The Atlantis landing just before 6 a.m. Thursday marks the end of the US space shuttle program – and the transition to private firms as the cargo carriers to space. Perhaps they'll ferry people, too.
There will be many eyes checking out the inaugural flight of the private Falcon 9 rocket Friday, launching from Florida.
According to President Obama, NASA needs a goal beyond the space station and the moon for human spaceflight to inspire the nation as the Apollo mission did. He has chosen Mars.
A panel moves closer to recommending where NASA should fly next, and how.