NASA's EPOXI craft radios 'I'm still alive' to mission control and sends back the first five close-up images of tiny, pockmarked Comet Hartley 2. Scientists eagerly await the photos in high-def.
As exploring the heavens becomes more expensive, many experts think it is time for nations to band together to push humanity to the next threshold of space exploration.
The Constellation program is gearing up as the shuttle winds down. But other shuttle replacements have been scuttled before.
The shuttle Atlantis blasted off Monday afternoon to repair the telescope, but the crew's first task will be to check for launch damage.
The lander is scheduled to touch down on the red planet Sunday, marking a turning point in the exploration program.