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  1. In Good Company: Restored Star Trek Shuttlecraft Gets a Home at NASA Museum

    The original Star Trek shuttlecraft Galileo has found a forever home that couldn't be more fitting. After being restored by fans, the shuttle is on its way to Space Center Houston, where it will retire in the company of NASA spacecraft like the Apollo 17 command module welcoming visitors to the Johnson Space Center.

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  2. Today in Geek History: Copernicus Was Born

    Some days you celebrate just because something happened on that day, and some days just because a person who did an amazing thing was born. Case in point: On this day in 1473, Nicolaus Copernicus was born, and he later posited that the Sun, not the Earth, was the center of the Solar System. But what else did he say?

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  3. Russian Soyuz Rocket Lifts Off in First Historic South American Launch

    Today saw the successful first flight of a Russian-made Soyuz rocket from the European Space Agency (ESA) launch site in popular French South American colonial holding French Guiana. The liftoff was the first time a Soyuz rocket has blasted off from any location other than the six launchpads operated by the Russian Space Agency, and took place in a newly constructed facility at the Guiana Space Centre (GSC). For the ESA, the flight bolsters the status of the GSC as a major player in space flight. It also works to cement relations between Russia and the ESA, giving both organizations access to an extremely reliable launch vehicle in the Soyuz and an ideal equatorial launch site. So ideal that the Soyuz realized a nearly 50% boost in efficiency thanks to the Earth's spin, allowing the rocket to carry three tons into space instead of the normal 1.7 tons when launched from the traditional home of the rocket.

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  4. NASA To Launch LEGO Figurines Into Space

    NASA will launch LEGO figurines into space, for science! Well, maybe not for science. Mostly just because people who work at NASA enjoy LEGOs. NASA will launch the Atlas V rocket this Friday, containing the space probe Juno. Juno is being sent to Jupiter, with three little LEGO stowaways. The probe will have three LEGO figurines attached to it in the likenesses of the Roman gods Juno and Jupiter (of course), and the Italian astronomer Galileo. The figurines are made from aluminum instead of the standard LEGO plastic, and cost approximately $5,000 each, which is being paid for by LEGO. The idea to put the figurines on the probe was conceived of by NASA scientists who are big LEGO fans, and approached the company about sending the figures into space. According to LEGO, putting the figurines on the probe is a way to promote children's interest in the STEM programs.

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