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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: August 2012
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Bernard Lovell
Bernard Lovell dies
(Aug 7, 2012)


The driving force behind the world's first giant steerable radio telescope, at Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, has died at the age of 98. Completed in 1957, the telescope – known initially as Mark 1 and renamed the Lovell Telescope on its 30th anniversary – dominates the surrounding countryside and continues to make enormous contributions to the science of astronomy.

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Curiosity's parachute descent image by MRO
Curiosity's descent imaged from space
(Aug 7, 2012)


One of the great events in space exploration to date – the descent of Curiosity to the surface of Mars was imaged from space by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. All kinds of records were broken in the few minutes it took to reach the surface – the first fully-autonomous robot landing, first use of a lowering device (Skycrane), first rover to use its wheels as landing gear, and the largest unmanned vehicle to land on another world.

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Artist's impression of Curiosity on the surface of Mars
Curiosity rover lands successfully
(Aug 6, 2012)


The largest rover ever to travel to the Red Planet has made a safe and successful touchdown. It is now the in the process of deploying its instruments, sending back its first images, and beginning a surface mission that will, all being well, last at least two Earth years.

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Photo of Apollo 16 landing site showing shadow of flag
Still standing after all these years – Apollo flags remain upright
(Aug 1, 2012)


Photos taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter have shown conclusively that all the flags – except one – set up at the Apollo landing sites are still standing. The only one to have fallen is the Apollo 11 flag, blown down by the rocket exhaust of the Lunar Module ascent stage as it departed the Moon.

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