Space Image of the Day Gallery (April 2017)

On the Launchpad

United Space Alliance

Tuesday, April 18, 2017: A Cygnus cargo ship sits atop an Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida as crews prepare to launch it toward the International Space Station. The rocket is scheduled to launch today at 11:11 a.m. EDT (1511 GMT). If all goes well, Cygnus should arrive at the space station this Saturday to deliver 7,635 lbs. (3,463 kilograms) of supplies. — Hanneke Weitering

'Star Shower' at the Space Station

Thomas Pesquet/ESA/NASA/Twitter

Wednesday, April 19, 2017: Astronaut Thomas Pesquet captured star trails swirling around the Earth in this photo he took from the International Space Station. "It's not a star shower, but sure looks like it," Pesquet tweeted on Sunday (April 16). "Flying at 28,000 km/h [17,400 mph] allows us to see the starry sky parading before our eyes like a mobile in a children's room... except life-size." — Hanneke Weitering

Happy Birthday, Canadarm2!


Thursday, April 20, 2017: Canadarm2, a robotic arm outside the International Space Station, turns 16 years old this week! The 58-foot-long (18 meters) robot hitched a ride on the space shuttle Endeavour with mission STS-100 on April 19, 2001. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski completed the installation of Canadarm2 with the mission's second spacewalk on April 24. In this photo, NASA astronaut Stephen Robinson rides Canadarm2 during the STS-114 mission in 2005. — Hanneke Weitering

Welcome, Expedition 51/52!


Friday, April 21, 2017: Incoming! A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin approaches the International Space Station as it nears the end of its 6-hour flight on Thursday (April 20). — Hanneke Weitering

Canadarm2 & Earth's Night Lights


Monday, April 24, 2017: Space station astronauts captured this stunning view of Europe by night as they flew 230 miles to km 230 miles (370 km) overhead on April 6. Also pictured is Canadarm2, a remote-controlled robotic arm. Canadarm2 arrived at the space station on April 19, 2001, and its installation was completed on this day the same year. Happy installation anniversary, Canadarm2! — Hanneke Weitering

Deploying Hubble


Tuesday, April 25, 2017: On this day in 1990, NASA's space shuttle mission STS-31 deployed the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit about 382 miles (615 km) above the Earth. The telescope was launched to capture images of the cosmos with unprecedented clarity, but a flaw in its mirror left the telescope nearsighted. It was later repaired by astronauts during a servicing mission in 1993. — Hanneke Weitering

'Egg Moon' Over NYC

Gowrishankar L.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017: Lady Liberty watches as the full Egg Moon rises over New York City on April 11. Astrophotographer Gowrishankhar L. captured this shot from Liberty State Park in New Jersey. He told that although overcast skies blocked his view of the moon at first, the clouds ultimately parted just enough to make out the moon's features while the moonlight illuminated the wispy layers of remaining cloud cover. — Hanneke Weitering

S.S. John Glenn


Thursday, April 27, 2017: A Cygnus cargo ship named after the late NASA astronaut John Glenn is seen orbiting above Earth's clouds as it approaches the International Space Station. The spacecraft docked at the station on April 21, delivering more than 7,600 lbs. (3,500 kilograms) of science experiments and supplies for the astronauts. — Hanneke Weitering

Little Joe 5B


Friday, April 28, 2017: On this day in 1961, NASA's Little Joe 5B rocket blasted off from Wallops Island in Virginia. The uncrewed mission tested the launch escape system for the Project Mercury space capsules, which carried the first American astronauts into space. — Hanneke Weitering

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