10 Things for the Week of June 30 - July 6
28 June 2013
Special Fourth of July Edition: You don't have to be an American to appreciate cosmic fireworks.
1. COSMIC COLLISION
On 4 July 2005, Deep Impact made spectacular fireworks when its impact probe collided comet Tempel 1.
2. ROCKING THE RED PLANET
On 4 July 1997 the Martian skies crackled with the arrival of a new visitor - Mars Pathfinder and the Sojourner rover. The lander hit the surface at 40 mph, protected by a special airbag landing system and logged the first bounce on another planet - the first of many firsts for the mission.
3. LANDING PARTY
The double sonic boom of the Space Shuttle long signaled the crew's safe return to Earth. Columbia's return on 4 July 1982 brought almost half a million people - and President Ronald Regan - to the California desert to celebrate.
4. THE ROCKET'S RED GLARE
Few things can rival a rocket launch for sheer spectacle. The Space Shuttle Discovery rocked the Florida coast with early fireworks with the first Fourth of July shuttle launch in 2006.
5. RETRO LAUNCH
It would be nice to have a photo of the 4 July 1968 launch of Explorer 38, but we'll have to settle for this cool retro photo of an engineer working on the little satellite instead.
6. SUN BURST
On 4 July 2012 the sun churned out some extra fireworks with a powerful solar flare.
7. STARS AND STRIPE
It's not quite the Star-Spangled banner, but it sure is a pretty wave.
8. MORE CELESTIAL FIREWORKS
Count on the universe to put on a truly cosmic spectacle.
9. SATURN DOODLES
The Cassini mission team is known for producing clever Saturn doodles for special occasions. Here are a few of the Fourth of July doodles that have graced the homepage.
10. THE BIG PICTURE
Mark your calendars: Cassini will be taking a unique photo of Earth from Saturn orbit on 19 July 2012. The team is asking everyone on Earth to pause and wave as the image is being taken - the first time Earthlings have had advance notice that their picture will be taken from interplanetary distances.
Read More by The Authors