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Members of the National Space Council are seen during the council's first meeting on Oct. 5 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The council, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence heard testimony from representatives from civil space, commercial space, and national security space industry representatives. via NASA http://ift.tt/2yrxjWh

History changed on Oct. 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The world's first artificial satellite was about the size of a beach ball, about 23 inches in diameter and weighing less than 190 pounds. via NASA http://ift.tt/2hNf1Yq

It's planting season on the International Space Station! NASA astronaut Joe Acaba prepared the Veggie facility for three different kinds of lettuce seeds as part of the VEG-03-D investigation. This is the first time seeds from multiple kinds of plants are being grown in the facility all at the same time. via NASA http://ift.tt/2yVNLLC

When you call John McPhee on the phone, he is instantly John McPhee. McPhee is now 86 years old, and each of those years seems to be filed away inside of him, loaded with information, ready to access. I was calling to arrange a visit to Princeton, N.J., where McPhee lives and teaches writing.

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A new iceberg calved from Pine Island Glacier—one of the main outlets where ice from the interior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet flows into the ocean. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite captured this natural-color image on September 21, 2017, just before the break. via NASA http://ift.tt/2yGFCud

Test Engineer Samantha O’Flaherty finalizes the set-up of the Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) Preliminary Design Model inside the 14- by- 22 Foot Subsonic Tunnel at NASA Langley Research Center. The QueSST Preliminary Design is the initial design stage of NASA’s planned Low-Boom Flight Demonstration experimental airplane, or X-plane. via NASA http://ift.tt/2w9GhD4

The VIIRS instrument on NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured a thermal image of Hurricane Maria on Sept. 20 at 2:12 a.m. EDT. The image showed very cold cloud top temperatures in the powerful thunderstorms in Maria’s eyewall. Maria’s eye was just east of the American Virgin Islands, and its northwestern quadrant stretched over Puerto Rico. via NASA http://ift.tt/2xn5mNK

The spectacular aurora borealis, or the “northern lights,” over Canada is sighted from the International Space Station near the highest point of its orbital path. The station’s main solar arrays are seen in the left foreground. This photograph was taken by a member of the Expedition 53 crew aboard the station on Sept. 15, 2017. via NASA http://ift.tt/2xNXbeZ
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