Just a few hours ago, we witnessed the last shuttle launch. Atlantis lifted off, heading to the International Space Station. I'm certain many of us anime fans are also big fans of space exploration and certainly this final mission must feel bitter sweet. NASA says it won't be until 2016 before there's really a true replacement to the shuttle and with congress cutting their budget by $1.6 billion & canceling the James Webb telescope, one could be worried about what the future holds for space exploration.
To be positive though, here's a few current and upcoming missions for NASA and our explorations in space.
New Horizons will arrive at the (dwarf) planet Pluto in 2015. As of March, it got a gravity boost from Uranus.
The Cassini–Huygens spacecraft continues to study Saturn and recently confirmed salt water is spewing from the geysers of Saturn's moon, Enceladus.
Any day now, Dawn will arrive at the second largest asteroid, Vesta. In a few years, it'll give us our first clear images of the dwarf planet Ceres.