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From Solar storms to the retiring of the Shuttles "Atlantis" and "Discovery", this constantly updated collection features the top space news photos of 2012.
18 of 35
This NASA photo released on May 22, 2012 shows the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Dragon capsule, lifting off from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch is the company's second demonstration test flight for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, or COTS, Program. During the flight, there will be a series of check-out procedures to test and prove Dragon's systems, including rendezvous and berthing with the International Space Station. If the capsule performs as planned, the cargo and experiments it is carrying will be transferred to the station. UPI/Alan Ault/NASA
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