On Dec. 5, 2015, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Kimiya Yui captured this image from the International Space Station of the planet Venus. Part of the station's Kibo laboratory is visible at the top of the frame. At the time this photograph was taken, Japan's Akatsuki spacecraft, a Venus climate orbiter, was nearing the planet.
NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center’s F-15D Eagle #897, flown by pilot Troy Asher with videographer Lori Losey in the back seat, serves as a chase vehicle for NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory on the Olympic Mountain Experiment (OLYMPEX) science mission, Nov. 10, 2015.
The Apollo 17 crew caught this breathtaking view of our home planet as they were traveling to the moon on Dec. 7, 1972. It's the first time astronauts were able to photograph the South polar ice cap. Nearly the entire coastline of Africa is clearly visible, along with the Arabian Peninsula.
Orbital ATK's Cygnus cargo spacecraft launches aboard United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket on Sunday, Dec. 6, at 4:44:56 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The mission will deliver experiments, equipment and supplies to the orbiting laboratory and its six-person crew.
In this highest-resolution image from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, great blocks of Pluto’s water-ice crust appear jammed together in the informally named al-Idrisi mountains.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with Orbital ATK's Cygnus cargo spacecraft aboard stands at the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on Dec. 3, 2015.
The International Space Station's robotic arm, Canadarm2, is visible over Earth in this Nov. 27, 2015 photograph. On Dec. 6, Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren will operate the Canadarm2 from inside the station's cupola, using it for the rendezvous and grapple of Orbital ATK's Cygnus commercial cargo craft.
After 20 years in space, ESA and NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, is still going strong. Originally launched in 1995 to study the sun and its influence out to the very edges of the solar system, SOHO revolutionized this field of science, known as heliophysics, providing the basis for nearly 5,000 scientific papers.
Although Enceladus and Saturn's rings are largely made up of water ice, they show very different characteristics.