Vote Now! Best Space Stories of the Week - Aug. 7, 2011

Reminders of Columbia, Missions to Jupiter and New Dwarf Planets for Neptune

NASA/Bill Ingalls

This week Juno sailed off for a five-year cruise to Jupiter and debris from space shuttle Columbia was found eight years after a disastrous launch. Vote for your top space story of the week:

Is Hollywood's 'Alien Fever' Inspired by Real Science Finds?

Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Universal Studios and DreamWorks II – © Universal Studios and DreamWorks II Distribution Co. LLC

Hollywood has been churning out a lot of alien-themed films lately, from "Super 8" to "Another Earth." What's behind this glut of alien sci-fi? [Full Story]

'Red Dragon' Mission Mulled as Cheap Search for Mars Life

SpaceX

NASA's so-called "Red Dragon" life-hunting mission could launch toward Mars in SpaceX's Dragon capsule in 2018. [Full Story]

Shadowy Galaxy Has More Dark Matter Than Any Other Known

Marla Geha, Keck Observatory

Astronomers have discovered a galaxy harboring more dark matter than any before seen.[Full Story]

Seattle Space Needle Puts Free Spaceflight Up for Grabs

Space Adventures/Space Race 2012

Seattle's Space Needle is pairing with the space tourism company Space Adventures to give away a trip to space.[Full Story]

Debris From Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster Found in Texas

Nacogdoches Police Department

A piece of debris from NASA's space shuttle Columbia has been discovered in Texas, eight years after the 2003 disaster that destroyed the spacecraft and killed its seven-astronaut crew during re-entry, NASA officials confirmed today. [Full Story]

Spacewalking Cosmonauts Throw Amateur Radio Satellite Into Orbit

NASA TV

Two Russian cosmonauts tossed an amateur ham radio satellite into orbit during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station today (Aug. 3), despite the fact that the boxy satellite might be broken. [Full Story]

3 Small, Icy Worlds Discovered in Pluto's Territory

IAU/M. Kornmesser

Astronomers performing a survey of the Kuiper Belt have found 14 new objects, including three that may be big enough to be considered dwarf planets. [Full Story]

NASA Rover Drives 20 Miles on Mars

NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's Opportunity Mars rover has logged 20 miles on Mars, and it's now less than one mile from a huge crater called Endeavour. [Full Story]

Mystery Lines on Mars Carved By Water, Study Suggests

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Salt water could be running down some slopes of Mars every spring, researchers suggest. [Full Story]

NASA Launches Spacecraft on Journey to Jupiter

NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA's Juno mission launched toward Jupiter this morning, kicking off a five-year cruise to the solar system's biggest planet. [Full Story]

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