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Debris threatens space station as Atlantis docks: NASA

NASA is tracking a piece of Soviet space debris that could collide with the International Space Station, the US space agency said after the shuttle Atlantis docked on its final mission. The space junk is part of Cosmos 375, a satellite launched in 1970 by the former Soviet Union and…

Australia steps up climate fight, unveils sweeping carbon plan

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia unveiled its most sweeping economic reform in decades on Sunday with a plan to tax carbon emissions from the nation’s worst polluters, reviving hopes of stronger global climate action with the largest emissions trade scheme outside Europe. Prime Minister Julia Gillard said 500 companies including steel…

Is ocean garbage killing whales?

Millions of tonnes of plastic debris dumped each year in the world’s oceans could pose a lethal threat to whales, according to a scientific assessment to be presented at a key international whaling forum this week. A review of research literature from the last two decades reveals hundreds of cases…

Atlantis heads to space station on final flight

Atlantis headed to the International Space Station Saturday after rocketing off its launch pad for a final time, marking the last liftoff of the US space shuttle program. The space shuttle, which lifted off shortly before noon Friday local time, is carrying a crew of four US astronauts on a…

New dinosaur exhibit probes their mysteries

Dinosaurs have captivated the public for decades, but a new US exhibit aims to show that there is still much about the giant reptiles that baffles experts and amateurs alike. The 1,300 square meter (14,000 square foot) gallery at the Los Angeles natural history museum is set to open on…

Montana governor threatens lawsuit over oil spill

BILLINGS, Montana (Reuters) – Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer continued on Friday to press Exxon Mobil over an oil spill into the Yellowstone River and threatened to take the company to court as clean-up continued a week after the leak. Schweitzer has been increasingly critical of Exxon in the days since…

Atlantis blasts off on end-of-era spaceflight

Atlantis blazed a path into history Friday as it rocketed off the launch pad for a final time, marking the last-ever liftoff of the 30-year-old American space shuttle program. The storied spacecraft is carrying a crew of four US astronauts toward the International Space Station on a 12-day mission to…

WATCH LIVE: NASA to launch final shuttle at 11:30 ET

Watch live as NASA and the astronauts prepare and then launch the shuttle Atlantis, which will be the final shuttle flight of the U.S. space program, courtesy of MSNBC: Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy…

NASA prepares for space shuttle’s final mission

Atlantis is poised to blaze a path into history on Friday when it propels toward the heavens on the last-ever mission of the 30-year-old American space shuttle program. With the launch scheduled for 11:26 am (1526 GMT) despite a gloomy weather forecast, the storied spacecraft will tote four US astronauts…

Obama: NASA needs to revamp its mission

WASHINGTON — NASA needs new technology breakthroughs to revitalize its mission to explore the universe, President Barack Obama said Wednesday as the shuttle Atlantis was preparing for its final mission. Asked during his first-ever Twitter town hall meeting about where America stands in terms of space exploration with the shuttle…

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