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Exploration Imagery
Post-landing Orion Recovery Test or PORT crew module mock-up JSC2009-E-214418 (29 Sept. 2009) --- Workers install seats and other equipment on the Post-landing Orion Recovery Test or "PORT" crew module mock-up at the Sonny Carter Training Facility at the Johnson Space Center. The PORT crew module mock-up is getting the equipment so that engineers at JSC can evaluate the crew's ability to get out of Orion at the nearby Neutral Buoyancy lab (NBL). Photo credit: NASA
Exploration Imagery
This artist's rendering represents a concept of a crew exploration vehicle (CEV) docked to a lunar lander JSC2006-E-21465 (June 2006) --- NASA's Constellation Program is getting to work on the new spacecraft that will return humans to the moon and blaze a trail to Mars and beyond. This artist's rendering represents a concept of a crew exploration vehicle (CEV) docked to a lunar lander.
Exploration Imagery
Orion stacking process practice JSC2009-E-218888 (23 Sept. 2009) --- Using mock-up components, technicians at the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico practiced the stacking process that will one day be involved in mating the Orion Pad Abort-1 flight test launch abort system and crew module hardware. The crew module was integrated with the PA-1 test separation ring and launch stand. The launch abort system, crew module and separation ring were developed at Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va. The launch stand and pad were developed at Dryden, where crew module systems were integrated. Dryden is leading the launch abort flight tests effort for the Orion Project Office, managed at the Johnson Space Center, Houston.
Exploration Imagery
Pad Abort-1 (PA-1) test vehicle JSC2009-E-228152 (27 Oct. 2009) --- At the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, a portion of Orion's Pad Abort-1 (PA-1) test vehicle is shown from above in the Final Integration and Test Facility during preparations for the flight test. From left to right are the abort motor, the jettison motor and the interstage section not yet attached. In addition to the attitude control motor (not pictured), these motors will be used for the first Orion test of the launch abort system, PA-1. Photo credit: U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range
Exploration Imagery
Orion crew module Pad Abort test article WSTF0809-E-08587 (21 Aug. 2009) --- On a New Mexico roadway near Holloman Air Force Base, the Orion crew module Pad Abort (PA-1) test article starts its trek aboard a tractor trailer to the White Sands Missile Range. The test article was flown via a C-17 from Edwards Air Force Base and the Dryden Flight Research Center in California to Holloman to begin the last stage of the trip to White Sands. Photo Credit: NASA
Exploration Imagery
An artist's rendering shows the Orion crew module JSC2010-E-009871 (January 2010) --- An artist's rendering shows the Orion crew module descending back to Earth following the Pad Abort 1 flight test at the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The launch abort system has completed its job and separated from the crew module. Nearly 25 seconds into the flight two drogue parachutes deploy (shown) to stabilize the crew module before three pilot parachutes deploy. Thirty-one seconds into the flight three main parachutes deploy for landing after nearly 97 seconds aloft.
Exploration Imagery
This artist's rendering represents a concept of a crew launch vehicle liftoff JSC2006-E-21452 (June 2006) --- NASA's Constellation Program is getting to work on the new spacecraft that will return humans to the moon and blaze a trail to Mars and beyond. This artist's rendering represents a concept of a crew launch vehicle liftoff. The launch system that will take the crew to space builds on powerful, reliable shuttle and Apollo-era propulsion elements. Astronauts will launch on a rocket made up of a shuttle-derived solid rocket booster, with a second stage powered by a J2X engine.
Exploration Imagery
NASA's Ares I-X rocket JSC2009-E-225495 (26 Oct. 2009) --- NASA's Ares I-X rocket is seen on launch pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Oct. 26, 2009. The flight test of Ares I-X, scheduled for Oct. 27, will provide NASA with an early opportunity to test and prove flight characteristics, hardware, facilities and ground operations associated with the Ares I. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Exploration Imagery
This one-of-a-series artist's rendering represents a concept of the abort flight tests JSC2007-E-20966 (May 2007) --- NASA's Constellation Program continues work on the development of the Orion spacecraft that will return humans to the moon and prepare for future voyages to Mars and other destinations in our solar system. This one-of-a-series artist's rendering represents a concept of the abort flight tests of the Orion crew exploration vehicle's Launch Abort System at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The Launch Abort System attitude control motors hold proper attitude of the Crew Module prior to jettison.
Exploration Imagery
C-17 carrying Orion crew module Pad Abort test article
            ED09-0234-07 (19 Aug. 2009) --- A Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 leaves a runway at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center Aug. 19, 2009. It carries the Orion crew module that will be used for the Orion Launch Abort System Pad Abort-1 flight at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The C-17 will land at Holloman AFB, New Mexico and a trailer will transport the test article to White Sands. The first of five planned launch abort flight tests in NASA's Constellation program, Pad Abort 1 is scheduled for early 2010 from the new launch pad at White Sands. Photo Credit: NASA
Exploration Imagery
A full-scale rocket motor fires from the Aerojet facility in Sacramento, Calif. JSC2008-E-052518 (17 July 2008) --- A full-scale rocket motor fires from the Aerojet facility in Sacramento, Calif. This test will help in the development of NASA's Orion jettison motor that is being designed to separate the spacecraft's launch abort system from the crew module during launch. Photo credit: Aerojet
Exploration Imagery
Orion stacking process practice

JSC2009-E-219018 (24 Sept. 2009) --- One of a series of photos documenting operations which could be previews of the not-too-distant future at the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Workers there are greeted by a sunrise scene on Sept. 24. Using mock-up components, technicians practiced the stacking process that will one day be involved in mating the Orion Pad Abort-1 flight test launch abort system and crew module hardware. The crew module was integrated with the PA-1 test separation ring and launch stand. The launch abort system, crew module and separation ring were developed at Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va. The launch stand and pad were developed at Dryden Flight Research Center, Calif., where crew module systems were integrated. Dryden is leading the launch abort flight tests effort for the Orion Project Office, managed at the Johnson Space Center, Houston. Photo credit: U.S. Army
Exploration Imagery
An artist's concept of an Orbiting Lunar Station

S76-24318 (September 1976)--- An artist's concept of an Orbiting Lunar Station (OLS), one of the potential options for space activity being studied. The picture appeared in a September 1977 publication from the NASA-JSC Program Planning Office entitled A Compendium of Future Space Activities. This concept is not currently budgeted, and there are no plans for the construction of such hardware at this time. The objectives of such a station would be to perform a broad spectrum observation of the lunar surface; to conduct surface sorties (see S76-24320); and to support and control unmanned orbital and surface operations. The systems elements associated with the OLS concept include a space station, a lunar transport vehicle (LTV), resupply modules (RM), fluid module (FM), and crew transfer vehicles (CTV). Nine modules are required to provide ample space for a crew of eight, the subsystems and the consumables. A tenth module contains science equipment and sensors. A unitary OLS could also be employed and would require only one module for habitation rather than nine.
Exploration Imagery
A painting of a lunar supply base




S78-23252 (June 1977)--- A painting of a lunar supply base which was displayed during the NASA-sponsored Ninth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in March 1978 in Houston. A study entitled Lunar Resources Utilization for Space Construction is being conducted at the Johnson Space Center (JSC). The study is funded by the NASA Office of Aeronautics and Astronautics. One possible approach to developing industry in space is to use moon soil as a source of raw materials. Lunar soil contains many major elements which provide the basis for industry and life on earth. A base being constructed to supply lunar materials to chemical plants in space is depicted here during the second day of construction. These four large horizontal cylinders contain the base habitat, maintenance facility, soil-packaging plant and loading facility for the lunar mass driver, which is in effect an electromagnetic cannon designed in this particular schemes to eject four-kilogram packages of lunar soil from the Moon to a point in deep space where the packages will be collected and then transferred to a chemical plant nearer the Earth (s78-23249,50). Solar cell array (left) being deployed will be used to power the base and mass driver. Some 25 persons would work four months to emplace the large base. An operating crew of 10 persons would stay on the lunar surface to provide necessary maintenance.
Exploration Imagery
Shown is a large orbital transfer vehicle and lander in low lunar orbit over the crater Copernicus





 

 

 


 


 
S88-33647 (April 1988) --- This painting was done by Eagle Engineering artists who are working with Eagle and NASA engineers on concepts born from a NASA sponsored project called the Lunar Base Systems Study. The art was also used as a visual at an April 1988 Houston-hosted conference titled "Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century." Shown is a large orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) and lander in low lunar orbit over the crater Copernicus. Both vehicles return to the Space Station in Earth orbit after every mission for maintenance, component changeout and to be reloaded with propellants and other consumables. The lander is multi-purpose, capable of landing cargos up to 25 metric tons (one way, lander expended) or carry a crew module round trip. The crew module, shown in the illustration, can be removed and replaced with cargo. The lander is separating from the OTV, seen preparing to descend to the surface. Later it would return to low lunar orbit, single stage. It has a pressurized tunnel running down the center which tees into another tunnel shown on the bottom. The tunnels provide pressurized volume to locate equipment requiring maintenance, replacement or inspection. The tunnel also allows pressurized access to a surface rover and doubles as an airlock. The lander would require about 30 metric tons of propellant. The lander engines are the chief long term development item. Requirements for throttling ratios as high as 20:1, space basing, and reusability, place them at or beyond the state of the art. Study participants feel work on the lander should continue until the engines are defined well enough for long lead development to begin. The OTV is a large, aerobraked, specially designed vehicle, designed to place the lander and payload in low lunar orbit and then aerobrake the empty lander back into Earth orbit. The OTV does this single stage from low Earth orbit and back. The OTV and lander may be able to use common engines, but this requires more study. The illustration shows common engines. The OTV would carry roughly 120 metric tons of propellant. The painting was done by Pat Rawlings of Eagle Engineering. Principal investigator on this concept was Bill Stump.
Exploration Imagery
Concept of possible activities during future space exploration missions JSC2004-E-18830 (April 2004) --- This artist's rendering represents a concept of possible activities during future space exploration missions. It depicts astronauts working in chorus with robots to assemble a telescope in orbit.
Exploration Imagery
Concept of possible activities during future space exploration missions JSC2004-E-18835 (April 2004) --- This artist's rendering represents a concept of possible activities during future space exploration missions. It depicts a lander backdropped against the lunar surface.
Exploration Imagery
Concept of possible activities during future space exploration missions JSC2004-E-18831 (April 2004) --- This artist's rendering represents a concept of possible activities during future space exploration missions. It depicts drilling on the lunar surface.
Exploration Imagery
A Lunar Electric Rover JSC2009-E-031264 (February 2009) --- A Lunar Electric Rover (LER), with crewmembers inside, performs work on the lunar surface in this art work depicting return to the moon activities. Photo credit: NASA
Exploration Imagery
A Lunar Electric Rover JSC2009-E-031266 (February 2009) --- A Lunar Electric Rover (LER), with crewmembers inside, performs work on the lunar surface in this art work depicting return to the moon activities. Photo credit: NASA
Exploration Imagery
Two Lunar Electric Rovers JSC2009-E-031267 (February 2009) --- Crew members, attired in suits designed to protect them from the rigors of the environment, traverse the lunar surface along with two Lunar Electric Rovers (LERs) in this art work depicting return to the moon activities. A Portable Utility Pallet or PUP is also depicted. Photo credit: NASA
Exploration Imagery
NASA's new lunar truck prototype JSC2008-E-019176 (17 Dec. 2007) --- Spacesuit engineer Dustin Gohmert drives NASA's new lunar truck prototype through the moon-like craters of Johnson Space Center's Lunar Yard. The lunar truck was built to make such off roading easy, with six wheels that can be steered independently in any direction. In addition, the steering center can turn a full 360 degree, giving the driver a good view of what's ahead, no matter which way the wheels are pointing.
Exploration Imagery
Tests conducted for NASA's Desert Research and Technology Studies (RATS)
JSC2008-E-139957 (18-31 Oct. 2008) --- When tests conducted for NASA's Desert Research and Technology Studies (RATS) at Black Point Lava Flow in Arizona brought together engineers, geologists and astronauts to test NASA's new Lunar Electric Rover, the evaluations were no respecters of time of day, exemplified by this dusk or dawn scene. Astronaut Mike Gernhardt and geologist Brent Garry with the Smithsonian Institution spent three days inside the rover, going through the motions of a real three-day geological sortie on the moon. The tests showed that using a pressurized rover would enable astronauts to explore more territory on the lunar surface by allowing them to live for days at a time inside the rover as they travel greater distances from their habitat than would be possible in a non-pressurized rover. Photo Credit: NASA
Exploration Imagery
This painting was used as a visual at a conference titled S88-33651 --- This painting was done by Eagle Engineering artists who are working with Eagle and NASA engineers on concepts born from a NASA sponsored project called the Lunar Base Systems Study. The art was also used as a visual at an April 1988 Houston-hosted conference titled Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century.
Exploration Imagery
Artist's concept of possible exploration programs S92-49394 (1992) --- (Artist's concept of possible exploration programs.) A one-meter transit telescope is shown mounted to a robotic lunar lander on the surface of the Moon. The Moon is a uniquely suitable platform for astronomy, which could include extreme ultraviolet images of Earth's magnetosphere (permitting study of solar wind interaction), the first far ultraviolet sky survey, and first-generation optical interferometers and very long wavelength radio telescopes.
Exploration Imagery
Artist's concept of possible exploration programs S93-45590 (1993) --- (Artist's concept of possible exploration programs.) A teleoperated lunar oxygen plant begins production. Remotely driven surface vehicles mine and transport lunar soil to the plant, where the oxygen is extracted, liquefied, and pumped into waiting storage tanks. This image was produced for NASA by John Frassanito and Associates. Technical concepts from NASA's Planetary Projects Office (PPO), Johnson Space Center (JSC).
Exploration Imagery
Artist's concept of possible exploration programs S94-27636 (1994) --- (Artist's concept of possible exploration programs.) An automated cargo lander delivers an oxygen production plant to the surface of the Moon. This "lunar freighter" was launched from Earth on either a Shuttle-derived heavy lift launch vehicle or the Russian Energia. This image was produced for NASA by John Frassanito and Associates. Technical concepts from NASA's Planetary Projects Office (PPO), Johnson Space Center (JSC).
Exploration Imagery
Routine 24-hour flights to the Moon could employ detachable crew modules atop nuclear thermal transfer vehicles S99-04186 (1996) --- Routine 24-hour flights to the Moon could employ detachable crew modules atop nuclear thermal transfer vehicles. By transferring the module from one propulsion element to the next, the passengers could complete their trip to the lunar surface without ever leaving the module. This image produced for NASA by Pat Rawlings and Bill Gleason, (SAIC). Technical concepts for NASA's Exploration Office, Johnson Space Center (JSC).
Exploration Imagery
Artist's concept of possible exploration programs S93-45592 (1993) --- (Artist's concept of possible exploration programs.) The lunar crew refills the propellant tanks on their spacecraft with oxygen produced on the Moon. This allows them to return directly to Earth, reentering the atmosphere in the conical crew module, and touching down at a prepared landing site. This image was produced for NASA by John Frassanito and Associates. Technical concepts from NASA's Planetary Projects Office (PPO), Johnson Space Center (JSC).
Exploration Imagery
Lunar resources would increase our motivation to return to the Moon S99-04187 (1995) --- Lunar resources, such as lunar oxygen from regolith or possibly from south pole ice deposits, would increase our motivation to return to the Moon and could significantly enhance the economics of future lunar colonization. Initially, work crews from Earth transported in highly modular transportation systems would supplement automated mining operations. As industrial operations grow, lunar settlement would follow. This image produced for NASA by Pat Rawlings, (SAIC).
Exploration Imagery

S99-04189 (1997) --- Ice deposits suggested by the NASA-United States Ballistic Missile Defense Organization's (BMDO) Clementine spacecraft in peretually shadowed craters at the lunar South Pole open new possibilities for human expansion into the Solar System. In this unique location, a solar-powered colony could produce fuel and launch spacecraft from the Moon's one-sixth gravity. Water from potential ice resources or the regolith circulated through the dome's cells could attenuate dangerous radiation. This image produced for NASA by Pat Rawlings, (SAIC).
Exploration Imagery
This one-of-a-series artist's rendering represents a concept of the abort flight tests JSC2007-E-20969 (May 2007) --- NASA's Constellation Program continues work on the development of the Orion spacecraft that will return humans to the moon and prepare for future voyages to Mars and other destinations in our solar system. This one-of-a-series artist's rendering represents a concept of the abort flight tests of the Orion crew exploration vehicle's Launch Abort System and landing systems at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. This concept shows the crew module's descent back to Earth under its recovery parachutes using air bags to help soften landings on dry land.
Exploration Imagery
The Autonomous Lander element of NASA's Project Pathfinder S88-29653 (February 1988)--- The Autonomous Lander element of NASA's Project Pathfinder will provide the technology required to ensure a safe landing at geologically interesting sites, which are often hazardous, for a variety of potential science missions. These technologies will also support autonomous re-supply operations for a Lunar outpost and reduce risks for piloted Lunar and Mars landing operations. The program will focus on the development of terminal descent strategies and trajectory algorithms, as well as on guidance, navigation and control designs, software and sensors.
Exploration Imagery
This is an artist's concept of possible exploration programs S95-01418 (February 1995) --- This is an artist's concept of possible exploration programs. Long after the Mars sample return rover has fulfilled its mission requirements, two explorers replace the robot's worn wheel motors. The refurbished machine, instead of operating autonomously, can be teleoperated by orbital or surface controllers. Artwork done for NASA by Pat Rawlings, of SAIC.
Exploration Imagery
Artist's concept of possible exploration programs S97-07838 (July 1997)--- (Artist's concept of possible exploration programs.) With all engines running, the crew and their spacecraft leaves Earth-orbit and begins their 6 month voyage to the red planet. These images produced for NASA by John Frassanito and Associates. Technical concepts for NASA's Exploration Office, Johnson Space Center (JSC).
Exploration Imagery
Artist's concept of possible exploration programs S95-01414 (February 1995) --- (Artist's concept of possible exploration programs.) A nuclear thermal rocket fires upon arrival in the vicinity of Mars to insert the transfer vehicle into orbit. Nuclear propulsion can shorten interplanetary trip times and can reduce the mass launched from Earth. As the primary transfer propulsion system, the spaecraft's reactor would remain inactive until departure from Earth orbit. This artwork was done for NASA by Pat Rawlings, of SAIC.
Exploration Imagery
Artist's concept of possible exploration programs S97-07846 (July 1997) --- (Artist's concept of possible exploration programs.) After landing on the Martian surface, the crew uses an unpressurized rover to unload cargo and supplies needed for their stay on the red planet. These images produced for NASA by John Frassanito and Associates. Technical concepts for NASA's Exploration Office, Johnson Space Center (JSC).
Exploration Imagery
Artist's concept of possible exploration programs S93-45586 (1993) --- (Artist's concept of possible exploration programs.) Remote surface exploration in regions around the habitat complex is accomplished by using pressurized rovers. These vehicles would allow the crew to explore beyond the range permitted by their space suits while allowing them to operate in a shirtsleeve environment. These images produced for NASA by John Frassanito and Associates. Technical concepts from NASA's Planetary Projects Office, Johnson Space Center (JSC).
Exploration Imagery
Artist's concept of possible exploration programs S93-45588 (1993) --- (Artist's concept of possible exploration programs.) Systems to support the crew on Mars are delivered to the planet nearly 26 months prior to the first crew's arrival. The first elements delivered include the crew's ascent vehicle, which arrives with empty propellant tanks, propellant production equipment, and various surface habitation and exploration systems. These images produced for NASA by John Frassanito and Associates. Technical concepts from NASA's Planetary Projects Office, Johnson Space Center (JSC).
Exploration Imagery
The Carl Sagan Memorial Station S99-04196 (1997) --- The Carl Sagan Memorial Station, previously known as the Mars Pathfinder Lander, proved that a high degree of knowledge and innovation, coupled with a bit of luck, could put a very-low cost spacecraft on the surface of Mars. Depicted here by an aritist, the lander and rover surpassed their initial design life and went on to return many high resolution images of the ancient flood-washed plain of Ares Valles. This art work was produced for NASA by Pat Rawlings, (SAIC). Technical concepts for NASA's Exploration Office, Johnson Space Center (JSC).
Exploration Imagery
This artist's concept depicts hardware which might be involved in the event manned visits ever occur

S85-31477 (May 2 1985)--- Though no concrete plans are underway for a manned Mars visit early in the next century, several studies have been launched to investigate possibilities for such visits following possible unmanned missions. This artist's concept depicts hardware which might be involved in the event manned visits ever occur. The artist, Pat Rawlings, depicts Pavonis Mons, a large shield volcano on Mars' equator overlooking the ancient water eroded canyon in which the base is located. Hardware seen here include the Mars explorer, a traverse vehicle, a habitation module, a power module, greenhouses, central base, lightweight crane and trailer, launch and landing facility, water well pumping station, a maintenance garage, tunneling device, water well drilling rig, large dish antennae, mast antenna, even a Mars airplane.
Exploration Imagery
Artist's concept of possible exploration programs

S93-50644 (1993) --- (Artist's concept of possible exploration programs.) After spending nearly 500 days on Mars, the six crew members begin their 180 day voyage back to Earth by ascending into orbit to rendezvous with their Earth-return vehicle. Subsequent human missions have the option of returning to the site established by the first crew, or placing additional footholds on the surface of Mars. These images produced for NASA by John Frassanito and Associates. Technical concepts from NASA's Planetary Projects Office, Johnson Space Center (JSC).
Exploration Imagery
Artist's concept of possible exploration programs
S94-27626 (1994) --- (Artist's concept of possible exploration programs.) The Earth-return vehicle has awaited the crew's arrival in Mars-orbit for nearly three years. After checking out its systems, the crew embarks on the final leg of their journey in the now familiar Mars habitat. This familiarity will pay off in terms of increased crew safety and reduced program costs. These images produced for NASA by John Frassanito and Associates. Technical concepts from NASA's Planetary Projects Office, Johnson Space Center (JSC).
Exploration Imagery
This artist's rendering shows Pathfinder's unique descent to the surface of Mars

S96-13428 (6 August 1996) --- This artist's rendering shows Pathfinder's unique descent to the surface of Mars. The spacecraft, enclosed in a cocoon of airbags, has just been severed from the tether which connected it to a huge parachute and Viking-derived heatshield used to slow the spacecraft's speed after entry in the Martian atmosphere. Once the spacecraft comes to a halt, the airbags will deflate and the spacecraft will stand itself side up, then open its panels to expose its solar panels. As the Sun rises over Mars, Pathfinder will power on, along with a miniature companion rover, called Sojourner, which sits on the inside of one of its panels. Sojourner will use one of two exit ramps to roll off the lander and drive onto the surface of Mars.
Exploration Imagery
Sojourner, the Mars Pathfinder rover named after former slave and famous abolitionist Sojourner Truth
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S99-04192 (1997) --- Sojourner, the Mars Pathfinder rover named after former slave and famous abolitionist Sojourner Truth, is visited many years after its mission by a descendant of its namesake, in this artist's rendering. Like the human, Sojourner the rover paved the way for those that followed. This image produced for NASA by Pat Rawlings, (SAIC). Technical concepts for NASA's Exploration Office, Johnson Space Center (JSC).


    



 


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