The SpaceX Dragon CRS-4 private space freighter berths at the International Space Station on Sept. 23, 2014. Credit: NASA TV

The SpaceX Dragon CRS-4 private space freighter berths at the International Space Station on Sept. 23, 2014. Credit: NASA TV

After a two day chase through space, a commercial SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule completed its orbital ballet and arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) today, Sept. 23, packed with some 2.5 tons of ground breaking science experiments and supplies for the human crew.

The Dragon CRS-4 resupply freighter rendezvoused with the station early this morning following a carefully choreographed series of thruster firings that brought the vessel to [click to continue…]

Apollo 14 astronaut Ed Mitchell at work in the Ocean of Storms on the Moon. Credit: NASA / Lunar and Planetary Institute

Apollo 14 astronaut Ed Mitchell at work in the Ocean of Storms on the Moon. Credit: NASA / Lunar and Planetary Institute

While any image from the Apollo program is stunning, some of the more iconic ones are used over and over again while equally amazing pictures remain relatively unknown.

A recent Reddit thread posted what the user said was some of the “more uncommon” images of the program. You can see the full slideshow here.

In the same spirit, we’ve posted some Apollo images below from the Lunar and Planetary Institute, which maintains a catalog of NASA shots (including some in high-resolution) on its website. We also recommend the 1999 Michael Light book Full Moon, which has dozens of lesser-known Apollo shots of high quality.

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The 1st Quarter Moon occults Saturn during the last event in the series on August 5th, 2015. Sequence courtesy of Teale Britstra.

The 1st Quarter Moon occults Saturn during the last event in the current series on August 5th, 2015. Sequence courtesy of Teale Britstra.

Got clear skies? This week’s equinox means the return of astronomical Fall for northern hemisphere observers and a slow but steady return of longer nights afterwards. And as the Moon returns to the evening skies, all eyes turn to the astronomical action transpiring low to the southwest at dusk. [click to continue…]

A shot of the moon taken by a telescope created by 3-D printing. Credit: University of Sheffield

A shot of the moon taken by a telescope created by 3-D printing. Credit: University of Sheffield

What would Galileo think of this? Here’s a shot of our closest large celestial neighbor, the Moon, taken through a 3-D printed telescope. Better yet — before long, the creators of this telescope promise, the plans will be made available on the Internet for all to use.

The concept (called PiKon) is based on a Newtonian reflecting telescope, with the rays of light focused onto a Raspberry Pi camera’s photo sensor.

“This is all about democratizing technology, making it cheap and readily available to the general public,” stated Mark Wrigley, who-co led the design. He runs a one-person company (Alternative Photonics) and built the telescope with support from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.

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India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is closing in on the Red Planet and the Mars Orbit Insertion engine firing when it arrives on September 24, 2014 after its 10 month interplanetary journey. Credit ISRO

India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is closing in on the Red Planet and the Mars Orbit Insertion engine firing when it arrives on September 24, 2014 after its 10 month interplanetary journey. Credit ISRO
See cool trajectory animation below

Two days out from her history making date with destiny, India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) successfully completed a crucial test firing of the spacecraft’s main liquid engine to confirm its operational readiness for the critical Mars Orbital Insertion (MOI) engine firing on Wednesday morning Sept. 24 IST (Tuesday evening Sept. 23 EDT).

Engineers at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) which designed and developed MOM successfully fired the probes 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) earlier today, Sept. 22, 2014, for a duration of 3.968 seconds at 1430 hrs IST (Indian Standard Time), according to today’s announcement from ISRO. [click to continue…]