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NASA Curiosity rover collects first Martian bedrock sample

NASA's Curiosity rover has, for the first time, used a drill carried at the end of its robotic arm to bore into a flat, veiny rock on Mars and collect a sample from its interior. This is the first time any robot has drilled into a rock to collect a sample on Mars.

Posted: Feb 9th, 2013

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NASA scientists build first-ever wide-field X-ray imager

Three NASA scientists teamed up to develop and demonstrate NASA's first wide-field-of-view soft X-ray camera for studying "charge exchange," a poorly understood phenomenon that occurs when the solar wind collides with Earth's exosphere and neutral gas in interplanetary space.

Posted: Feb 7th, 2013

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Earth-like planets are right next door

Using publicly available data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have found that six percent of red dwarf stars have habitable, Earth-sized planets. Since red dwarfs are the most common stars in our galaxy, the closest Earth-like planet could be just 13 light-years away.

Posted: Feb 6th, 2013

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A spiral galaxy with a secret

Despite its appearance, which looks much like countless other galaxies, Messier 106 hides a number of secrets. Thanks to this image, which combines data from Hubble with observations by amateur astronomers Robert Gendler and Jay GaBany, they are revealed as never before.

Posted: Feb 6th, 2013

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Explaining the ribbon in space discovered by NASA's IBEX mission

IBEX can map the boundary at the edge of our heliosphere in a way never before done. In 2009, IBEX saw something in that map that no one could explain: a vast ribbon dancing across the boundary that produced many more energetic neutral atoms than the surrounding areas.

Posted: Feb 6th, 2013

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Finding the key to immunity (w/video)

Living in space weakens astronauts' immune systems, researchers have discovered. The findings are providing clues on how to tackle diseases on Earth before symptoms appear.

Posted: Feb 4th, 2013

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Are super-Earths actually mini-Neptunes?

A new study suggests that super-Earths are actually surrounded by extended hydrogen-rich envelopes and that they are unlikely to ever become Earth-like. Rather than being super-Earths, these worlds are more like mini-Neptunes.

Posted: Feb 4th, 2013

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Building a lunar base with 3D printing

Setting up a lunar base could be made much simpler by using a 3D printer to build it from local materials. Industrial partners including renowned architects Foster + Partners have joined with ESA to test the feasibility of 3D printing using lunar soil.

Posted: Feb 1st, 2013

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Where are all the dwarfs?

Astronomers of the international CLUES collaboration have identified "Cosmic Web Stripping" as a new way of explaining the famous missing dwarf problem: the lack of observed dwarf galaxies compared with that predicted by the theory of Cold Dark Matter and Dark Energy.

Posted: Feb 1st, 2013

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