A satellite is ejected from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Small Satellite Orbital Deployer on the International Space Station on Dec. 19, 2016. The satellite is actually two small satellites that, once at a safe distance from the station, separated from each other, but were still connected by a 100-meter-long Kevlar tether. via NASA http://ift.tt/2hU5LNj

This week in 1968, Apollo 8, the first crewed Apollo mission, launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Dec. 21, 1968. Here, the S-IC stage is being erected for final assembly of the Saturn V launch vehicle in Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building. via NASA http://ift.tt/2haJE7x

Hurricane forecasters will soon have a new tool to better understand and forecast storm intensity. A constellation of eight microsatellites, called NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System mission, or CYGNSS, got a boost into Earth orbit aboard an Orbital ATK Pegasus XL rocket, deployed from an L-1011 aircraft. via NASA http://ift.tt/2gNzyLp

The foreground of this scene from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows purple-hued rocks near the rover's late-2016 location on lower Mount Sharp. The scene's middle distance includes higher layers that are future destinations for the mission. via NASA http://ift.tt/2hwMORD

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA shared this photograph of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kounotori H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-6) as it approached the International Space Station. Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet successfully captured the spacecraft using the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm. via NASA http://ift.tt/2gWGfGZ