Remember the character Jodie Foster played in the movie "Contact," based on the book by Carl Sagan? She wasn't entirely invented; her character's basis was astronomer Jill Tarter.
Tarter, 68, has spent more than three decades leading the search for intelligent non-Earthly life at the SETI Institute, a nonprofit organization that devotes itself to scientific research, education and outreach on the subject of life in the universe.
This week, Tarter announced her retirement from directing the research side of SETI; she will now focus on fundraising, she told CNN Light Years in a recent interview.
Jack Andraka, a 15-year-old high school freshman, is the young man of the hour in the science world.
Last week, he won the $75,000 grand prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh for a non-invasive and cheap way to detect pancreatic cancer.
Andraka appeard on CNN's "Early Start" Friday morning. Click here to watch the interview and read more about his prize-winning idea.
It was one small interview for astronaut Neil Armstrong ... and one giant scoop for an Australian accountant, of all people.
In the year's most out-of-this-world get, the first man to step foot on the moon sat down with CPA (Certified Practicing Account) Australia's Alex Malley to narrate his historic lunar landing in an extremely rare interview.
Armstrong was the commander of NASA's three-man Apollo 11 mission that landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. Armstrong and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin spent about two hours on the surface before returning to the Eagle lunar module.
A private spacecraft docked with the International Space Station on Friday, a milestone in a new era of commercial space flight.
The docking happened just before 10 a.m. ET, almost two hours later than planned, when the station's robotic arm captured the unmanned SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.
A radar system aboard the unmanned SpaceX Dragon that measures distance to the station had picked up a different part of the space station, meaning it could not dock properly, NASA said.
"Looks like we caught a Dragon by the tail," astronaut Don Pettit said after capturing the capsule with the robotic arm, according to NASA.
SpaceX made history Friday as the first private company to successfully reach an orbiting space station - but its competitors aren't far behind.
Blue Origin, the commercial space outfit founded by Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos, has been wind-tunnel testing its Space Vehicle capsule, which is designed to carry up to seven astronauts to the International Space Station, much like SpaceX's Dragon capsule.
Another company, Sierra Nevada, is preparing to dangle a test version of its shuttle-like Dream Chaser from helicopters later this year to find out how well it slips through the air. The sleek spacecraft - which could lift off as soon as 2016 or 2017 - is designed to launch atop a powerful Atlas V rocket and then use its wings to fly back to Earth for a runway landing.
Light Years strives to tell the stories of science research, discovery, space and education. This is your go-to place on CNN.com for today’s stories, but also for a scientific perspective on the news and everyday wonders. Come indulge your curiosity in all things space and science related, brought to you by the entire CNN family.
July 19thAtlas V launch of US DOD MUOS-2 satellite, notable for large "551" config of Atlas
Aug 3rdJapanese HTV-4 flight to ISS on cargo supply mission
Aug 14thSpaceX launch of Canadian satellite in the first launch from their new Vandenberg facility, and first launch of upgraded Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle
Aug 28thDelta IV Heavy launch of NROL-65 spy satellite
SeptemberSoyuz TMA-08M flight returning Expedition 36 crew from ISS to Earth (Kazakhstan)
Sept 12thOrbital Sciences maiden flight of Cygnus cargo vehicle on Antares rocket to ISS
Sept 25thSoyuz TMA-10M flight launching Expedition 38 crew to ISS
Dec 9thSpaceX Dragon launch by Falcon 9 v1.1 on CRS-3 cargo supply mission to ISS
recurringfirst powered test flights of Scaled Composites' SpaceShipTwo commercial vehicle, to be used by Virgin Galactic for sub-orbital tourism