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Vote Now! The Top Space Stories of the Week - Feb. 19, 2012

Ancient Rocks Suggest Early Earth Was Motley Mix

NASA/NOAA

Portions of the growing Earth may have been extraordinarily sluggish to change, with some pieces lasting for more than 1.5 billion years despite the influence of enormous heat and pressure found in the planet's interior, researchers say.These new findings suggest Earth was less of a well-mixed melting pot and more like a motley salad bowl than previously thought. [Full Story]

NEXT: John Glenn, 1st American in Orbit, Pushes for Manned Mars Missions

John Glenn, 1st American in Orbit, Pushes for Manned Mars Missions

NASA

As the 50th anniversary of his historic spaceflight approaches, former NASA astronaut John Glenn is pushing for manned exploration of Mars and other farflung destinations.

On Feb. 20, 1962, Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth when his Friendship 7 capsule zipped around our planet three times, then splashed down safely in the Atlantic Ocean. Glenn's flight put the United States back on even footing with the Soviet Union, which had launched the first manned orbital flight in April 1961.

The U.S.-Soviet space race in the 1960s got much of the American public excited about space science and exploration. That enthusiasm has since flagged, but sending astronauts to the Red Planet could help rekindle it, Glenn said. [Full Story]

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