New images released by NASA this week depict an enormous hurricane whipping around Saturn’s north pole. Taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, the photos show a storm with an eye about 20 times the the size of a typical hurricane on Earth.
NASA released Thursday new stunning ‘black marble’ images of Earth at night. The images were constructed using cloud-free night images from a new NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite, according to NASA.
The storm’s powerful winds and rains were blamed for at least 65 deaths in several Caribbean countries, including 51 in Haiti.
Two days from now, the International Space Station (ISS) will gain three new tenants, Kevin Ford of the U.S. and Russia’s Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin. The trio took off early this morning aboard the Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for their five month stay in low-earth orbit. After docking, the new crew will immediately be put to work conducting a spacewalk for repairs and preparing SpaceX’s Dragon capsule for its descent back to Earth.
The Space Shuttle Endeavour began its final journey at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to its permanent home, in the early morning hours October 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Over the next two days, the 170,000-pound (77,272 kg) shuttle will travel at no more than 2 mph (3.2 km per hour) along a 12-mile (19km) route from LAX to it’s final home at the California Science Center. NASA’s Space Shuttle Program ended in 2011 after 30 years and 135 missions.
Last night, SpaceX launched more than 1,000 pounds of supplies bound for the International Space Station on the first of 12 missions in its 1.6 billion USD contract with NASA. The Dragon capsule, propelled by a Falcone9 rocket, will join up with the station in three days bringing clothing, equipment and more science experiments.
UPDATE: Ars Technica is now reporting that one of the nine rockets on the Falcon 9 may have exploded before reaching orbit. Follow that story HERE.
After news earlier this week of the Curiosity rover petting and naming its new pet rock, Jake Matijevic, NASA released images today indicating that long ago, water probably flowed on the Martian surface.
Other notable images recently sent back from Mars include one from Curiosity’s older, but smaller rover sibling, Opportunity, that photographed small spherical objects, nicknamed “blueberries,” with it’s Microscopic Imager providing important evidence about long-ago wet environmental conditions.
The space shuttle Endeavour, mounted on the back of a 747, flew over several of California landmarks on it way to retirement at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.
Since NASA’s Curiosity landed on Mars on August 5, 2012, public excitement and speculation about what the rover will encounter continues to mount. To feed the appetite of the masses, we’ll continue to update our Curiosity gallery with NASA’s latest photos of the red planet, including panorama, composite and computer-generated images.
The next phase of the $2.5 billion mission, and by far the most daunting for Curiosity, will be reaching Mount Sharp. At a height of 3.4 miles, the highest peak of Mount Sharp is taller than Mt. Whitney in California. On its way, the rover will encounter dark dunes, degraded impact craters and other geologic features on the Martian surface of the planet. For updates follow @MarsCuriosity on Twitter.