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Vote Now! Top Space Stories of the Week - July 22, 2012

Boldly Going: Students Discover, Rockets Launch and Astrophotographers Chase

University of Central Florida

In the last seven days we've seen dazzling auroral displays, followed the Soyuz rocket and found a possible alien planet. But which story comes out on top?

Root for your favorite space news story of the week here in our latest voting round!

FIRST STOP: Is Huge Mars Rover NASA's Last Big Mission to Red Planet?

Is Huge Mars Rover NASA's Last Big Mission to Red Planet?

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Is Curiosity NASA's last-ever big, ambitious mission to Mars? [Full Story

NEXT STOP: Dazzling Northern Lights and Bright Planets Wow Weekend Stargazers

Dazzling Northern Lights and Bright Planets Wow Weekend Stargazers

Melanie Hakala Rossi

Spectacular views of the northern lights and dazzling planets in the night sky wowed night sky observers over the weekend. [Full Story

NEXT STOP: Soyuz Capsule Docks at Space Station with International Space Crew

Soyuz Capsule Docks at Space Station with International Space Crew

NASA TV

Three astronauts arrived at the International Space Station early Tuesday (July 17) for a four-month stay, bringing the huge orbiting outpost back to its full complement of six spaceflyers. [Full Story

NEXT STOP: Earth's Hot Formation May Solve Water Shortage Mystery

Oldest Spiral Galaxy in Universe Discovered

Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics/Joe Bergeron

Astronomers have discovered a rare galaxy in deep space, an 11 billion-year-old spiral galaxy that shouldn't exist so early in the universe's history. [Full Story

NEXT STOP: Possible Alien Planet Smaller Than Earth May Be Lava World

Private Liberty Rocket and Spaceship Pass Key NASA Test

PRNewsFoto/ATK

ATK recently announced that its planned commercial rocket and spaceship will also include a pod for ferrying cargo to and from the International Space Station. [Full Story

NEXT STOP: Oldest Spiral Galaxy in Universe Discovered

Earth's Hot Formation May Solve Water Shortage Mystery

NASA/GSFC/Suomi NPP.

Earth probably formed in a drier, hotter part of the forming solar system, explaining why are planet is so oddly dry, a new study suggests. [Full Story

NEXT STOP: Private Liberty Rocket and Spaceship Pass Key NASA Test

Possible Alien Planet Smaller Than Earth May Be Lava World

University of Central Florida

Scientists have discovered what appears to be an alien planet just two-thirds the size of Earth, a heat-blasted world perhaps covered in molten lava, a new study reports. [Full Story

NEXT STOP: Russia Converts Unmanned Rocket to Carry New Crewed Spaceship

Russia Converts Unmanned Rocket to Carry New Crewed Spaceship

Rob Coppinger/SPACE.com

Russia's next new manned spacecraft will launch atop a different rocket than planned, one originally designed for only robotic spacecraft. The country's new six-cosmonaut spacecraft is due to lift off on its first test flight in 2018, using a launcher named Angara A5 developed for unmanned missions. [Full Story

NEXT STOP: Boldly Go: Space Shuttle Enterprise Opens to Public at NYC Museum

Boldly Go: Space Shuttle Enterprise Opens to Public at NYC Museum

collectSPACE.com/Robert Z. Pearlman

New York City, meet space shuttle Enterprise.On Thursday (July 19), the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum on Manhattan's west side opened its new "Space Shuttle Pavilion" to the public, giving tourists and the Big Apple's residents a chance to "up-close and personal" with NASA's first shuttle. [Full Story

NEXT STOP: Asteroid Flies By Earth This Weekend: How to Watch Online

Asteroid Flies By Earth This Weekend: How to Watch Online

NASA/JPL

A city-block size asteroid will fly by Earth this weekend well beyond the orbit of the moon and you can watch it zip safely by live in an online webcast. [Full Story

NEXT STOP: Search for Dark Matter Particles Turns Up Zilch

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