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Electromagnetic space travel for bugs?
(Jul 22, 2006)

Life on planets such as Earth or Mars could have been seeded by electrically charged microbes from space, suggests a new study. Since the discovery of meteorites from Mars on Earth in the 1990s, people have speculated that living microbes could have travelled back and forth between the two planets, perhaps allowing one planet to seed the other with life.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

astronaut on a spacewalk
Space tourists offered walkabout
(Jul 21, 2006)

A company that blasted the first space tourists into orbit are offering future clients the chance to do a space walk. Space Adventures say the optional excursion will cost $15m (£8m) on top of the $20m cost for the flight. For that, private space explorers will get a 1.5 hour accompanied extra-vehicular-activity (EVA) outside the International Space Station (ISS).

Read more. Source: BBC

Xanadu region of Titan
Patch of Saturn's moon resembles Earth
(Jul 21, 2006)

New radar images of Saturn's moon Titan reveal dunes, hills, valleys and rivers that scientist say look a lot like home. But on Titan, which is frigid and shrouded in smog, the features are likely carved in ice rather than solid ground. The detailed view is of a bright area on Titan called Xanadu. It's about the size of Australia and has been studied from afar for years. Now scientists are getting a better look with NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Read more. Source:

RS Ophiuchi
Stellar explosion revealed in unique detail
(Jul 20, 2006)

An unprecedented glimpse of the blast wave from an erupting star has been seen by astronomers. The new view suggests the binary system observed could be responsible for some of the universe's most powerful explosions, called Type Ia supernovae. These are very important to astronomers as they are used as "standard candles" to measure distances, but their source has been a major mystery in astronomy.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

new ground rupture
Secrets of ocean birth laid bare
(Jul 19, 2006)

The largest tear in the Earth's crust seen in decades, if not centuries, could carve out a new ocean in Africa, according to satellite data. Geologists say a crack that opened up last year may eventually reach the Red Sea, isolating much of Ethiopia and Eritrea from the rest of Africa. The 60km-long rift was initially sparked by an earthquake in September.

Read more. Source: BBC

Europe set for bigger station role
(Jul 19, 2006)

As the US space agency (NASA) prepares to resume assembly of the International Space Station following the success of the shuttle Discovery mission, Europe is about to take on an enhanced role in maintaining and supplying the orbiting outpost. Even though the Discovery mission suggested that NASA had finally licked the fuel tank problems which triggered the 2003 Columbia accident, the Shuttles' days are numbered.

Read more. Source: BBC

Mars miniprobes
MIT team envisions exploring Mars with mini probes
(Jul 19, 2006)

MIT engineers and scientist colleagues have a new vision for the future of Mars exploration: a swarm of probes, each the size of a baseball, spreading out across the planet in every direction. Thousands of probes, powered by fuel cells, could cover a vast area now beyond the reach of today's rovers, including exploring remote and rocky terrain that large rovers cannot navigate.

Read more. Source: MIT

Discovery landing
Discovery makes Florida landing
(Jul 17, 2006)

The Discovery space shuttle and its six-strong crew have returned to Earth after a 13-day mission to the International Space Station. The orbiter touched down at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 1314 GMT. Mission control had raised concerns about weather conditions, but gave the go-ahead shortly before the ship began its hour-long descent.

Read more. Source: BBC

X Prize Cup competition
Back to back rocket shots set for New Mexico spaceport
(Jul 17, 2006)

Business is on the upswing for UP Aerospace – a firm that is offering suborbital rocket shots of experimental payloads out of the Southwest Regional Spaceport site in New Mexico. In an update, the firm stated that the first launch of their SpaceLoft XL – the inaugural flight from New Mexico’s spaceport – has now been moved from August into early September. A trio of rocket flights are on the UP Aerospace launch calendar. SL-1 has shifted to the first part of September, SL-2 as soon as a week later, with SL-3 roaring skyward in conjunction with the X Prize Cup festivities October 19-22 in neighboring Las Cruces.

Read more. Source:

Space Shuttle Discovery
Space shuttle moves away from ISS
(Jul 16, 2006)

Space Shuttle Discovery has undocked from the International Space Station and is moving away in preparation for a return to Earth on Monday. Six astronauts are on board, after German astronaut Thomas Reiter was left behind for a six-month ISS stay. The Discovery team conducted a final scan of the craft's heat shield to check for impact damage.

Read more. Source: BBC

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