At Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a technician performs a final check of space shuttle Atlantis' payload bay doors before they are closed for launch. Cory Huston/NASA hide caption

itoggle caption Cory Huston/NASA

Space shuttle Atlantis awaits blastoff on its launch pad as members of the media set up remote cameras for Friday's scheduled launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the International Space Station. Matt Stroshane/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Stroshane/Getty Images

This illustration shows the asteroid 24 Themis flanked by two small fragments that broke off following a crash more than 1 billion years ago. The bottom fragment's cometlike tail comes from the sublimation of ice from its surface. Gabriel Perez, Servicio MultiMedia, Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain hide caption

itoggle caption Gabriel Perez, Servicio MultiMedia, Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain

This newly released image from Hubble shows scorching radiation and fast winds from super-hot newborn stars are shaping this pillar of gas and dust. This stellar nursery is called the Carina Nebula and located 7,500 light-years away. NASA hide caption

itoggle caption NASA