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Vote Now! Best Space Stories of the Week – July 20, 2014

US Too Dependent on Russian Rocket Engines, Experts Tell Lawmakers

United Launch Alliance

Should the Russian government yank its supply of rocket engines for United States launches, critical national security launches could be delayed up to four years, a Senate committee heard Wednesday (July 16).

[Full Story]

NEXT: Zap! Laser Sparks Fly on Mars in Curiosity Rover Video

Zap! Laser Sparks Fly on Mars in Curiosity Rover Video

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover used the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on its arm to catch the first images of sparks produced by the rover's laser being shot at a rock on Mars.

On July 12, for the first time ever, Curiosity photographed sparks flying from a rock blasted by the 1-ton robot's laser-sampling instrument, known as ChemCam. You can watch a video of the laser flashes here.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Comet Resembles 'Rubber Ducky' in European Spacecraft Views

Comet Resembles 'Rubber Ducky' in European Spacecraft Views

ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

The comet being chased down by a European probe looks a bit like a child's bath toy, new images from the spacecraft reveal.

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NEXT: Vintage NASA Probe, Once Abandoned in Space, Still Has Fuel

Vintage NASA Probe, Once Abandoned in Space, Still Has Fuel

NASA

Engineers find there is fuel in the tanks of ISEE-3, bringing up hopes for moving the spacecraft while doing troubleshooting.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Military Satellites Likely Saw Missile Strike on Malaysian Airlines Flight

Military Satellites Likely Saw Missile Strike on Malaysian Airlines Flight

Lockheed Martin

When a missile struck Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, it's likely that heat from the explosion was detected from space by a sophisticated network of military satellites.

[Full Story]

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