President Barack Obama meets with Apollo 11 astronauts Michael Collins, seated left, Buzz Aldrin, Carol Armstrong, widow of Apollo 11 commander, Neil Armstrong, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, and Patricia “Pat” Falcone, OSTP Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs, far right, Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, during the 45th anniversary week of the Apollo 11 lunar landing.
Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
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At the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA officials and Apollo astronauts tour the refurbished Operations and Checkout Building, newly named for Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the moon. Viewing the Orion crew module stacked on top of the service module from left, are Kennedy Center Director Bob Cabana, Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, Apollo astronaut Jim Lovell, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden. The building’s high bay is being used to support the agency’s new Orion spacecraft, which will lift off atop the Space Launch System. Orion is designed to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before, serving as the exploration vehicle that will carry astronauts to deep space and sustain the crew during travel to destinations such as an asteroid or Mars. The visit of the former astronauts was part of NASA’s 45th anniversary celebration of the moon landing. As the world watched, Neil Armstrong and Aldrin landed in the moon’s Sea of Tranquility aboard the lunar module Eagle on July 20, 1969. Meanwhile, crewmate Collins orbited above in the command module Columbia.
 Image Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
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NASA’s Orion spacecraft crew module has been stacked on the service module inside the Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center — renamed on July 21, 2014 as the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building in honor of the legendary astronaut and first man to set foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong.
The Operations and Checkout Building was built in 1964. The facility has played a vital role in NASA’s spaceflight history. The high bay was used during the Apollo program to process and test the command, service and lunar modules. The facility is being used today to process and assemble NASA’s Orion spacecraft as the agency prepares to embark on the next giant leap in space exploration, sending astronauts to an asteroid and Mars.
Photo Credit: NASA
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The Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle, in a landing configuration was photographed in lunar orbit from the Command and Service Module Columbia. Inside the module were Commander Neil A. Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin. The long rod-like protrusions under the landing pods are lunar surface sensing probes. Upon contact with the lunar surface, the probes sent a signal to the crew to shut down the descent engine.

Image Credit: NASA
 

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Astronaut John H. Glenn Jr., wearing a Mercury pressure suit, is photographed at Cape Canaveral, Florida, during preflight training activities for the Mercury-Atlas 6 (MA-6) mission. Glenn made America’s first manned Earth-orbital spaceflight on Feb. 20, 1962. Launched from Cape Canaveral (Florida) Launch Complex 14, he completed a successful three-orbit mission around the earth, reaching a maximum altitude (apogee) of approximately 162 statute miles and an orbital velocity of approximately 17,500 miles per hour. Glenn’s “Friendship 7″ Mercury spacecraft landed approximately 800 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral in the vicinity of Grand Turk Island. Mission duration from launch to impact was 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 23 seconds.
Image Credit: NASA
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From the Earth-orbiting International Space Station, flying some 225 nautical miles above the Caribbean Sea in the early morning hours of July 15, NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman photographed this north-looking panorama that includes parts of Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida, and even runs into several other areas in the southeastern U.S. The long stretch of lights to the left of center frame gives the shape of Miami.
Image Credit: NASA
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Launch of Apollo 11

July 23, 2014

On July 16, 1969, the huge, 363-feet tall Saturn V rocket launches on the Apollo 11 mission from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, at 9:32 a.m. EDT. Onboard the Apollo 11 spacecraft are astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, command module pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot. Apollo 11 was the United States’ first lunar landing mission. While astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin descended in the Lunar Module “Eagle” to explore the Sea of Tranquility region of the moon, astronaut Collins remained with the Command and Service Modules “Columbia” in lunar orbit.
> Apollo 11 and NASA’s Next Giant Leap
Photo Credit: NASA
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Reddish Bands on Europa

July 23, 2014

This colorized image of Jupiter’s moon Europa is a product of clear-filter grayscale data from one orbit of NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, combined with lower-resolution color data taken on a different orbit. The blue-white terrains indicate relatively pure water ice, whereas the reddish areas contain water ice mixed with hydrated salts, potentially magnesium sulfate or sulfuric acid. The reddish material is associated with the broad band in the center of the image, as well as some of the narrower bands, ridges, and disrupted chaos-type features. It is possible that these surface features may have communicated with a global subsurface ocean layer during or after their formation.
The image area measures approximately 101 by 103 miles (163 km by 167 km). The grayscale images were obtained on November 6, 1997, during the Galileo spacecraft’s 11th orbit of Jupiter, when the spacecraft was approximately 13,237 miles (21,700 kilometers) from Europa. These images were then combined with lower-resolution color data obtained in 1998, during the spacecraft’s 14th orbit of Jupiter, when the spacecraft was 89,000 miles (143,000 km) from Europa.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute
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This image of the surface of Mars covers a location that has been captured several times by the HiRISE camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to look for changes in gullies. Changes have now been seen in many gullies on Mars, and show that these landforms are evolving rapidly. The timing of the changes is often in winter or early spring, suggesting that they are caused by the carbon dioxide frost that forms in and around most gullies every year.
> NASA Spacecraft Observes Further Evidence of Dry Ice Gullies on Mars
HiRISE is one of six instruments on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
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The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket launches from Pad-0A with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, Sunday, July 13, 2014, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The Cygnus spacecraft is filled with over 3,000 pounds of supplies for the International Space Station, including science experiments, experiment hardware, spare parts, and crew provisions. The Orbital-2 mission is Orbital Sciences’ second contracted cargo delivery flight to the space station for NASA.
Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
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