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/ 3 March 2006

Fore play in space leaves scientists unamused

A publicity stunt in which a golf ball will be whacked into orbit from the International Space Station has met a chilly reception from scientists, who say the scheme is risky and adds to the growing problem of space junk. Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov is to take on the role of a celestial Tiger Woods under a deal between a Canadian golf club manufacturer and the cash-strapped Russian Space Agency.

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/ 13 January 2006

You too can probe the mystery of the universe

Fed up with the daily grind? Eager for something different? A little glory, perhaps? Well, how about helping a quest to understand the life and death of stars? And how about the reward of making your name immortal? Scientists are looking for people with keen eyesight, lots of patience and spare time on their home computer to help them sift through the results from an extraordinary space mission.

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/ 21 October 2005

How Rasputin the Rat astounded scientists

For nearly five months, he led his pursuers a merry dance, swimming nearly half a kilometre across open sea to a new home, laughing at the traps and the poisoned baits and the baying hounds bent on killing him. When the annals of rodentology are written — as they surely must — this rat deserves an honoured place.

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/ 28 September 2005

Elusive giant squid caught on film at last

Japanese zoologists have made the first recording of a live giant squid, one of the strangest and most elusive creatures in the world. The size of a bus, with vast eyes and a querulous beak, <i>Architeuthis dux</i> has long nourished myth and literature, and until now, the only evidence of giant squids was extraordinarily rare.

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/ 16 November 2004

High-tech European probe reaches moon

Europe’s first mission to the moon, the unmanned exploratory probe <i>Smart-1</i>, has been safely placed in lunar orbit after a voyage of more than 13 months, the European Space Agency announced on Tuesday. <i>Smart-1</i>, a tiny test-bed of revolutionary technology, was successfully captured by the moon’s gravity on Monday.