space exploration stories

In a move that already has me checking the prices on 3D printers, CNET's Daniel Terdiman is reporting that the Smithsonian will be making swathes of its collection available online as 3D printable objects. Admittedly, I may just be a tad too excited — here's what's going on.
Nowadays, it's almost like we take space travel for granted. Spectacular pictures come back from telescopes and space probes, and we give them a glance, maybe say "wow," and then move on to the latest news about the iPhone 5 or whatever. Over the last half century, though, our knowledge about our universe (and particularly our solar system) has increased exponentially, thanks to the development of spacecraft capable of making it to other planets and then sending back pictures when they get there. It hasn't been easy, but as milestone after milestone has been reached, our perception of our place in the cosmos has expanded.