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Space News Archive - March 19, 2008

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Astronauts aboard the space station gave Dextre, the newly assembled robotic handyman, a permanent home outside the orbital outpost on Tuesday.

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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has made the first detection ever of an organic molecule in the atmosphere of a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting another star. This breakthrough is an important step in eventually identifying signs of life on a planet outside our solar system.

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Jules Verne ATV has today reached a parking position 2000 km ahead of the International Space Station. Europe's ISS re-supply spacecraft will wait at this holding point for the completion of the STS-123 Space Shuttle mission before proceeding with the first of two rendezvous demonstration days.

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The MESSENGER spacecraft delivered a critical deep-space maneuver today – 64 million miles (103 million kilometers) from Earth – successfully firing its large bi-propellant engine to change the probe’s trajectory and target it for its second flyby of Mercury on October 6, 2008.

Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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