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  • There’s History in Them Thar Hills
    Taking the Spirit rover over the horizon is just one of the unique mission options available to scientists as they debate where to turn next on Mars.
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  • Museum of the Galaxies
    Comets that formed beyond Pluto and orbit the sun give off a spectacular show, but none quite so close or bright as the one witnessed by the Stardust mission team. Their comet dust sampler revealed a strange, pockmarked surface rich in depressions and steep walls.
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  • Mars is Solar Groovy
    While engineers engage their rover with mission commands and scientists look for rocks, an untold history on Mars is being written by the weather itself. In Gusev crater, or the 'cup' where the Spirit rover came to rest, newly released images from orbit indicate
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  • Water Signs
    If the Mars Exploration Rovers' twin panoramic cameras represent a pair of eyes, then the Mini-TES (Mini-Thermal Emission Spectrometer) is its third eye. Mini-TES analyzes a scene in infrared, rather than in visible light. Scientists can interpret its data to determine the mineral composition of
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  • Rover Science Team Eyes Sleepy Hollow
    After passing a complete check-up on Sol 2, the Spirit rover is getting ready to communicate directly with Earth using its high-gain antenna.
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  • Postcards from Mars
    In its first transfer of Mars imagery, the rover Spirit beamed down around seventy images, and exceeded its best predicted transfer rates by 150%. The landing area looks surprising clean and not too rugged, which will help geologists uncover whether it is an ancient dry
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  • Stardust’s Success
    The Stardust spacecraft successfully flew by the comet Wild 2 on Friday, gathering dust and taking pictures. The first image surprised scientists - the comet's nucleus is a round snowball pocketed with deep caverns, with at least five jets spewing material out into space.
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  • Spirit’s First Light
    First images show spectacular camera views from nearly a quarter billion miles away, on the surface of Mars.
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  • Catching Comet Dust
    The Stardust spacecraft prepares to fly into the stormy coma of the comet Wild 2 on Friday, ending a five-year wait. The spacecraft will "kiss the comet's dust," collecting enough of the tiny grains to bring back to Earth for analysis.
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  • Interplanetary Internet
    Dr. Vinton Cerf was one of the early researchers who worked on the embryonic web when it was called ARPANET; he is often referred to as one of the 'fathers of the internet'. He also has outlined the requirements for a future interplanetary
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  • ESA’s Beagle: Sniffing Out Life on Mars
    The European Space Agency's Beagle 2, scheduled to land on Mars on Christmas day, will be the first spacecraft in nearly 30 years to search directly for evidence of martian life. At the heart of the mission lies the lander's Gas Analysis Package.
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  • Christmas Vigil Ensues
    In 1968, when Apollo 8 became the first manned mission to orbit the moon, the crew's dramatic Christmas Eve recitation from the Book of Genesis was broadcast back to all those on the 'good Earth'.
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  • First Images Show Organic Molecules
    There are more organic molecules in the universe than what can be discerned in visible light. Using their new orbital infrared telescope, astrophysicists are finding that the basic building blocks of carbon chemistry have found a primary place in some of the most unlikely spots.
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  • Living on Mars Time
    During the upcoming Mars Exploration Rover missions, participating scientists and engineers will be waking and going to bed with the rising and setting of the sun - on Mars. There's a hitch: A day on Mars is 39.5 minutes longer than a day on
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  • Martian Dangers: Staring at the Sun
    Radiation may seem like a necessary energy input to sustain any biological ecosystem: warmth, light, photosynthesis depend on our sun. But is radiation an invisible enemy to finding life elsewhere, where a protective blanket does not shroud thinner atmospheres than our own?
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