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Vote Now! Best Space Stories of the Week - Sept. 29, 2013

Curiosity’s 'Wow Moment', Ion Thruster Sets World Record & More

NASA

Last week Curiosity rover made a big water discovery in Mars dirt, NASA's innovative Ion space thruster set an endurance world record, and a new U.S. and Russian crew arrived at the International Space Station.

FIRST STOP: Curiosity Rover Makes Big Water Discovery in Mars Dirt, a 'Wow Moment'

Curiosity Rover Makes Big Water Discovery in Mars Dirt, a 'Wow Moment'

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

Five new studies detailed in Science are revealing new discoveries about the surface of Mars from NASA's Curiosity rover. Curiosity found more water in the Martian dirt than expected and other major finds.[Full Story]

NEXT: How a Potential Government Shutdown Could Affect NASA

How a Potential Government Shutdown Could Affect NASA

NASA

A government shutdown on Tuesday (Oct. 1) would force NASA to cease most of its operations and furlough the vast majority of its employees, space agency officials say. [Full Story]

NEXT: Defining 'Gravity': Sandra Bullock, Alfonso Cuarón Talk Pull Behind Film's Title (Video)

Defining 'Gravity': Sandra Bullock, Alfonso Cuarón Talk Pull Behind Film's Title (Video)

Warner Brothers

In director Alfonso Cuarón's new movie, actress Sandra Bullock stars as an astronaut who suddenly finds herself floating uncontrollably in space. So why title the film "Gravity," the clear opposite of what the majority of people think of when they imagine. [Full Story]

NEXT: Source of Space Weather, Northern Lights Found In Earth's Magnetic Field

Source of Space Weather, Northern Lights Found In Earth's Magnetic Field

Auroramax

The mystery of energy conversion in the Earth's magnetic "tail" has been revealed by several spacecraft, including NASA's two Artemis spacecraft in orbit around the moon. [Full Story]

NEXT: US-Russian Crew Arrives at Space Station After 6-Hour Flight

US-Russian Crew Arrives at Space Station After 6-Hour Flight

NASA TV

A Russian spaceship has docked with the International Space Station, delivering three new crewmembers to the orbiting lab. [Full Story]

NEXT: Was Ancient Earth Like Jupiter's Super-Volcanic Moon Io?

Was Ancient Earth Like Jupiter's Super-Volcanic Moon Io?

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

The early Earth probably looked like Jupiter’s moon Io, with nearly continuous volcanism, until the planet cooled enough for plate tectonics to take over, a new study suggests. [Full Story]

NEXT: NASA's Innovative Ion Space Thruster Sets Endurance World Record

NASA's Innovative Ion Space Thruster Sets Endurance World Record

NASA

NASA's newest ion engine fired for over 48,000 hours—more than five and a half years—setting a new record for space propulsion systems. After more than five years of testing, NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster ion engine has set a new duration record. [Full Story]

NEXT: Will Sick Mars Astronauts Be Forbidden from Returning to Earth?

Will Sick Mars Astronauts Be Forbidden from Returning to Earth?

Mars One/Bryan Versteeg

Sick astronauts could conceivably have been infected on Mars, some parts of which may be capable of supporting life as we know it. So the world may be reluctant to welcome such travelers home, leery of unleashing an alien super-plague on Earth. [Full Story]

NEXT: Mars Spacecraft to Photograph Comet ISON's Red Planet Flyby Next Week

Mars Spacecraft to Photograph Comet ISON's Red Planet Flyby Next Week

P. Lawrence

The potentially dazzling Comet ISON was discovered exactly a year this month, and now a fleet of spacecraft is gearing up to track the icy wanderer during its close encounter with Mars next week. [Full Story]

NEXT: 'Ferrari of Space' Doomed: Satellite Will Fall from Space in October

'Ferrari of Space' Doomed: Satellite Will Fall from Space in October

ESA /AOES Medialab

The gravity-mapping GOCE satellite faces a fiery doom in October, when it will begin falling from space to end its mission. But scientists aren't sure where and when it will fall. [Full Story]

NEXT: The Moon Is 100 Million Years Younger Than Thought

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