Intermediate Word:  malapert  (a) improper  (b) evil intent  (c) saucy saying  (d) impudent person
Difficult Word: - bollonia  (a) loosestrife  (b) a type of Italian portcullis  (c) daisy-like  (d) skin disease

Weird Object Beyond Pluto Gets Stranger  - Space.com  When astronomers announced the discovery last month of Sedna, the most distant known object in the solar system, they were nearly certain it had an unseen satellite. New observations by the Hubble Space Telescope find no moon, however, deepening the mystery surrounding this already strange object Sedna is about three-fourths the size of Pluto. It is so far away that it takes 10,000 years to orbit the Sun.
Building More Resilient Rockets - SpaceDaily  Left:  Routine 24-hour flights to the Moon could employ detachable crew modules atop nuclear thermal transfer vehicles. By transferring the module from one propulsion element to the next, the passengers could complete their trip to the lunar surface without ever leaving the module. This image produced for NASA by Pat Rawlings and Bill Gleason, (SAIC).  Keeping a "space ferry" parked in Earth orbit, instead of returning it to the ground and spending money and fuel to launch it off the planet's surface each time, is one scenario for making the commute to the Moon more economical. A smaller vehicle would then be used to move people between the ferry and the ground. This idea has some advantages, but it also suffers from an engineering obstacle--namely, maintenance. How do you maintain a vehicle that never returns to Earth? The spce shuttle's main engines require extensive maintenance after each flight.

NASA Struggles To Change - SpaceDaily  When the Columbia Accident Investigation Board issued its report last August, it blasted what it described as a non-existent safety program and a space agency culture that inhibited open discussions. "We get it," O'Keefe said, referring to the harsh criticisms the report contained and the recommendation that for the shuttles ever to fly safely again, the 45-year-old bureaucracy would have to virtually reinvent the way its employees interacted with one another. Now, O'Keefe once again has promised to change NASA, this time in the face of a new report, released Tuesday, that has called his reforms into question. 

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