Epic Space Photos of the Week (Aug 31-Sept 6)
On the evening of Sept. 6, NASA will launch the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) probe atop a Minotaur V rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops.
On Sept. 5, Virgin Galactic saw its SpaceShipTwo travel faster and higher than it has ever done before. The space tourism vehicle, which is due to blast its first suborbital passengers to the edge of space in 2014, reached an altitude of 69,000 ft in the morning test flight over the Mojave Desert, Calif.
A rear view of the SpaceShipTwo's engine, pushing the space vehicle to Mach 1.43 -- the fastest it has ever traveled.
An artist's rendition of the planned NASA Space Launch System (SLS). The program received rough criticism from NASA's first administrator Christ Kraft this week, saying the rocket "just doesn’t make good sense."
With all eyes on the raging Rim Fire in California, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP satellite tracked the growth of the fire between August 23–26 as it pushed into Yosemite National Park.
Mars' Becquerel crater as observed by the European Mars Express satellite exhibits erosion processes through wind and water action on the Martian surface.
NASA, ESA and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team
In a discovery announced on Sept. 4, 2013, a population of planetary nebulae near the galactic core appear to be, weirdly, preferentially aligned to the Milky Way's galactic plain. This is one such nebula, the stunning NGC 6302.
Another example of a bipolar planetary nebula known as NGC 6537 taken with the New Technology Telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
This week, researchers announced that the vast storm that agitates the Saturnian atmosphere in 2011 stirred up ices from low altitudes, including never before seen water ice.