Intermediate Word:  tesseract - (a) three-dimensional projection of a hypercube  (b) ancient water jug  (c) hanging knick-knack shelf  (d) smallest volume that can contain three non-interpenetrating spheres
Difficult Word: - obsequy   (a) condemnation  (b) humility  (c) paean of praise  (d) funeral rite

Fly Higher, Fly Lighter: 'Ballute' Technology Aimed at Moon Missions - Space.com  Moviegoers may recall it as that nifty bit of high-speed technology used in 2010: The Year We Make Contact -- the space age equivalent of playing air bag bumper car with Jupiter. A "ballute" was used to slow the spacecraft once it reached the giant planet, a device that allows for aerocapture around a celestial body thatís enveloped in an atmosphere.     
Spider Silks, The Ecological Materials Of Tomorrow - Space.com  Left:  Electron microscope image of a spider's silk spigots. Photo courtesy: MicroAngela. Spider silks could become the intelligent materials of the future, according to a review article published this month in the journal Microbial Cell Factories. The distinctive toughness of spider silk could allow manufacturers to improve wound-closure systems and plasters, and to produce artificial ligaments and tendons for durable surgical implants. The silk could also be woven into strong textiles to make parachutes, body armour, ropes and fishing nets. A whole range of ecological materials could emerge from the industrial production of spider silk. 

Transforming Dust Into Rocky Planets - Space.com  Left:   A massive disc of dusty planet-forming debris encircling the nearby star Fomalhaut.   An international team of astronomers has obtained unique infrared spectra of the dust in the innermost regions of the proto-planetary discs around three young stars - now in a state possibly very similar to that of our solar system in the making, some 4,500 million years ago. new interferometric observations of three young stars by an international team], using the combined power of two 8.2-meter telescopes a hundred meters apart, has achieved sufficient image sharpness (about 0.02 arcsec) to measure the infrared emission from the inner region of the discs around three stars

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