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Vote Now! Top Space Stories of the Week - Oct. 16, 2011

Raining Meteorities, Uranus Too Far to the Left And Secret Spy Satellites Decoded

NASA/JPL

This week we discovered that meteorites rained on earth, found out the secret behind a spy satellite and said goodbye to the space shuttle in just some of the stories that came from space this past week.

Vote for your top space story of the week:

Seeing Earth from Space: Q & A With Astronaut Ron Garan

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Astronaut Ron Garan is adjusting to life back on Earth after returning recently from a long-duration stay at the International Space Station. [Full Story]

Planet Uranus Got Sideways Tilt From Multiple Impacts

Lawrence Sromovsky, (Univ. Wisconsin-Madison), Keck Observatory

A series of impacts, rather than a single powerful punch, knocked Uranus on its side, new research suggests. [Full Story]

Scientists Discover Ozone Layer On Venus

ESA

ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft has discovered an ozone layer high in the atmosphere of Venus. Comparing its properties with those of the equivalent layers on Earth and Mars will help astronomers refine their searches for life on other planets. [Full Story]

Amateur Rocketeers Chase $10,000 Launch Prize Offered by John Carmack

Gregory L. Mayback

A team of amateur rocketeers may have won John Carmack's Micro Prize, a challenge to launch a rocket above 100,000 feet and recover it in good shape. [Full Story]

Raining Meteorites May Have Led to Earth's Primordial Life

NASA/JPL

Huge meteorites may not deserve the bad rap they've gotten as life-ending agents of destruction, scientists say. In fact, cataclysmic collisions in space may have set the stage for the rise of life on Earth, scientists say. [Full Story]

Falling German Satellite Poses 1-in-2,000 Risk of Striking Someone This Month

German Aerospace Center

A big German satellite near the end of life is expected to plunge back to Earth this month, just weeks after a NASA satellite fell from orbit, and where this latest piece of space junk will hit is a mystery. [Full Story]

Distant Galaxies Provide Timeline for Universe's Early Days

ESO/M. Kornmesser

New observations have allowed astronomers to establish a timeline for what is known as the age of re-ionization. During this phase the fog of hydrogen gas in the early universe was clearing, allowing ultraviolet light to pass unhindered for the first time. [Full Story]

Let the Space Shuttle Rest in Peace, Experts Tell Congress

NASA

The space shuttle isn't coming out of retirement, so people should just let it go, experts told Congress Wednesday. [Full Story]

Asteroid Near Earth Discovered by Amateur Astronomers

ESA/TOTAS Survey Team

A team of amateur astronomers has discovered a near-Earth asteroid, highlighting the contributions regular folks can make to space science and planetary defense. [Full Story]

Space Shuttle Pink Slip in Hand, LA Plans 'Mother of All Parades' for Endeavour

collectSPACE.com

To retire the space shuttle Endeavour, NASA must ship the orbiter across the country to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The Mayor of LA plans a big parade to celebrate. [Full Story]

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