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Planetary Science

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Asteroid Redirect Mission

A future spacecraft will abscond with a boulder from an asteroid, illustrated here, and return it to lunar orbit where it will await a human rendezvous, NASA announced March 25.

Curiosity rover

MARS FERTILIZER  The rover Curiosity has discovered “fixed” nitrogen, a biochemically important form of the element also found in fertilizer on Earth.

Illustration of Kepler 11

FIRST DRAFT  The solar system may have once hosted several large rocky planets close to the sun, like Kepler 11 (illustrated) does, before Jupiter swept them away.

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