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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: September 2008
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Phoenix sees snow and finds evidence of past water on Mars Sep 30, 2008
NASA identifies carbon-rich molecules in meteorites as the 'origin of life' Sep 30, 2008
Hubble failure delays repair mission to 2009 Sep 30, 2008
Space freighter destroyed over Pacific Sep 29, 2008
SpaceX successfully launches Falcon 1 to orbit Sep 29, 2008
China spacecraft returns to Earth Sep 28, 2008
Chinese astronaut walks in space Sep 27, 2008
NASA orbiter reveals rock fracture plumbing on Mars Sep 27, 2008
Team finds Earth's 'oldest rocks' Sep 27, 2008
Sun's siblings may have seeded Earth life Sep 26, 2008
Scientists detect cosmic 'dark flow' across billions of light years Sep 26, 2008
China awaits manned spaceflight Sep 25, 2008
Ulysses reveals global solar wind plasma output at 50-year low Sep 24, 2008
Mars rover to head toward bigger crater Sep 23, 2008
Space Shuttle Endeavour moves to launch pad 39B Sep 22, 2008
Hadron Collider halted for months Sep 21, 2008
Cosmic explosion is most distant ever seen Sep 20, 2008
Astronomers find universe's dimmest known galaxy Sep 19, 2008
Water hit with young star's best shot Sep 19, 2008
X-ray pulse seen in biggest holes Sep 18, 2008
NASA selects mission to study Mars atmosphere Sep 17, 2008
Sun may have been thrown far from its birthplace Sep 17, 2008
Space 'firefly' resembles no known object Sep 16, 2008
Exoplanet circles 'normal star' Sep 16, 2008
Dark matter 'bridge to nowhere' found in cosmic void Sep 15, 2008
Phoenix Lander sees, feels Martian whirlwinds in action Sep 14, 2008
US space woes felt by Europe Sep 12, 2008
Saturn magnetises its moon Titan Sep 12, 2008
Brightest gamma-ray burst was aimed at Earth Sep 11, 2008
CERN throws switch on largest machine ever built Sep 10, 2008
Working LHC produces first images Sep 10, 2008
Success for 'Big Bang' experiment Sep 10, 2008
Mars lander abandons underground salt search Sep 10, 2008
'Water bears' are first animal to survive vacuum of space Sep 9, 2008
CERN reiterates safety of LHC on eve of first beam Sep 9, 2008
ET could 'tickle' stars to create galactic internet Sep 9, 2008
China sets dates for space launch Sep 8, 2008
Rosetta probe flies by 'diamond in the sky' Sep 8, 2008
Cassini images ring arcs among Saturn's moons Sep 6, 2008
Distant object found orbiting Sun backwards Sep 5, 2008
Spiky probe on Mars lander raises vapor quandary Sep 5, 2008
Rosetta flyby of asteroid 2867 Steins Sep 5, 2008
Interstellar 'slowball' could have carried seeds of life Sep 5, 2008
Milky Way's black hole gets extreme close-up Sep 4, 2008
Sun's face virtually spot-free for months Sep 3, 2008
Analysis begins on deepest Phoenix soil sample Sep 2, 2008

Phoenix optical microscope close-up of sticky, iron-rich soil. White flecks may be salts. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Imperial College London
Phoenix sees snow and finds evidence of past water on Mars
(Sep 30, 2008)

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has detected snow falling from Martian clouds. Spacecraft soil experiments also have provided evidence of past interaction between minerals and liquid water, processes that occur on Earth.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

artwork of carbon molecules in space. Image: NASA / Jenny Mottar
NASA identifies carbon-rich molecules in meteorites as the 'origin of life'
(Sep 30, 2008)

Tons, perhaps tens of tons, of carbon molecules in dust particles and meteorites fall on Earth daily. Meteorites are especially valuable to astronomers because they provide relatively big chunks of carbon molecules that are easily analyzed in the laboratory. In the past few years, researchers have noticed that most meteorite carbon are molecules called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are very stable compounds and are survivors.

Read more. Source: NASA/Ames

Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble failure delays repair mission to 2009
(Sep 30, 2008)

A critical failure on the Hubble Space Telescope has forced NASA to delay its mission to upgrade the observatory until at least February 2009. That will allow NASA to test and prepare a replacement part for launch, NASA officials said on Monday.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

ATV burns up in atmosphere
Space freighter destroyed over Pacific
(Sep 29, 2008)

Europe's "Jules Verne" space freighter [see ATV] has destroyed itself in a controlled burn-up over the southern Pacific. The 13.5-tonne cargo ship had completed a six-month mission to the space station and was packed with the orbiting platform's rubbish. Two engine firings were required to slow the freighter sufficiently to pull it into the atmosphere.

Read more. Source: BBC

Falcon 1 launch
SpaceX successfully launches Falcon 1 to orbit
(Sep 29, 2008)

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) announces that Flight 4 of the Falcon 1 launch vehicle has successfully launched and achieved Earth orbit. With this key milestone, Falcon 1 becomes the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket to orbit the Earth.

Read more. Source: SpaceX

Return of Shenzhou VII astronauts
China spacecraft returns to Earth
(Sep 28, 2008)

China's Shenzhou VII space capsule has returned to Earth after a successful mission orbiting the planet. The spacecraft touched down in the Mongolian desert to rapturous applause from mission control in Beijing. Looking well, the three astronauts emerged to wave to cameras before being given bouquets of flowers.

Read more. Source: BBC

First Chinese spacewalk
Chinese astronaut walks in space
(Sep 27, 2008)

A Chinese astronaut has become the first in his country's history to take a walk in space. In an operation broadcast live on national TV, fighter pilot Zhai Zhigang emerged from the capsule orbiting the Earth to wave a Chinese flag. Mr Zhai, 42, stayed outside the capsule for 15 minutes while his two fellow astronauts stayed in the spacecraft.

Read more. Source: BBC

Dense clusters of crack-like structures called deformation bands form the linear ridges prominent in this image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
NASA orbiter reveals rock fracture plumbing on Mars
(Sep 27, 2008)

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed hundreds of small fractures exposed on the Martian surface that billions of years ago directed flows of water through underground Martian sandstone. Images of layered rock deposits at equatorial Martian sites show the clusters of fractures to be a type called deformation bands, caused by stresses below the surface in granular or porous bedrock.

Read more. Source: NASA/JPL

4.28-billion-year-old rocks 0n shore of Hudson Bay. Image credit: AAAS
Team finds Earth's 'oldest rocks'
(Sep 27, 2008)

Earth's most ancient rocks, with an age of 4.28 billion years, have been found on the shore of Hudson Bay, Canada. Writing in Science journal, a team reports finding that a sample of Nuvvuagittuq greenstone is 250 million years older than any rocks known. It may even hold evidence of activity by ancient life forms.

Read more. Source: BBC

Cluster of new born stars. Credit: ESA and NASA
Sun's siblings may have seeded Earth life
(Sep 26, 2008)

An international team of researchers has identified a novel place to look for life: on planets that orbit the Sun's stellar siblings. Most of the stars in the Milky Way got their start in clouds of dust and gas that eventually formed clusters of stars. If our Sun started life in such a scenario, the cluster would most likely have drifted apart after a few hundred million of years. But that might have been enough time for life to travel between the rocky debris surrounding each nascent star.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

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