Intermediate Word:  prevaricate  (a) to build  (b) flimsy  (c) to stray from the truth  (d) to prevail upon
Difficult Word: - variola  (a) smallpox  (b) stringed instrument  (c) a chrestomathy   (d) varied fare at a tasting fair

Was Venus Alive? 'The Signs are Probably There' - Space.com  Only 20 percent of the sunlight that hits Venus makes it through the cloud cover, while the other 80 percent is reflected back into space. This reduced sunlight doesn't make Venus a cold world, however, because the thick carbon dioxide atmosphere traps the planet's heat. This greenhouse effect on Venus is often cited as a nightmare example of what could happen to Earth if we don't get our pollution under control.  
A Universe Of Particles - SpaceDaily  A string of recent discoveries in astronomy has left scientists with an unsettling realization: The stuff we know and understand makes up less than 5 percent of the universe. The rest has to be yet-unknown forms of "dark matter" and "dark energy." Conceived to make the science as accessible as possible, the Quantum Universe report focuses on nine fundamental questions in response to a request by two major research funding agencies, the US Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. Their report also articulated how current and future US experiments, as well as international collaborations with U.S. participation, can address those questions. 

Apollo Inspires New Generation Of Moon Rockets - SpaceDaily  Whatever NASA decides, it will be worth billions of dollars in development contracts for the shrinking US launch industry. That industry is vastly different from the time when NASA developed the Saturn family of launchers for Project Apollo four decades ago, however. Then, the huge Saturn V, standing 365 feet tall, could lift 250,000 pounds into Earth orbit and send nearly 100,000 pounds to the moon. Today, NASA's largest rocket, the Boeing-built, Delta IV Heavy - which makes its maiden flight this fall - can lift 50,000 pounds into orbit. Right behind it is Lockheed Martin's Atlas V 500 series, which can launch about 45,000 pounds to orbit.

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