the cup of a delicate green leaf, yet the stalk doesn't bend. The air bubble doesn't rise: it's no lighter than the water around it. The drop doesn't fall from the leaf: there's no gravity to pull it off.[=] Credits: ISS POD, 2003.04.09. Photo by ISS Expedition 6 Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin.
{thumb} Skylab -- 2006.01.13
Skylab, the first U.S. manned orbiting laboratory, amassed a wealth of information about the universe and living in space.[=] Credits: NGPOD, 2004.01.07. Photo by NASA, 1973. Copyright National Geographic Society, 2004.
{thumb} ISS from STS112 -- 2002.11.18
Against the blackness of space and Earth's horizon, the International Space Station (ISS) was photographed through an aft flight deck window following separation from the Space Shuttle Atlantis.[=] Credits: NASA Human Spaceflight STS112-E-05823, 2002.10.16.
{thumb} ISS Truss STS113 -- 2002.12.20
The International Space Station (ISS), the largest human-made object ever to orbit the Earth, is being built piecemeal with large sections added by flights of the Space Shuttle. The trusses keep the ISS rigid and to route electricity and liquid coolants. They are over 15 m. long, with masses over 10,000 kg. Here, astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria works to install the Port-One Truss. On the right is the end of Canadarm2, the ISS's robotic remote control arm.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2002.12.17. STS-113 Shuttle Crew, NASA.
{thumb} Space Station -- 2006.01.31
The port side of the orbiting complex. Soyuz 10 undocks from the nadir port of the Zarya Module, with the Expedition 11 crewmembers inside as they start their return to Earth. Soyuz 11 remains docked to Pirs. Progress 19 resupply vehicle is docked to the aft end of the Zvezda Service Module.[=] Credits: Computer-generated artist's rendering of the ISS, 2005.
{thumb} ISS Completed -- 2002.11.18
Artist's concept showing ISS over the Mediterranean Sea after all assembly is completed. The completed station will get power from almost an acre of solar panels and have a mass of nearly 1 million pounds. The pressurized volume of the station will be roughly equivalent to the space inside two jumbo jets.[=] Credits: NASA Human Spaceflight S97-10538, 1997.06.01.
{thumb} ISS Sunrise -- 2002.11.18
Artist's concept showing completed ISS headed toward a sunrise.[=] Credits: NASA Human Spaceflight S97-10539, 1997.06.01.
{thumb} Mars Rover 2004 -- 2002.11.26
Two Mars Rovers landed on the Red Planet in Jan. 2004. Their original missions have since been extended several times, returning a wealth of clues to Mars's past and its present condition.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2002.11.26. Mars Exploration Rover Mission Team, JPL, NASA.
{thumb} Opportunity Walks -- 2005.12.22
If you could see one of the robot rovers currently rolling across Mars, they would look like this digitally produced synthetic image, superimposed on a real image of Endurance Crater as photographed by Opportunity.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2005.12.14. Mars Exploration Rover Mission, Cornell, JPL, NASA.
{thumb} Huygens Probe -- 2002.11.20
Huygens is a lander whose destination is Titan, the largest of Saturn's moons. From its orbit around Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft deployed the probe, which landed successfully on Titan in Jan. 2005. The artwork is unfortunately not of very high resolution, but the two views show the lander module descending by parachute and sitting on Titan's surface.[=] Credits: Unknown.
{thumb} Huygens on Titan -- 2006.01.31
From the images sent back, an artist's impression of Huygens on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. Light, smooth stones possibly containing water-ice are visible surrounding the landing craft.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2006.01.31. ESA.
{thumb} New Horizons Launch -- 2006.08.16
DestinationPluto. The New Horizons spacecraft roars off its launch pad at Cape Canaveral. Even traveling over 75,000 km/h, the craft will not arrive at Pluto until 2015.[=] Credits: APOD, 2006.01.24. Photo and copyright Ben Cooper, www.LaunchPhotography.com.