Now that the space shuttle is retired, NASA and space agencies around the world will focus on the International Space Station for the rest of this decade - and cross their fingers that it lasts that long.
A privately-owned unmanned US space capsule neared the International Space Station early Sunday, preparing to dock to deliver food, scientific materials and other crucial equipment.
Brushing off reports that Russia may ditch its space base in Kazakhstan, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Moscow would continue to lease the space complex.
Notable events in the history of human space exploration:
A Soyuz rocket lifted off on Friday from Europe's space base in French Guiana, placing into orbit six low-orbit satellites with military or joint military-industrial use.
India plans to launch a space probe that will orbit Mars in November 2013, a senior official from the country's space research establishment said on Monday.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday defended spending millions of dollars on space exploration despite many people in the country living in grinding poverty.
India plans to launch a mission to Mars next year, putting an orbital probe around the red planet to study its climate and geology, top space department officials said on Thursday.
Kazakhstan, which hosts Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome, is blocking three upcoming Russian satellite launches because of a dispute over the drop zone for rocket debris, reports said on Monday.
Russia's crisis-hit space agency intends to send its first manned mission to the Moon and deploy research stations on Mars under an ambitious plan presented to the government this month.