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National radio astronomy Observatory.
Photographs taken by the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft seem to indicate that there still could be active volcanism on the Red Planet. The spacecraft took detailed observations of five Martian volcanoes, and found that some had erupted as recently as 4 million years ago. Although this is ancient in human terms, it means that Mars is still probably geologically active. This is very important to biologists, because it means that there could be geothermic vents with heat and liquid water - havens for microbial life.
When Huygens makes its plunge into Titan's thick atmosphere on January 14, 2005, it'll be watched by a host of instruments, including the radio Telescopes from the National radio astronomy Observatory (NRAO). By measuring the frequency of Huygens' radio signals, scientists will be able to calculate the east-west wind speeds, and build a better model of Titan's weather systems. Another team will track the probe's trajectory to within 1 km (3,300 feet).
NASA has selected six proposals for instruments that will fly with the upcoming Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). These instruments include: a laser altimeter, a high-resolution camera, a Neutron detector to search for water ice, a thermometer to map the temperature of the lunar surface, an ultraviolet detector to look into shadowed regions, and a cosmic ray telescope to measure background radiation. The LRO will travel to the Moon in 2008, and help gather information needed for future human explorers as part of the new space vision.
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