Future Missions : near - Earth Asteroids * Lagrange points * The Moon * The Red Planet Mars * Deep Space destinations

Exploration Flight Test 1 planned for 2014 Which will be Launched By The SLS or TheSpace Launch System




BEAUTIFUL SPACE :Great Shots of Space

Inverted Channels and Layers Near Juventae Chasma
Pictured here is a part of the Valles Marineris system on Mars. Valles Marineris is a "grand" canyon: It is about as wide as the entire United States and is the largest canyon in the solar system.

This is an enhanced-color view generated from images acquired by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).


A Quintet of Saturn´s Moons come together in the Cassini Spacecraft´s field view for this portrait

Janus (179 kilometers, or 111 miles across) is on the far left. Pandora (81 kilometers, or 50 miles across) orbits between the A ring and the thin F ring near the middle of the image. Brightly reflective Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across) appears above the center of the image. Saturn's second largest moon, Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across), is bisected by the right edge of the image. The smaller moon Mimas (396 kilometers, or 246 miles across) can be seen beyond Rhea also on the right side of the image.

This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. Rhea is closest to Cassini here. The rings are beyond Rhea and Mimas. Enceladus is beyond the rings.

The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 29, 2011. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (684,000 miles) from Rhea and 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Enceladus. Image scale is 7 kilometers (4 miles) per pixel on Rhea and 11 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel on Enceladus.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute


Looking a bit like chocolate mountains with forests of chocolate pine trees, these are in fact dunes from the southern hemisphere on Mars during the winter-time. The brighter tones are thought to be carbon dioxide or water frost.

This is an enhanced-color view generated from images acquired by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).



NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured this stunning view as the sun sank below the rim of Gusev crater on Mars.

This Panoramic Camera (Pancam) mosaic was taken around 6:07 in the evening of the rover's 489th Martian day, or sol. Spirit was commanded to stay awake briefly after sending that sol's data to the Mars Odyssey orbiter just before sunset.

This small panorama of the western sky was obtained using Pancam's 750-nm, 530-nm and 430-nm color filters. This filter combination allows false color images to be generated that are similar to what a human would see, but with the colors slightly exaggerated. In this image, the bluish glow in the sky above the sun would be visible to us if we were there, but an artifact of the Pancam's infrared imaging capabilities is that with this filter combination the redness of the sky farther from the sunset is exaggerated compared to the daytime colors of the Martian sky.

Because Mars is farther from the sun than the Earth is, the sun appears only about two-thirds the size that it appears in a sunset seen from the Earth. The terrain in the foreground is the rock outcrop Jibsheet, a feature that Spirit investigated for several weeks (rover tracks are dimly visible leading up to Jibsheet). The floor of Gusev crater is visible in the distance, and the sun is setting behind the wall of Gusev some 80 km (50 miles) in the distance.

This mosaic is yet another example from MER of a beautiful, sublime Martian scene that also captures some important scientific information. Specifically, sunset and twilight images are occasionally acquired by the science team to determine how high into the atmosphere the Martian dust extends, and to look for dust or ice clouds. Other images have shown that the twilight glow remains visible, but increasingly fainter, for up to two hours before sunrise or after sunset. The long Martian twilight (compared to Earth's) is caused by sunlight scattered around to the night side of the planet by abundant high altitude dust. Similar long twilights or extra-colorful sunrises and sunsets sometimes occur on Earth when tiny dust grains that are erupted from powerful volcanoes scatter light high in the atmosphere.

Credit: NASA/JPL/Texas A&M/Cornell