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Vote Now! Best Space Stories of the Week – Dec. 15, 2013

A camera on China's Chang'e lunar lander shows the Yutu rover in its carrier just before deployment to the lunar surface on Dec. 14, 2013.
A camera on China's Chang'e lunar lander shows the Yutu rover in its carrier just before deployment to the lunar surface on Dec. 14, 2013.
(Image: © CNTV)

Chang'e 3 Lands on Moon, Europa Water Plume and More

CNTV

Last week China's first moon lander Chang'e 3 carrying the Yutu rover successfully touched down on the lunar surface, scientists declared Comet ISON dead after its highly anticipated solar flyby, and scientists detected signs of a water plume on Jupiter's icy moon Europa. See the best stories from last week here.

FIRST STOP: China Lands On The Moon: Historic Robotic Lunar Landing Includes 1st Chinese Rover

China Lands On The Moon: Historic Robotic Lunar Landing Includes 1st Chinese Rover

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation

China's first moon lander Chang'e 3 carrying the Yutu rover successfully touched down on the lunar surface Saturday (Dec. 14), a historic feat for China space program. [Full Story]

NEXT: US Air Force's Mysterious X-37B Space Plane Passes 1 Year in Orbit

US Air Force's Mysterious X-37B Space Plane Passes 1 Year in Orbit

NASA/MSFC

The U.S. Air Force's secretive X-37B space plane program has passed another milestone: Its latest mission marked one year in orbit this week. [Full Story]

NEXT: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Trailer Lifts Off with NASA Footage (Video)

Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Trailer Lifts Off with NASA Footage (Video)

Paramount Pictures

Alan Shepard, Neil Armstrong and the space shuttle Atlantis make cameos in the first teaser trailer for "Interstellar," the highly-anticipated 2014 science fiction film from director Christopher Nolan. [Full Story]

NEXT: Sun's Current Solar Activity Cycle Is Weakest in a Century

Sun's Current Solar Activity Cycle Is Weakest in a Century

NASA/SDO/GSFC

The sun's current space-weather cycle is the most anemic in 100 years, scientists say. Here’s what it means for space weather effects on Earth.[Full Story]

NEXT: Jupiter Moon Europa May Have Water Geysers Taller Than Everest

Jupiter Moon Europa May Have Water Geysers Taller Than Everest

K. Retherford, Southwest Research Institute

Scientists have detected signs of a water plume on Jupiter's icy moon Europa, which may have impacts on the potential for habitability. [Full Story]

NEXT: RIP Comet ISON: Scientists Declare Famous 'Sungrazer' Dead After Sun Encounter

RIP Comet ISON: Scientists Declare Famous 'Sungrazer' Dead After Sun Encounter

Waldemar Skorupa (Kahler Asten, Germany)

It's time to accept reality: Comet ISON is dead. Comet ISON broke apart during its highly anticipated solar flyby on Nov. 28, emerging from behind the sun as a diffuse cloud of dust that has since all but dissipated in the darkness of deep space, scientists say. [Full Story]

NEXT: Puzzling Streaks On Mars May Be From Flowing Water

Puzzling Streaks On Mars May Be From Flowing Water

Nature Geoscience | Alfred McEwen et al.

Seasonally occurring dark streaks on Martian slopes near the equator of the Red Planet suggest liquid water may be present near the surface. [Full Story]

NEXT: Mars Colony Project Unveils 1st Private Robotic Mission to Red Planet

Mars Colony Project Unveils 1st Private Robotic Mission to Red Planet

Bryan Versteeg /Mars One Foundation

Lockheed Martin and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. are partnering with Mars One to develop mission concepts for their supply trips to Mars in 2018. [Full Story]

NEXT: Ancient Mars Lake Could Have Supported Life, Curiosity Rover Shows

Ancient Mars Lake Could Have Supported Life, Curiosity Rover Shows

Science/AAAS

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has discovered the dry remains of an ancient lake on the red planet, one of several discoveries being announced simultaneously at the American Geophysical Union conference this week. [Full Story]

NEXT: Radiation on Mars 'Manageable' for Manned Mission, Curiosity Rover Reveals

Radiation on Mars 'Manageable' for Manned Mission, Curiosity Rover Reveals

NASA/JPL/MSSS/Marco Di Lorenzo/Ken Kremer

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has gathered a detailed picture of the radiation environment at the Red Planet, which suggests that a long-term manned Mars mission would be eminently doable. [Full Story]

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