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NASA reaches agreement with maker of Atlas V rocket

WASHINGTON — NASA said Monday that it had reached an agreement with United Launch Alliance (ULA) to try to adopt the Atlas V commercial rocket to send astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). ULA is a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin designed to provide cost-efficient rockets to…

Russia launches giant telescope in deep space return

Russia on Monday launched into space its Spektr-R radio telescope planned to be the most powerful ever, the first deep space observatory sent up by Moscow in a quarter of a century. Spektr-R will scour the fringes of the universe for black holes, mysterious quasar radio sources and also the…

Double eruption at Indonesia volcano: vulcanologist

An Indonesian volcano erupted twice on Monday following its biggest eruption in weeks over the weekend, a government vulcanologist said, forcing people to remain in safety shelters. “The two eruptions happened within ten minutes which sent a column of ash and smoke up to 600 metres (1,968 feet) into the…

BP pipeline leaks oily mixture onto Alaskan tundra

LONDON/ANCHORAGE (Reuters) – BP reported yet another pipeline leak at its Alaskan oilfields, frustrating the oil giant’s attempts to rebuild its reputation after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. BP said on Monday that a pipeline at its 30,000 barrel per day Lisburne field, which is currently closed for maintenance,…

U.S. astronauts somber as shuttle era comes to an end

The Atlantis roars back to Earth this week ending America’s vaunted space shuttle program and frustrating a generation of astronauts who see their chance to soar into the cosmos sharply limited. US astronauts bound for space will now have to hitch a ride on the Russian Soyuz rocket, at more…

Community of rare gibbons found in Vietnam

The lively morning calls of a rare species of gibbon has led to the discovery of the only known “viable” community of the talkative primates in remote Vietnamese forests, conservationists said Monday. A “substantial” population of 455 critically endangered northern white-cheeked crested gibbons were found living at high altitudes and…

China plans carbon-trading pilot scheme

China will introduce a pilot scheme for carbon emissions trading and gradually develop a national market as the world’s largest polluter seeks to reduce emissions and save energy, state media said. China will promote the market’s development through “punitive” electricity tariffs on power-intensive industries and other new policies, Xie Zhenhua,…

Japan scare grows over radiation-tainted beef

A scare over radiation-tainted beef in Japan spread on Monday as more cows from seven farms in the Fukushima region were found to have been trucked across the country after eating contaminated straw. The 411 cattle, from the same prefecture as the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, were sent to…

New Mexico ‘spaceport’ in the works

No stranger to offbeat space-related news, businesspeople in New Mexico have plans to make the country’s first “spaceport,” an airport for privately owned spacecraft, NPR reported. Under the authority of the newly created New Mexico Spaceport Authority and Spaceport America, plans for the new space are set for a site…

NASA spacecraft to enter orbit of large asteroid

WASHINGTON — After its nearly four-year trek, NASA engineers are expected to confirm this weekend that the US spacecraft Dawn has entered the orbit of Vesta, one of the largest asteroids in the solar system. Mission leaders estimate that Dawn was pulled into Vesta’s orbit around 0500 GMT Saturday and…

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