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China's Shenzhou 10 spacecraft is bound for space station Tiangong 1 following a successful liftoff from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia.
It was a merry and mighty month of May for the Mars Exploration Rover mission: Opportunity finished a blockbuster study of Matijevic Hill finding the best evidence yet for an ancient, potentially habitable environment, and then embarked on its first real road trip in two years. The robot field geologist had barely gotten underway on its journey when it surpassed the Apollo 17 lunar rover distance record to become the most traveled NASA vehicle on another planetary body.
I'm absolutely floored when I stop to think that our beautiful blue ocean is only one of perhaps a half dozen or more oceans on other worlds in our solar system, and only one of probably millions (or more) oceans on other Earth-like planets in our galaxy. Oceans abound!
Posted by Van Kane on 2013/05/30 12:33 CDT
Last decade, cost overruns on a number of planetary missions stretched NASA's budget. Recent missions, though, have stayed within budget. However, the cost of fiscal discipline may have meant staying close to home.
Nothing reflects the romance of deep space exploration more than the evocative names of places on the planets and moons.
Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity left Cape York on May 14th and embarked on a 2-kilometer journey south along the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is heading now to Solander Point, where it will spend the coming Martian winter.