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Best Space Photos of the Week – Jan. 21, 2012
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SPACE.com Staff Date: 21 January 2012 Time: 08:00 AM ET ‘ for(i = 0; i ‘ + google_ads[i].line2 + ‘ ‘ + google_ads[i].line3 + ‘ ‘; } s += ‘ ‘ if (google_ads[0].bidtype == “CPC”) { google_adnum = google_adnum + google_ads.length; } document.write(s); return; } google_ad_client = ‘pub-1894578950532504′; google_ad_channel = ‘6484514132’; google_ad_output = ‘js'; google_max_num_ads = ‘3’; google_ad_type = ‘text_html'; google_feedback = ‘on'; google_skip = google_adnum;

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China’s New Space Exploration Vision Shoots for the Moon
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There is no doubt that China is on the move in space — including the country’s own human spaceflight missions to Earth orbit — and at a time when NASA’s own budget and big space decisions remain in the to-be-determined column. Last November, China accomplished its first unpiloted space rendezvous and docking test between the country’s Tiangong 1 space lab module and a Shenzhou 8 spaceship.

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1st Private Rocket Launch to Space Station Delayed Until March
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The launch of the first privately built spacecraft to the International Space Station has been delayed until late March at the earliest, the company building the spaceship revealed today (Jan. 20). The California-based company Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) originally planned to launch its unmanned Dragon space capsule on a maiden flight to the space station on Feb.

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Russia Eyes Possible Moon Base with NASA: Reports
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Russia is talking to NASA and the European Space Agency about building manned research colonies on the moon, according to Russian news reports. Russia’s Federal Space Agency, known as Roscosmos, is also consulting with NASA and ESA about the possibility of placing manned space stations in lunar orbit , Russian news agency Ria Novosti reported Thursday (Jan. 19)

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Helix Nebula’s New Mesmerizing Imagery Clears Up Cloudy Past
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Europe’s Vista Telescope has revealed the nebula in stunning infrared detail bringing to life the visible imagery provided by their MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope. Strands of cold nebular gas and a vibrant background of stars/galaxies can now be seen.

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NASA Debunks Mysterious Triangular ‘UFO’
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Once again, alien conspiracy theorists have attempted to use publicly available NASA images to prove that the space agency must be engaging in an elaborate UFO cover-up. And, once again, they’ve been foiled by the laws of physics. This time, they called attention to peculiar new footage captured by a telescope onboard NASA’s STEREO-B spacecraft — one of a pair of probes parked on either side of the sun which, together, provide a 360-degree view of the inner solar system

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