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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Space shuttle comes to ‘final stop’ after 30 years

Atlantis and four astronauts returned from the International Space Station in triumph today, bringing an end to NASA’s 30-year shuttle journey with one last, rousing touchdown that drew cheers and tears.

Atlantis launches in final space shuttle mission

Atlantis and four astronauts rocketed into orbit today on NASA’s last space shuttle voyage, dodging bad weather and delighting hundreds of thousands of spectators on hand to witness the end of an era.

Next-to-last space shuttle flight lands on Earth

Space shuttle Endeavour and its six astronauts returned to Earth early today, closing out the next-to-last mission in NASA’s 30-year program with a safe middle-of-the-night landing.

Nebula: NASA photos

Over the years NASA has released various photos of Nebulae, clouds of gas and dust where stars are formed. Many of the photos were taken with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

Seattle Museum of Flight won’t get a space shuttle

NASA says Seattle’s Museum of Flight won’t get to display one of the retiring space shuttles. The museum near Boeing Field was one of 21 museum and science centers around the country hoping to land one of the spaceships. A new building called the Space Gallery was being prepared for the display.

Space shuttle prepped for launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA fueled Discovery late Sunday for a pre-dawn launch to the International Space Station, one of the last few shuttle flights. Discovery was scheduled to blast off at 6:21 a.m., nearly an hour before sunrise. The shuttle and its crew of seven will deliver spare parts and science experiments to the nearly completed space station.

Moon-travel plans stand poor chance

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA’s plans to return astronauts to the moon are dead. So are the rockets being designed to take them there – that is, if President Barack Obama gets his way. When the White House releases his budget proposal Monday, there will be no money for the Constellation program that was supposed to return humans to the moon by 2020. The troubled and expensive Ares I rocket that was to replace the space shuttle to ferry humans to space will be gone, along with money for its big brother, the Ares V cargo rocket that was to launch the fuel and supplies needed to take humans back to the moon.

NASA probe finds strange new planets

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Its namesake first described the laws of planetary motion. Now a 2,300-pound spacecraft directed by NASA’s Ames Research Center is revealing exotic new collections of distant planets that may again transform how we think of our own solar system. In what astronomers called an exciting step toward detecting Earth-like planets orbiting other stars, the Kepler spacecraft operated by NASA’s Silicon Valley base has found five strange new “exoplanets,” or planets outside our solar system. The planets, announced Monday in Washington, D.C., orbit stars about 1,000 light years from Earth, including one with a density as light as Styrofoam. They orbit so close to their stars that they may glow with the heat of a blast furnace. One searing world, “Kepler 8b,” burns at more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hotter than the melting point of iron.

NASA turns to tweeps

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Fingers will be flying when space shuttle Atlantis blasts off today: About 100 of NASA’s geekiest fans will be on hand, pecking away at iPhones, BlackBerrys, laptops and other Twittering gadgets. They plan to let loose with electronic messages – provided they aren’t so swept away by the afternoon liftoff that they fall uncharacteristically silent for a moment or two.