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Apollo era of spaceflight.
During the Apollo era of spaceflight, many US spacecraft and vehicles were left on the Moon when the astronauts returned home. For the first time in more than 30 years, we'll get a chance to see them again when NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter arrives at the Moon in 2008. It will be equipped with a camera capable of resolving the surface of the Moon down to half a metre (1.6 feet). Some of the larger structures on the Moon are 9 metres (30 feet) across, so they should be easy to spot by the orbiter.
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is a comprehensive view of the night sky gathered by a dedicated 2.5 m telescope in New Mexico. Astronomers have used this vast database to make many discoveries about our Universe. And now it's going to have a sequel. SDSS II will be a new survey beginning in 2008, and consisting of three parts: a continued mapping of deep space to image distant Galaxies and quasars; a detailed survey of our own Milky Way galaxy; and a study of supernovae, to try and help pin down the mysterious Dark energy accelerating our Universe.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has gotten a good look at Saturn's unusually shaped Moon Hyperion. It has many fresh craters, giving it a spongy looking appearance. scientists estimate that the Moon is only 60% as dense as water, which means that much of its interior must be completely empty space. The images were gathered during a recent Hyperion flyby, when Cassini came within 168,000 km (104,000) of the moon.
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