Intermediate Word:  susurrus -  (a) Persian foot-soldier  (b) soft, murmuring sound  (c) tidal wave  (d) Roman rite of passage
Difficult Word: - aphasia  (a) doesn't understand what's going on  (b) improperly-timed  (c) Can't understand what's heard  (d) can't articulate ideas

2004: The Year Space Tourism Finally Took Off - Space.com  The dream of opening space to the general public was given a tremendous boost in 2004 with SpaceShipOne’s prize-winning suborbital jaunt and congressional legislation to help establish a space travel industry in the United States. Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos is quietly designing a manned spaceship in Seattle and PayPal founder Elon Musk is still shooting for a 2005 launch of the unmanned Falcon 1 rocket.     
Anatomy of a Spy Satellite - Space.com  There is now a delicate dance underway between issues of national security and open public scrutiny about taxpayer dollars being spent wisely or squandered. Meanwhile, the swirl of secrecy seems to be revolving around a top secret "stealthy" satellite project, codenamed MISTY. He noted that MISTY’s objective was to lessen the threat to U.S. satellites from the Soviet Union -- a nation whose anti-satellite program was of "significant concern" to U.S. military space officials during the early 1980s, he wrote.     

Melting ice (Television Trust for the Environment)

Earth's permafrost starts to squelch  - BBC  In parts of Fairbanks, Alaska, houses and buildings lean at odd angles. Windows and doors inch closer and closer to the ground. It is an architectural landscape that is becoming more familiar as the world's ice-rich permafrost gives way to thaw. Water replaces ice and the ground subsides, taking the structures on top along with it. In addition to northern Alaska, the permafrost zone includes most other Arctic land, such as northern Canada and much of Siberia, as well as the higher reaches of mountainous regions such as the Alps and Tibet. All report permafrost thaw. 

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