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Space News Archive - June 05, 2007

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Poets may see "a face of plaintive sweetness" or "a cheek like beryl stone" when they look at the moon, but Shaopeng Huang sees something else altogether: the ideal location for a network of observatories dedicated to studying climate change on Earth.

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The spacecraft is MESSENGER, and the planet is Venus. On June 5, 2007, MESSENGER will fly past Venus just 338 km above the planet's surface--and it will shoot a laser into the clouds.

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NASA started a countdown Tuesday toward the first space shuttle flight of the year. Engineers reported no major technical problems and the weather forecast looked favorable for a Friday launch.

Word of the Day
siliqua
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'
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