The Most Amazing Space Photos This Week!

Progress Launch Trail

(Image: © NASA/CSA/David Saint-Jacques/Twitter)

The wisp expanding away from the bright region on the left is the launch trail of a speedy Russian cargo ship. The Progress 72 spacecraft launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday (April 4), and it produced this zigzag trail as it left Earth to resupply the International Space Station. Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques took this photo from the space lab. 

(Image: © Rocket Lab)

A Rocket Lab Electron booster lifted off from New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula on March 28, carrying the R3D2 (Radio Frequency Risk Reduction Deployment Demonstration) satellite to orbit for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. This launch was Rocket Lab’s first since December 2018.

Credit: Rocket Lab

[Full Story: Rocket Lab Launches Experimental Satellite for DARPA]

Fireball Near Tallahassee

(Image: © Marshall Space Flight Center Meteoroid Environment Office)

Each year, Earth is showered by millions of tons of dust and rocks from outer space. Some objects, however, manage to cause a big spectacle when they enter the atmosphere. One such attention-getter was the bright green fireball visible to people across several southern states. A dashcam video captured this sight in Gainesville, Florida shortly before the midnight hour on March 30.

Credit: EVE Pro Guides – EVE Online PVP and ISK Guides/Youtube 

[Full Story: Brilliant Green Fireball Lights Up Florida Sky]

(Image: © ESA/Mattel)

The face of a new Barbie doll shares its likeness with European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. In honor of Barbie’s 60th “birthday” this year, the company that makes Barbie and ESA partnered to create two Cristoforetti-look-alike dolls, according to a statement from the agency.

Credit: ESA/Mattel

[Full Story: This New Barbie Doll Launches Real-Life Astronaut’s Face Into a Toy World]

(Image: © NASA)

NASA fired up an RS-25 rocket engine for a test at the Stennis Space Center near the Mississippi-Louisiana border on Thursday (April 4). The engine would be part of the massive Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket that would return astronauts to the moon in the 2020s. RS-25 is best known for powering the space shuttle, which flew 135 missions between 1981 and 2011.

Credit: NASA

[Full Story: NASA Test-Fires Megarocket Engine That May Take Astronauts to the Moon (Video)]

(Image: © NASA)

NASA astronaut Nick Hague took a selfie on his first spacewalk last week (March 22). The helmet reflects the image of the camera because he had his sun visor down.

Credit: NASA

[Full Gallery: The Spacewalks of Expedition 59 in Photos]

(Image: © ESA/Hubble & NASA, P. Dobbie et al.)

A new view from the Hubble Space Telescope features a colorful open star cluster known as Messier 11. This group of stars is nicknamed the “Wild Duck Cluster” because its brightest members form the shape of the letter “V,” resembling a flock of flying ducks. Messier 11 is located more than 6,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Scutum, and astronomers believe the cluster formed about 220 million years ago. — Hanneke Weitering

Credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble/P. Dobbie et al.

(Image: © NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill)

Happy April Fools’ Day from space! This goofy-looking face on Jupiter is no joke. NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured this image of Jupiter during a flyby in 2017, and citizen scientist Jason Major processed the raw data from Juno to highlight the smug-looking mug formed by storms swirling in the planet’s atmosphere. Major named this image “Jovey McJupiterface.” — Hanneke Weitering

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Jason Major

(Image: © NASA)

Green auroras glow above Earth’s city lights in this photo taken from the International Space Station. One of the Expedition 59 astronauts captured this view from 256 miles (412 kilometers) above the Earth, while the space station was passing over Russia and Kazakhstan. — Hanneke Weitering

Credit: NASA

(Image: © NASA)

NASA astronaut Anne McClain is smiling from ear to ear in an out-of-this world selfie she took during her first spacewalk last Friday (March 22). McClain was originally scheduled to take her second spacewalk today, but her colleague Nick Hague took her place when she realized she


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