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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: November 2008
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Space shuttle lands safely in California Nov 30, 2008
Did lack of comet impacts help life evolve? Nov 29, 2008
XCOR Aerospace to announce ticket sales for suborbital space flights Nov 28, 2008
Enceladus jets: Are they wet or just wild? Nov 27, 2008
Hubble captures views of mammoth stars Nov 26, 2008
NASA prepares for new Juno mission to Jupiter Nov 26, 2008
Milky Way's sweetness throughout Nov 26, 2008
Galaxy 'missing link' uncovered Nov 25, 2008
Test-firing for Falcon 9 rocket Nov 25, 2008
Science could soar with world's most powerful rocket Nov 25, 2008
Planet imaged closer to star than ever before? Nov 24, 2008
NASA, ATK successfully test first Orion launch abort motor Nov 23, 2008
Nothing lost in space – this time Nov 22, 2008
Buried glaciers found on Mars Nov 21, 2008
It's confirmed: Matter is merely vacuum fluctuations Nov 21, 2008
Hubble solves puzzle of loner galaxy Nov 21, 2008
Site list narrows for NASA's next Mars landing Nov 20, 2008
XMM-Newton and Integral clues on magnetic powerhouses Nov 20, 2008
NASA tests first deep-space Internet Nov 20, 2008
Mysterious electrons may be sign of dark matter Nov 19, 2008
New report lists NASA's biggest challenges Nov 19, 2008
Gamma-ray evidence suggests ancient Mars had oceans Nov 18, 2008
Sun shines on future Mars colonies Nov 18, 2008
Shuttle docks with space station Nov 17, 2008
Planet wobbles could reveal Earth 2.0 Nov 15, 2008
Endeavour space shuttle lifts off Nov 15, 2008
Cassini finds mysterious new aurora on Saturn Nov 15, 2008
Indian probe touches down on Moon Nov 14, 2008
Exoplanets finally come into view Nov 14, 2008
Shuttle Endeavour ready for launch Nov 13, 2008
Dusty shock waves generate planet ingredients Nov 12, 2008
TV-sized probe to strike Moon's surface Nov 12, 2008
Mars Phoenix Lander finishes successful work on Red Planet Nov 11, 2008
Mysterious changes seen on distant dwarf planet Nov 10, 2008
Fingers, loops, and bays in the Crab Nebula Nov 10, 2008
Indian satellite orbiting Moon Nov 9, 2008
Plucky Mars rovers on the move again Nov 8, 2008
The Bullet Cluster: Searching for primordial antimatter Nov 7, 2008
Fermi's search for dark matter Nov 6, 2008
Moon probe set for lunar arrival Nov 5, 2008
Has new physics been found at the ageing Tevatron? Nov 4, 2008
Cassini might hold secrets to life on Saturn moon Nov 4, 2008
Magnetic shield for spacefarers Nov 4, 2008
Taurid meteors may produce dazzling 'fireballs' Nov 4, 2008
Cassini swings past Enceladus Nov 3, 2008
Habitable worlds may hide in gas giants' wake Nov 2, 2008

Endeavour after landing at Edwards AFB. Image: NASA
Space shuttle lands safely in California
(Nov 30, 2008)

The space shuttle Endeavour glided to a smooth landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Sunday, returning to Earth from a mission to expand and renovate the International Space Station. NASA had hoped to land the seven astronauts at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida but thunderstorms and high winds prompted flight directors to opt for a California landing.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Artist's concept of a comet being torn apart around a dead star, or white dwarf, called G29-38. Image: C GSF/Caltech/JPL/NASA
Did lack of comet impacts help life evolve?
(Nov 29, 2008)

It seems we got off lightly in the cosmic lottery. Deadly comet impacts may be much rarer in our solar system than in others nearby. Jane Greaves of the University of St Andrews, UK, analysed observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope and found that the vast majority of sun-like stars near us have more dust than our solar system does and therefore have had more collisions in their vicinity.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

XCOR suborbital flight. Credit: XCOR
XCOR Aerospace to announce ticket sales for suborbital space flights
(Nov 28, 2008)

On December 2, XCOR Aerospace, builder of the 2-seat Lynx rocket-powered suborbital launch vehicle, will introduce its new partner for ticket sales and a price for suborbital flights which, the company says, is substantially lower than prices quoted by leading competitors. The first commercial Lynx suborbital space flight participant will also attend the conference, a European adventurer who aims to be the first person from his country to make such a journey.

Read more. Source: XCOR Aerospace

Enceladus jets. Credit: NASA
Enceladus jets: Are they wet or just wild?
(Nov 27, 2008)

Scientists continue to search for the cause of the geysers on Saturn's moon Enceladus. At the heart of the search is the question of whether the jets originate from an underground source of liquid water. The Cassini spacecraft continues to collect new data to look for clues.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

WR 25 and Tr16-244, located within the open cluster Trumpler 16. Credit: ESA/NASA
Hubble captures views of mammoth stars
(Nov 26, 2008)

Two of our galaxy's most massive stars, until recently shrouded in mystery, have been viewed by the Hubble Space Telescope, unveiling greater detail than ever before. The image shows a pair of colossal stars, WR 25 and Tr16-244, located within the open cluster Trumpler 16. This cluster is embedded within the Carina Nebula.

Read more. Source: ESA

Artist concept of Juno spacecraft at Jupiter. Credit: NASA
NASA prepares for new Juno mission to Jupiter
(Nov 26, 2008)

NASA is officially moving forward on a mission to conduct an unprecedented, in-depth study of Jupiter. Called Juno, the mission will be the first in which a spacecraft is placed in a highly elliptical polar orbit around the giant planet to understand its formation, evolution and structure. Underneath its dense cloud cover, Jupiter safeguards secrets to the fundamental processes and conditions that governed our early solar system.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

Milky Way Galaxy
Milky Way's sweetness throughout
(Nov 26, 2008)

A simple sugar that is an ingredient of life has been found for the first time in a relatively hospitable part of the galaxy. As molecules go, glycolaldehyde is not an impressive one, but its link to the origins of life make it significant. It can react to form ribose, a key constituent of the nucleic acid RNA.

Read more. Source: BBC

Red spiral galaxy. Credit: SDSS
Galaxy 'missing link' uncovered
(Nov 25, 2008)

Astronomers have identified a type of galaxy that represents a "missing link" in our understanding of the Universe. Spiral and elliptical galaxies used to be known exclusively as "blue" and "red", respectively. But two studies, published in a Royal Astronomical Society journal, show that one in five galaxies is a red spiral.

Read more. Source: BBC

Falcon 9 test firing. Credit: SpaceX
Test-firing for Falcon 9 rocket
(Nov 25, 2008)

A private firm has test-fired a rocket that could soon be flying cargo and astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). The SpaceX company fired the engines of its Falcon 9 rocket for three minutes – the length of time taken for the launcher to climb towards orbit. NASA has given SpaceX seed money to carry out development of the rocket.

Read more. Source: BBC

Ares V. Credit: NASA
Science could soar with world's most powerful rocket
(Nov 25, 2008)

A high-level panel of experts has praised the idea of sending NASA astronauts to visit a nearby asteroid in a new report. The report also recommends ambitious robotic missions that would be possible with next-generation rockets, but warns that the missions could come with big price tags.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

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