Vote Now! Best Space Stories of the Week - June 10, 2012

Rare Venus Transit Across the Sun, Space Shuttle Enterprise Retires and a Tribute to Ray Bradbury

collectSPACE.com/Ben Cooper

From complete coverage of Venus crossing the sun, Space Shuttle Enterprise retiring on the Intrepid, to a tribute to Ray Bradbury, it's been an unforgettable week in space.

FIRST STOP: Universe's 1st Objects After Big Bang Possibly Seen by NASA Telescope

Universe's 1st Objects After Big Bang Possibly Seen by NASA Telescope

NASA/JPL

New measurements show what could be the very first objects created in the universe in unprecedented detail, scientists report today (Jun 8). [Full Story]

NEXT: Venus Crosses the Sun for Last Time Until 2117, Skywatchers Rejoice

Venus Crosses the Sun for Last Time Until 2117, Skywatchers Rejoice

NASA/SDO/AIA

The transit of Venus across the sun is one of the rarest celestial sights visible from Earth, one that wowed scientists and amateur observers around the world Tuesday (June 5). The event, arguably the most anticipated skywatching display of the year, marked the last time Venus will cross the sun (as seen from Earth) for 105 years. [Full Story]

NEXT: Donated Space Telescopes Are Failed US Spy Satellite Program's Leftovers

Donated Space Telescopes Are Failed US Spy Satellite Program's Leftovers

NASA

Two large optical telescope assemblies bequeathed to NASA by the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) were built for a satellite imaging program that was canceled in 2005 due to lengthy delays and massive cost overruns, according to multiple sources.[Full Story]

NEXT: Scientists to Hold Bake Sale for NASA Saturday

Scientists to Hold Bake Sale for NASA Saturday

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Scientists are trading telescopes for aprons this week to sell Milky Way cupcakes, Saturn cake, and chocolate chip Opportunity cookies in an effort to salvage U.S. planetary science projects.[Full Story]

NEXT: Air Force's Secret X-37B Space Plane Mission Ending Soon

Air Force's Secret X-37B Space Plane Mission Ending Soon

U.S. Air Force/Michael Stonecypher

The Air Force's secret X-37B space plane is due to land any day now, after spending more than 15 months orbiting Earth on a mystery mission. [Full Story]

NEXT: Private Spaceflight's Rise Gives NASA a Boost

Private Spaceflight's Rise Gives NASA a Boost

NASA TV

SpaceX hopes a crewed version of Dragon will be ready to fly astronauts to the station by 2015 or so, and a handful of other companies are developing their own manned spaceships with similar timelines in mind. But NASA is not threatened by this new private space race; rather, the agency has actively encouraged it, so that it is able to focus its human spaceflight efforts farther afield. [Full Story]

NEXT: 'Intergalactic Travel Bureau' Wants to Plan Your Space Vacation

'Intergalactic Travel Bureau' Wants to Plan Your Space Vacation

Guerilla Science

The U.K.-based organization Guerilla Science has created a mock travel agency to teach the public about spaceflight and our solar system by planning far-out trips to nearby planets and moons.[Full Story]

NEXT: Ray Bradbury Remembered: NASA Pays Video Tribute to Sci-Fi LegendRay Bradbury Remembered: NASA Pays Video Tribute to Sci-Fi Legend

Ray Bradbury Remembered: NASA Pays Video Tribute to Sci-Fi Legend

NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA has released two videos from its archives to pay tribute to famed science-fiction author and space visionary Ray Bradbury, who died Tuesday (June 5) at the age of 91.[Full Story]

NEXT: 'Prometheus' Review: Does it Match the 'Alien' Prequel Hype?

'Prometheus' Review: Does it Match the 'Alien' Prequel Hype?

A pseudo-prequel to Scott's 1979 sci-fi horror classic "Alien," "Prometheus" is neither a traditional reboot nor the typical prologue chapter to an existing franchise, and the true nature of its place in the greater "Alien" universe is just one of the closely guarded secrets that helped build anticipation for the film. [Full Story]

NEXT: NASA Discovery Reveals 'Rainforest' of Plant Life Beneath Arctic Ice

NASA Discovery Reveals 'Rainforest' of Plant Life Beneath Arctic Ice

NASA/Kathryn Hansen

The apparently barren ice of the Arctic can host huge bright green blooms of microscopic plantlike organisms underneath it — all hidden from satellites — suggesting that the Arctic Ocean is far more productive than previously thought, scientists with a NASA-sponsored expedition have found.[Full Story]

NEXT: NASA Scraps X-Ray Space Telescope Mission Over Rising Costs

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