12/12/2004:

Intermediate Word:  osculate - (a) to nod   (b) a curve desribing successively smaller oscillations  (c) to kiss  (d) perpendicular to
Difficult Word: - portiere   (a) heavy-curtain divider  (b) portico  (c) entrance vestibule  (d) French porter

Conditions On Vast Plain On Mars Could Have Been Suitable For Life - SpaceDaily  "Liquid water was once present intermittently at the martian surface at Meridiani, and at times it saturated the subsurface. Because liquid water is a key prerequisite for life, we infer that conditions at Meridiani may have been habitable for some period of time in martian history. That's probably the single most important thing we have found: evidence for minerals at Meridiani that are the kinds of things that are very good at preserving evidence of ancient life for very long periods of time." The Mars rover mission is not designed to look for microbial life but to look for evidence of whether conditions were once right for life.     
Spirit's Mars Reads Like a Mystery Novel - SpaceDaily  Left: The Shadow of Spirit. Astrobiology Magazine (AM): Are you seeing stuff that you have no idea what it is?  Steve Squyres:  We're seeing stuff that we don't know what it is, and we think, "It could be this or that or that," and then we go to another rock nearby, and then two hypotheses are knocked out and another one pops up, and the picture becomes a little more clear. It's like a mystery novel. You get one clue at a time.  When we first landed, we didn't have any idea what we were dealing with, and gradually, rock by rock, clue by clue, the picture came into focus. That's where we are in the Columbia Hills right now.

Congress Impedes NASA Prizes - SpaceDaily  The priciest category, called the Flagship Awards, would range from $10 to $50 million with one or two prizes given out each year. Specific contests will include achieving a robotic soft landing on the moon, using a solar sail to maneuver in space or developing a small unmanned returnable capsule for bringing materials and experiments back from the International Space Station. The next-smaller category, dubbed the Keystone Awards, would run from $250,000 to $5 million, with three to five presented per year. NASA would give Keystone Awards for overcoming a variety of smaller technological challenges, such as developing a better spacesuit glove, a better lunar rover or better radiation shielding.   





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