Blue Origin, a secretive company set up by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, hopes to win a NASA contract to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station with its Space Vehicle. Company officials have said the Space Vehicle should be ready to begin commercial operations between 2016 and 2018. Blue Origin is also working on a suborbital spacecraft called New Shepard, which would be launched by a reusable propulsion module.
Released to Public: The Mineral Moon (NASA/JPL) This mosaic of 53 images was recorded by the Jupiter-bound Galileo spacecraft as it passed near our own large natural satellite in 1992. The pictures were recorded through three spectral filters and combined in an exaggerated false-color scheme to explore the composition of the lunar surface as changes in mineral content produce subtle color differences in reflected light.