International Space Station

A Russian Orthodox priest blesses the So...A Russian Orthodox priest blesses the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft at the launch pad of the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome on March 26, 2015. Russia's Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko is scheduled to blast off to the ISS from Baikonur early on March 28, Kazakh time. AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty

A Russian Orthodox priest blesses the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft at the launch pad of the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome. Russia‘s Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko is scheduled to blast off to the ISS from Baikonur early on Friday.

TOPSHOTS The Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft is...TOPSHOTS The Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 42 commander Barry Wilmore of NASA, Alexander Samokutyaev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Elena Serova of Roscosmos near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Thursday, March 12, 2015. NASA Astronaut Wilmore, Russian Cosmonauts Samokutyaev and Serova are returning after almost six months onboard the International Space Station where they served as members of the Expedition 41 and 42 crews.   AFP PHOTO / NASA / BILL INGALLS    == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL  USE / MANDATORY CREDIT:  "AFP PHOTO /   NASA / BILL INGALLS"/  NO A LA CARTE SALES  / NO MARKETING / NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS / DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ==BILL INGALLS/AFP/Getty Images

Bill Ingalls/AFP/Getty

The Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 42 commander Barry Wilmore of Nasa, Alexander Samokutyaev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Elena Serova of Roscosmos near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. The crew are returning after almost six months on board the International Space Station where they served as members of the Expedition 41 and 42. 

This image released by NASA December 15,...This image released by NASA December 15, 2014 shows the easily recognized boot of Italy, with Sicily at its toe, spread across this panorama taken October 21 by astronauts aboard the International Space Station(ISS). On a clear night looking east, the pattern of night lights shows populations concentrated mainly along the coastlines, but also in the Po River Valley of northern Italy(L). Some of the brightest clusters of lights are Rome and nearby Naples, with island cities of Cagliari on Sardinia and Catania on Sicilynow well-known as the hometown of European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano. The small, dark, circular patch dangerously close to Catania marks the unpopulated slopes of the active volcano Etna. Hazy lights, as over the Po valley and Rome, probably indicate thin clouds above. The island of Malta appears at the lower right. The airglow line is vivid in this night shot. AFP PHOTO / HANDOUT / NASA   == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE / MANDATORY CREDIT: "AFP PHOTO / HANDOUT / NASA  "/ NO MARKETING / NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS / NO A LA CARTE SALES / DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ==Handout/AFP/Getty Images

NASA/AFP/Getty

This image released by Nasa on Monday shows the easily recognised ‘boot of Italy‘, with Sicily at its toe. On a clear night looking east, the pattern of night lights shows populations concentrated mainly along the coastlines.

German Astronaut Alexander Gerst Aboard The International Space Station...IN SPACE - SEPTEMBER 9: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this handout photo provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) on September 9, 2014, German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst took this image of an aurora as he circled Earth whilst aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Gerst returned to earth on November 10, 2014 after spending six months on the International Space Station completing an extensive scientific programme, known as the 'Blue Dot' mission (after astronomer Carl Sagan's description of Earth, as seen on a photograph taken by the Voyager probe from six billion kilometres away). (Photo by Alexander Gerst / ESA via Getty Images)

ESA/Getty

In this handout photo provided by the European Space Agency (ESA).German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst took this image of an aurora as he circled Earth whilst aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Gerst returned to earth on Monday after spending six months on the International Space Station completing an extensive scientific programme, known as the ‘Blue Dot’ mission (after astronomer Carl Sagan’s description of Earth, as seen on a photograph taken by the Voyager probe from six billion kilometres away). 

Ground personnel work on November 10, 20...Ground personnel work on November 10, 2014 next to the Soyuz TMA-13M capsule, carrying International Space Station (ISS) crew members of Alexander Gerst of Germany, Maxim Surayev of Russia and Reid Wiseman of the United States, after its landing near the town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan. A veteran Russian cosmonaut and two International Space Station crewmates, one from the United States and one from Germany, returned safely to Earth on November 10 with a parachute landing of their Soyuz capsule in Kazakhstan, ending 5,5 months in orbit.    AFP PHOTO / POOL / SHAMIL ZHUMATOVSHAMIL ZHUMATOV/AFP/Getty Images

Shamil Zhumatov/AFP/Getty

Ground personnel work on the Soyuz TMA-13M capsule, carrying International Space Station crew members Alexander Gerst of Germany, Maxim Surayev of Russia and Reid Wiseman of the US, after its landing near the town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan. 

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman in the first of three spacewalks for the Expedition 41 crew aboard the International Space Station...NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst (not shown) works outside the space station's Quest airlock in the first of three spacewalks for the Expedition 41 crew aboard the International Space Station in this image released October 8, 2014. The spacewalkers worked outside the space station's Quest airlock for 6 hours and 13 minutes, relocating a failed cooling pump to external stowage and installing gear that provides back up power to external robotics equipment.   REUTERS/Alexander Gerst/NASA/ESA/Handout  (OUTER SPACE - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Alexander Gerst/NASA/ESA/Reuters

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst (not shown) works outside the space station’s Quest airlock in the first of three spacewalks for the Expedition 41 crew aboard the International Space Station.The spacewalkers worked outside the space station’s Quest airlock for 6 hours and 13 minutes, relocating a failed cooling pump to external stowage and installing gear that provides back up power to external robotics equipment. 

Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan...epaselect epa04417739 The Soyuz TMA 14 M blast off from Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan 26 September 2014, carrying members of the mission Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev, Elena Serova and NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore to the International Space Station.  EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

Yuri Kochetkov/EPA

The Soyuz TMA 14 M blast off from Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan carrying members of the mission Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev, Elena Serova and NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore to the International Space Station. 

A man takes a photo of the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft as it is lifted to its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome...A man takes a photo of the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft as it is lifted to its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome September 23, 2014. The Soyuz is scheduled to carry Barry Wilmore of the U.S., Elena Serova and Alexander Samokutyaev of Russia to the International Space Station on September 26. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov (KAZAKHSTAN - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

A man takes a photo of the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft as it is lifted to its launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome. The Soyuz is scheduled to carry Barry Wilmore of the US, Elena Serova and Alexander Samokutyaev of Russia to the International Space Station on Friday 

Earth seen from the International Space Station...epa04383191 A handout picture made available by NASA on 04 September 2014 shows a view of Earth taken by NASA astronaut Gregory Reid Wiseman of the US from the International Space Station (ISS) on space, 02 September 2014. The Expedition 40 crew has been busy on the ISS performing health checks and humanoid robot upgrades. A trio of orbital residents is packing up gear as they prepare to return home in less than two weeks. Commander Steve Swanson powered down and stowed Robonaut 2 after wrapping up its mobility upgrades this week. He installed new legs on the humanoid robot including external and internal gear as well as cables. This sets the stage for more upgrades in the fall before Robonaut takes its first steps as an assistant crew member. Robonaut was designed to enhance crew productivity and safety while also aiding people on Earth with physical disabilities.  EPA/NASA/REID WISEMAN  HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Reid Wiseman/Nasa/Epa

A view of earth taken by Nasa astronaut Gregory Reid Wiseman from the International Space Station, where the Expedition 40 crew have been performing health checks and humanoid robot upgrades 

In this image provided by NASA one of the Expedition 40 crew members aboard the International Space Station photographed this oblique night image of almost the entire countries of Italy and Sicily on July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/NASA)

AP/Nasa

This image shows Italy at night seen from the International Space Station. The photograph was taken by one of the Expedition 40 crew members aboard the International Space Station. 

Russian cosmonauts complete spacewalk...epa04268342 A handout picture released via NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman's twitter account on 20 June 2014 shows Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS), 19 June 2014. According to NASA, Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev completed a spacewalk outside the Russian segment of the ISS where they installed a communications system antenna and conducted experiments. The spacewalk lasted 7 hours and 23 minutes.  EPA/REID WISEMAN / NASA / HANDOUT  HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Reid Wiseman/NASA/EPA

A handout picture released via NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman’s twitter account on 20 shows Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS). According to NASA, Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev completed a spacewalk outside the Russian segment of the ISS where they installed a communications system antenna and conducted experiments. The spacewalk lasted 7 hours and 23 minutes 

Egyptian desert meets the Red Sea on a cloudless afternoon in this photo tweeted by first-time astronaut Reid Wiseman...The Egyptian desert meets the Red Sea on a cloudless afternoon in this photo tweeted by first-time astronaut Reid Wiseman on June 8, 2014. Wiseman is one of six men living aboard the International Space Station. Wiseman is sharing his observations and pictures with a growing following on Twitter.  REUTERS/Reid Wiseman/NASA/Handout via Reuters  (OUTER SPACE - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

NASA/Reuters

The Egyptian desert meets the Red Sea on a cloudless afternoon in this photo tweeted by first-time astronaut Reid Wiseman. Wiseman is one of six men living aboard the International Space Station. Wiseman is sharing his observations and pictures with a growing following on Twitter. 

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-13M space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, flies in the sky at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, May 29, 2014. Circular star tracks around the Polar Star and track of the rocket a the result of the long time exposure. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Dmitry Lovetsky/AP

The Soyuz TMA-13M space ship launches atop the Soyuz-FG rocket booster at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying a new crew to the International Space Station. Circular star tracks around the Polar Star and track of the rocket are the result of long time exposure 

REUTERS PICTURE HIGHLIGHT...ATTENTION EDITORS - REUTERS PICTURE HIGHLIGHT TRANSMITTED BY 0323 GMT ON MAY 14, 2014    SZH03  International Space Station (ISS) crew member Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata is helped by ground search and rescue personnel after landing south-east of the town of Dzhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan. REUTERS/Dmitry Lovetsky/Pool      REUTERS NEWS PICTURES HAS NOW MADE IT EASIER TO FIND THE BEST PHOTOS FROM THE MOST IMPORTANT STORIES AND TOP STANDALONES EACH DAY. Search for "TPX" in the IPTC Supplemental Category field or "IMAGES OF THE DAY" in the Caption field and you will find a selection of 80-100 of our daily Top Pictures.

Dmitry Lovetsky/Reuters

International Space Station crew member Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata is helped by ground personnel after landing southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan

This image provided by NASA March 16, 2014 shows a portion of the Florida Keys taken by Astronaut Rick Mastracchio from the International Space Station. (AP Photo/NASA, Rich Mastracchio)

Rich Mastracchio/Nasa/AP

This image provided by NASA shows a portion of the Florida Keys taken by Astronaut Rick Mastracchio from the International Space Station 

Landing of the Soyuz TMA-10M Spacecraft...ZHEZKAZGAN, KAZAHSTAN - MARCH 11: In this handout provided by NASA, Expedition 38 Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, is helped out of the Soyuz Capsule just minutes after he and Commander Oleg Kotov of the Roscosmos, and, Flight Engineer Mike Hopkins of NASA (not pictured) landed in their Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft on March 11 near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. Hopkins, Kotov and Ryazanskiy returned to Earth after five and a half months onboard the International Space Station where they served as members of the Expedition 37 and 38 crews.

Bill Ingalls/NASA/Getty

Flight engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, is helped out of the Soyuz Capsule just minutes after he and Commander Oleg Kotov of the Roscosmos landed on Tuesday near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. They returned to Earth after five and a half months on board the International Space Station. 

Russian Soyuz-FG rocket with Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft aboard is transported to a launch pad at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Soyuz TMA-10M is planned transport the Expedition 37 crew, including Michael Hopkins of the US together with Russia's Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky, to the International Space Station (ISS) on September 26.

AFP/Getty Images

Russian Soyuz-FG rocket with Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft aboard is transported to a launch pad at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Soyuz TMA-10M is planned to transport the Expedition 37 crew, including Michael Hopkins of the US together with Russia’s Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky, to the International Space Station (ISS) on 26 September.

Humanoid communication robot Kirobo talks to Kataoka, project general manager in the Product Planning Group of Toyota Motor Corp, during its unveiling in Tokyo...Humanoid communication robot Kirobo talks to Fuminori Kataoka, project general manager in the Product Planning Group of Toyota Motor Corp, during its unveiling in Tokyo June 26, 2013. Dentsu Inc, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo, Robo Garage and Toyota announced that their jointly developed robot astronaut, called Kirobo, will be aboard the Kounotori 4 cargo spacecraft scheduled for launch from the Tanegashima Space Center to the International Space Station (ISS) on August 4, 2013, according to the organiser.

Toru Hanai/Reuters

Robot Kirobo talks to Fuminori Kataoka of Toyota during its unveiling in Tokyo. Dentsu, the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo, Robo Garage and Toyota announced that the jointly developed humanoid astronaut will be aboard the Kounotori 4 cargo spacecraft scheduled for launch from the Tanegashima Space Centre to the International Space Station on August 4 2013.

photo provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA on 10 June 2013 shows NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, an Expedition 36 flight engineer, using a 400mm lens on a digital still camera to photograph a target of opportunity on Earth some 250 miles below him from inside the 'Cupola' of the International Space Station ISS. Cassidy has been aboard the orbital outpost since late March and will continue his stay into September 2013, NASA said. The Cupola, a dome shaped module with windows, was launched and installed as a panoramic control tower for operations outside of the ISS, in 2010.

Nasa/EPA

Nasa astronaut Chris Cassidy, an Expedition 36 flight engineer, uses a 400mm lens on a digital still camera to photograph a target of opportunity on Earth, some 250 miles below him from inside the “Cupola” of the International Space Station. Mr Cassidy has been aboard the orbital outpost since late March and will stay until September, Nasa said. The Cupola, a dome-shaped module with windows, was launched and installed as a panoramic control tower for operations outside of the ISS in 2010.