Disney's space ranger Buzz Lightyear returned from space on Sept. 11, 2009 aboard space shuttle Discovery's STS-128 mission after 15 months aboard the International Space Station. His time on the orbiting laboratory was celebrated in a ticker-tape parade together with his space station crewmates and former Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin on Oct. 2, at Walt Disney World in Florida. NASA
European Space Agency astronaut Christer Fuglesang is visible in the reflection of NASA astronaut Danny Olivas's helmet visor during this, the STS-128 mission's third and final spacewalk last September. NASA
The most crowded collision of galaxy clusters has been identified by combining information from three different telescopes. This result gives scientists a chance to learn what happens when some of the largest objects in the universe go at each other in a cosmic free-for-all. The researchers found that four separate galaxy clusters are involved in a triple merger, the first time such a phenomenon has been documented. NASA/CXC/IfA/C. Ma/STScI/
In this file photo, the X-38 research vehicle drops away from NASA's B-52 mothership immediately after being released from the B-52's wing pylon. More than 30 years earlier, this same B-52 launched the original lifting-body vehicles flight tested by NASA and the Air Force at what is now called the Dryden Flight Research Center and the Air Force Flight Test Center. NASA
Russian security officers walk along the railroad tracks as the Soyuz rocket is rolled out to the launch pad Monday, on Sept. 28, 2009 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. NASA/Bill Ingalls
In a break from its usual task of searching for distant cosmic explosions, NASA's Swift satellite acquired the highest-resolution view of a neighboring spiral galaxy ever attained in the ultraviolet. The galaxy, known as M31 in the constellation Andromeda, is the largest and closest spiral galaxy to our own. This mosaic of M31 merges 330 individual images taken by Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope. NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler (GSFC) and Erin Grand (UMCP)
Tethered to the end of the remote manipulator system arm, which was controlled from inside Atlantis' crew cabin, STS-125 astronaut Andrew Feustel is seen during a space walk in May 2009. NASA
In 19 years of observations, the Hubble Space Telescope has amassed a huge archive of data--an archive that may contain the telltale glow of an undiscovered planet. This is an artist's depiction of an exoplanet with a Saturn-like ring. NASA
Expedition 20 flight engineer Nicole Stott participates in the STS-128 mission's first spacewalk as construction and maintenance continue on the International Space Station in September 2009. During the six-hour and 35-minute spacewalk, Stott and astronaut Danny Olivas (not pictured) removed an empty ammonia tank from the station's truss and temporarily stowed it on the station's robotic arm. NASA
Flight Engineers Roman Romanenko, Frank De Winne, and Robert Thirsk of the 20th International Space Station crew launch in their Soyuz TMA-15 in May 2009. NASA
Sophisticated and lethal, growing in number, Islamic State and other extremist groups won't become a global force. Here's why.
BySeth G. Jones, Contributor
Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State Group/AP
Mullah Abdul Rauf Khadim looked like any ubiquitous insurgent commander in southern Afghanistan. He had a sunbaked complexion, serried black beard, charcoal eyes, and the usual accessory – an AK-47 slung over his shoulder.