When NASA's space shuttles launch into orbit, they don't just carry astronauts and supplies into the final frontier. There's a lot of other weird stuff that makes the out-of-this-world journey, too. NASA's last space shuttle mission will launch Friday, July 8 on the Atlantis orbiter to deliver spare parts to the International Space Station. The mission will be the 135th and last flight for the program, which began in 1981. But over the course of 30 years, the space shuttles have flown some peculiar objects into orbit. The list of odd stuff that flew aboard the shuttles is a long one, and includes the Olympic torch, a replica of the golden spike from the First Transcontinental Railroad, and rocks from the top of Mount Everest and the surface of the moon, just to name a few. Here nine recent space oddities carried into orbit on NASA shuttles:
07/08/2011 03:53 pm
Endeavour flight watchers, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, were able to watch the picture-perfect NASA shuttle launch Monday for only 12 seconds because of an unusual situation.
05/16/2011 01:55 pm
The Monitor's bureau chief in Mexico recalls when Americans thought nothing of crossing the border for a taco or inexpensive dental work. Those days are over.
04/05/2011 06:31 pm
In an immensely readable new biography of Catherine of Aragon, Giles Tremlett tells the story of the Spanish queen who changed the course of English history.
03/04/2011 08:25 am
Set in Bolivia, 'Even the Rain' equates the struggles of the country's modern-day peasants to those of Columbus's day in a sort of elergy to the oppressed.
02/18/2011 07:06 pm
The Utah House passed a measure to make the Browning M1911 semiautomatic the state gun in honor of Utahn John Browning. Critics question the wisdom of having a state gun.
01/26/2011 04:31 pm
Ted Williams, a homeless man with a golden voice, had a video of himself begging by the road posted on Youtube this week. Within days job offers for voice work poured in, including a dream job with the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.
01/05/2011 11:49 pm
High-profile deaths – the latest being the mayor of Springfield, Ill., and the Florida school board shooter – have common backdrops of economic duress. Workplace suicides, too, rose during Great Recession.
12/16/2010 03:55 pm
Do smaller urban centers promise a better life than a congested megalopolis?
12/08/2010 02:24 pm
Longtime Yankees shortstop and captain Derek Jeter finalized a three-year, $51 million deal with the Bronx Bombers on Tuesday. Jeter is in some pretty select Yankee company, when it comes to records and all. Take our quiz and see how well you know the 11-time All-Star. Answers are revealed on subsequent pages.
12/07/2010 05:00 pm