Astrophotographer John Chumack was killing time while waiting for Comet ISON (a potentially spectacular comet making its closest approach to the sun in November and December) to rise when he captured this beautiful image of the Orion Nebula, M42 (NGC 1976) along with neighbor, De Mairan's Nebula M43.
We want to move and explore in a very similar manner that we've done in the past, so that we can live off the land to make all these missions very cost-effective and more efficient," Prasun Desai, acting director of the Strategic Integration and Analysis Office in NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, said on Aug. 6.
Rabe formed in an instant when a large rock slammed into the surface of Mars long ago. It may have started as a normal, if large, impact crater, but things change. The cause of the flat floor isn't well known, but likely due to volcanic deposits filling it, plus material blown in over time.
Actually, that last bit is very important. Mars has an atmosphere, though a thin one, pushing down with less than 1% of the pressure on the surface as Earth's air does here. But it's enough.