Science

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Paul Allen’s space firm details plans for rockets, cargo vehicle

SEATTLE (Reuters) – The space company of billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen on Monday unveiled details of medium-lift rockets and a reusable space cargo plane it is developing, injecting more competition into the lucrative launch services market. FILE PHOTO: Seattle Seahawks owner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen (C) waves to the trading floor after ringing […]

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Sweden calls for nuclear reactors to be shielded from hot weather

OSLO (Reuters) – Sweden’s nuclear energy regulator SSM has asked plant operators to produce plans in the coming months to shield their reactors from harmful hot weather, its director told Reuters on Monday. A number of Swedish reactors had to shut down or reduce output as the summer heatwave sent temperatures to record highs in […]

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Scientists seek new ways to combat Florida’s growing ‘red tide’

(Reuters) – Scientists in Florida are on the cusp of developing promising methods to control toxic algae blooms like the “red tide” that has been killing marine life along a 150-mile (240-km) stretch of the Gulf Coast, the head of a leading marine lab said on Wednesday. A dead whale shark is examined after being […]

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NASA names astronauts for first manned U.S. space launches since 2011

(Reuters) – NASA on Friday named nine astronauts for the first manned space launches from U.S. soil since the space shuttle program ended in 2011. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s announcement signals a milestone in the U.S. space program, with its shift to the private sector for ferrying cargo and astronauts to the International […]

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Egyptian students design car that runs on air

CAIRO (Reuters) – A group of Egyptian students has designed a vehicle they say will battle rising energy prices and promote clean energy by running on nothing but air. Mechanical engineering students from Helwan University check the air-powered vehicle that they have designed to promote clean energy and battle increasing gas prices, in Cairo, Egypt […]

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Going where no president has gone before, Trump wants Space Force by 2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s administration on Thursday announced an ambitious plan to usher in a new “Space Force” as the sixth branch of the military by 2020, but the proposal was scorned by opponents and may struggle to get liftoff in a divided Congress. Trump has strongly championed the idea of creating a […]

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Meteor shower lights up skies over Bosnia

FOCA, Bosnia (Reuters) – A meteor shower lit up the skies above eastern Bosnia on Saturday night, giving star gazers a rare opportunity to see a display of shooting stars with the naked eye. A meteor streaks across the skies over the Sand Pyramids during the peak of the Perseid meteor shower in the village […]

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NASA launches probe to go deep into Sun’s scorching atmosphere

(Reuters) – NASA launched a space probe early Sunday that will go closer to the Sun than any spacecraft before, the agency announced. The craft will endure extreme heat while zooming through the solar corona to study the Sun’s outer atmosphere that gives rise to the solar winds. The Parker Solar Probe, a spacecraft the […]

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Thousands gather in Israeli desert for meteor shower

MITZPE RAMON, Israel (Reuters) – Thousands of star-gazers gathered overnight at one of the darkest spots in Israel hoping to be dazzled by the annual Perseid meteor shower, only to be left somewhat disappointed by the show. Cars drive through Ramon Crater during the Perseid meteor shower near the town of Mitzpe Ramon, southern Israel, […]

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U.S. warns on Russia’s new space weapons

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States voiced deep suspicion on Tuesday over Russia’s pursuit of new space weapons, including a mobile laser system to destroy satellites in space, and the launch of a new inspector satellite which was acting in an “abnormal” way. The sun reflects off the water in this picture taken by German […]

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Bezos throws cash, engineers at rocket programme as space race accelerates

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Amazon.com (AMZN.O) founder Jeff Bezos is racing to pull his private space company out of start-up mode and move into production amid signals that his firm’s heavy rocket set for lift-off in 2020 may slip behind schedule, according to people familiar with the project. Blue Origin’s orbital rocket, New Glenn, is seen […]

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Robot hand learns real world moves in virtual training

(Reuters) – Researchers backed by Tesla Inc founder Elon Musk and Silicon Valley financier Sam Altman have found a novel way to use software to teach a human-like robotic hand new tasks, a discovery that could eventually make it more economical to train robots to do things that are easy for humans. Researchers at OpenAI, […]

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‘Blood moon’ to appear for 21st Century’s longest lunar eclipse

LONDON (Reuters) – A blood moon will appear in the night sky around much of the world on Friday night as the moon moves into the shadow of the earth for the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st Century. The total eclipse will last 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds, though a partial eclipse […]

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Centauro the robot hopes to play role in disaster relief work

GENOA, Italy (Reuters) – Centauro the robot, with four legs, a short torso and two upper arms, edges forward with Tai chi-like grace before lowering its arms, lifting up a six kg block and effortlessly moving it out of the way. The robot, modeled on the mythical centaur, has been developed by researchers at the IIT-Istituto […]

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‘Amazing dragon’ fossils rewrite history of long-necked dinosaurs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Fossils unearthed on a hillside in northwestern China are forcing scientists to rethink the history of a dinosaur lineage that produced the largest animals ever to walk the planet. An artist’s rendering of Lingwulong shenqi, a newly discovered dinosaur unearthed in northwestern China, appears in this image provided July 24, 2018. Zhang […]

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Scientists take step towards creating artificial embryos

LONDON (Reuters) – An international team of scientists has moved closer to creating artificial embryos after using mouse stem cells to make structures capable of taking a crucial step in the development of life. Experts said the results suggested human embryos could be created in a similar way in future – a step that would […]

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Greece finds ‘Neko’, a noblewoman buried in her jewelry 1,800 years ago

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek archaeologists have discovered a virtually intact grave of an ancient noblewoman buried with her golden jewelry at a Roman burial monument in the island of Sikinos. Her name, according to a burial inscription, was Neko – or Νεικώ using the Greek alphabet. The box-shaped grave was found untouched in the vault […]

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NASA prepares to fly probe into Sun’s scorching atmosphere

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla (Reuters) – NASA is preparing to send a probe closer to the Sun than any other spacecraft has ventured, enduring wicked heat while zooming through the solar corona to study this outermost part of the stellar atmosphere that gives rise to the solar wind. Technicians and engineers perform light bar testing on […]

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Deep reefs won’t be ‘twilight zone’ refuge for fish, corals: study

OSLO (Reuters) – Deep coral reefs in a “twilight zone” in the oceans differ sharply from those near the surface, dimming hopes that they can be a refuge for marine life fleeing threats such as climate change and pollution, scientists said on Thursday. FILE PHOTO: Tourists snorkel in an area called the ‘Coral Gardens’ at […]

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Bones of prehistoric creatures discovered in Crimean cave

SEVASTOPOL, Crimea (Reuters) – Scientists in Crimea are poring over a mass of preserved animal bones dating back half a million years after workmen discovered a sprawling underground cave during the construction of a motorway. Work on the road has been temporarily halted while the scientists study the contents of the cave, which include the […]