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Deep Impact's impactor probe smashed into Comet Tempel 1.
With the safety concerns resolved, NASA has announced that they will begin the official countdown for STS-114; the Space Shuttle return to flight. The countdown begins on July 10 at 2200 UTC (6:00 pm EDT), which is 43 hours before liftoff. If all goes well, Discovery and its seven-member crew of astronauts will lift off at approximately 1951 UTC (3:51 pm EDT) on July 13. They will visit the International Space Station to deliver some supplies, and then test out a series of new procedures designed to improve the safety of the shuttle.
Bigger is better. When you're making a telescope, you want to construct the biggest mirror you can. The European consortium building the Extremely Large telescope (ELT) - a monster observatory with a main mirror that will be between 50-100 metres - moved a step closer to building their telescope today by releasing the scientific case. If development moves forward, the ELT could begin construction within a few years, and be complete by 2015. Where Hubble can resolve objects 95 m (311 feet) apart on the Moon, the ELT could resolve objects 2 m (6.5 feet) apart.
As Deep Impact's impactor probe smashed into Comet Tempel 1 this week, every available observatory, on land and in space was watching to help gather as much science as possible from this $333 million mission. The Gemini North telescope, located on Hawaii's Mauna Kea successfully captured images, before and after the collision that clearly show the debris cloud moving off the comet. They also found evidence that rocky materials were exposed on the comet's surface.
From space and even on the surface, Mars just looks dry, reddish and rocky as far as the camera can see. But there's actually a pretty complex world of minerals under that surface layer of basalt. By studying the surface of Mars with Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey, NASA scientists have turned up very interesting surface features which hint at the hidden minerals underneath. This research is published in the latest edition of the Journal Nature.
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