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Vote Now! Best Space Stories of the Week - June 2, 2012

Milky Way's Crash Course, SpaceX Splashes Down and Alien Hunting'Laser Comb'

NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), and A. Mellinger

From complete coverage of SpaceX splashing down in the Pacific to John Glenn awarded the Medal of Freedom, it's been a thrilling week in space.

FIRST STOP: Massive Impacts May Have Warmed Ancient Mars

Massive Impacts May Have Warmed Ancient Mars

NASA

Cosmic impacts that once bombed Mars might have sent temperatures skyrocketing on the Red Planet in ancient times, enough to set warming of the surface on a runaway course, researchers say.[Full Story]

NEXT: Two Small Asteroids Buzz Earth in One-Two Punch

Two Small Asteroids Buzz Earth in One-Two Punch

NASA

A recently discovered asteroid, called 2012 KP24, flew past Earth on Memorial Day (May 28). While 2012 KP24 poses no threat to the planet, the space rock made it within 217,480 miles of Earth. [Full Story]

NEXT: President Obama Awards John Glenn with Medal of Freedom

President Obama Awards John Glenn with Medal of Freedom

NASA/Bill Ingalls

John Glenn, the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth, was honored by President Barack Obama with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony held at the White House on Tuesday (May 29). [Full Story]

NEXT: Our Milky Way Galaxy Has Cosmic Halo 11.4 Billion Years Old

Our Milky Way Galaxy Has Cosmic Halo 11.4 Billion Years Old

ESO/S. Guisard

A new study that calculates the age of the Milky Way's inner halo of stars should help astronomers better understand the specifics of galactic evolution. [Full Story]

NEXT: Meteorite Reveals Clues in Search for Life on Mars

Meteorite Reveals Clues in Search for Life on Mars

Steve Lee/Jim Bell/Mike Wolff/NASA

A meteorite that fell to Earth 41 years ago is helping scientists unlock clues regarding the makeup of Mars' atmosphere and its potential implications to help shape future missions to search for evidence of life on the Red Planet, a new study finds.[Full Story]

NEXT: NASA to Hunt Black Holes with New Space Telescope

NASA to Hunt Black Holes with New Space Telescope

NASA

A new NASA telescope called the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) is set to launch soon on a mission to study mysterious black holes. launch is set for June 13. [Full Story]

NEXT: 'Laser Comb' May Aid Search for Earth-Like Alien Planets

'Laser Comb' May Aid Search for Earth-Like Alien Planets

ESO

Astronomers are fine-tuning ways to study alien planets around distant stars in order to uncover Earth-like planets that could not found in early methods. [Full Story]

NEXT: SpaceX Dragon Capsule Splashes Down in Pacific

SpaceX Dragon Capsule Splashes Down in Pacific, Ending Historic Test Flight

SpaceX/Michael Altenhofen

The world's first commercial space cargo ship, SpaceX's Dragon cargo ship, dove through Earth's atmosphere and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean early Thursday (May 31), ending an historic test flight to the International Space Station. [Full Story]

NEXT: 8 Modern Astronomy Mysteries

8 Modern Astronomy Mysteries Scientists Still Can't Explain

NASA, ESA, and S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team

The journal SCIENCE will discuss some continuing mysteries of the astronomy this week in its latest edition, including debates over the nature of dark energy and more. [Full Story]

NEXT: Milky Way Galaxy Doomed to Head-On Crash with Andromeda

Milky Way Galaxy Doomed to Head-On Crash with Andromeda

NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), and A. Mellinger

NASA will discuss new findings from the Hubble Space Telescope that settle the debate over whether our Milky Way galaxy will crash into its neighbor Andromeda head on or in a glancing blow billions of years in the future. [Full Story]

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