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Month in Space Pictures: An emergency landing and a cosmonaut haircut

A two-man crew survives a mission failure, a rocket curves around the Earth and more stellar highlights from October 2018.


Leaving the station

NASA astronauts Andrew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev executed a fly-around of the International Space Station to take pictures of the orbiting laboratory on Oct. 4, before returning home after spending 197 days in space. In November 2018, the space station will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the launch of the first element, the Zarya module.


Almost home

A Russian Soyuz MS-08 space capsule carrying astronauts Andrew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev lands about 80 miles southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on Oct. 4.

Maxim Shipenkov / Pool via AP
Image: Russian Soyuz MS-08 space capsule landed in Kazakhstan

Back on Earth

Astronaut Ricky Arnold flashes a thumbs-up after the Soyuz capsule landed.

Maxim Shipenkov / Pool via EPA

Can you see the skull?

An active star-forming region, NGC 2467, is sometimes referred to as the "Skull and Crossbones Nebula," because dust, gas and bright young stars are bound into the form of a grinning skull. While the European Southern Observatory's telescopes are usually used to collect science data, they can also capture images such as this — which are beautiful for their own sake.


Milky Way haze

The space station was orbiting about 256 miles above South Australia on Oct. 7 when an onboard camera captured this view of Earth's atmospheric glow and the Milky Way.

Image: The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) is seen over the sky near Rovaniemi in Lapland

Eerie glow

The northern lights, or aurora borealis, shimmer in the sky near Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland, on Oct. 7. Auroras occur when electrically charged particles from the sun collide with neutral atoms in the upper atmosphere.

Alexander Kuznetsov / Reuters
Image: Expedition 57 Crew Haircuts

Mission trim

Cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin gets his hair cut on Oct. 9 at the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, two days ahead of his scheduled launch to the space station.

Bill Ingalls / NASA
Image: Expedition to the International Space Station 57-58

Blessing the launch

Orthodox priests conduct a blessing service in front of a Soyuz rocket on the launch pad at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Oct. 10, the day before a scheduled launch to the space station.

Yuri Kochetkov / EPA
Image: International Space Station (ISS) crew member and astronaut Nick Hague of the U.S. gestures to his children as he leaves to board the spacecraft at the Baikonur Cosmodrome

Farewell through glass

NASA astronaut Nick Hague gestures to his children as he leaves to board the spacecraft at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Oct. 11.

Hague and Alexey Ovchinin were scheduled to spend six months aboard the space station.

Shamil Zhumatov / Reuters


The Soyuz rocket carrying Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin launches on Oct. 11.

Bill Ingalls / NASA

Emergency landing

The Soyuz MS-10 space capsule touched down in a field after an emergency landing near Dzhezkazgan, about 280 miles northeast of Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on Oct. 11. The two-man crew of the Soyuz rocket made a successful emergency landing after an engine problem on liftoff. The Soyuz booster failed about two minutes after launch, a major setback for the beleaguered Russian space industry.

Russian Defense Ministry via AP

Safe return

Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin disembark from a plane upon arrival in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on Oct. 11. Hague and Ovchinin were rescued without injuries in Kazakhstan.

Yuri Kochetkov / Pool via AFP - Getty Images

Cupola view

The H-II Transfer Vehicle-7 (HTV-7) from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is viewed from one of seven windows inside the cupola, the space station's "window to the world," on Oct. 11. The orbital complex was flying at an altitude of about 257 miles off the coast of Canada, above the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Image: SpaceX Launches Falcon 9 Rocket

Shooting star

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket curves around the Earth and into space after launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The rocket was carrying an Argentinian Earth-observation satellite into space on Oct. 7, 2018, near Santa Barbara, California. For the first time, SpaceX landed a first-stage booster back at its California launch site instead of at sea.

David McNew / Getty Images

Peering into the vortex

Hurricane Michael was captured from the International Space Station on Oct. 10 after it made landfall as a Category 4 storm over the Florida panhandle.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has described Michael as the most damaging hurricane to hit Florida since Andrew in 1992.

Photos: Hurricane Michael pounds Florida panhandle


Crooked path

The Green River winds through the state of Utah as captured on Oct. 22 from the space station, orbiting 255 miles above Earth.


... by the light of the moon

Ballroom dancers perform underneath an illuminated art installation entitled "Museum of the Moon" by artist Luke Jerram in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom in northern England on Oct. 26. The annual Lightpool Festival of visual arts features a mix of live performance and light-based art installations throughout the town.

Month in Space Pictures: Alien landscapes and monster storms

Oli Scarff / AFP - Getty Images