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 Craters or Cradles?
Meteor impacts are generally regarded as monstrous killers and one of the causes of mass extinctions throughout the history of life. But there is a chance the heavy bombardment of Earth by meteors during the planet's youth actually spurred early life on our planet, say Canadian geologists 01/12/09

 Mars: Windows on the World
In their explorations of Mars, both the Spirit and Opportunity rovers found evidence that liquid water was once on the planet's surface. Joy Crisp, project scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers, discussed the rovers' long journey and their surprising discoveries at a public lecture on May 19, 2005. 01/12/09

 MRO Lifts Off Into Space
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) launched this morning from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It will take seven months to reach Mars, arriving at the planet in March 2006. 01/12/09

Sending men to the Moon certainly changed the public perception of life on our own planet, thanks to the astronauts' photographs of the Earth looking like an illuminated blue marble suspended in the deep black emptiness of space. 01/12/09

 Triple A
One of the thousands of asteroids orbiting the sun has been found to have a mini planetary system of its own. 01/12/09

 A Comet's Only Cameraman
In recognition of those Mars Rover graphics in the PBS/NOVA program "Mars Dead or Alive," Maas just received an Emmy Award nomination. His next big project was to simulate the dramatic impact of a bullet-like probe with a icy comet for the recent mission, Deep Impact. 01/12/09

 Tulips on the Moon
In this essay, Bernard Foing ponders what steps will need to be taken to establish future human bases on the Moon. The Moon has one-sixth of Earth's gravity and no atmosphere, but the difficulties of living there could be eased by something as beautiful and delicate as a flower. 01/12/09

 The Ends of the Earth
Pamela Conrad, an astrobiologist with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has traveled to the ends of the Earth to study life. On June 16, 2005, Conrad gave a lecture entitled, "A Bipolar Year: What We Can Learn About Looking for Life on Other Planets by Working in Cold Deserts." In part 1 of this edited transcript, Conrad describes what sort of signs we could look for to see if there is life in an alien environment. 01/12/09

 A Milky Way Bar Please
With the help of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have conducted the most comprehensive structural analysis of our galaxy and have found tantalizing new evidence that the Milky Way is much different from your ordinary spiral galaxy. 01/12/09

 2029 A Near Miss Odyssey
Scientists predict a near-miss when Asteroid 99942 Apophis passes Earth in 2029. An asteroid flies this close to the planet only once every 1,300 years. The chance to study it will help scientists deal with the object should it threaten collision with Earth. 01/12/09

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