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Submission + - All the planets from Kepler (nasa.gov)

An anonymous reader writes: Astronomy Picture of the Day today is a plot of every planet discovered by Kepler (www.kepler.nasa.gov) to date silhouetted against its parent star. If gives you an idea of the relative size of stars and planets. There's nothing new here (the planets were all published back in January (http://arxiv.org/abs/1102.0541), but it's pretty cool to look at
Moon

Submission + - Morpheus: NASA's First Lunar Lander Since Apollo (foxnews.com)

Velcroman1 writes: Nearly 40 years after Americans last set foot on the moon, a determined band of NASA engineers, undeterred by massive budget cuts and red tape, may have paved the way for a long awaited return to the lunar surface. In 2009, President Obama slashed the Constellation project, a nearly $100 billion project to replace the aging space shuttle fleet with a group of new spacecraft that could ultimately take man to the moon and beyond. Lockheed Martin unveiled Orion last week, a last-gasp effort to continue a small part of that project — but the end of Constellation seemed the death of America’s lunar ambitions to many.

But not to everyone.

A group of NASA engineers — acting on their own initiative to find funding in other research and development projects, and in partnership with an aerospace startup, together with their own sweat equity — have designed and built a breakthrough piece of technology: the first new lunar landing craft from the space agency in 40 years. Meet Project Morpheus. Final destination: the moon.

Government

Submission + - RIAA lobbyist becomes federal judge, rules on file

suraj.sun writes: RIAA lobbyist becomes federal judge, rules on file-sharing cases:

Last week, Washington, DC federal judge Beryl Howell ruled on three mass file-sharing lawsuits. Judges in Texas, West Virginia, and Illinois had all ruled recently that such lawsuits were defective in various ways, but Howell gave her cases the green light; attorneys could use the federal courts to sue thousands of people at once and then issue mass subpoenas to Internet providers.

Beryl Howell isn't the only judge to believe this, but her important ruling is especially interesting because of Howell's previous work: lobbying for the recording industry during the time period when the RIAA was engaged in its own campaign of mass lawsuits against individuals. The news, first reported in a piece at TorrentFreak, nicely illustrates the revolving door between government and industry.

ARSTechnica : http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/03/riaa-lobbyist-becomes-federal-judge-rules-on-file-sharing-cases.ars

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