Scientists have closely examined four Genesis spacecraft collectors, vital to the mission’s top science objective, and found them in excellent shape, despite the spacecraft’s hard landing last year.

Scientists at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston removed the four solar-wind collectors from an instrument called the concentrator. The concentrator targets collected solar-oxygen ions during the Genesis mission. Scientists will analyze them to measure solar-oxygen isotopic composition, the highest-priority measurement objective for Genesis. The data may hold clues to increase understanding about how the solar system formed.
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NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted what may be the dusty spray of asteroids banging together in a belt that orbits a star like our sun. The discovery offers astronomers a rare glimpse at a distant star system that resembles our home, and may represent a significant step toward learning if and where other Earths form.

“Asteroids are the leftover building blocks of rocky planets like Earth,” said Dr. Charles Beichman, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, Calif. Beichman is lead author of a paper that will appear in the Astrophysical Journal. “We can’t directly see other terrestrial planets, but now we can study their dusty fossils,” he added.
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Photo Contest Winners

ESA received more than 45 fascinating images from Canada, USA, Europe and Africa during last month’s ‘Rosetta Up Close’ photo contest. Competition was tight, the quality was universally high and the judges’ job was tough; in the end, eight winners in two categories were selected. Here we present the winning images, as well as all the submissions.

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Soyuz arrives at the ISS

ESA PR 21-2005. The Soyuz TMA-6 spacecraft carrying European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori on the Eneide Mission and the two members of the ISS Expedition 11 crew docked with the International Space Station (ISS) today at the Russian docking compartment Pirs at 04:20 Central European Summer Time (CEST). Following the scheduled post-docking checks, the hatch between the spacecraft and the ISS was opened at 07:12 CEST.

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