• Aurora South of Australia
    On June 24, 2016, Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams of NASA photographed the brilliant lights of an aurora from the International Space Station. Sharing the image on social media, Williams wrote, “We were treated to some spectacular aurora south of Australia today.”
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  • Pressure vessels built by SpaceX to test its Crew Dragon designs are going through structural testing, so engineers can analyze the spacecraft’s ability to withstand the harsh conditions of launch and spaceflight. A pressure vessel is the area of the spacecraft where astronauts will sit during their ride to the International Space Station.
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  • The second and final qualification motor (QM-2) test for the Space Launch System’s booster is seen, Tuesday, June 28, 2016, at Orbital ATK Propulsion Systems test facilities in Promontory, Utah. During the Space Launch System flight the boosters will provide more than 75 percent of the thrust needed to escape the gravitational pull of the Earth.
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  • NASA’s Juno spacecraft obtained this color view on June 21, 2016, at a distance of 6.8 million miles (10.9 million kilometers) from Jupiter. Juno will arrive at Jupiter on July 4. As Juno makes its initial approach, the giant planet’s four largest moons — Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto — are visible.
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  • A test version of the booster for NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System, will fire up for the second of two qualification ground tests at 10:05 a.m. EDT (8:05 a.m. MDT) Tuesday, June 28 at prime contractor Orbital ATK’s test facility in Promontory, Utah. NASA Television will air live coverage of the booster test June 28 beginning at 9:30
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  • New images obtained on May 16, 2016, by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope confirm the presence of a dark vortex in the atmosphere of Neptune. This full visible-light image shows that the dark feature resides near and below a patch of bright clouds in the planet’s southern hemisphere.
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  • Along the Bellingshausen Sea coast of West Antarctica, ice has been retreating inland being lost to the sea. Scientists knew this, but they lacked a full picture of the scale. Now a team of researchers has compiled a Landsat-based data set and found that such losses have been going on for at least the past four decades.
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  • Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams of NASA took this photograph on June 21, 2016, from the International Space Station, writing, “A spectacular rise of the full moon just before sunset while flying over western China.”
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  • The Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 47 crew members Tim Kopra of NASA, Tim Peake of the European Space Agency, and Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Saturday, June 18, 2016. Kopra, Peake, and Malenchenko are returning after six months onboard the International Space Station.
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  • With 14 electric motors turning propellers and all of them integrated into a uniquely-designed wing, NASA will test new propulsion technology using an experimental airplane now designated the X-57 and nicknamed “Maxwell.” This concept image illustrates NASA’s X-57 plane in flight.
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  • With 14 electric motors turning propellers and all of them integrated into a uniquely-designed wing, NASA will test new propulsion technology using an experimental airplane now designated the X-57 and nicknamed “Maxwell.” This concept image illustrates NASA’s X-57 plane in flight.
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  • Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo craft is released from the International Space Station in this June 14, 2016, photograph by ESA astronaut Tim Peake. Once Cygnus reached a safe distance, ground controllers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center initiated the sequence for an experiment design to better understand how fire spreads in a microgravity environment.
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  • A test version of the Orion spacecraft is pulled back like a pendulum and released, taking a dive into the 20-foot-deep (6.1 meters) Hydro Impact Basin at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
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  • The American flag flies at half staff at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building in the background. On Sunday, June 12, President Barack Obama ordered U.S. flags flown at half staff “as a mark of respect for the victims of the act of hatred and terror” at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
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  • The drizzle of stars scattered across this image forms a galaxy known as UGC 4879. UGC 4879 is an irregular dwarf galaxy — as the name suggests, galaxies of this type are a little smaller and messier than their cosmic cousins, lacking the majestic swirl of a spiral or the coherence of an elliptical.
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