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Female space tourist

Buckle up, space explorers: The galaxy is within reach, provided you can afford a round-trip ticket.

Anousheh Ansari recently became the first woman to blast off into space as an amateur astronaut.

Flying aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket, Ms. Ansari, an Iranian-American businesswoman, accompanied two professional astronauts bringing supplies to the International Space Station.

The price of the ticket was undisclosed. But Space Adventures, the private company that arranges spaceflights, reportedly charges $20 million a ticket. The flight lasted 11 days.

The trip makes Ansari the fourth private space explorer to visit the station.

"By reaching this dream I've had since childhood, I hope to ... demonstrate to young people all over the world that there is no limit to what they can accomplish," she says on her website.

Web-slinging spiders

If Spider-Man were real, it's likely he'd shoot webs from his abdomen – as most spiders do – rather than from his hands. But a new finding gives Spidey a small dose of scientific credibility.

According to a recent article in the science journal Nature, the zebra tarantula from Costa Rica makes silk in its limbs. What's more, the spider uses the sticky webbing to help it scale steep surfaces, such as vertical pieces of glass. It's the first evidence of a spider species using its silk for locomotion.

But Spider-Man still has a leg up on the zebra tarantula: He has his own theme song and a cool costume!

New children's book

Have you ever gone to a children's museum and wished you could take home some of the exhibits because you enjoyed them so much?

Thanks to a new kid-friendly book of 400 experiments and explorations by San Francisco's Exploratorium, you can take home some of your favorite exhibits. Well, sort of.

"Exploratopia" (Little, Brown and Co., $29.99) is an interactive book filled with many hands-on activities. And while it may not be quite like spending a day at a children's museum, you'll find plenty of instructions for turning your kitchen, bedroom, or backyard into a "science lab."


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