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Vote Now! Best Space Stories of the Week - March 4, 2012

Asteroids, Aliens and Flights to Space

SETI.org

From aliens and asteroids to flights to space, it's been a busy week in space. Vote now for the week's best space story.

FIRST STOP: Northern Lights Mystery May Be Solved

Northern Lights Mystery May Be Solved

Shawn Malone

A massive computer simulation has solved a cosmic mystery--where the high-speed electrons that cause Earth's auroras come from. [Full Story]

NEXT: Virgin Galactic Aims for 1st Rocket-Powered Flight This Year

Virgin Galactic Aims for 1st Rocket-Powered Flight This Year

TSC

Virgin Galactic hopes to perform the first rocket-powered test flight of its suborbital spaceliner by the end of 2012, with commercial operations perhaps beginning a year or two later, company officials said Monday (Feb. 27). [Full Story]

NEXT: 1st Asteroid Samples Reveal Surprising Look at Space Rock Crashes

1st Asteroid Samples Reveal Surprising Look at Space Rock Crashes

PNAS

Dust grains retrieved from the surface of the asteroid confirm these minor planets are under a constant barrage of microscopic impacts, scientists find. [Full Story]

NEXT: New Space Drill Could Seek Alien Life Inside Icy Saturn Moon

New Space Drill Could Seek Alien Life Inside Icy Saturn Moon

FH Aachen

To see if life does lurk beneath the icy crust of Saturn's moon Enceladus, scientists are developing an ice drill that can melt and bore its way down to its depths. [Full Story]

NEXT: China's Space Advances Worry US Military

China's Space Advances Worry US Military

China Central Television

China is ramping up its space program, and its progress will likely make the country a more formidable adversary on the battlefield, according to the director of the United States' Defense Intelligence Agency. [Full Story]

NEXT: Our Baby Universe Likely Expanded Rapidly, Study Suggests

Our Baby Universe Likely Expanded Rapidly, Study Suggests

NASA/WMAP Science Team

The spread of matter across space is most likely explained by a theory called inflation, which posits that the universe blew up like a balloon just after its birth, new research suggests. [Full Story]

NEXT: Big Asteroid 2011 AG5 Could Pose Threat to Earth in 2040

Big Asteroid 2011 AG5 Could Pose Threat to Earth in 2040

ESA - P.Carril

Scientists are keeping a close eye on a big asteroid that may pose an impact threat to Earth in a few decades. The space rock, which is called 2011 AG5, is about 460 feet (140 meters) wide. It may come close enough to Earth in 2040 that some researchers are calling for a discussion about how to deflect it. [Full Story]

NEXT: New Site Lets you Search for Extraterrestrial Life

New Site Lets you Search for Extraterrestrial Life

SETI.org

Earthlings the world over can join the hunt for signals from intelligent civilizations out there in the universe thanks to a new website sharing data from SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). [Full Story]

NEXT: Stolen NASA Laptop Had Space Station Control Codes

Stolen NASA Laptop Had Space Station Control Codes

NASA

A NASA laptop stolen in March 2011 had unencrypted command and control codes for the International Space Station (ISS) on it, NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin told the U.S. House of Representatives. Martin said about 48 NASA devices were either lost of stolen between April 2009 and April 2011. [Full Story]

NEXT: Earth Formed From Diverse Meteorite Mix, Study Suggests

Earth Formed From Diverse Meteorite Mix, Study Suggests

NASA/NOAA

Earth's building blocks were more eclectic than once thought, according to a new study suggesting our planet formed from collisions of many different types of meteorites.[Full Story]

NEXT: Japan Eyes New Space Mission to Sample an Asteroid

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