By Rich Phillips, CNN
Cape Canaveral, Florida (CNN) – Paid for by the money and dreams of a millionaire, a newly developed rocket stands ready to blast off from Cape Canaveral on its first test flight. It serves as a symbol of the future and could carry astronauts and cargo to the international space station.
This commercial venture by Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, is scheduled to launch its Falcon 9 rocket on Friday. On top will be a mock-up of its space capsule, called Dragon.
Pay Pal co-founder Elon Musk is the CEO of the company. NASA hopes companies such as SpaceX can take over transportation to the international space station.
"It's time for NASA to hand that over to commercial industry who can then optimize the technology and make it more reliable, make it much lower cost and make it much more routine," said Musk in an interview with CNN last month.
Musk says he believes the U.S. is at the beginning of a profound, fundamental renaissance in space exploration, perhaps greater than when President Kennedy declared the U.S. was going to the moon during the infancy of the space program. Read more
(CNN) – All along the Gulf Coast, from the Louisiana wetlands to the beautiful barrier island beaches of Alabama, tar balls are dotting the shoreline. They're a blemish right now, but a lot of people fear a full-blown onslaught of crude could be close behind. Our Rob Marciano reports it's like watching a nightmare unfold in slow motion.
(CNN) – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has seen the enemy from the air, and it's closing in. Crist flew over the Gulf oil spill yesterday and spotted a light sheen of crude less than four miles from Pensacola's shore. It seems inevitable now, Florida is about to come face-to-face with this environmental menace. He joined us on Friday's American Morning to talk about how his state is preparing for the worst.
(CNN) – It's day 46 of the oil disaster in the Gulf. Late last night, BP got the containment cap in place on the broken well. So has this fix finally worked? And what comes next in BP's plan? Doug Suttles, chief operating officer for BP, joined us on Friday's American Morning.
Read more: BP waits to see if containment cap works
By Leslie Askew, CNN
(CNN) – "Before my mother's ... experience, I never even looked at seniors on the street," said Irene Zola. "They were pretty much invisible to me."
In 2008, Zola's mother, Faye, was admitted into a nursing home after suffering a stroke.
"I knew from that very first night I would have to spend a lot of time there," she said. "I didn't want to leave my mother in a place where people were ignoring her."
Four months later, Zola's mother passed away.
"I was outraged that our culture doesn't have a place for very old people except in nursing homes," she said. "I decided that I wanted to do something about that."
A New York native and 30-year resident of Morningside Heights - a neighborhood on Manhattan's upper west side - Zola researched the senior population and how their needs were being met and found a solution in her own backyard.
"[A] friend said, 'What about having some people in our neighborhood taking care of the elders who live here?' "
Borrowing on that idea, Zola started Morningside Village in 2009, an initiative that pairs the elderly in her neighborhood with local volunteers who assist them with their day-to-day needs.