Intermediate Word:  halitosis -  (a) inability to see rapidly moving objects  (b) salt depletion  (c) bad breath  (d) inability to concentrate
Difficult Word: - operculum  (a) lorgnette  (b) flap of tissue  (c) ophthalmologist's magnifying mirror  (d) official passport stamp

Analysis: The Triumph Of The Robots - SpaceDaily  Left: File image of Spirit's shadow on Mars.   The human side of the U.S. space program remains problem-plagued, with the shuttle fleet still grounded and the International Space Station hanging in limbo. NASA's robotic craft exploring Mars and the Saturnian system in 2004, however, have carried off feats that are unparalleled in human history -- and they promise to deliver more wonders in the new year. For this reason, 2004 in space could be called the triumph of the robots. For the past year, at JPL, scientists generally have been programming Spirit and Opportunity once a day. Cassini and Huygens, like the twin Mars rovers, represent perhaps the most sophisticated robotic craft built so far. They are designed to act largely independently because the rovers -- and the Saturn craft even more so -- are beyond the range of direct control from mission scientists.  
Analysis: Scientists And Engineers At War - SpaceDaily        Public and political support is growing for President George W. Bush's ambitious plan for space exploration, but at least one scientific organization has cast doubts about Bush's vision -- although whether those doubts carry any weight or have much validity is debatable. On Nov. 22, less than three weeks after Bush's convincing victory in the presidential election, the American Physical Society published an analysis of the administration's proposal to refocus the U.S. space program away from the space shuttle and International Space Station and toward a return to the moon and further human exploration of the solar system.

Doing Mars On One Million Dollars A Day - SpaceDaily  Spirit is exploring the Columbia Hills within the Gusev Crater. "In December, we discovered a completely new type of rock in Columbia Hills, unlike anything seen before on Mars," said Dr. Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., principal investigator for the rovers' science payloads. Jumbled textures of specimens dubbed "Wishstone" and "Wishing Well" look like the product of an explosion, perhaps from a volcano or a meteor impact. These rocks are much richer in phosphorus than any other known Mars rocks. "Some ways of making phosphates involve water; others do not."  

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