6/16/2006:

Intermediate Word:  rictus (a) grimace  (b) an expanse of an open mouth  (c) muscular spasm  (d) sphincter muscle
Difficult Word:
  forficate - (a) to forfeit through dereliction  (b) covered with fine down  (c) to seize unlawfully  (d) deeply notched

Andromeda Revealed: New Closeups of Our Galactic Neighbor - Space.com  The pictures reveal new details about Andromeda's central bulge central bulge and inner disk, while also peering into its very heart to uncover the source of mysterious pinpricks of light. Meanwhile, a mosaic made from thousands of individual images captures the total amount of infrared light emitted by the galaxy, allowing astronomers to calculate Andromeda's "weight" and determine how many stars form in the galaxy per year.       
US Astronauts To Fly New Space Ship By 2014 - SpaceDaily  The space ship that will return astronauts to the Moon should be ready for tests in 2012 and for a manned flight in 2014, NASA announced Monday. NASA plans to retire its aging shuttle fleet, which has gone through two tragic disasters, by 2010 and replace it with a Crew Exploration Vehicle to take astronauts back to the Moon by 2020. "We are studying right now a developmental flight test where we could fly as early as April 2009 ... a first stage with a dummy upper stage, with a dummy CEV on top, to validate the concept," he said. A final decision will be made later this year, he said. "We are confident we can meet the goal of the vision to get human boots back on the Moon by 2020." He stressed the need to find a way to return to the Moon that is "enormously cheaper than the shuttle." 

Russia Welcome To Help In Future Missions: NASA - SpaceDaily  Left: NASA's new cargo launch (left) and crew launch rockets, under development as part of the agency's Constellation Program to replace the aging shuttle fleet within a decade. Image credit: NASA  NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said he would welcome Russian participation in future space exploration missions that go beyond the International Space Station. Griffin replied that in his travels to Russia since becoming administrator, he also has spent a good deal of time with senior officials at both Roskosmos and the S.P.Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia. With regard to robotic missions, he said, "frankly, we welcome coordination with any of the international partners who want to work with us." If they are interested in revitalizing their very proud history of planetary exploration, I'd say I'm all for it and we would absolutely look forward to working with them." 




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