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Month in Space: October 2009

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Uriel
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« on: November 01, 2009, 11:17:03 pm »



Scribbles on Mars

Mini-tornadoes known as dust devils have left behind dark, twisting tracks on Martian sand dunes in this image, captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in August and released on Oct. 14. Whirling winds create the patterns by stirring up darker material beneath the surface.
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Uriel
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2009, 11:18:52 pm »



Target: Moon

Earth's moon, seen here in a photo taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft, was targeted by another probe in October. The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, crashed into a polar crater on Oct. 9. Although the impact could not be seen from Earth, data collected by spacecraft with a better view of lunar surface should help scientists learn more about water ice trapped in the moon's soil.
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Uriel
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2009, 11:20:22 pm »



Late, late lunar show

Space enthusiasts watch coverage of the LCROSS lunar impact mission during an outdoor party at NASA's Ames Research Center in California on Oct. 9. Among the observers are, from left, Ames employee Carol Carroll, her son David and Lawrence Nguyen.
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Uriel
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2009, 11:21:49 pm »



Warp speed

The spiral galaxy NGC 4402 is being stripped of its gas content as it moves through the Virgo Cluster at a speed of millions of miles an hour. The pressures give it a warped or convex appearance. This picture was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2007 and was released on Sept. 30.
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Uriel
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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2009, 11:22:24 pm »



Xombie rises

Masten Space System's XA-0.1B rocket, also known as Xombie, rises from its launch pad at California's Mojave Air and Space Port on Oct. 7. Xombie successfully completed a double-launch test flight, qualifying Masten's team for a $150,000 NASA-backed prize in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge.
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Uriel
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2009, 11:24:45 pm »



Blobs in space

This portrait of Barnard's Galaxy, made by the European Southern Observatory in Chile and released Oct. 14, shows curiously shaped star-forming nebulae in shades of red and purple. Also known as NGC 6822, this dwarf irregular galaxy is one of the Milky Way's galactic neighbors - situated a mere 1.6 million light-years away.
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Uriel
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2009, 11:28:28 pm »



New rocket readied

NASA's new Ares 1-X test vehicle leaves the Vehicle Assembly Building early on Oct. 20, on its way to Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida for its maiden test launch. The Ares rocket is being developed to send astronauts into orbit after the space shuttle fleet's retirement.
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Uriel
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2009, 11:31:31 pm »



Dark dunes

Martian winds have piled sand into strange-shaped dunes, as seen in a picture captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and released on Oct. 7. The dunes are shown in shades of blue rather than red because the image has been color-coded to indicate subtle differences in surface composition
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Uriel
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2009, 11:33:09 pm »



Blast from the sun

A huge prominence erupts from the left side of the sun's disk in one of a series of images recorded in the ultraviolet spectrum over a 30-hour period by NASA's STEREO spacecraft. The Sept. 26-27 prominence, which was powered by the sun's magnetic field, was one of the first that was large enough for both of the STEREO (Solar Terrestrial Reflection Observatory) spacecraft to observe it over a period of hours.
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Uriel
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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2009, 11:34:54 pm »



How icebergs are born

Glaciers flow downhill from the southern Andes Mountains in Chile, releasing their ice into the Pacific Ocean via an intricate network of fjords. The ice breaks up into icebergs in a process known as calving. The process, shown in this picture released on Oct. 5, was observed from the International Space Station in orbit.
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Uriel
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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2009, 11:35:48 pm »



Liftoff from Spaceport America

Lockheed Martin's prototype for an autonomous rocket plane roars up a launch rail at Spaceport America in New Mexico in August 2008. Lockheed has said little about the development effort, due to proprietary concerns, but the company reported that an Oct. 10 launch was successful.
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Uriel
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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2009, 11:36:50 pm »



Lava on Mars

Over the course of Martian geological history, volcanic lava has flowed repeatedly over a region known as Daedalia Planum, southeast of a large volcano called Arsia Mons. This picture from the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter, released Oct. 9, shows the tracks left behind by those flows.
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Uriel
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2009, 11:38:04 pm »



Dusty touchdown

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft kicks up dust as it lands in the steppes of Kazakhstan on Oct. 11. The capsule brought Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, NASA astronaut Michael Barratt and Canadian millionaire Guy Laliberte back to Earth from the International Space Station.
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Uriel
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2009, 11:39:38 pm »



Clowning around

Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte wears his trademark clown nose as he is carried away from a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on Oct. 11. The Soyuz landing marked the end of a 12-day trip to the International Space Station that reportedly cost the Canadian billionaire $35 million.
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Uriel
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2009, 11:41:02 pm »



Satellite check

A technician checks Eutelsat's W7 communications satellite at Thales Alenia Space in Cannes, France, on Oct. 7. The W7 satellite is scheduled to be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in November.
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