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Vote Now! Best Space Stories of the Week – March 9, 2014

Asteroids Give Earth Close Shave, Moon Elevator and More

LiftPort Group

Last week, in a cosmic first, Hubble Space Telescope photographed the disintegration of an asteroid in deep space, asteroids gave Earth a close shave, scientists measured the spin of a giant black hole inside the heart of a distant quasar, and researchers claimed a moon-based elevator to space could radically reduce the costs and improve the reliability of placing equipment on the lunar surface. See the best stories from last week here.

FIRST STOP: Project 'Red Dragon': Mars Sample-Return Mission Could Launch in 2022 with SpaceX Capsule

Project 'Red Dragon': Mars Sample-Return Mission Could Launch in 2022 with SpaceX Capsule

SpaceX

A team of researchers have blueprinted a low-cost Mars sample-return mission that would use a souped-up Dragon capsule from SpaceX and the firm's Falcon Heavy rocket to get to the Red Planet by the early 2020s.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Rare Sight: Hubble Telescope Sees Asteroid Falling Apart (Video, Photos)

Rare Sight: Hubble Telescope Sees Asteroid Falling Apart (Video, Photos)

NASA, ESA, D. Jewitt (UCLA)

In a cosmic first, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has photographed the disintegration of an asteroid in deep space.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Russia-Ukraine Tension Won't Affect US Astronauts on Space Station, NASA Chief Says

Russia-Ukraine Tension Won't Affect US Astronauts on Space Station, NASA Chief Says

NASA

Current tensions between the US and Russia caused by Russia’s activities in Ukraine shouldn’t affect operations aboard the International Space Station, NASA chief Charles Bolden said.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Futuristic Moon Elevator Idea Takes Aim at Lunar Lifts

Futuristic Moon Elevator Idea Takes Aim at Lunar Lifts

LiftPort Group

A moon-based elevator to space could radically reduce the costs and improve the reliability of placing equipment on the lunar surface, say researchers developing the idea.

[Full Story]

NEXT: 'Cosmos' Reborn: New Fox TV Show Aims to Bring Science to Everyone

'Cosmos' Reborn: New Fox TV Show Aims to Bring Science to Everyone

COSMOS

The new reboot of "Cosmos" isn't just for science nerds and space geeks. The producers of the show want to reach everyone with their broad, visually stunning approach to science.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Bus-Size Asteroid Gives Earth Super-Close Shave Today, Second in 2 Days

Bus-Size Asteroid Gives Earth Super-Close Shave Today, Second in 2 Days

Osamu Ajiki (AstroArts) / Ron Baalke (JPL)

The 33-foot-wide (10 meters) near-Earth asteroid 2014 EC will come within 34,550 miles (55,600 kilometers) of Earth's surface this evening (March 6). You can watch the flyby here at Space.com beginning at 2:30 p.m. EST.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Carl Sagan's Legacy: From the 'Pale Blue Dot' to Interstellar Space

Carl Sagan's Legacy: From the 'Pale Blue Dot' to Interstellar Space

Eduardo Castaneda

Carl Sagan is one of the most influential scientists that ever lived. He changed the lives and inspired scientists from Neil deGrasse Tyson to astronomers around the globe. Here are tales of his life and work.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Big Mars Impact Gave Earth Most of Its Martian Meteorites

Big Mars Impact Gave Earth Most of Its Martian Meteorites

Science/AAAS

Scientists studying Mars meteorites found on Earth have determined their origins on Mars, the Red Planet's Mojave Crater. See what it means for Mars evolution studies.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Small Asteroid Gives Earth a Close Shave, 3rd in 2 Days

Small Asteroid Gives Earth a Close Shave, 3rd in 2 Days

NASA/JPL-Caltech

A tiny space rock barely missed Earth today (March 6) in the third of back-to-back-to-back asteroid flybys, coming six times closer than the orbit of the moon.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Monster Black Hole Spins at Half the Speed of Light

Monster Black Hole Spins at Half the Speed of Light

X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ of Michigan/R.C.Reis et al; Optical: NASA/STScI

Scientists have measured the spin of a giant black hole inside the heart of a distant quasar, the farthest measurement of its kind. The discovery may offer new clues into the evolution of supermassive black holes.

[Full Story]

NEXT: NASA Eyes Ambitious Mission to Jupiter's Icy Moon Europa by 2025

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