This week we say goodbye to the space shuttle Atlantis. NASA's running out of money and a lot of people feel that the economy woes are reason enough to stop flying around in spacesuits. My take? What else is money for if not to explore/understand our planet and what lie beyond? Also, a ton of things we use every day that make our lives easier were developed at NASA - satellites, infrared technology (think ear thermometers to start), insoles, cordless tools, the lowly Brita water filter and yes, pens that can write upside down*.
Life magazine has a wonderful collection of space-themed photos - The Greatest-Ever Space Photos on down to NASA's Most Excellent Outfits. My favorite is Beautiful Spacecraft Models, but I'm always all-in for the kitsch.
* I have no idea if this was actually invented at NASA or not.