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NASA says it can’t afford shuttle replacement

WASHINGTON — NASA this week told Congress it cannot afford to build a new heavy-lift rocket and spacecraft to replace the retiring space shuttle program within the current budget approved by Congress. Lawmakers from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation shot back that the plan is not optional…

Indian satellite rocket explodes after lift-off

BANGALORE, India (AFP) – An Indian space rocket carrying a communications satellite exploded Saturday after lifting off from southern India, live TV footage showed. The rocket exploded in a plume of smoke and fire moments after taking off from the Sriharikota launch site, some 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the…

Russian satellites crash into Pacific Ocean

MOSCOW — Three Russian navigation satellites crashed into the Pacific off the US state of Hawaii Sunday after the rocket carrying them failed to reach orbit, officials from the Russian space agency said. The capsule carrying the three Glonass satellites plummeted into the sea 1,500 kilometers (900 miles) off Honolulu,…

US launches giant eavesdropping satellite

The United States has placed in orbit a vast reconnaissance satellite reputed to be the largest eavesdropping device ever launched into space. The largest unmanned American launch vehicle, the Delta-4 Heavy rocket, roared into the the night sky in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Sunday carrying the mysterious satellite on a…

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…

Afghanistan: 39 women and children died in disputed NATO attack

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan’s government says a new investigation shows 39 civilians, all women or children, were killed in a NATO rocket attack last month, fewer than first reported but dozens more than foreign forces have conceded. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said it has been checking reports…

NATO: No evidence 52 ‘innocent’ Afghan villagers killed by rocket

NATO on Monday said an investigation had found “no evidence of civilians injured or killed” in southern Afghanistan, where President Hamid Karzai said 52 villagers were killed by a rocket. “Any speculation at this point of an alleged civilian casualty in Rigi Village is completely unfounded,” ISAF Communication Director Rear…

Man killed in secret CIA prison allegedly saved Afghan president’s life

The only prisoner known to have died in the CIA’s network of secret prisons once rescued Hamid Karzai, wading through rocket and small-arms fire to take the wounded future president to safety in Pakistan, according to his brother and former associates. The prisoner, Gul Rahman, died in the early hours…

Scientist eyes 39-day voyage to Mars

WASHINGTON — A journey from Earth to Mars could soon take just 39 days — cutting current travel time nearly six times — according to a rocket scientist who has the ear of the US space agency. Franklin Chang-Diaz, a former astronaut and a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of…

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