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Vote Now! Best Space Stories of the Week - April 22, 2012

Shuttles Meet, Grand Solar Flare and a SPACE.com Tee Makes it to the Atmospehere

NASA/Smithsonian Institution/Carolyn Russo

From the transfer of shuttle Discovery to its new home to a SPACE.com tee up in a balloon, it's been a busy week in space. Vote for the week's best space story.

FIRST STOP: Space Zucchini's Life Blogged by Astronaut

Space Zucchini's Orbital Life and Times Blogged by Astronaut

Don Pettit/NASA

A Zucchini has taken up residence on the International Space Station. [Full Story]

NEXT: Huge Satellite Loses Contact with Earth

Huge Satellite Loses Contact with Earth

ESA

The European Space Agency is struggling to restore contact with its massive satellite Envisat, the largest civilian Earth-observation satellite ever to fly in space. [Full Story]

NEXT: Alaska Expedition Launches Cameras to Edge of Northern Lights

Alaska Expedition Launches Cameras to Edge of Northern Lights

Luke Kilpatrick

Researchers have sent their balloons into the auroras above Alaska and retrieved the instruments after they fell to the frozen earth. Now they just need to analyze the data. [Full Story]

NEXT: Spectacular Solar Flare Erupts From the Sun

Spectacular Solar Flare Erupts From the Sun

NASA/SDO

The sun erupted in an amazing solar flare today (April 16), unleashing an intense eruption of super-heated plasma that arced high above the star's surface before blasting out into space. [Full Story]

NEXT: 1st Private Mission to Space Station Set to Launch April 30

1st Private Mission to Space Station Set to Launch April 30

SpaceX

SpaceX is gearing up to launch its Dragon capsule on a flight to the International Space Station in just two weeks. [Full Story]

NEXT: Spaceport America Milestones

Spaceport America Milestones: Record Rocket Launch, Runway Add-On

Virgin Galactic: Mark Greenberg

Spaceport America, which will be the hub for Virgin Galactic's space-tourism flights, hosted a record rocket launch recently and also decided to add another runway. [Full Story]

NEXT: 'Rogue' Alien Planets May Circle Billions of Stars

'Rogue' Alien Planets May Circle Billions of Stars

Christine Pulliam (CfA)

Billions of stars in our Milky Way galaxy have captured rogue alien planets that once cruised freely through interstellar space, a new study suggests. [Full Story]

NEXT: Mysterious Cosmic Rays Leave Scientists in the Dark

Mysterious Cosmic Rays Leave Scientists in the Dark

NSF/J. Yang

A new study is shaking up theories over the origins of mysterious cosmic rays in the universe. The research suggests gamma-ray busts - the most powerful explosions in the universe – aren't the only ways to make cosmic rays. [Full Story]

NEXT: Space Shuttle Discovery Enters Smithsonian

Space Shuttle Discovery Enters Smithsonian for Museum Display

NASA/Smithsonian Institution/Carolyn Russo

NASA officially delivered the space shuttle Discovery, its longest serving crewed spacecraft, to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum on Thursday (April 19) during a public ceremony to hand over the iconic winged spacecraft. [Full Story]

NEXT: SPACE.com T-shirt Kisses Edge of Alaska's Northern Lights

SPACE.com T-shirt Kisses Edge of Alaska's Northern Lights

Mike Wall/SPACE.com

It's been quite an odyssey for a SPACE.com T-shirt, which traveled from New Jersey to San Francisco to the edge of Alaska's auroras. It now sits in the frozen Alaska wilderness, waiting to be rescued. [Full Story]

NEXT: Weekend Lyrid Meteor Shower Visible From Earth, Space and ... Balloon?

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