Intermediate Word: 
aspersion  (a) slanderous remark  (b) Persian regional governor  (c) deep sigh  (d) cloth flaps covering kneehole storage in a vanity
Difficult Word: - fescennine -  a) primitive  (b) disappointing  (c) licentious  (d) dressed to the nines

In Wake Of Stardust Flyby, Hayabusa Aims For Asteroid Sample Return - SpaceDaily  The first two-way trip to an asteroid is underway. Launched May 8, 2003 from the Uchinoura Launch Center at Kagoshima on Kyushu Island, Japan's Hayabusa spacecraft is on its way to intercept and collect samples from asteroid 25143 Itokawa. The estimated $170 million mission was stalled for a year while the rocket's engine failure was investigated. When it finally launched, the MUSES-C spacecraft was named Hayabusa - "Peregrine Falcon." This bird of prey is known for its ability to swoop down and snatch up its prey in its talons - a maneuver that some see as similar to the plans for Hayabusa, to seize samples of the asteroid's surface. A target - asteroid 1998 SF36 - has been selected. A near-Earth asteroid, its orbit around the Sun brings it to within 1.8 million kilometers of Earth's orbit.
The Bright Side of Beagle - SpaceDaily  The Beagle 2 team, headed by Professor Colin Pillinger, has pioneered new ground in developing planetary missions. Their innovations have appeared in everything from funding strategies to media campaigns. Along the way, they have recruited individuals ranging from modern artists and pop stars to amateur spaceflight engineers who have modified devices such as dental drills for use on Mars. Some of this maverick engineering has been demonstrated in the past with small satellite groups such as Amsat, well known for their amateur radio satellites. Beagle 2 inspires us to keep exploring Mars and the rest of the Universe. If the team behind the spacecraft can almost reach their destination, then a little more effort could see them complete a journey to Mars. We have to keep trying, and planning for the next mission should be carried out as soon as investigations into the loss of Beagle 2 are finished.

Lockheed Martin To Develop New Missile Defense System - SpaceDaily  Lockheed Martin has won a contract from the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to further develop and demonstrate the first system capable of destroying multiple ballistic missile threats and decoys with a single launch. The system will carry multiple small kill vehicles that will destroy adversarial missiles and decoys by colliding with them in space. The eight-year contract is valued at approximately $760 million; the initial 11-month contract is valued at $27 million. The U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command in Huntsville, Ala., manages the program for the MDA. 


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