Launched on July 26, 2005 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, STS-114 was classified as Logistics Flight 1. The mission's third and final extravehicular activity included taking a close-up look and the repair of the damaged heat shield. Gap fillers were removed from between the orbiter's heat-shielding tiles located on the craft's underbelly. Never before had any repairs been done to an orbiter while still in space.
This citizen journalism photo taken with a cell phone by Stefanie Gordon aboard a passenger flight from New York to Palm Beach, Fla. shows the Space Shuttle Endeavour as it streaks toward orbit shortly after liftoff on May 16. Gordon says she had just awakened from a nap on the flight when the pilot announced the shuttle might come into view.
Indians celebrate after their team won the ICC World Cup cricket semifinal match against Pakistan, in Mumbai, India. India upstaged archrival Pakistan by 29 runs in the so-called 'mother of all World Cup matches' to progress to the final against Sri Lanka, giving Sachin Tendulkar another chance to reach his 100th hundred after his charmed innings fell just short on Wednesday.
One day into the final mission for the space shuttle Discovery, the orbiter's systems were 'in great shape.' But the craft's heat-shedding tiles were closely inspected for post-launch damage.
Scientists peered through a galactic window in the ladle of the Big Dipper, using the Herschel telescope to look 10 billion years backwards in time and investigate the origins of galaxies, which turn out to require 20 times less dark matter than previously calculated.
Like many a robotic planetary mission, you've gotta love the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn – a joint effort between NASA and the European Space Agency. It launched in 1997 and for the past six years (yes, it took some time to get there), Cassini has been the gift that keeps on giving. Saturn's largest moon, Titan, continues to be one of Cassini's most intriguing targets. It's the only planetary satellite with a thick atmosphere – a hydrocarbon haze that makes a smoggy day in Los Angeles look crystal clear by comparison. And although it's a cold moon, with lakes of liquid methane, Titan has many of the compounds that on Earth were the building blocks for organic life. It's high on the list of "let's go back" destinations among astrobiologists. So far, Cassdini has performed 73 flybys of Titan, including eight this year. Here are some of this year's eye-popping discoveries associated with Cassini's observations of Titan.
A Russian Orthodox priest blesses the Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft at the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Dec. 14. The crew of NASA astronaut Catherine Coleman, Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev and European Space Agency Astronaut Paolo Nespoli are to travel to the International Space Station on Dec. 16.
A TP Mazembe soccer supporter mugs for the camera during the club World Cup semifinal soccer match against Brazil's SC Internacional do Porto Alegre at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
South Korean postmen dressed as Santa Claus leave the post office headquarters on motorbikes to deliver Christmas gifts to poor people for their charity campaign in Seoul, South Korea. The campaign involves about 50 postmen.