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Space News Archive - September 27, 2005

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A U.S. Senate panel on Monday cut nearly $500 million from three big military space programs and trimmed back a next-generation communications program, citing cost overruns and technical challenges.

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Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have, by now, spent almost two years on the surface of Mars. They traveled several miles each, frequently stopping and analyzing scientific targets with their cameras, spectrometers and other instruments to uncover evidence of liquid water on Mars in the past. Their mission is a smashing success for NASA.

The UK's first engineering feasibility study into missions for deflecting asteroids has begun.

The rocket's payload will also include a satellite designed and built by students from several European universities, including a group of EPFL students.

An unusual meteorite that fell on a frozen lake in Canada five years ago has led a Florida State University geochemist to a breakthrough in understanding the origin of the chemical elements that make up our solar system.

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Two of NASA's Great Observatories, the Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes, have teamed up to "weigh" the stars in several distant galaxies. One of these galaxies, among the most distant ever seen, appears to be unusually massive and mature for its place in the young universe.

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NASA resumed control of the International Space Station and sent a shuttle fuel tank to its New Orleans assembly plant as it restarted operations at facilities on the storm-stricken U.S. Gulf Coast on Tuesday.

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Fifty years ago, scientists Bernard Burke and Kenneth Franklin mistook radio signals from Jupiter for a Maryland farmhand driving home after a late date.

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NASA engineers and their industry partners have successfully deployed two 400-square-meter solar sails during ground testing. This is a critical milestone in the development of a unique propulsion technology that uses the Sun to propel vehicles through space.

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A distant supernova that exploded 41,000 years ago may have led to the extinction of the mammoth. This theory joins the list of possible culprits responsible for the demise of mammoths, which last roamed North America roughly 13,000 years ago. Scientists have long eyed climate change, disease, or intensive hunting by humans as likely suspects.

Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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