Yesterday the space shuttle Discovery blasted into space, ready to deliver its payload of solar panels and astronauts to the International Space Station.
Barack Obama has announced that he'll be retiring the space shuttles in 2010. According to Space.com:
A hydrogen gas leak that foiled Discovery's first launch attempt last Wednesday did not pester the shuttle again . . . Ground crews also spotted a snoozing fruit bat on the shuttle's external tank during fueling. Since the small bat was perched on the side of the tank facing away from the orbiter, and a part of the tank that wasn't cold enough to freeze it in place, NASA decided the winged mammal was unlikely to pose a safety or debris risk to Discovery.
Top image by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images. Bottom image by Bruce Weaver/AFP/Getty Images.