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NASA Planning Mission To 40-Meter-Wide Asteroid 205

FudRucker points out a story from The Guardian about NASA's plans to visit 2000SG344, an asteroid 40 meters wide and weighing roughly 71 million kilograms. The manned mission would take three to six months, and it would make use of the Orion spacecraft, which will be replacing to retiring space shuttle fleet. "A report seen by the Guardian notes that by sending astronauts on a three-month journey to the hurtling asteroid, scientists believe they would learn more about the psychological effects of long-term missions and the risks of working in deep space, and it would allow astronauts to test kits to convert subsurface ice into drinking water, breathable oxygen and even hydrogen to top up rocket fuel. All of which would be invaluable before embarking on a two-year expedition to Mars. As well as giving space officials a taste of more complex missions, samples taken from the rock could help scientists understand more about the birth of the solar system and how best to defend against asteroids that veer into Earth's path."

Key Step In Programmed Cell Death Discovered 80

Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have discovered a dance of proteins that protects certain cells from undergoing apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death. Understanding the fine points of apoptosis is important to researchers seeking ways to control this process. In a series of experiments, St. Jude researchers found that if any one of three molecules is missing, certain cells lose the ability to protect themselves from apoptosis. A report on this work appears in the advance online publication of Nature.

Group Plans to Bring Martian Sample to Earth 84

sm62704 (mcgrew) writes "New Scientist has a story about IMARS (the International Mars Architecture for Return Samples) planning to bring samples of Martian soil to earth. The robotic mission would be a needed precursor to manned trips to the red planet. Also, international cooperation is necessary since the US has already nixed bankrolling manned Mars missions."

Submission + - The setup behind ( 1

Toreo asesino writes: Jeff Alexander gives an insight into how some of the main websites in Microsoft are run ( and Interesting details include having no firewall, having to manage 650Gb of IIS logs every day, and the use of their yet unreleased Windows Server 2008 in a production environment.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus