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Critics charge Obama sets NASA on ‘path of decay’

By Jean-Louis Santini WASHINGTON — High-profile critics fear President Barack Obama’s commercial overhaul of human spaceflight is going nowhere and could mark the end of half a century of US supremacy among the stars and planets. “We will have no American access to, and return from, low Earth orbit and…

Colbert has trouble finding ‘hippie argle-bargle’ in ‘Occupy Wall St.’

In a segment Wednesday night, Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert tried to crack jokes about the “moon units” protesting Wall Street, but seemed to have a little trouble finding the “mindless hippie argle-bargle” he wanted. “Today I sent a camera crew to film the fabulous furry freak show and find…

Lunar eclipse turns moon blood red

SYDNEY (AFP) – The longest lunar eclipse in more than a decade turned the moon blood red on Thursday, yielding a rare visual treat for stargazers across a large swathe of the planet from Australia to Europe. The first eclipse of the year — when the Earth casts its shadow…

Asia’s star burns ever brighter in space

BEIJING – Asia’s extraterrestrial ambitions have rocketed from nowhere in the 50 years since the first human space flight, with China shooting for the moon while India and Japan fuel up their own programmes. Since China in 2003 became the world’s third nation to put a man in space independently,…

Space oddities go on auction in US

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A freeze-dried beef pot roast, the business card of the first man to walk on the moon, and a Playboy calendar that rode to space in 1969 are among a mishmash of old space items on US auction this week. The collection is being offered for sale…

China to explore Mars with Russia this year

China’s first Mars probe is expected to be launched in October this year in a joint operation with Russia after a two-year delay, state media reported Sunday. The probe, Yinghuo-1, was due to blast off in October 2009 with Russia’s “Phobos Explorer” from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan but the…

Red Moon: Lunar eclipse to make memorable solstice

Weather permitting, skygazers in northern America and Europe are in for a treat in the early morning hours of Tuesday, when the first total lunar eclipse in almost three years is poised to turn the Moon pink, coppery or even a blood red. Coinciding eerily with the northern hemisphere’s mid-winter…

China unveils photos of moon

China on Monday unveiled photos taken by its lunar probe of the moon’s Sinus Iridium, the area marked out for the nation’s first landing, highlighting the success of the mission so far. The photos of the moon’s surface, made public by Premier Wen Jiabao, were taken at the end of…

Moon’s ‘treasure chest’ includes silver

Lunar soil is richer than previously thought, with traces of silver among the complex mix of elements and compounds found within one of the moon’s craters, according to a new study. Researchers at Brown University who analyzed particles of lunar dust kicked up by a NASA-engineered collision last year found…

Obama wants manned mission to Mars by 2030s

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida — President Barack Obama Thursday set a bold new course for the future of US space travel, planning to send American astronauts into Mars orbit within the next three decades. And he sought to quell a storm of outrage which met earlier plans unveiled by his…

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