Top photo on the space theme for 2011

For the space industry 2011 was a year of farewells: space shuttle program ended, ended mission rover "Spirit", and was sent to a new mission rover ...

1. On this photograph, taken by Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli on board the "Soyuz" seen the shuttle "Endeavour", docked to the ISS. It was the only opportunity to take pictures from orbit station and space shuttle. (Paolo Nespoli / NASA / ESA) 80,965,563

2. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly aboard the Russian helicopter after the landing of the "Union." He had his hand on a blue bracelet with the inscription "Gabby" in honor of his daughter Gabrielle Giffords wounded. Kelly and his colleagues returned from the ISS on March 16. Twin brother, Mark Kelly Scott - Gabrielle Giffords husband. Scott and Mark - the only twin NASA astronauts. Mark Kelly resigned in October. (Bill Ingalls / AFP - Getty Images)

3. Take off the shuttle "Endeavour" on May 16 aboard a passenger flight from New York to Palm Beach, Florida. (Stefanie Gordon / for 66,849,429

4. NASA astronaut Greg Chamitoff holds the handrail during the fourth exit of the team members 'Endeavour' to the ISS in space. For 7 hours and 24 minutes in the open space, Chamitoff and Michael Fink (visible in the reflection on the helmet) inspected the bottom of the station, officially ending US involvement in its construction. (NASA via EPA) 14,015,509

5. Astronaut Janet Kavandi conducts a tour of one of the halls of the Kennedy Space Center for Barack Obama, his wife Michelle and their daughters Sasha and Malia, 29 April 2011. The president and his family had hoped to see the last shuttle launch, "Endeavour", but it was postponed due to technical problems. The launch of the shuttle "Atlantis" July 30 was the last in the 30-year program "Space Shuttle". (Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images)

6. Spar King of Armarillo, Texas, sleeping on the roof of the car while waiting for the launch of the shuttle "Atlantis", July 8, 2011. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

7. NASA officials observe the takeoff "Atlantis" from the control room 4 at Kennedy Space Center on July 8, 2011. (NASA)

8. Spectators watch the take-off "Atlantis." (Shawn Thew / EPA) 60,109,813

9. Shuttle 'Atlantis' return to Earth. The picture from the ISS on July 21, 2011. (NASA via EPA) 67,479,655

10. Night landing. "Atlantis" landed on a strip of the Kennedy Space Center, July 21. (Pierre Ducharme / Reuters)

11. The laser beam from the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory excites sodium atoms in the mesosphere, which leads to the formation of a luminous point. This point to the observer from the earth looks like a star and is used to calibrate the optical system of the telescope. (ESO) 84,819,340

12. The star-forming cloud NGC 281 in the constellation Cassiopeia got the nickname "Pacman Nebula" because of its "teeth" that reminded astronomers of the 1980s video game called Pac-Man. In fact, "teeth" - huge pillars interstellar dust. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA) 67,526,841

13. NASA technicians near the shell that protects the rover «Curiosity» from high temperatures when entering the Martian atmosphere. Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA, Cape Canaveral Air Base, April 4, 2011. The rover landed on Mars in August 2012. (Damian Dovarganes / AP) 1,960,343

14. Martian sand dunes, spectrozonal shot with a high resolution camera aboard NASA's orbiter. Dunes on the edges of the hills look like centipedes legs. This is another example of pareidolia, visual illusions such as the famous "Face on Mars" - the human brain interprets the image as having a clear sense of his or familiar object. (NASA / JPL / University of Arizona)

15. Simulated mission to Mars. "Landing" was held on February 14 and the following days the crew made three exits to the surface. The surface of Mars showed a giant sandbox, built within the research institute in Moscow. This simulation has become one of the most important events of the 520-day experiment to learn how to behave like members of a real mission to Mars in terms of psychological stress and long-term isolation. (Lightroom Photos / Zuma Press) 87,845,136

16. The picture from the Hubble Space Telescope, released December 15th. Bipolar region of star formation like a snow angel. The "wings" of recorded heat and movement, in contrast to the cold and tranquil central part. From the star at the center of mass of the two diverge hot gas. The ring of dust around the star pulls the cloud, giving it an hourglass shape. (NASA / ESA / STScI / AURA) 58,978,146

17. The moon with the ISS on October 21, 2011. The original post on Twitter: "Beautiful Moon, a good start to the weekend." (Ron Garan / NASA)

18. The new aircraft Virgin America A320 flying near the rocket ship SpaceShipTwo and its carrier over the Golden Gate Bridge, 6 April 2011. The aircraft landed at San Francisco International Airport, thus putting into operation the new terminal cost 388 million dollars. SpaceShipTwo suborbital test will start at the Mojave Airport near Los Angeles. (Mark Greenberg / Virgin America) 92,893,944

19. Hillary Livingston adds the finishing touches to the model of a lunar base in the exhibition "Beyond Earth" at the Museum of Natural History in New York. This exhibition is to bring back to life the dream of colonizing the Moon and Mars. (Piotr Redlinski / New York Times via Redux) 19,574,313

20. Machinery, approaching the landing site of the Russian "Soyuz" in northern Kazakhstan, on 22 November. The capsule to Earth with the ISS arrived NASA astronaut Michael Fossum, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov and Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa. (Shamil Zhumatov / Reuters) 24,909,438

21. Fire birth of new stars in the image of the galaxy Centaurus A, the Hubble Space Telescope photo, published on 16 June. (NASA / ESA via AFP - Getty Images)

22. technicians to service the 76 meter Lovell telescope dish, June 21, Holmes Chapel, England. (Christopher Furlong / Getty Images)

23. Photo of the asteroid Vesta, a NASA spacecraft Dawn. The probe entered orbit around Vesta on July 16, and during the year will be monitored. Scientists are discussing the origin of the circular structure on the surface - a collision with another asteroid or internal processes? Only pictures of higher resolution will help to answer this question. (NASA)

24. meteor in the sky above the park French Creek, PA, October 22, 2011. (Jeff Berkes) 16,096,072

25. "Galaxy antennas» NGC 4038 in the constellation of the Crow, 70 million light-years away. The picture of the frames combined with the Hubble Space Telescope and the ALMA radio telescope in Chile. (ALMA (ESO / NAOJ / NRAO)

26. Take off the heavy carrier rocket Boeing Delta 4 Heavy from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on January 27. The rocket will orbit a spy satellite of the National Directorate of Military Intelligence space. (Bryan Walton / AP) 6,107,811

27. During the outbreak of class M-3.6 in the sun, near the surface there was plenty of plasma, which writhed and spun for 90 minutes on February 24th. The picture with the dynamics soltse Observatory. Some agents flew into space, the rest fell back to the surface of the star. (SDO Goddard Space Flight Center) 21,793,509

28. Four of the moon of Saturn near the planet, the orbiter photo with «Cassini», October 24. Bright Dion in the foreground, and Titanium - in the background. Point to the right of the Rings - Pandora, and Pan - a small spark in the background of the rings to the left of Titan and Dione. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI) 51,186,058

29. The Norwegian photographer Tommy Eliassen made this unique photo September 25, 2011. At the same time it can be seen the Milky Way, the northern lights and the falling meteor. This year, the northern lights were observed most frequently. (Tommy Eliassen / Caters News Agency) 32,667,277

30. Divers help astronauts during tranirovki in the pool training center Star City near Moscow, on 18 February. The water activities are processed in a state of weightlessness. (Sergey Ponomarev / AP) 10,455,393

31. The picture from the satellite on December 8th. Chinese aircraft carrier Shi Lang (aka aircraft carrier "Varyag") in the Yellow Sea, 100 kilometers south-southeast of the port of Dalian, China. (Digitalglobe / AP) 81,998,214

32. Photo from the ISS on September 17. The two docked Russian spacecraft to the station and "southern" lights. (NASA via AP)

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