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Mars touchdown: NASA spacecraft survives supersonic plunge

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Minutes after touching down on Mars, NASA’s InSight spacecraft sent back a “nice and dirty” snapshot of its new digs. Yet the dust-speckled image looked like a work of art to scientists.

The photo revealed a mostly smooth and sandy terrain around the spacecraft with only one sizable rock visible.

Anxiety abounds at NASA as Mars landing day arrives

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A NASA spacecraft’s six-month journey to Mars neared its dramatic grand finale Monday in what scientists and engineers hoped would be a soft precision landing on flat red plains.

The InSight lander aimed for an afternoon touchdown, as anxiety built among those involved in the $1 billion international effort.

The scoop on how your cat’s sandpapery tongue deep cleans

WASHINGTON — Cat lovers know when kitties groom, their tongues are pretty scratchy. Using high-tech scans and some other tricks, scientists are learning how those sandpapery tongues help cats get clean and stay cool.

The secret: Tiny hooks that spring up on the tongue with scoops built in to carry saliva deep into all that fur.