7/8/2005:

Intermediate Word:  desultory -  (a) easy-going  (b) salt-free  (c) jumping from one thing to another  (d) characterized by dejection
Difficult Word: - unaneled  (a) highly unscrupulous  (b) not having been duly informed  (c) insipid  (d) not having received extreme unction

NASA Hopes To Use Private Transport Soon - SpaceDaily  The U.S. space agency hopes to turn to the private sector to provide transportation for crew and supplies to the International Space Station. NASA plans to retire the space shuttle in 2010, switching to the Crew Exploration Vehicle that is now in development. But Griffin suggested that unmanned cargo shuttles could also be used to supply the space station. He said that NASA will have to maintain its own capacity to get astronauts and their equipment to the station -"We cannot be hostage to an individual provider that can stop or go out of business." But he said that NASA does not need to be the only provider.    
Scientist Refines Cosmic Clock To Determine Age Of Milky Way - SpaceDaily   Left:  La Scilla telescope, Chile. According to Dauphas' new method, the age of the Milky Way is approximately 14.5 billion years, plus or minus more than 2 billion years. The University of Chicago's Nicolas Dauphas has developed a new way to calculate the age of the Milky Way that is free of the unvalidated assumptions that have plagued previous methods. That age generally agrees with the estimate of 12.2 billion years-nearly as old as the universe itself-as determined by previously existing methods. Dauphas' finding verifies what was already suspected, despite the drawbacks of existing methods:  

Tulips On The Moon - SpaceDaily  In this essay, Bernard Foing ponders what steps will need to be taken to establish future human bases on the Moon. The Moon has one-sixth of Earth's gravity and no atmosphere, but the difficulties of living there could be eased by something as beautiful and delicate as a flower. Of course, we cannot globally terraform the Moon all at once. We would need to start with an artificial biosphere. It would be a little bit like Las Vegas; when you go into the hotel, you have an artificial domain. You cannot stand it outside, it is too hot. The Moon has no atmosphere, but the soil is rich in minerals. There's about 45 percent of oxygen in the soil, for instance. Another step is to bring some plant life communities to the Moon.   




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