Apollo 9 Command/Service Modules nicknamed "Gumdrop" and Lunar Module, nicknamed "Spider" are shown docked together as Command Module pilot David R. Scott stands in the open hatch. Astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, Lunar Module pilot, took this photograph of Scott during his EVA as he stood on the porch outside the Lunar Module in 1969. NASA
This false-colored image of Saturn's rings was taken in 2008. NASA
This majestic view taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope tells an untold story of life and death in the Eagle nebula, an industrious star-making factory located 7,000 light-years away in the Serpens constellation. The image shows the region's entire network of turbulent clouds and newborn stars in infrared light. The color green denotes cooler towers and fields of dust, including the three famous space pillars, dubbed the "Pillars of Creation," which were photographed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 (see inset). NASA/JPL-Caltech/N. Flagey (IAS/SSC) & A. Noriega-Crespo (SSC/Caltech)
Astronaut Clay Anderson, Expedition 15 flight engineer, waves to the camera while participating in a session of extravehicular activity as construction continues on the International Space Station. During the 7 hour, 41 minute spacewalk, Anderson and cosmonaut Fyodor N. Yurchikhin, commander representing Russia's Federal Space Agency, installed a television camera stanchion, reconfigured a power supply for an antenna assembly and performed several other tasks. NASA
Molded astronaut couches line the NASA Langley Research Centers model shop wall. The names of the test subjects (Langley employees) are written on the back. The couches are similar to those made for each astronaut and fitted into the Mercury capsules for manned spaceflight. NASA
This image shows Death Valley, California, centered at 36.629 degrees north latitude, 117.069 degrees west longitude. The image shows Furnace Creek alluvial fan and Furnace Creek Ranch at the far right, and the sand dunes near Stove Pipe Wells at the center. The dark fork-shaped feature between Furnace Creek fan and the dunes is a smooth flood-plain which encloses Cottonball Basin. NASA/JPL-Caltech
Filled with trash and discarded items, the unpiloted ISS Progress 38 supply vehicle departed from the International Space Station at 7:22 a.m. (EDT) on Aug. 31. Russian flight controllers conduct thruster tests with the Progress to gather engineering data until it deorbited and burned up in Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. Its departure cleared the way for the arrival of the next Russian resupply vehicle, ISS Progress 39, which will launch Sept. 10 and dock Sept. 12, delivering 2.5 tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Expedition 24 crew. NASA
This artist's concept depicts a faraway star before it passes behind Saturn's F ring. NASA
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered 16 extrasolar planet candidates orbiting a variety of distant stars in the central region of our Milky Way galaxy. The planet bonanza was uncovered during a Hubble survey, called the Sagittarius Window Eclipsing Extrasolar Planet Search (SWEEPS). Hubble looked farther than has ever successfully been searched for extrasolar planets. Hubble peered at 180,000 stars in the crowded central bulge of our galaxy 26,000 light-years away or one-quarter the diameter of the Milky Way's spiral disk. NASA
A mass of storm clouds was observed and recorded from the International Space Station by Expedition 1 crew members. The picture, made with an Electrical Still Camera, was the first Earth observation still image downlinked by the three-man crew. NASA
Before his late-night Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis called a group of mostly Christian refugees, telling them, 'You're like Jesus on this night,' forced to flee because there was no place for them.
ByNicole Winfield, Associated Press
Pope Francis celebrated Christmas Eve with a late-night Mass Wednesday in St. Peter's Basilica and a phone call to some Iraqi refugees forced to flee their homes by Muslim militants.