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Space News Archive - December 14, 2006

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For 21 days, Jules Verne, the first Automated Transfer Vehicle, has not only survived the most stringent conditions of the space environment, but it has tested on the ground its flight software and hardware under the toughest conditions.

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Thanks to ESA’s Venus Express data, scientists obtained the first large-area temperature maps of the southern hemisphere of the inhospitable, lead-melting surface of Venus.

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Just as kits of little plastic bricks can be used to make everything from models of the space shuttle to the statue of liberty, comets are looking more and more like one of nature's toolkits for creating life.

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Two astronauts stepped outside to begin rewiring the international space station Thursday after NASA powered down large sections of the orbiting lab for their own safety.

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New research casts doubt on the existence of water near the surface of a tiny Saturn moon — a finding that, if confirmed, could set back the hunt for extraterrestrial life.

Word of the Day
ecotone
  • A transitional zone between two communities containing the characteristic species of each.
The word 'ecotone' comes 'eco-' plus a Greek root meaning 'tension'.