The Orion capsule is poised to make its first test flight Thursday. If all goes as planned, the unmanned vehicle will orbit Earth twice before splashing into the Pacific Ocean.
A member of the Indian security force keeps watch over a launch vehicle carrying the Mars Orbiter probe at the Indian Space Research Organization facility, in Sriharikota, in 2013.
This view combines several frames taken by the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, looking into a valley to the west from the eastern side of a dune at the eastern end of the valley.
NASA's MAVEN, short for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, with a capital "N" in EvolutioN, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, on Monday.
Scientists and engineers work on the Mars Orbiter at the Indian Space Research Organisation's satellite center in Bangalore, India, on Sept. 11. The spacecraft is scheduled to be launched sometime in the next three weeks.
Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images
A photo composed of nearly 900 images taken by the rover Curiosity shows a section of Gale Crater near the equator of Mars. The rovers are continuing to work through the U.S. government shutdown.
The rover Curiosity and other NASA spacecraft at Mars are now in a radio blackout, as the sun is interfering with transmissions. Curiosity took this self-portrait by combining 66 exposures in February.