Party On: Legislation passed last week allows the Federal Helium Reserve to continue selling the stockpiled gas. Above, Jonathan Trappe launches his 370-balloon craft from Caribou, Maine, in an attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 12. Alexandre Ayre/Barcroft Media/Landov hide caption

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SpaceX launched an upgraded version of its Falcon 9 rocket Sept. 30 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, northwest of Los Angeles. SpaceX hide caption

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Workers assemble solar panels at the now-bankrupt Suntech in the eastern Chinese city of Wuxi. Overproduction in the country has helped lower the cost of solar panels. Peter Parks /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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A wildfire burns in Prescott, Ariz., on June 18. The fire covered nearly 11 square miles of the Prescott National Forest. Todd Tamcsin/AP/American Red Cross hide caption

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Shinichi Kuramoto of the Center for Deep Earth Exploration in Japan displays a replica of earthquake fault rock. TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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University of Maryland's Jaydev Desai shows off a prototype of a robot that he and colleagues are developing to minimize harm to patients during brain surgery. John T. Consoli/University of Maryland hide caption

itoggle caption John T. Consoli/University of Maryland

MBA students from McGill University in Montreal are building a company to mass produce grasshoppers, seen here at a market in Oaxaca, Mexico. William Neuheisel/Flickr hide caption

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