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‘Dark energy’ targeted in European space mission

So-called dark energy, believed to play a role in the accelerated expansion of the Universe, will be studied in a major science mission to be launched later this decade, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Tuesday. A space telescope known as Euclid will be launched in 2019 with the…

Iran may deploy warships in Atlantic

The Iranian navy plans on deploying warships to the Atlantic Ocean as part of a programme to ply international waters, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayari said in statements published Tuesday. But the commander of the navy, quoted by Kayhan newspaper, said he was waiting for “final approval” before launching the operation.…

Private space race heats up as U.S. shuttle retires

Private companies, aided by NASA’s cash and expertise in human space flight, are rushing to be the first to build a space capsule to replace the retiring US shuttle in the next few years. With Atlantis wrapping up its final mission and the end of the 30-year US program just…

U.S. astronauts set for last spacewalk of shuttle era

Two US astronauts were to step out on the last spacewalk of the shuttle era Tuesday at the International Space Station where Atlantis is docked on the final mission of the 30-year US program. Americans Ron Garan and Mike Fossum were chosen for the six and a half hour spacewalk,…

France to pull 1,000 troops from Afghanistan: Sarkozy

President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday that France would withdraw a quarter of its 4,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of next year, becoming the latest NATO power to downsize its combat mission in the war-torn country. The French leader announced the withdrawal after jetting in on a surprise visit…

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…

Israel deports two Palestinian activists, but 118 still in custody

JERUSALEM — Israel deported two pro-Palestinian activists overnight, but another 118 were still in custody after flying into Israel as part of a pro-Palestinian protest, an Israeli official said Sunday. “A couple of Belgians were returned overnight, and 118 pro-Palestinian activists are still being held in our prisons,” immigration service…

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…

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…

House rejects measure authorizing Libya mission

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – War-fatigued lawmakers in the House of Representatives took a symbolic swipe at President Barack Obama’s Libya policy on Friday, rejecting a resolution that would have authorized his limited military intervention against Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi for a year. The Republican-led House, upset over Obama’s failure to seek…

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