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Vote Now! Top Space Stories of the Week - April 29, 2012

Alien Planets, Meteors and a Shuttle in NYC

Karen Wehrstein

The last seven days have been a busy week in space and on Earth, for sure, with the peak of the annual Lyrid meteor shower, a returning space station crew and a space shuttle in New York City.

Take a look at the top stories of the week and cast your vote for the best cosmic tale!

FIRST STOP: The Lyrid Meteor Shower Peaks

Lyrid Meteor Shower of 2012

Brian Emfinger

The annual Lyrid meteor shower hit its peak on Sunday, April22 and amazed skywatchers around the world with bright celestial firework. The lack of a bright moon made for a great skywatching show. [Full Story and Gallery]

NEXT STOP: Private Space Taxi Race Heats Up

The Private Space Taxi Race

Sierra Nevada

NASA is forging onward to spur the development of commercial space taxis to ferry its astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Four private companies have so far received grants to develop vehicles and SPACE.com took a close look at each this past week. Complete Special Report]

NEXT STOP: Asteroid Mining for Space Resources

Asteroid Mining by Planetary Resources

Planetary Resources, Inc.

The new company called Planetary Resources, backed by rich and prominent people including filmmaker James Cameron, unveiled its plan to tap into space-based resources, possibly to mine near-Earth asteroids. [Full Story]

NEXT STOP: 9-Planet Alien Solar System

9-Planet Alien Solar System

Timotheos Samartzidis

A new study of a star system located about 127 light-years away from Earth may have uncovered nine planets around a sun-like star, making it the most populated planetary system discovered so far. [Full Story]

NEXT STOP: Asteroids Battered Early Earth

Asteroids Battered Early Earth

Don Davis

A giant ancient barrage of asteroids striking Earth may have lasted much longer than previously thought, with some collisions perhaps even rivaling those that created the largest craters on the moon, researchers say. [Full Story]

NEXT STOP: Galaxy Evolution Mystery

Strange Galaxy Evolution Mystery

NASA/ESA/Anderson/van der Marel

A formula that astronomers have long used to determine how much mass galaxies had at their birth may not be as dependable as scientists once thought, a new study suggests. [Full Story]

NEXT STOP: Huge Fireball Creates Meteorites

Huge Fireball Creates Meteorites

Lisa Warren

Two small meteorites found in California are most likely from the minivan-size asteroid that exploded in a dazzling, and rare, daytime fireball over the Golden State and parts of Nevada on Sunday (April 22), according to press reports. Scientists estimate that the meteorites are more than 4 billion years old. [Full Story]

NEXT STOP: Mars Lava Spirals Reveal Volcanic Secrets

Mars Lava Spirals Reveal Volcanic Secrets

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona]

Giant coils of lava on Mars suggest a mysterious network of valleys on the planet was born from volcanoes, researchers say. [Full Story]

NEXT STOP: Space Station Crew Lands Safely

Space Station Crew Lands Safely

NASA TV

NASA astronaut Dan Burbank and two Russian cosmonauts landed safely on the steppes of Kazakhstan after departing from the International Space Station early Friday morning. The trio wrapped up a nearly six-month mission to the space station. [Full Story]

NEXT STOP: A Space Shuttle in New York City

Space Shuttle Enterprise in NYC

Tariq Malik/SPACE.com

Space shuttle Enterprise, the prototype for NASA's storied orbiter fleet, is now a New Yorker.

The original test space shuttle, Enterprise flew into the Big Apple on Friday (April 27) atop a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet. The air- and spacecraft duo touched down at New York's John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport at 11:22 a.m. EDT (1522 GMT) following a photogenic flyover of some of the metropolitan area's most famous sights, including the Statue of Liberty and the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, which Enterprise will soon call home. [Full Story]

NEXT STOP: Odds of Finding Alien Life Boosted

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