Exploration

  • Contemplating the Cracked Capsule
    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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  • Genesis Suffers A Crash Landing
    The Genesis sample capsule crash-landed today after its parachutes failed to deploy. A recovery crew is in the field now, hoping to recover materials from the shattered capsule.
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  • Rebuilding the Biggest Building
    One of the world's largest buildings sustained damage over the weekend as hurricane Frances pounded a natural scar on the face of a manmade wonder. Florida's Space Coast has witnessed many launches designed specifically to study and predict the damaging effects of hurricanes--one of the
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  • Footprints on the Moon
    The Moon offers a unique preserved laboratory free from the weathering that ages the record of how life arose on Earth. Studying radiation and polar craters may be targets for the next human or robotic missions.
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  • Citizen of the Solar System
    NASA's David Morrison won the 2004 Carl Sagan medal from the Division for Planetary Sciences. He talked with Astrobiology Magazine about the risks and rewards of extending science beyond our biosphere.
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  • It’s a Bird, It’s a Planet
    When the space station passes across the Sun or moon, the scene offers an interesting demonstration of how planet hunter's look for new candidates by measuring the periodic dimming of a parent star.
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  • Towards Biological Machines?
    By encouraging ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules to self-assemble into 3-D shapes resembling spirals, triangles, rods and hairpins, scientists have found what could be a method of constructing lattices on which to build complex microscopic machines.
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  • Spooky Spaceflight
    Once derided by Einstein as "spooky action at a distance", quantum entanglement could hold out the promise of a novel means of space propulsion, perhaps even making interstellar travel feasible.
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  • Countdown Meets Perfect Storm
    The early Monday morning launch of the first orbital mission to Mercury encountered a difficult weather pattern that scrubbed what operators call an 'instantaneous' launch window. Although the mission will extend to seven years until 2011, only twelve seconds are available to time
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  • The Doodle Gig
    How is the search for life elsewhere reflected culturally in symbols that we recognize daily? One signpost invented to characterize the 'state of the internet' is the occasional change in the logo of the world's most popular search engine. How that doodle has come to
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  • Amplified Intelligence
    Will machines make humans smarter or just more dependent on our calculators, car navigators, and kitchen conveniences? Dr. Ken Ford of the Institute of Human and Machine Cognition reclassifies several key problems in developing smarter machines into a category called, "Amplified Intelligence".
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  • Moonrise: The Next Frontiers
    Two new missions have been advanced as part of the New Horizons flights, one to return a moon sample from the lunar south pole, the other to test if Jupiter sports a rocky core.
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  • New Worlds of Words
    A dictionary like no other in the world, the Oxford English Dictionary has been described as "among the wonders of the world of scholarship". This week, the OED announced the term, astrobiology, among its latest new entries.
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  • Farmer Droids
    The practicality of inexpensive robots opens a host of worldly applications, whether tending a cornfield or testing for bugs. Just as in the film Star Wars, there may be a future role for autonomous robots to tend the farm while farmers blast off for
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  • Hubble Comes to Home Computers
    The Hubble Space Telescope releases imagery data in a file format called FITS, which has previously not be directly accessible in some of the more popular home computer image software. A new plug-in released by the European Space Agency's Hubble team changes a computer to
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