Brazlian jet maker Embraer employs about 600 people in Melbourne, Fla., and is expanding. Greg Allen/NPR hide caption

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With Shuttles Gone, Private Ventures Give Florida's Space Coast A Lift

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The last remaining space shuttle external propellant tank is moved across the 405 freeway in Los Angeles on Saturday. The ET-94 will be displayed with the retired space shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center. Chris Carlson/AP hide caption

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This artist's concept depicts some of the planetary discoveries made by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. Tuesday's announcement more than doubles the number of verified planets discovered by the Kepler mission. W. Stenzel/NASA hide caption

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NASA Spots 1,284 New Planets, Including 9 That Are 'Potentially Habitable'

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This artist's rendering shows what the view might look like from one of the three planets orbiting an ultracool, reddish dwarf star just 40 light-years from Earth. ESO/M. Kornmesser/Nature hide caption

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3 Strange Worlds Circling A Cool Star Might Be Prime Spots To Support Life

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Stephen Hawking discusses the "Breakthrough Starshot" space exploration initiative during a news conference Tuesday at One World Observatory in New York City. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize Foundation hide caption

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Stephen Hawking's Plan For Interstellar Travel Has Some Earthly Obstacles

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(Top row, left to right) Titan, Earth's moon, Europa and Enceladus. (Bottom row, left to right) Callisto, Charon, Ariel and lo. NASA hide caption

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Hot On The Trail Of Alien Moons

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Ambitious Project Would Use 'Starchips' To Travel To Alpha Centauri

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An image from the European Southern Observatory shows the sky around the bright star Alpha Centauri — which appears so large because of the telescope optics and photographic emulsion — taken from photos in the Digitized Sky Survey 2. Alpha Centauri is the closest star system to Earth's solar system. ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2/Davide De Martin hide caption

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