10/6/2004:

Intermediate Word:  physiognomy   (a) nickname based upon appearance  (b) geographical lay of the land  (c) judging character from face  (d) classification by body type
Difficult Word: - pall mall  (a) tree-shaded mall  (b) cemetary tent  (c) center court in English villages  (d) game like croquet

New $50 Million Prize for Private Orbiting Spacecraft - Space.com  Robert Bigelow, chief of Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace, is apparently setting higher goals for private spaceflight endeavors with America's Space Prize, a $50 million race to build an orbital vehicle capable of carrying up to seven astronauts to an orbital outpost by the end of the decade, according to Aviation Week and Space Technology. They'll also snag options to service inflatable space habitats under development by Bigelow Aerospace. 
Bernard Schriever's Stifling Shadow - SpaceDaily  Bernard Schriever is practically unknown, while the leader of the competing US Army rocket program (Wernher von Braun) is practically a cult figure. But it was Schriever who was the "American Korolev" the real brain behind US rocketry in the early Cold War years. His Atlas, Titan, and Thor rockets were all retired as weapons by 1965, but they have enjoyed 45-year careers as the main American space launch vehicles. More importantly, Schriever's management techniques have stood the test of time while von Braun's have proven a dismal failure. There are only two ways to make space flight affordable in the near term: A) make boosters truly reusable without the expensive factory rebuilds needed by the Shuttle's Orbiters and SRBs; B) make expendable boosters as simple and cheap as a pistol cartridge.

Shields Up! - SpaceDaily  If you've ever watched Star Trek, you know the importance of shields. When a star explodes or a Klingon death ray lances out of the darkness, the captain yells two words, "Shields up!", and all is well. Deflector shields: Don't leave home without one. The solar system, believe it or not, has got one. The solar system's deflector shield is a giant magnetic bubble called "the heliosphere." It's part of the sun's magnetic field. No one knows the precise dimensions of the heliosphere, but it's bigger than the orbit of Pluto. All nine planets are inside it. Cosmic rays from novas a few million years ago  were mostly deflected, sparing early humanoids a radiation bath.





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