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Inside Space (Nov 30th, 2017)

North Korea's missile launched on Wednesday reached an altitude of 2,800 miles above Earth — roughly 10 times higher than the International Space Station. The missile was launched at a steep trajectory and came down about 600 miles from where it was launched. If North Korea had launched the missile at a lower angle, some experts think it could have reached about 8,100 miles — putting it within reach of the East Coast of the U.S. But North Korea doesn't appear to have the technology — yet — to protect its warheads from intense heat in Earth's atmosphere. And some experts also said a warhead could weigh more than 600 pounds, which likely would "significantly reduce the distance." — NBC

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NASA's next mission to Mars will set its sights on finding ancient life signs. Dubbed "Mars 2020," the mission will use an updated version of the Curiosity Mars rover to scour the red planet's terrain. "What we learn from the samples collected during this mission has the potential to address whether we're alone in the universe," said scientist Ken Farley, who is part of the project. The rover is expected to look for signs of life from specimens as tiny as a grain of salt. Scientists hope the rover also will be able to drill into rock, allowing it to scan layers of rock and water. — TECHCRUNCH

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A discovery of 72 possible galaxies, gives astronomers new areas to study. The discovery was made using the MUSE instrument at European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile. Astronomers were studying 1,600 galaxies captured with the Hubble Space Telescope when the new discovery was made. The galaxies are receding away from Earth. — SPACE

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NASA is looking to learn more about dust-size microdebris orbiting Earth with its Space Debris Sensor. The sensor is expected to be part of a SpaceX cargo launch set for Dec. 4. It will be attached to the International Space Station. The U.S. Air Force already keeps track of some 23,000 space objects that are at least the size of a baseball to help avoid satellite collisions. While not as large, space dust still can pose threats to satellites "by degrading sensors or degrading materials on the satellite," said Brian Weeden, the director of program planning for Washington D.C-based nonprofit Secure World Foundation. — SCIENCE MAG

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Nine remaining redwood trees that — as seeds — circled the Earth 126 times on board a July 1985 Challenger mission are likely nearing the end of their life in a Palo Alto, California, park. The city arborist said the trees always have been a bit odd: “The trees looked strange. They looked kind of bent. Did outer space do something to these trees? We just don’t know," arborist David Dockter said. The seeds originated from the 1,000-year-old "El Palo Alto" giant redwood tree and were taken onboard by Loren Acton. Twenty trees first were planted in 1987 as a memorial to the 1986 Challenger disaster. — KPIX-TV

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In Tuesday's Inside Space newsletter, we told you about Anheuser-Busch's plans to send 20 barley seeds on SpaceX's Dragon resupply mission on Dec. 4.

The beer maker's plan got Slate thinking about what brewing beer on Mars could look like.

And before you continue reading, you might want to crack open a cold one.

It seems, growing hops on Mars would be difficult due to the need for sunlight. If there's flowing water on the red planet, it's likely to be very salty, which could create a very bitter taste. And, if that's not bad enough, because gravity on Mars doesn't pull liquid to the bottom of the stomach easily, you'll end up burping quite a bit.

But Slate sums it all up with why it's still important to try brewing beer on a planet humans likely could live on someday: "There is no way we’ll readily accept a future in space that is without it — especially on a planet as hellaciously cold and dry as Mars."

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