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Spirit rover spots dust devil on Mars.
Still rolling along across the surface of Mars, NASA's Spirit rover recently spotted a dust devil whirling across the Martian landscape. Spirit first turned up dust devils on Mars mainly by accident a few months ago, but controllers have refined their strategy to use the rover's navigation camera to regularly take a series of photos in the hopes of catching one in action. By watching them blow past, controllers can get an idea of local wind patterns.
The Liftport Group of space elevator companies has announced that it will be building a carbon nanotubes manufacturing plant in Millville, New Jersey, to supply various glass, plastic and metal companies with these strong materials. Although Liftport hopes to eventually use carbon nanotubes in the construction of a 100,000 km (62,000 mile) space elevator, this move will allow it to make money in the short term and conduct research and development into new production methods.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has discovered an unusual cloud of particles around Enceladus, one of Saturn's many moons. They could be stray particles from Saturn's outermost E-ring or a previously unseen dust cloud. The discovery is so interesting to researchers that they'll have Cassini change its altitude on its next flyby - scheduled for July 14 - lowering the spacecraft so that it passes only 175 km (108 miles) above the surface of the moon.
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