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30 of NASA Greatest Achievements Captured in Photos

 Space. A vast endless expanse of stars, planets, life, and quite possibly, the answers to all the mysteries of the Universe. Humankind has spent centuries looking up into the sky and at the stars, attempting to learn what it is that makes our planet and many others exist the way they do.

Astronomy, astrology, physics and even biology can be linked to every new fact learned from each step towards space. As the years progressed and our technology developed, we learned to move further out into the universe.

Over the last 50 years, one of the leading institutes in space study and scientific discovery, NASA, has made many attempts to expand the world's knowledge of what lies beyond the great unknown. To appreciate those incredible efforts, here are some truly breath-taking images of history in the making, vis-a-vis rocket science!!

 

1. AS-203 Launch (1966)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

Launched on July 5, 1966, the Apollo-Saturn-203 mission took off in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and was set out to investigate certain engineering difficulties in an existing orbiting spacecraft, S-IVB.

 

2. Mariner 5 Launch (1967)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

The Mariner 5 spacecraft was designed to explore neighboring planets while continuously in flight mode; it was the fifth of its type and was launched on June 14, 1967.

 

3. Lunar Landing Training vehicle With Pilot Neil Armstrong in Training (1969)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

On June 16, 1969, the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle was going through a checkout flight piloted by Astronaut Neil Armstrong, moving out from Ellington Air Force Base, in Houston, Texas.

 

4. OSO Launch (1975)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

This Delta Rocket was launched on June 21, 1975, from Cape Canaveral Florida, and contained Goddard's eighth Orbiting Solar Observatory.

 

5. Skylab (1973)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com)

Launched on May 14, 1973, this beauty's duties were to orbit the Earth from 1973 to 1979 and collect data. It acted as a revolving observatory, laboratory, and workshop, and was finally returned to Earth on July 11, 1979.

 

6. Challenger as seen from SPAS (1983)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com)

Space Shuttle Orbiter Challenger in space, taken by the Space Pallet Satellite (SPAS). A heavy cloud-covered portion of the Earth formed the backdrop for this scene of Challenger, taken on June 22, 1983. 

 

7. STS-78 Launch (1985)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com)

This Space Shuttle Columbia took off on June 17, 1985, from Launch Pad 39B of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). 

 

8. STS-51 G Launch (1985)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

The Space Shuttle Discovery's STS-51 G was launched on June 17, 1985, for a communications satellite deployment mission. 

 

9. STS-51G Lands (1985)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

I this photo, our beloved STS-51G, the Space Shuttle Discovery, is in the process of landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California on June 24, 1985.

 

10. STS-26 Rollout (1988)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

Take a step inside Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) of NASA’s Kennedy Center in Florida.  Here on July 4, 1988, the Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-26, prepared itself for a nighttime departure.

 ​

11. STS-50 Launch (1992)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com)

The Space Shuttle Columbia, STS-50, lifts off, on June 25, 1992, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

 

12. STS-50 Landing (1992)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com)

The spacecraft is featured here landing on July 9, 1992. After its launch on June 25, 1992, the shuttle carried the U.S. Microgravity Laboratory 1, which conducted a total of 31 experiments during its 13 days voyage.   

 

13. STS-57 Launch (1993)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

This is the Space Shuttle Endeavour's STS-57 mission launched on June 21, 1993, from the Kennedy Space Center. 

 

14. Atlantis departing Mir (1995)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com)

A photo taken by those aboard the Soyuz TM transport vehicle capturing the Space Shuttle Atlantis as it departs from the Mir Russian Space Station on July 4, 1995. 

 

15. STS-71 Landing (1995)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com)

STS-71 was the first mission shuttle to dock with Mir, the Russian space station. Space Shuttle Atlantis' STS-71 mission returned from its journey and landed back in the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on July 7, 1995. 

 

16. X-38, Ship #2 (1999)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com)

Taken on July 9, 1999, this picture shows the X-38 research vehicle as it detaches from the mothership, NASA’s B-52. 

 

17. Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) (2001)
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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) spacecraft was launched on June 30, 2001, on a Boeing Delta II rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Base to measure temperature fluctuations to create a sky map. 

 

18. CONTOUR Launch (2002)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

NASA's Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) was also initially launched on a Boeing Delta II rocket, one year later than MAP, on July 3, 2002, from the very same Cape Canaveral.

 

19. Mars Explorer Rover-B launch (2003)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com)

Sent up in the sky on a Delta II launch vehicle on July 7, 2003, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the Mars Explorer Rover-B launch was initially planned to last for only 3 months but finally returned to Earth 15 years later on June 10, 2018. 

 

20. STS-121 Shuttle Mission (2006)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

This mission had seven members that committed to a two-day adventure on the Space Shuttle Discovery STS-121, to the International Space Station on July 4, 2006.

 

21. Space Shuttle Discovery (2006)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com)

Inspection photos taken on July 6, 2006, of the Space Shuttle Discovery as it approached the International Space Station, but prior to link-up. 

 

22. Launch of Fermi Telescope (2008)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

Launched on June 11, 2008, this device was developed by NASA in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, along with several institutions across the world.

 

23. STS-124 Space Shuttle Discovery Landing (2008)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

The space shuttle Discovery (STS-124) touched down on June 14, 2008, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, after completing a 13-day trip to deliver new components to the International Space Station. 

 

24. STS-127 awaiting launch (2009)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

Welcome to the iconic launch pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, where space shuttle Endeavor prepares for liftoff on July 11, 2009.

 

25. Soyuz TMA-19 Launch (2010)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

The Soyuz TMA-19 rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on June 15, 2010, at 5:35 p.m EDT.

 

26. Aquarius Mission Liftoff (2011)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

This Delta II rocket was launched on June 10, 2011, from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. 

 

27. Minotaur 1 launch (2011)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

The Minotaur I ORS-1 launches on June 29, 2011, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) in Wallops Island, Virginia. 


28. STS-135 Launch (2011)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com)

From Launch Pad 39A of the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, this space shuttle was the last space Shuttle mission sent up and delivered supplies to the International Space Station after its launch on July 8, 2011.

 

29. Aurora from ISS (2015)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

The Earth and its stunningly colorful aurora, as well as the sparkling city lights as seen and taken on June 23, 2015, by members of Expedition 44 at the International Space Station.

 

30. Expedition 48 Launch (Soyuz MS-01) (2016)

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(By Nasa on the Commons, flickr.com

The Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft, Expedition 48, took off the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on July 7, 2016, in Kazakh time (July 6th, 2016 EST).  

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