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shuttle_258

shuttle_258

Seen from a tower at the Washington National Cathedral, the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, above the Washington, D.C. area,Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)

shuttle_257

shuttle_257

Seen from a tower at the Washington National Cathedral, the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, above the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.,Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)

shuttle_256

shuttle_256

The NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, above the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)

shuttle_255

shuttle_255

The NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, above the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)

shuttle_253

shuttle_253

A man waves as he joins others standing atop a platform on one of the towers at the Washington National Cathedral, watching as the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery, being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, makes it's way in the skies above Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)

shuttle_252

shuttle_252

Seen from a tower at the Washington National Cathedral, the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, above the Washington, D.C. area, Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)

shuttle_250

shuttle_250

Seen from a tower at the Washington National Cathedral, the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, in the skies above the Washington, D.C., area Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)

shuttle_248

shuttle_248

The NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, in the skies above Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)

shuttle_247

shuttle_247

People stand atop a platform at the Washington National Cathedral as they wait for signs in the sky for the arrival of the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery, being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, in the skies above Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)

NASA Rocket Launches_Live.jpg

NASA Rocket Launches_Live.jpg

This photo provided by NASA shows chemical tracers that were released from five rockets launched from NASA's Wallops Island test flight facility in Atlantic, Va., on March 27, 2012. The tracers form white clouds that allowed scientists and the public to visualize upper level jet stream winds. (Associated Press/NASA)

Solar Storm_Live.jpg

Solar Storm_Live.jpg

This extreme ultraviolet wavelength image provided by NASA shows a solar flare. (Associated Press/NASA)

Solar Storm_Live.jpg

Solar Storm_Live.jpg

This handout image provided by NASA shows a solar flare heading toward Earth. (Associated Press/NASA)

Mars Science Lab_Live.jpg

Mars Science Lab_Live.jpg

This artist concept provided by NASA on Jan. 10, 2012, shows the Curiosity rover cruising toward Mars. The spacecraft will adjust its flight path several times as it heads for an August landing in a Martian crater. (Associated Press)

NASA Moonshot_Star.jpg

NASA Moonshot_Star.jpg

This undated artist rendering provided by NASA on Dec. 21,2011 shows the twin Grail spacecraft mapping the lunar gravity field. The two probes are scheduled to enter orbit around the moon over New Year's weekend. (AP Photo/NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

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nasa.jpg

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover lifts off from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011. The rocket will deliver a science laboratory to Mars to study potential habitable environments on the planet. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

ASTRONAUTS_2371

ASTRONAUTS_2371

J.D. Kelly (center), 12, of Lexington Park, Md., asks for an autograph from Gen. Tom Stafford, a NASA astronaut who flew in two Gemini space flights and commanded Apollo 10 and the Apollo-Soyuz flight, during a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in honor of astronauts Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong, John Glenn and Buzz Aldrin at the Capitol building in Washington on Nov. 16, 2011. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

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ASTRONAUTS_2362

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr. speaks Nov. 16, 2011, during a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in honor of astronauts Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong, John Glenn and Buzz Aldrin at the Capitol building in Washington. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

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20111115-205726-pic-336133459.jpg

NASA "We need each other more than ever before," says NASA's Jim Green of the imperiled partnership with the European Space Agency.

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B3-nasa.jpg

Illustration: NASA by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

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irene-satellite.jpeg

Hurricane Irene, as seen from space. (Photo courtesy NASA)