Fifty years ago this week, Scott Carpenter flew the second American crewed orbital flight on May 24, 1962.
In his Aurora 7 spacecraft, Carpenter carried out three revolutions of the earth. In the photo shown in the slideshow below, Carpenter is about to be positioned in the craft to undertake the mission. Just seven years later, Neil Armstrong would be doing much more than orbiting the planet, he would take the first steps on the moon.
On of Nasa's main missions it to explore space for signs of life. Mars is a focus with the Mars Rover mission. Nasa has found carbon compounds inside Mars meteorites like the one pictured, which is 4.5 billion years old. Meteorite ALH84001 is one of 10 Mars rocks which contain organic carbon compounds, which Nasa says were created without life.
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Mars Rover Opportunity took a shot of itself in a Martian late-afternoon shadow this week. The shot looks eastward across the Endeavour Crater. The shot is presented in "false colour" to help show the different materials on Mars' surface. Dark dunes can be seen on the crater floor.
The first ever evidence of a supernova was spotted by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. The X-ray shows a supernova shockwave ripping through the gas cloud that surrounds an exploded star.
Annular Solar Eclipse Delights Over The Pacific
Night Sky Timelapse: Milky Way Rising Over Lake Tekapo
Amazing Mars Gif, Black Hole Squashes Stars
The Milky Way's 100 Billion Planets, Tarantula Nebula, A Dying Star