The last of five shuttles in the U.S. space shuttle program, Endeavourwas formally retired on Thursday and made its final aerial journey, bound for the California Science Museum (CSC) in downtown Los Angeles.
Endeavour was the youngest of the shuttle fleet, having been built after the 1986 explosion of the Challenger shuttle during liftoff.
Most of Endeavour's missions ferried cargo to the International Space Station. But it famously flew the first mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. In all, the shuttle flew to space 25 times, and made nearly 4,700 orbits around Earth.
A type of solar explosion called a coronal mass ejection sent solar radiation out from the sun this month at 900 miles per second, as seen in an image released by NASA on September 17.
The sudden burst of radiation didn't collide with Earth, but it did hit our planet's magnetic field, producing illuminated auroras in the sky in some parts of the world.
The corona is a thin layer of atmosphere nearly 620,000 miles (1 million kilometers) above the surface of the sun. A complex mix of gases, its temperature has been measured at nearly two million degrees Fahrenheit (about one million degrees Celsius).
After 43 Martian days on the red planet, the Curiosity rover came across this rock, as seen in a September 19 picture.
Roughly 16 inches wide and 10 inches tall, the rock will be Curiosity's first chance to use its geologic-contact instruments, measuring the rock's components and what they might reveal about Mars's history.
Curiosity has two tools for close imaging. The Mars Hand Lens Imager can magnify a view for scientists on Earth, and the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer will measure an object's elemental composition.
Night photos can sometimes reveal more than those taken during the day. This nighttime portrait of Kuwait City, released recently by NASA's Earth Observatory, shows the pace of development in the Persian Gulf metropolis.
The bright lights at the top of the photo show the booming financial center, surrounded by curved roads. Areas that appear green-yellow are newer residential districts. The dark strip of land on the image's right is an area being primed for residential construction.
Photograph courtesy NASA
The spacecraft Soyuz TMA-04M lands in a remote area near the town of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan, on September 17.
The capsule carried three astronauts who returned to Earth after a five-month mission aboard the International Space Station.