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NASA's Curiosity rover shows the first sample of powdered rock extracted by the rover's drill. The image was taken after the sample was transferred from the drill to the rover's scoop.
NASA's Curiosity rover shows the first sample of powdered rock extracted by the rover's drill. The image was taken after the sample was transferred from the drill to the rover's scoop.

First Curiosity Drilling Sample in the Scoop

Artist's concept of a magneto-optical trap and atom chip to be used by NASA's Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) aboard the International Space Station.
Artist's concept of a magneto-optical trap and atom chip to be used by NASA's Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) aboard the International Space Station.

NASA's Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) Chip (Artist's Concept)

This artist's concept illustrates the fate of two different planets: the one on the left is similar to Earth, made up largely of silicate-based rocks with oceans coating its surface.
This artist's concept illustrates the fate of two different planets: the one on the left is similar to Earth, made up largely of silicate-based rocks with oceans coating its surface.

A Tale of Two Worlds: Silicate Versus Carbon Planets (Artist Concept)

Smooth surfaces of windblown sand and dust of the 'Rocknest' area signal an appropriate place for NASA's Curiosity to collect and use the mission's first few scoopfuls of soil.
Smooth surfaces of windblown sand and dust of the 'Rocknest' area signal an appropriate place for NASA's Curiosity to collect and use the mission's first few scoopfuls of soil.

Curiosity's Location During First Scooping

The recently formed south polar vortex stands out in the color-swaddled atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, in this natural color view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
The recently formed south polar vortex stands out in the color-swaddled atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, in this natural color view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Polar Vortex in Color

This artist's concept illustrates how charged water particles flow into the Saturnian atmosphere from the planet's rings, causing a reduction in atmospheric brightness.
This artist's concept illustrates how charged water particles flow into the Saturnian atmosphere from the planet's rings, causing a reduction in atmospheric brightness.

Saturn's Ring 'Rain' (Artist Concept)

Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, appear in the foreground of this perspective view generated from a Landsat satellite image and elevation data from NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour.
Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, appear in the foreground of this perspective view generated from a Landsat satellite image and elevation data from NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Cape Town, South Africa, Perspective View, Landsat Image over SRTM Elevation

On April 28, 2014, NASA's Terra spacecraft spotted signs of activity at Ubinas volcano in the Peruvian Andes. The appearance of a new lava dome in March 2014 and frequent ash emissions are signs of increasing activity at this volcano.
On April 28, 2014, NASA's Terra spacecraft spotted signs of activity at Ubinas volcano in the Peruvian Andes. The appearance of a new lava dome in March 2014 and frequent ash emissions are signs of increasing activity at this volcano.

Ubinas Volcano Activity in Peruvian Andes

This image shows a small part of the Hofsjökull ice cap in Iceland, which encompasses several glaciers. The fan at upper left is part of a glacier called Mûlajökul.
This image shows a small part of the Hofsjökull ice cap in Iceland, which encompasses several glaciers. The fan at upper left is part of a glacier called Mûlajökul.

NASA Radar Maps the Winter Pace of Iceland's Glaciers

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity held its MAHLI camera about 10.5 inches (27 centimeters) away from the top of a rock called 'Bathurst Inlet' for a set of eight images combined into this merged-focus view of the rock.
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity held its MAHLI camera about 10.5 inches (27 centimeters) away from the top of a rock called 'Bathurst Inlet' for a set of eight images combined into this merged-focus view of the rock.

'Bathurst Inlet' Rock on Curiosity's Sol 54, Context View

The rover is positioned at a patch of flat outcrop called 'John Klein,' which was selected as the site for the first rock-drilling activities by NASA's Curiosity. This self-portrait was acquired to document the drilling site.
The rover is positioned at a patch of flat outcrop called 'John Klein,' which was selected as the site for the first rock-drilling activities by NASA's Curiosity. This self-portrait was acquired to document the drilling site.

Curiosity Rover's Self Portrait at 'John Klein' Drilling Site

The HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped this series of pictures of sand dunes in the north polar region of Mars. Each panel shows ice cracks releasing dark sand as spring progresses.
The HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped this series of pictures of sand dunes in the north polar region of Mars. Each panel shows ice cracks releasing dark sand as spring progresses.

Seasonal Changes on Far-Northern Mars

This graphic shows results of the first analysis of Martian soil by the CheMin experiment on NASA's Curiosity rover. The image reveals the presence of crystalline feldspar, pyroxenes and olivine mixed with some amorphous (non-crystalline) material.
This graphic shows results of the first analysis of Martian soil by the CheMin experiment on NASA's Curiosity rover. The image reveals the presence of crystalline feldspar, pyroxenes and olivine mixed with some amorphous (non-crystalline) material.

First X-ray View of Martian Soil

NASA's Cassini spacecraft simultaneously peers through the haze in Titan's equatorial region down to its surface and captures the vortex of clouds hovering over its south pole just to the right of the terminator on the moon's dark side.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft simultaneously peers through the haze in Titan's equatorial region down to its surface and captures the vortex of clouds hovering over its south pole just to the right of the terminator on the moon's dark side.

Senkyo and Vortex

Hours after the June 28, 2014, test of NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator over the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range, the saucer-shaped test vehicle is lifted aboard the Kahana recovery vessel.
Hours after the June 28, 2014, test of NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator over the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range, the saucer-shaped test vehicle is lifted aboard the Kahana recovery vessel.

Saucer Out of the Drink

A star's spectacular death in the constellation Taurus was observed on Earth as the supernova of 1054 A.D. This composite image uses data from three of NASA's Great Observatories. The Chandra X-ray, Hubble Space, and Spitzer Space Telescope.
A star's spectacular death in the constellation Taurus was observed on Earth as the supernova of 1054 A.D. This composite image uses data from three of NASA's Great Observatories. The Chandra X-ray, Hubble Space, and Spitzer Space Telescope.

Dead Star Creates Celestial Havoc

The percussion drill in the turret of tools at the end of the robotic arm of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has been positioned in contact with the rock surface in this image from the rover's front Hazard-Avoidance Camera (Hazcam).
The percussion drill in the turret of tools at the end of the robotic arm of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has been positioned in contact with the rock surface in this image from the rover's front Hazard-Avoidance Camera (Hazcam).

Curiosity's Drill in Place for Load Testing Before Drilling

This Aug. 29, 2013, outburst on Io was among the largest ever observed on the most volcanically active body in the solar system. The infrared was image taken by Gemini North telescope.
This Aug. 29, 2013, outburst on Io was among the largest ever observed on the most volcanically active body in the solar system. The infrared was image taken by Gemini North telescope.

Bright Outburst on Io

On Jan. 16, 2014, NASA's Terra satellite passed over Glendora, Calif., where a large wildfire has claimed several homes, causing mandatory evacuations and prompting an air quality alert by public health officials.
On Jan. 16, 2014, NASA's Terra satellite passed over Glendora, Calif., where a large wildfire has claimed several homes, causing mandatory evacuations and prompting an air quality alert by public health officials.

NASA Spacecraft Sees Dispersion of Smoke and Ash Across LA Basin from Colby Fire

This image shows the first holes into rock drilled by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, with drill tailings around the holes plus piles of powdered rock collected from the deeper hole and later discarded.
This image shows the first holes into rock drilled by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, with drill tailings around the holes plus piles of powdered rock collected from the deeper hole and later discarded.

Dust from Mars Drilling: Tailings and Discard Piles

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has driven within robotic-arm's reach of the sandstone slab at the center of this view.
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has driven within robotic-arm's reach of the sandstone slab at the center of this view.

Sandstone Target 'Windjana' May Be Next Martian Drilling Site

The mission's science team assessed the bright particles in this scooped pit to be native Martian material rather than spacecraft debris as seen in this image from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity as it collected its second scoop of Martian soil.
The mission's science team assessed the bright particles in this scooped pit to be native Martian material rather than spacecraft debris as seen in this image from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity as it collected its second scoop of Martian soil.

Bright Particle in Hole Dug by Scooping of Martian Soil

The magnetic field of our Milky Way galaxy as seen by ESA's Planck satellite. This image was compiled from the first all-sky observations of polarized light emitted by interstellar dust in the Milky Way.
The magnetic field of our Milky Way galaxy as seen by ESA's Planck satellite. This image was compiled from the first all-sky observations of polarized light emitted by interstellar dust in the Milky Way.

Magnetic Map of Milky Way

InSight will study the Red Planet's interior to advance understanding of the processes that formed and shaped the rocky planets.
InSight will study the Red Planet's interior to advance understanding of the processes that formed and shaped the rocky planets.

Landing Area Narrowed for 2016 InSight Mission to Mars

A Martian rock in the 'Yellowknife Bay' area of Mars' Gale Crater is illuminated by white-light light emitting diodes is part of the first set of nighttime images taken by the MAHLI camera at the end of the robotic arm of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity.
A Martian rock in the 'Yellowknife Bay' area of Mars' Gale Crater is illuminated by white-light light emitting diodes is part of the first set of nighttime images taken by the MAHLI camera at the end of the robotic arm of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity.

MAHLI's First Night Imaging of Martian Rock, White Lighting

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