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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 10:49 EDT

Space News Archive - June 08, 2007

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Picture the Milky Way galaxy-a disk of stars and gas, a stellar spheroid and an enormous halo of dark matter. It spirals around a black hole that is supermassive-about three million solar masses. The Milky Way's total mass is about 100 billion solar masses-enormous to us but average among galaxies.

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A patched-up Atlantis blasted off with seven astronauts Friday on the first space shuttle flight of 2007, putting NASA back on track after a run of bad luck and scandal that included a damaging hailstorm and a lurid love triangle.