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Vote Now! Best Space Stories of the Week - July 31, 2011

Busy Week in Space

NASA/Dana Berry, SkyWorks Digital

Black holes that could help treat cancer, questions about whether we are alone in the universe and the possibility of our own spaceships discovering alien life all made news over the last week.

Vote for your favorite space story of the past week here:

China's First Space Station Module Readies For Liftoff

China Manned Space Engineering Office

China is pushing forward on readying its first space station module for launch. Meanwhile, that country's first astronaut is openly discussing the prospect of China's future engagement with the International Space Station. [Read More]

Rare Volcanoes Discovered On Far Side of the Moon

NASA/GSFC/ASU/WUSTL, processing by B. Joliff

Astronomers have discovered a set of rare volcanoes on the far side of the moon that offer an alternative way to sculpt the lunar surface.[Read More]

Evidence Builds For Water on Mars

NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/UA

NASA has chosen a landing site for its next Mars rover with the goal of seeking more signs of historical water on the planet, and a recent study suggests it may find it.[Read More]

Are We Alone In the Universe? New Analysis Says Maybe

Discovery Channel/Evergreen Films

Scientists engaged in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) work under the assumption that there is, in fact, intelligent life out there to be found. A new analysis may crush their optimism.[Read More]

Astronomy Discovery Could Help Treat Cancer Patients

NASA/Dana Berry, SkyWorks Digital

Astronomers studying black holes have made a discovery that could help treat cancer patients down the road.[Read More]

First Asteroid Companion of Earth Discovered at Last

Paul Wiegert, The University of Western Ontario

Astronomers have discovered a small asteroid companion to Earth trailing our planet in a stable. so-called "Trojan" orbit. The Earth joins planets Jupiter, Mars and Neptune as worlds with trojan asteroids. [Read More]

How to Keep Lonely Exoplanets Snug: Just Add Dark Matter

ESO/L Calçada

Dark matter, inferred to exist from its gravitational effects on the universe, is still a mystery to scientists. But a new study says that dark matter could help life evolve and survive on distant worlds outside of our solar system. [Read More]

Two Meteor Showers Visible Under a Dark Moon This Weekend

Brian Emfinger, used with permission (more photos: http://www.realclearwx.com).

his year, sadly, the full moon will seriously hamper the 2011 Perseid meteor shower. But this week, the moon is a thin waning crescent and will arrive at new phase on Saturday, leaving the sky dark and moonless from dusk to dawn. [Read More]

Senate Subpoena Orders NASA to Deliver Documents On Big New Rocket

NASA/MSFC

A Senate panel issued a subpoena ordering NASA to produce internal documents related to the agency’s progress on the Space Launch System, the heavy-lift rocket Congress ordered NASA to make ready for flight by Dec. 31, 2016. [Read More]

Space Station Puts Out Welcome Mat for Private Spaceships

SpaceX

Despite the grounding of NASA's storied space shuttle fleet, American spaceships are expected to make three trips to the International Space Station in the coming months. [Read More]

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