Kennedy Space Center Marks Apollo 50th With Mission Trading Cards⠀ ⠀ For guests visiting NASA's Kennedy Space Center this weekend, Apollo history is in the cards.⠀ ⠀ Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida will mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of NASA's Apollo 10 mission on Saturday (May 18 ) by handing out free collectible trading card sets to the public. The giveaway continues a program celebrating each of the Apollo missions on their half-century milestones.
Mars' Moon Phobos Looks Sweet Enough to Eat in New Images⠀ ⠀ New images of one of Mars' moons show a sweet surprise: It looks like #candy ⠀ ⠀ The #moon , #Phobos , shines like a rainbow-colored #jawbreaker in the images, which NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft took in #infrared (heat-vision ) wavelengths on April 24. ⠀ ⠀ NASA's science goal is to learn what materials make up Phobos — which in turn, may eventually tell researchers where the moon came from. The infrared camera on Odyssey, called the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS ), can sense changes in the moon's surface temperature. #mars
On May 7, 1992, the space shuttle #Endeavour launched on its first flight. Endeavour was the fifth and last space shuttle that was ever built, and STS-49 was the first of 25 missions to fly on it. The purpose of this mission was to retrieve a #satellite called Intelsat 603, which had failed to reach the right orbit after problems with its launch two years earlier. Three of the six #astronauts had to go on a #spacewalk together to fetch the satellite, and this was the first time that a trio of astronauts did a spacewalk together. The crew first tried to do the job with just two astronauts going out two days in a row, but the third time was a charm with an extra pair of hands. The three spacewalkers attached a new motor that would enable Intelsat 603 to leave low Earth orbit and head to its intended geosynchronous orbit. #otd
The Falcon Flies on 'Star Wars Day'⠀ A long-exposure photo of a #Falcon9 #rocket launch shows the rocket's liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the separation of the booster and the upper stage, followed by the booster's descent for a drone-ship landing as the payload cruises into orbit. The @SpaceX rocket pictured here launched a Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station on "Star Wars Day" #starwarsday (May 4 ).
On May 6, 1968, @NASA astronaut #NeilArmstrong almost met his fate while simulating a lunar landing. This was a little over a year before he would become the first person to walk on the #moon He was flying in a machine called the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston when some leaking propellant caused a total failure of the flight controls. After tumbling around in the air for a few seconds, it started to fall out of the sky. Armstrong had to eject himself from the simulator when it was just 30 feet above the ground, and he safely parachuted down while his aircraft crashed and burned. If he had waited even just one second longer to hit the eject button, he would have been killed by the fiery explosion. But Armstrong kept his cool the whole time, and he went right back to work in his office after the accident. #otd More:⠀ https://buff.ly/2D9RgyW
'Pillars' of the Milky Way⠀ ⠀ In this peculiar-looking panoramic shot of the Paranal Observatory in Chile, the #MilkyWay appears to form two tornado-shaped columns of starlight that extend down from the heavens to Earth's surface. This illusion is the result of the photographer, the European Southern Observatory's Petr Horálek, projecting an entire 360-degree panorama onto a flat, rectangular image. In reality, the Milky Way arcs across the #sky from one horizon to the other; the fact that it appears to spread out across the top of this image is merely a product of the illusions. Also visible here are the Magellanic Clouds, the Pleiades star cluster, the bright planet Jupiter and several #nebulas You can explore the full-resolution image up close here.
On May 4, 2011, the first organized "Star Wars" Day celebration happened in Toronto. The date for this occasion was selected for no reason other than the fact that "May the fourth" kind of sounds like "May the force" (be with you ). "Star Wars" fans have been perpetuating this pun since at least 1979. When Margaret Thatcher took office as the new prime minister of Britain on May 4, 1979, the London Evening News congratulated her with a front-page ad that read, "May the fourth be with you, Maggie. Congratulations." The phrase also came up in British Parliament during a defense debate on May 4, 1994. It eventually started making the rounds on social media through "Star Wars" fan groups and memes. For the first commercial "Star Wars" day celebration, the Toronto Underground Cinema showed screenings of the "Star Wars" movies. Other festivities included costume contests and a "Star Wars" trivia game show. The annual party just keeps getting bigger. Even astronauts at the space station have celebrated "Star Wars" Day by watching the movies in orbit. #starwars #otd #maythefourthbewithyou #maythe4thbewithyou
Galaxy-Mapping Satellite Spotted in Orbit⠀ The European Space Agency's @europeanspaceagency #Gaia spacecraft dashes across a field of stars in this view from the VLT Survey Telescope (VST ) in Chile. While Gaia is scanning the stars to create the most detailed 3D map of the #MilkyWay #galaxy yet, the European Southern Observatory's VST is keeping an eye on the spacecraft from Earth to precisely measure its orbit, which improves the accuracy of Gaia's star map. The spacecraft appears as a trail of dots near the bottom of the image, just to the left of the brightest #star in the frame.
Alluvial Fan Seen from #Space ⠀ This peculiar landscape may look like it belongs to another #planet , but it was spotted right here on planet #Earth by NASA's Terra satellite. The image shows streams of #storm water forming a geometric drainage pattern known as an alluvial fan. NASA's Terra satellite spotted this feature on the border between China and Mongolia, where the nearly parallel streams covered an area spanning about 10.9 by 22.6 miles (18 by 36.3 kilometers ).
Winds Blow Over the Canary Islands⠀ ⠀ Wispy clouds sweep across the sky over the #CanaryIslands in this photo by astronaut David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency. It's "easy to tell which way the wind is blowing over the Canaries," Saint-Jacques tweeted yesterday from the International Space Station. #iss #space #earth