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Space News Archive - August 10, 2006

Astronauts assigned to fly on the U.S. space shuttle Atlantis later this month climbed into their flight suits and scrambled aboard the shuttle on Thursday for a three-hour dress rehearsal for launch.

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The launch of the Mars Phoenix Lander is just a year away. The spacecraft will be aiming for the martian north pole, and if it lands successfully it will dig in snow and ice in one of the few places on Mars where scientists think life could be preserved.

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Long predicted by theory, the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array has found the first conclusive evidence of an hourglass-shaped magnetic field in a star formation region. Measurements indicate that material in the interstellar cloud is dense enough to allow it to gravitationally collapse, warping the magnetic field in the process.

Word of the Day
postliminy
  • In Roman antiquity, the return of a person who had been banished, or taken prisoner by an enemy, to his old condition and former privileges.
  • In international law, that right by virtue of which persons and things taken by an enemy in war are restored to their former status when coming again under the power of the nation to which they belonged.
The word 'postliminy' comes from a Latin word meaning 'threshold'.