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Driving on the Roadmap
Topic: Missions
06/05/05
The questions posed by astrobiology are deep and enduring, but for the first time, much of historical speculation can now be scientifically tested. A user's guide to good experiments is offered as part of the update to the Astrobiology Roadmap. For 'doers', this roadmap is drivable.

Going Up, Next Floor
Topic: Missions
12/14/04
Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke famously predicted that we'd see space elevators 50 years after people stopped laughing at the idea. Jerome Pearson has been thinking about space elevators since the early 1970s.

Smart Way to the Moon
Topic: Missions
11/16/04
The SMART-1 probe has reached lunar orbit. To get there, the moon mapper relied on solar electric propulsion and the tiny push from an ultra-efficient ion engine.

Winging It: Black Sky
Topic: Missions
11/08/04
On October 4, the first privately-owned, manned craft reached space. In the next four years, a spaceline called Virgin Galactic hopes thousands of astronauts will follow suit. Burt Rutan, the winner of this X-Prize competition to launch humans to the boundary of space, told an eager audience at the Moontown Airport what he thinks 'natural selection' in spacecraft design will offer 'us carbon-based folks'.

Peak of Eternal Light
Topic: Missions
11/04/04
Europe's first mission to the moon passes a key milestone on November 15, when the SMART-1 mapping probe achieves lunar capture. In addition to identifying detailed compositions for our satellite, data will amplify theories of how the Earth-Moon system first formed billions of years ago.

Beaming Up a Software Doctor
Topic: Missions
10/10/04
The Mars rovers were launched without a complete software unit. As the red planet loomed ever closer, the control code was beamed up. This model of not just transfering new mission protocols, but actually letting the protocols carry some 'self-healing' may play an increasing role for future explorers.

Wrapping Up the Genesis Site
Topic: Missions
10/02/04
Genesis engineers and scientists have wrapped the crash site of the solar-wind collecting probe, with hopes of recovering mission objectives.

House of the Future
Topic: Missions
09/16/04
A house that uses technology designed for space could become the basis of the new German Antarctic station, Neumayer-III. The new station has to meet stringent laws set up to protect the Antarctic environment, which is where the use of space technology comes in.

Sounding Off to Deep Space
Topic: Missions
09/16/04
To explore deeper into our solar system, maximum efficiencies may one day be extracted from sound waves. Los Alamos scientists have engine plans drawn up for making a big bang to push a pistonless drive forward.

Contemplating the Cracked Capsule
Topic: Missions
09/10/04
The shattered Genesis capsule has been moved to a clean room, and scientists are tentatively probing the interior, checking for damage. Although they say the samples can be recovered, the clean up will be a long and difficult process.

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