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Clouds, rain delay SpaceX Falcon rocket launch

File photo of unmanned Space Exploration Technologies' Falcon 9 rocket is seen before liftoff at Cape CanaveralCAPE CANAVERAL Fla (Reuters) - Space Exploration Technologies delayed its cargo run to the International Space Station for NASA on Saturday after thick cloud and rain socked in its central Florida launch site. Liftoff of the companys Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon freighter was rescheduled for 1:53 a.m. EDT/0553 GMT on Sunday. Meteorologists expected a 60 percent chance of acceptable weather. The mission is the fourth under the companys 12-flight, $1.6 billion contract with NASA to fly cargo to the station, a $100 billion research complex that flies about 260 miles (420 km) above Earth. ...

Sat, 20 Sep 2014 02:59:20 -0400
U.N. aviation body to mull space safety as space taxis ready for flight

ICAO Council President Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu speaks during a press conference in MontrealBy Allison Lampert MONTREAL (Reuters) - The United Nation's civil aviation body, currently wrestling with how to help airlines maintain safety over conflict zones, is taking first steps toward protection for commercial vessels in space. Commercial space travel took a big leap this week after the U.S. space agency NASA awarded a combined $6.8 billion to Boeing and Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, to build commercially owned and operated "space taxis" to fly astronauts to the International Space Station. ...

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 18:29:59 -0400
It's not a small world after all: world population will soar

File photo of people visiting the beach on New Year's Day in DurbanBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Contrary to some earlier projections, the world's population will soar through the end of the 21st century thanks largely to sub-Saharan Africa's higher-than-expected birth rates, United Nations and other population experts said on Thursday. There is an 80 percent likelihood that the number of people on the planet, currently 7.2 billion, will increase to between 9.6 billion and 12.3 billion by 2100, the researchers said. They also saw an 80 percent probability that Africa's population will rise to between 3.5 billion and 5. ...

Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:48:57 -0400
India's Mars mission enters last lap; faces crucial test on September 24

By Aditya Kalra NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's first mission to Mars will attempt to put a spacecraft in orbit around the red planet next week, in a crucial test of a low-cost project carrying the country's hopes to join the leaders of a global space race. A successful outcome for the $74-million mission would stiffen Prime Minister Narendra Modi's resolve to build new space launch facilities capable of handling heavier satellites, to make India a stronger player in the space technology market. ...

Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:24:09 -0400
Florida scientists urge state leaders to join climate summit

By Bill Cotterell TALLAHASSEE (Reuters) - A group of 42 scientists from Florida universities submitted a joint letter on Thursday urging Governor Rick Scott and other state leaders to participate in a summit this fall to seek solutions for climate change. The group plans to host a conference of state and national policymakers and scientists Oct. 6 in Tampa, along with engineers and entrepreneurs who have "job-creating solutions." Scott, who is a Republican, has come under fire from environmentalists for not taking stronger action over sea level rise and climate change. ...

Thu, 18 Sep 2014 18:01:25 -0400
War Is Destroying Syria's Ancient Treasures, Satellite Photos Show

War Is Destroying Syria's Ancient Treasures, Satellite Photos ShowThree years of heavy fighting have taken a toll on Syria's archaeological treasures. Five of the country's six World Heritage sites "exhibit significant damage," and some buildings are now "reduced to rubble," according to high-resolution satellite images examined by the nonprofit and nonpartisan American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). World Heritage sites are rigorously selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and must "represent a masterpiece of human creative genius," among other criteria, according to UNESCO's website.

Sat, 20 Sep 2014 08:51:54 -0400
Flu Vaccine: Should Your Kids Get the Nasal Spray?

In a new recommendation this flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the nasal spray form of the flu vaccine is the preferred way to vaccinate kids ages 2 to 8. Previously, the CDC did not recommended one form of the vaccine over the other for this age group. New studies suggest that the nasal spray works particularly well to prevent flu in children ages 2 to 8. Although neither the shot nor the spray protects against the flu 100 percent of the time, the nasal spray prevented 50 percent more flu cases than the flu shot in children 2 to 8 in the new studies, according to the CDC.

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:14:51 -0400
Prelude to Offshore Drilling Not a Blast for All (Op-Ed)

Prelude to Offshore Drilling Not a Blast for All (Op-Ed)President Barack Obama decided to move forward with preliminary steps for offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, an area where the practice has not been allowed for more than 30 years. Oil and gas companies are currently applying for permits to conduct seismic airgun blasting in waters from Delaware to Florida, the first in a series of steps that would lead to drilling steps that put more than just marine mammals at unnecessary risk. In July, the U.S.Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) decided to move ahead with plans to allow airgun blasting off the U.S. Offshore drilling companies will use multiple boats to conduct the testing day and night, and much of the testing information will be hidden from the public.

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 15:24:49 -0400
Mercury Gives Southern Skywatchers Its Best Show of 2014

Mercury Gives Southern Skywatchers Its Best Show of 2014Even though Mercury is one of the brightest objects in the sky, very few observers have ever seen the planet in the night sky. Because of the tilt of the Earth's axis, this will place it high above the horizon in the Southern Hemisphere, but too low to be observed in the Northern Hemisphere. Earlier that day, Mercury will also pass about half a degree south of the bright star Spica in the constellation Virgo. Mercury is slightly brighter than Spica.

Sat, 20 Sep 2014 08:13:42 -0400
SpaceX Delays Dragon Cargo Ship Launch for NASA Due to Bad Weather

SpaceX Delays Dragon Cargo Ship Launch for NASA Due to Bad WeatherA commercial SpaceX Dragon supply ship packed with NASA experiments including 20 mice destined for the final frontier will have wait at least one more day to blast into space after bad weather thwarted a launch attempt early Saturday (Sept. 20). A drizzling pre-dawn rain and thick clouds lingered over SpaceX's Florida launch pad here, forcing the company to postpone its Dragon delivery mission to the International Space Station for NASA until Sunday (Sept. 21). The SpaceX-built Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon capsule is now set to launch at 1:52 a.m. EDT (0552 GMT) on Sunday. You can watch the SpaceX launch webcast live Sunday on, courtesy of NASA TV.

Sat, 20 Sep 2014 03:16:48 -0400
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