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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

NASA's Top Space Exploration Stories of the Year

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INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION MARKS FIVE-YEAR MILESTONE

NASA and the 15 international station partners marked the fifth anniversary of continuous crewed operations in November. NASA scientists have gathered vital information on the station that will help with future long-duration missions, as the station has a unique microgravity environment that cannot be duplicated on Earth. (For images and information, visit:http://www.nasa.gov/station)

CASSINI/HUYGENS SPACECRAFT ACCOMPLISH MISSION

The Huygens probe successfully descended through the murky atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Huygens discovered the moon is remarkably Earth-like. The probe found evidence of methane rain, erosion, drainage channels, dry lake beds, volcanism and very few craters. The Cassini spacecraft toured Saturn's moons and sent back breathtaking photographs of the icy satellites. (For images and information, visit:http://www.nasa.gov/cassini)

NEW MARS RECON CRAFT SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED

NASA's latest Mars mission, launched Aug. 12 , will rendezvous with the red planet on March 10, 2006 . The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will view the planet from low orbit and provide more data than all previous Martian missions combined. (For images and information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mro)

NASA'S VOYAGER REACHES THE FINAL FRONTIER & HEADS FOR DEEP SPACE

Voyager 1 entered the solar system's final frontier. After traveling approximately 8.7 billion miles from the sun, it entered the helio sheath, the vast, turbulent expanse where the sun's influence ends and the solar windcrashes into the thin gas between stars. (For images and information, visit:http://www.nasa.gov/voyager)

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE CONTINUES EXPLORATION & DISCOVERY

Using Hubble, astronomers discovered Pluto may have three moons. The discovery could offer insights into the nature and evolution of the Pluto system and the Kuiper Asteroid Belt. Hubble's resolution and sensitivity to ultraviolet light also helped researchers look for important minerals on Earth's moon that could be critical for a sustained human presence. (For images and information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/hubble)


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