Image Gallery

In situ pictures of landers and equipment. They will be found in their systemic or archeological context by future explorers, weathered by extreme environmental conditions such as micrometeoroids impacts, solar radiation, dust, wide temperature ranges and, for those on Venus, high pressure, heat and corrosion.

Luna 9 (The Moon) – Post-landing artist view of the probe and its Cruise Bus in the background – Credit: Andrei Konstantinovich Sokolov? (date unknown)
Luna 9 (The Moon) – Some sort of a strap is visible in the lower part of the probe’s panorama, it could be one of the two-surface mirrors or a spring-loaded blade that opened one of the petals – Credits: Lavochkin, Roscosmos (1966)
Luna 13 (The Moon) – Portion of the panorama showing two unidentified objects on the left and another one to the right. They probably come from the Cruise Bus that hard-landed nearby: the rightmost object could be an helical antenna and the objects to the left could be either another part of the helical antenna or the probe’s airbag system (above) and a fairing (center). A small object is also barely visible in the upper center of the picture – Credits: Lavochkin, Roscosmos (1966)
Luna 13 (The Moon) – The large object to the far left of the panorama is probably a cluster of boulders, however the size, global shape and smooth angles suggest that it might be the wreckage of the Cruise Bus or the flattened airbags – Credits: Lavochkin, Roscosmos (1966)
Surveyor III (The Moon) – The probe is now incomplete as the scoop at the end of the extendable arm to the right and the TV camera above it (the large vertical tube) were removed by the Apollo 12 crew and returned back to Earth for analysis – Credit: NASA (1969)
Surveyor V (The Moon) – The Alpha-Scattering Surface Analyzer (basically a spectrometer) left on the surface. It sled down the slope during the three-month mission – Credit: NASA (1967)
Surveyor VII (The Moon) – The scoop arm was used to move the spectrometer at different places during the mission. Both are visible on the pictures – Credit: NASA (1968)
Apollo 8 (Solar orbit) – The S-IVB Third Stage pictured before its solar orbit injection as were the next four. Those of Apollo 13 to 17 were sent into a collision course with the Moon to help calibrate the seismometersCredit: NASA (1968)
Apollo 8 (Solar orbit) – Another shot at the S-IVB Third Stage showing the debris cloud (most of it made of ice particules though) released after separation with the spacecraft by explosive bolts. The Lunar Test Article replacing the Lunar Module for this mission is clearly visible in front of usCredit: NASA (1968)
Apollo 11 (The Moon) – The first Jettison Bag ever left on the surface and, in the lower center of the image, the Contingency Sample Collection Bag Ring partially hidden by the LM left landing gear strut shadowCredit: NASA (1969)
Apollo 11 (The Moon) – Inadvertent shot of Neil Armstrong while he was discarding the LEC Bag under the LM. It landed to the left next to the Jettison Bag. The Contingency Sample Collection Bag Ring is also visible in the LM landing gear strut shadow on the right Credit: NASA (1969)
Apollo 11 (The Moon) – Two SRC York Mesh spacers lie next to the Jettison BagCredit: NASA (1969)
Apollo 11 (The Moon) – The abandoned Solar Wind Collector staff and, to the far left, the Lunar TV assemblyCredit: NASA (1969)
Apollo 11 (The Moon) – Old Glory on the foreground and the Lunar TV Assembly in the center of the picture – Credit: NASA (1969)
Apollo 11 (The Moon) – The EASEP instruments including the Passive Seismic Experiment Package (PSEP) and the Laser Ranging Retro-Reflector (LRRR). Note the deployment hardware lying between them: among pins, lanyards and brackets, the LRRR protective cover to the right of the thruster and the LRRR ‘Hockey Stick’ are the most noticeable – Credit: NASA (1969)
Apollo 12 (The Moon) – The RTG Fuel Cask Dome Retrieval Tool (upright T-handle on the left) and the Fuel Transfert Tool lying next to it were used to retrieve the Fuel Capsule from its cask (upper right hand corner) and to place it inside the RTG. The aluminum rod at the bottom of the picture is the LM left landing gear Lunar Surface Contact Probe. ALSEP brackets and deployment lanyards are also visible on the surfaceCredit: NASA (1969)
Apollo 12 (The Moon) – The first ALSEP instruments. Clockwise from the center are the Central Station, the Passive Seismic Experiment, the Lunar Surface Magnetometer (with its arms up) and the Solar Wind Spectrometer. A dust cover is also visible to the far right of the pictureCredit: NASA (1969)
Apollo 12 (The Moon) – The third Contrast Chart dropped on the surface and used to calibrate the cameraCredit: NASA (1969)
Apollo 12 (The Moon) – The Surveyor III probe stripped down of its scoop and TV camera: note the dangling wires and the severed aluminum tubes. This is the very first occurence of extraterrestrial archeologyCredit: NASA (1969)
Apollo 13 (The Moon) – Impact site of the S-IVB third stage. This picture of the LROC orbiter suggests that it probably hit flat. It is the only successful scientific experiment of the mission along with the surface pictures taken during the slingshot maneuverCredit: NASA (2009)
Luna 17 (The Moon) – The landing platform viewed from the Lunokhod 1 roverCredits: Lavochkin, Roscosmos (1970)
Luna 17 (The Moon) – A ghostly TV video shot at the landing platform in its context. The vertical mast is roughly 2.5 m high Credits: Lavochkin, Roscosmos (1970)
Apollo 14 (The Moon) – S-Band Antenna packing material including the aluminum rib protector and the carry bar over the thermal blanket and the top foam pad to the right. The antenna legs tie down strap is barely visible on the blanketCredit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 14 (The Moon) – A Jettison Bag, the LRRR Pallet and thermal shrouds stored under the LM next to the Descent Engine BellCredit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 14 (The Moon) – The LEC Bag lying next to the LM left footpadCredit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 14 (The Moon) – The ALSEP instruments. The red flags mark the position of the Mortar Package and a T/G experiment Geophone. Note the dust covers, brackets and bags scattered in front the Central Station and to the far right of the picture – Credit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 14 (The Moon) – The LRRR clear-plastic cover with a red stripe (upper right) lies next to the instrument – Credit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 14 (The Moon) – At the bottom center of the image, an unused cup-shaped Documented Sample Bag, probably #22N, fell on the surface and was never picked up by the crewCredit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 14 (The Moon) – Both PLSS and Old Glory in the foreground and the ALSEP instruments in the upper left hand cornerCredit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 14 (The Moon) – From left to right, the Modular Equipment Transporter, the Lunar Close-up Camera with its cassette cover lying next to it, and a SRC York Mesh packing material. Note the Hasselblad Camera and the 16mm film Camera (with the forgotten film magazine inside) on the MET. The Lunar TV cable and a probable pin or bracket are also visible on the surfaceCredit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 14 (The Moon) – Barely visible in the center of the picture, in a crater, are the Contingency Sampler Handle thrown as a javelin by Ed Mitchell and, just in front of it, one of the two golf balls swung by Alan ShepardCredit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 15 (The Moon) – The Contingency Sampler Handle, a bracket and a probable ALSEP package D-Ring in the center of the picture and, to the right, the Contingency Sample Collection Bag Ring – Credit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 15 (The Moon) – The ALSEP instruments among dust covers, brackets, bags and other packing material. From left to right are the gray-colored RTG, the Central Station, the Passive Seismic Experiment, the Solar-Wind Spectrometer Experiment, the Magnetometer (with its arms up) and, to the far right, the SIDE/CCIG – Credit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 15 (The Moon) – A Boyd Bolt is visible to the right of the Solar-Wind Spectrometer Experiment. Used from Apollo 12 to 17, they held tight the folded ALSEP instruments during the voyage to the MoonCredit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 15 (The Moon) – Far in the background, a little white triangle-shaped object is visible slightly to the right and up of the center of the picture. Its shape and brightness are consistent with a discarded Documented Sample Bag, probably #189 or #191Credit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 15 (The Moon) – On the next picture of the panorama, the same discarded Document Sample Bag is visible to the far left, suggesting that it is not a smudge on the camera lens. However, the white dot to the right is a stain on the film: it doesn’t appear on the next frame of the panoramaCredit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 15 (The Moon) – Another Documented Sample Bag is visible on the surface next to the LMP’s feet on the upper right hand corner. It is probably another discarded bag, #165Credit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 15 (The Moon) – The hammer and the falcon feather used for the Galileo experiment. They both hit the ground at the same time as expected and are now lying underneath the LM MESA along with thermal blankets and straps. Note the LRV High Gain Antenna packing material in the upper left hand corner of the pictureCredit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 15 (The Moon) – Pennants deployed on the surface by the LMP: medallions, silver pieces, a small sliver of Central Oregon lava and the picture of a man. The two clear plastic parts probably encased one of the items and split open when hitting the groundCredit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 15 (The Moon) – The Lunar Roving Vehicle 1 parked at its permanent location and in the background the Fallen Astronauts Memorial. Note the missing front-left wheel fender extension on the rover: it was lost during the first EVACredit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 15 (The Moon) – Close-up picture of the Fallen Astronauts Plaque and Figurine at the Memorial site behind the roverCredit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 15 (The Moon) – LRV TV frame of the abandoned Lunar Module Falcon Descent StageCredit: NASA (1971)
Apollo 16 (The Moon) – The ALSEP instruments. From left to right, the gray-colored RTG, the Central Station and a Thumper/Geophone cable red anchor. The Passive Seismic Experiment is in the foregroundCredit: NASA (1972)
Apollo 16 (The Moon) – Another view of the ALSEP site with the Mortar Package in the foreground and the Magnetometer above it in the background. The Central Station and the RTG are also visible in the upper left hand cornerCredit: NASA (1972)
Apollo 16 (The Moon) – Astronaut Duke’s family portrait. The photograph has since faded due to the high surface temperature and the intense radiationCredit: NASA (1972)
Apollo 16 (The Moon) – LRV TV frame of the abandoned Lunar Module Orion Descent StageCredit: NASA (1972)
Venera 8 (Venus) – Post-landing artist view of the early Venera probe. The disc in the foreground is the ejectable secondary antennaCredits: Andrei Konstantinovich Sokolov (date unknown)
Apollo 17 (The Moon) – The ALSEP site. Clockwise from the foreground are the LEAM experiment, the central pile of packing material, the Lunar Surface Gravimeter, the Central Station and the RTG. The long stick in the center of the picture is one of the two Universal Handling Tool Credit: NASA (1972)
Apollo 17 (The Moon) – Another view of the ALSEP central pile of packing material. The RTG is at left and the LEAM Experiment above it in the backgroundCredit: NASA (1972)
Apollo 17 (The Moon) – An empty Sample Bag, probably #473, left on the surface next to the ‘Split Boulder’. However its shape is also consistent with a 20-Sample Bag Dispenser Assembly, so both are probably still fixed together since this Sample Bag was the last of its seriesCredit: NASA (1972)
Apollo 17 (The Moon) – Another 20-Sample Bag Dispenser Assembly left empty inside Van Serg CraterCredit: NASA (1972)
Apollo 17 (The Moon) – The hammer in flight: thrown away by the LMP it landed halfway between the LM and the ALSEP site to the leftCredit: NASA (1972)
Apollo 17 (The Moon) – The blue box in the lower left-hand corner is the discarded Traverse Gravimeter Experiment. The black spots reflect that it hit the surface several times when it was thrown away by the CDRCredit: NASA (1972)
Apollo 17 (The Moon) – Frame of the 16mm film shot at liftoff and showing the landing site. The Descent Stage is at the lower left, the ALSEP is at the top center and the crew tracks are visible in betweenCredit: NASA (1972)
Apollo 17 (The Moon) – LRV TV frame of the abandoned Lunar Module Challenger Descent Stage. The white object laid against the LM footpad to the right is the Quad III Payload PalletCredit: NASA (1972)
Luna 21 (The Moon) – The landing platform viewed from the Lunokhod 2 roverCredits: Lavochkin, Roscosmos (1973)
Luna 21 (The Moon) – Another shot at the landing platform. The probe landed a few meters from a large craterCredits: Lavochkin, Roscosmos (1973)
Luna 23 (The Moon) – This LROC picture shows the complete probe lying on its side: it tipped over at landing. ‘D’ is the Descent Stage while ‘A’ is the stranded Ascent StageCredits: NASA (2012)
Venera 9 (Venus) – First-ever image of the surface of the planet. The object to the right is the soil Gamma-Ray SpectrometerCredits: Lavochkin, Roscosmos (1975), enhanced by Ted Stryk (date unknown)
Venera 10 (Venus) – The long white object at the bottom center of the image is the camera lens cover. These early lens caps were plagued by a design flaw that prevented most of them from being ejected after touchdown: both Venera 9 and 10 were half-blind (their second camera’s lens cap didn’t pop-up) while neither Venera 11 or 12 could see anythingCredits: Lavochkin, Roscosmos (1975), enhanced by Ted Stryk (date unknown)
Viking 2 (Mars) – The Collector Head Protective Shroud is lying next to a series of trenches dug by the probe’s robotic armCredits: NASA, JPL (1976)
Venera 13 (Venus) – Both newly-designed cameras lens caps are visible on the surface in front of the landing ring. The arm to the left of the bottom picture holds the soil penetrometer, drill and surface samplerCredits: Lavochkin, Roscosmos (1982), enhanced by Ted Stryk (date unknown)
Venera 13 (Venus) – Post-landing artist view of the second-generation Venera landerCredit: Mattias Malmer (2020)
Venera 14 (Venus) – One of the camera lens cap landed right under the soil penetrometer which consequently returned the cap’s compressibility data instead that of the surface (bottom picture). The white object to the right of the arm is probably a piece of the broken lens capCredits: Lavochkin, Roscosmos (1982), enhanced by Ted Stryk (date unknown)
Mars Pathfinder (Mars) – TV frame of the Carl Sagan Memorial Station from the short height (28 cm) of SojournerCredits: NASA, JPL (1997)
Mars Pathfinder (Mars) – Computer-enhanced self-portrait of the Carl Sagan Memorial Station made with the IMP imager on top of a mast – Credits: NASA, JPL (1997)
Mars Pathfinder (Mars) – The Sojourner rover travelling among rocks, carefully monitored by the landerCredits: NASA, JPL (1997)
Spirit (Mars) – Close picture of the Columbia Memorial StationCredits: NASA, JPL (2004)
Spirit (Mars) – Computer-generated view of the current status of the rover. It became embedded in soft sand and the team couldn’t remediate the situation before the batteries were depletedCredits: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Astro0 (2009)
Spirit (Mars) – One of the last pictures from the rover pointing out the left front wheel stuck in the sand trap. The scene remains the same as of todayCredits: NASA, JPL (2010)
Opportunity (Mars) – The Challenger Memorial Station viewed from the roverCredits: NASA, JPL (2004)
Opportunity (Mars) – Heat Shield impact site. From right to left, the initial impact crater, parts of the Flank Heat Shield and the main Heat ShieldCredits: NASA, JPL (2004)
Opportunity (Mars) – The main Heat Shield, torn inside out, among springs and other itemsCredits: NASA, JPL (2004)
Opportunity (Mars) – Computer-enhanced self-portrait of the filthy rover taken with the mast-mounted PanCam camera. Dust is occasionally blown off the solar panels by dust devilsCredits: NASA, JPL (2004)
Cassini (Saturn) – Post-landing artist concept of the Huygens probe on the moon Titan. The 3-meter diameter stabilizer chute is visible in the upper left hand corner. The landing site is now called Hubert Curien Memorial StationCredits: ESA, NASA (2005)
Hayabusa (Asteroid 25143 Itokawa) – Close-up picture of the first Target Marker released during the landing approach testCredit: JAXA (2005)
Hayabusa (Asteroid 25143 Itokawa) – The little white dot to the left of the probe’s shadow is the second Market Marker released on the surface. Target Markers helped the probe evaluate distances on a featureless surfaceCredit: JAXA (2005)
Phoenix (Mars) – NASA illustration of the yo-yo cables and masses being released in solar orbit once they’ve reduced the spin rate of the probe. The dark gray-colored spent injection booster will be discarded right after thatCredit: NASA (2007)
Phoenix (Mars) – The Planetary Society’s “Vision of Mars” DVD fixed on the deck of the landerCredit: NASA, JPL (2008)
Phoenix (Mars) – One of the probe’s solar cell array and the scoop at the end of the robotic arm. Photos taken by MRO in orbit show no shadow under one of the two solar panels, indicating that it may have broken under carbon dioxide ice weight during a winterCredit: NASA, JPL (2008)
Ikaros (Solar orbit) – The solar sail pictured by the small DCAM2 wireless camera released in deep space for that purposeCredits: JAXA (2010)
Curiosity (Mars) – Computer-enhanced self-portrait of the rover on the surfaceCredits: NASA, JPL (2012)
Chang’e 3 (The Moon) – Lunar Landing Vehicle viewed from the Yutu roverCredit: CNSA (2013)
Chang’e 3 (The Moon) – The Yutu rover strolling on the Moon one dayCredit: CNSA (2013)
Rosetta (Comet 67P/Churyumo-Gerasimenko) – The small lander Philae shot by the probe right after its release. It moves away to land on the cometCredit: ESA (2016)
Rosetta (Comet 67P/Churyumo-Gerasimenko) – Where is Philae? The lander is nestled into a ravine of the comet. Spoiler alert: take a look at the right edge of the pictureCredit: ESA (2016)
Falcon Heavy Test Flight (Solar orbit) – Artist view of the Falcon Heavy upper stage and its Tesla Roadster fixed payloadCredits: SpaceX, Nagualdesign (2018)
InSight (Mars) – Artist view of the probe on the surface with the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) shielded under the dome in the foreground and the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) next to it on the right Credits: NASA, JPL (2018)
InSight (Mars) – Computer-enhanced self-portrait of the filthy spacecraftCredits: NASA, JPL (2018)
InSight (Mars) – One of the last pictures of the probe. The SEIS dome is in the center with the Engineering cable sticking out of it, while the HP3 package is on the left and between it and the trenches, barely visible, are the buried Mole and its science cable. The object hanging from the top is the IDA robotic arm with the scoop in the retracted position and the five-digit grapple secured along the forearm. The scene remains the same as of todayCredits: NASA, JPL (2018)
Hayabusa-2 (Asteroid 162173 Ryugu) – The Mascot rover captured seconds before landing on the surface of RyuguCredit: JAXA (2018)
Hayabusa-2 (Asteroid 162173 Ryugu) – The white ball at the bottom of the picture is Target Marker TM-A being released to the surface of RyuguCredit: JAXA (2019)
Hayabusa-2 (Asteroid 162173 Ryugu) – The Minerva II-2 rover, viewed from the probe, on its way to the surface of RyuguCredit: JAXA (2019)
Chang’e 4 (The Moon) – The Lunar Landing Vehicle viewed from the Yutu 2 rover. It is the first spacecraft ever to land on the far sideCredit: CNSA (2019)
Chang’e 4 (The Moon) – Another shot at the Lunar Landing Vehicle from the Yutu 2 roverCredit: CNSA (2019)
Chang’e 4 (The Moon) – The Yutu 2 rover strolling on the far side of the MoonCredit: CNSA (2019)
Beresheet (The Moon) – One of the last pictures taken by the probe before it impacted the surface due to a malfunction of the descent engineCredit: SpaceIL (2019)
Chandrayaan-2 (The Moon) – This annotated picture of the Vikram lander crash site shows how large a debris field can be. In this particular case, the 1.4 ton lander is scattered over a 4 sq km area Credit: NASA (2019)
Tianwen-1 (Mars) – Zhurong landing platform viewed from the rover – Credit: CNSA (2021)
Tianwen-1 (Mars) – Family portrait of the mission surface hardware viewed from the small deployable wireless camera dropped on the surface – Credit: CNSA (2021)
Tianwen-1 (Mars) – Zhurong landing platform back shell and parachute viewed from the rover – Credit: CNSA (2021)
Tianwen-1 (Mars) – Portrait of the orbiter over the Northern Ice Cap taken by the other deployable wireless camera released in orbit – Credit: CNSA (2021)
Perseverance (Mars) – The Skycrane seconds after releasing the rover on the surface. It flies away to its fateCredits: NASA, JPL (2021)
Perseverance (Mars) – The Adaptive Caching Assembly Cover was fixed under the belly of the rover and protected the instrument from dust and rock projections at landingCredits: NASA, JPL (2021)
Perseverance (Mars) – Ingenuity’s Debris Shield was also fixed under the belly of the rover and prevented the small helicopter from being damaged at landingCredits: NASA, JPL (2021)
Perseverance (Mars) – Ingenuity helicopter droneCredits: NASA, JPL (2021)
Perseverance (Mars) – Ingenuity’s Debris Shield on the left and to the right, partially hidden by a rock, the Adaptive Caching Assembly CoverCredits: NASA, JPL (2021)
Perseverance (Mars) – The rover is barely visible in the top left-hand corner. It was captured by Ingenuity on its third flightCredits: NASA, JPL (2021)
Perseverance (Mars) – Ingenuity flies past the Skycrane debris field up in the right-hand corner. A small piece of debris is also visible in the center of the pictureCredits: NASA, JPL (2021)
Perseverance (Mars) – Pictured by Ingenuity, the scattered back shell with the main chute still attachedCredits: NASA, JPL (2021)
Perseverance (Mars) – A debris from the back shell stuck in an outcropCredits: NASA, JPL (2021)
Perseverance (Mars) – A thread blown by the wind passes by the rover. It probably comes from the main chute or the back shell Credits: NASA, JPL (2021)
Perseverance (Mars) – One of the ten sealed sample tubes dropped on the surface by the rover. These tubes are backups in case Perseverance is unable to deliver its body-cached tubes to the future Mars Sample Return Mission in 2033. In that particular case two helicopter drones similar to Ingenuity will collect these surface tubes and store them in the MSRM launcher Credits: NASA, JPL (2022)
Perseverance (Mars) – Computer-enhanced self-portrait of the rover in the “Three Forks” Sample Depot. The ChemCam is looking down at sample tube #9 while #8 is visible in the background between the dead-end tracks. Sample tubes #5, 6 and 7 are barely visible further back and the remaining four are too far away to be located Credits: NASA, JPL (2023)
Dart (Asteroid 65803 Didymos 1 Dimorphos) – The probe separates from the injection stage and begins its journey to the double asteroid system – Credits: NASA, APL (2021)