Space: Good Data and a Feces Crisis

Monkeys and rats create an unexpected atmosphere

On board the shuttle Challenger last week, Physicist Don Lind could not contain his wonder. "The streaks of light we're seeing are really spectacular stuff," he radioed to Mission Control in Houston. The shuttle, about 200 miles above the ocean south of New Zealand, was passing through the top of a green-and-pink aurora--a huge, glowing band of light generated by charged solar particles hitting the atmosphere. It was the first time that the shuttle had actually flown through an aurora.

Unfortunately, the seven-man Challenger crew also saw an abundance of less spectacular stuff during the first half of their planned seven-day...

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