12/15/2005:

Intermediate Word:  scullion (a) member of the leek family  (b) scrubbing pad  (c) kitchen menial  (d) footman's carriage step
Difficult Word: -magistral - (a)
accusative  (b)  pertaining to the Ludi Megalenses  (c) prepared in accordance with a physician's prescription  (d) a cutting northerly wind

Russia's Next Spaceship: Alternative to NASA's CEV - Space.com   "We're starting to design this new transportation system to support the International Space Station (ISS) once it's complete," said Nikolay Sevastiyanov, president of the Russian aerospace contractor RSC-Energia. The winged crew vehicle, Clipper, would launch atop a Russian Soyuz 2-3 booster and could form the heart of potential Moon- or Mars-bound craft, according to RSC-Energia designs.    
Earth's First Comet Samples Soon to be Delivered ... - FirstScience  Stardust's voyage in space is near its end, but its cargo - the world's first cometary and interstellar dust samples - has begun its two year journey on Earth, which ends on a cold early morning on the floor of a frozen dry lakebed. After successfully collecting particles of Comet Wild 2 on Jan. 2, 2004, Stardust's Sample Return Capsule reenters Earth's atmosphere and parachutes through the darkened sky on Jan. 15, 2006. The capsule touches down at approximately 3:15 a.m. (local time) within the Utah Test and Training Range.     

First Experiments On National Ignition Facility Validate Computer Simulations On Road To Ignition - Science Daily  Left:  A tiny gold-plated cylinder called a hohlraum holds the deuterium-tritium fuel capsule in the National Ignition Facility target chamber, where the energy from 192 high-powered lasers is converted to thermal X-rays. The X-rays heat and ablate the plastic surface of the ignition capsule, causing a rocket-like pressure on the capsule and forcing it to implode and ignite. (Image courtesy of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) NIF, which is more than 80 percent complete, is a 10-story building in which 192 laser beams are focused on a tiny target inside a 30-foot diameter aluminum-lined chamber. Eight beams already have been commissioned. When fully operational (currently scheduled for mid-2009), NIF will be used to study and achieve ignition.




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