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Trump orders creation of space-focused U.S. military branch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said he was ordering the creation of a sixth branch of the military to focus on space, a move critics said could harm the Air Force. “It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space,” Trump […]

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Trump orders creation of U.S. force to dominate space

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said he was ordering the establishment of a sixth branch of the military to clear the way for American dominance of space. U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a meeting of the National Space Council in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., June […]

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U.S. eyes robot moon missions as it prepares for astronauts’ return

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States wants to send robotic explorers to the moon as soon as next year as a preparatory step toward sending astronauts back there for the first time since 1972, a NASA official said on Monday. FILE PHOTO: The Apollo 11 Lunar Module ascent stage, with astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and […]

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Fields of dreams: Texas project seeks new corn strains for whiskey

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (Reuters) – A master distiller and a crop scientist who specializes in corn breeding are working on a project they hope one day will help bring local identities to American whiskeys. Seth Murray, a top corn breeder at Texas A&M University, and Rob Arnold, working on a doctorate at the school while […]

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Revamped collider to shine brighter light on physics mysteries at CERN

GENEVA (Reuters) – Europe’s physics research centre CERN launched an upgrade of its Large Hadron Collider (LHC) on Friday, six years after the huge particle accelerator solved an enduring riddle by confirming the existence of the elusive Higgs boson. Lucio Rossi, HL-LHC project leader gestures during a news conference before a ceremony to launch the […]

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Massive Martian dust storm threatens plucky NASA rover

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An immense dust storm that may soon encircle Mars is threatening one of NASA’s rovers on the planet’s surface, with the vehicle becoming dormant and unresponsive at a site called Perseverance Valley, U.S. space agency officials said on Wednesday. The officials, however, expressed optimism that the Opportunity rover, which was built to […]

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South African fossils rewrite early history of life on land

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Fossils of two amphibians that lived within the Antarctic circle 360 million years ago are forcing scientists to rethink the origins of land vertebrates, including where these pioneers first appeared and the climatic conditions that spawned them. Two newly discovered early amphibians Tutusius and Umzantsia that lived about 360 million years ago […]

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NASA rover data shows Mars had the ingredients needed for life

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A NASA rover has detected a bonanza of organic compounds on the surface of Mars and seasonal fluctuations of atmospheric methane in findings released on Thursday that mark some of the strongest evidence ever that Earth’s neighbour may have harboured life. NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover snaps a self-portrait at a site called […]

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EU Commission shoots for stars with increased space budget

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Wednesday it planned to increase its budget for space programs to 16 billion euros ($18.85 billion) between 2021 and 2027, aiming to consolidate the bloc’s role as a “space power”. By hiking spending from 11.1 billion euros in the current budget and streamlining the EU’s space programs, […]

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France doubts UK would develop own satnav rival to Galileo

PARIS (Reuters) – France does not think Britain will launch a rival to the European Union’s Galileo satellite navigation system, according to minutes from a meeting between a cabinet minister and lawmakers. FILE PHOTO: The Russian Soyuz VS01 rocket, carrying the first two satellites of Europe’s Galileo navigation system, blasts off from its launchpad at […]

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Mystery dinosaur skeleton sells for over $2 million at Paris auction

PARIS (Reuters) – The 9-metre long (30 ft) skeleton of a unidentified type of dinosaur, believed to be that of a new species, fetched more than $2.3 million at an auction staged on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Monday. A dinosaur fossil is on display at the Eiffel tower, in […]

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Scientists hunt down genes behind humankind’s big brain

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Scientists have pinpointed three genes that may have played a pivotal role in an important milestone in human evolution: the striking increase in brain size that facilitated cognitive advances that helped define what it means to be human. These genes, found only in people, appeared between 3 and 4 million years ago, […]

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Serbian archaeologists find sarcophagus with two skeletons and jewellery in ancient city

KOSTOLAC, Serbia (Reuters) – Serbian archaeologists at the site of the ancient Roman city of Viminacium have found an intact sarcophagus with two skeletons bedecked with gold and silver adornments. Sculls found inside a Roman-era sarcophagus are seen at an archaeological site in the remains of the ancient city of Viminacium, now Kostolac, Serbia, May […]

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‘Alien asteroid’ may be the oldest object in the solar system

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An “alien asteroid” that circles the sun in the giant gas planet Jupiter’s orbital path, but hurtling in the opposite direction, is the first-known permanent resident of our solar system that astronomers have concluded originated in another star system. FILE PHOTO: A color-enhanced image of Jupiter which was captured by NASA’s Juno […]

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Scientists plan DNA hunt for Loch Ness monster next month

LONDON (Reuters) – A global team of scientists plans to scour the icy depths of Loch Ness next month using environmental DNA (eDNA) in an experiment that may discover whether Scotland’s fabled monster really does, or did, exist. FILE PHOTO: A boat sails in front of Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness in Scotland, Britain April […]

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Fossil skull from Utah sheds light on primitive mammal group

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A fossilized skull of a small critter found in Utah underneath a dinosaur foot bone is providing insight into one of the most primitive mammalian groups and has scientists rethinking the timing of the break-up of Earth’s bygone supercontinent Pangaea. The newly identified Cretaceous Period species Cifelliodon wahkarmoosuch, which is estimated to […]

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China launches satellite to explore dark side of moon: Xinhua

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China launched a relay satellite early on Monday designed to establish a communication link between earth and a planned lunar probe that will explore the dark side of the moon, the official Xinhua news agency said. FILE PHOTO – A full moon is seen during a lunar eclipse in Beijing, China January […]

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‘Made in China’ label sheds light on old Java Sea shipwreck

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A fresh examination of Chinese ceramics and other cargo from an important Java Sea shipwreck has led researchers to conclude that the vessel sank a century earlier than previously thought, providing insight into Asia’s maritime trade more than 800 years ago. Chinese ceramic bowls from the Field Museum’s Java Sea Shipwreck, which […]

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China launches first rocket designed by a private company

BEIJING (Reuters) – China launched its first privately developed rocket from a launchpad in northwestern China on Thursday, state media said, the latest milestone in the country’s ambitious space exploration programme. Since coming to office in 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping has made becoming a “space flight superpower” a top priority for the Chinese government, […]

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Scientists explore DNA secrets of green-blooded lizards

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group of lizards inhabiting the island of New Guinea boasts one of the most exotic traits of any animal: green blood. And scientists have been trying hard to figure out what benefit this characteristic — caused by high levels of an ordinarily toxic green bile pigment — may give them. Prasinohaema […]