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New Horizons space probe suffers glitch on approach to Pluto

An artist?s impression of NASA?s New Horizons spacecraft encountering Pluto and its largest moonBy Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - NASA scientists were working on Sunday to revive the New Horizons spacecraft after it suffered a computer malfunction just nine days before it was due to fly past Pluto. On Saturday, an unknown glitch caused New Horizons to switch to a backup computer, which triggered an 81-minute break in radio communications with mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, NASA said in a status report. "Full recovery is expected to take from one to several days," NASA said.


Posted on 5 July 2015 | 9:12 am

New Horizons space probe suffers glitch on approach to Pluto

An artist's impression of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft encountering Pluto and its largest moonBy Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - NASA scientists were working on Sunday to revive the New Horizons spacecraft after it suffered a computer malfunction just nine days before it was due to fly past Pluto. On Saturday, an unknown glitch caused New Horizons to switch to a backup computer, which triggered an 81-minute break in radio communications with mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, NASA said in a status report. "Full recovery is expected to take from one to several days," NASA said.


Posted on 5 July 2015 | 9:12 am

Pluto Probe Suffers Glitch 10 Days Before Epic Flyby

Pluto Probe Suffers Glitch 10 Days Before Epic FlybyA glitch caused NASA's New Horizons spacecraft to go dark for more than an hour Saturday (July 4), just 10 days before its historic flyby of Pluto. "During that time, the autonomous autopilot on board the spacecraft recognized a problem and — as it’s programmed to do in such a situation — switched from the main to the backup computer," New Horizons team members wrote in an update Saturday. Members of an "anomaly review board" are currently investigating the issue and working to get New Horizons back up to speed.


Posted on 5 July 2015 | 4:48 am

Russian Cargo Spacecraft Arrives at Space Station

Russian Cargo Spacecraft Arrives at Space StationA robotic Russian resupply ship arrived at the International Space Station early Sunday morning (July 5), ending a streak of two straight cargo-mission failures.


Posted on 5 July 2015 | 3:34 am

Colorful Arctic Animals Revealed in Thousands of Undersea Images

Colorful Arctic Animals Revealed in Thousands of Undersea ImagesNew photographs of fluorescent sea creatures — including bright orange animals that resemble feather dusters with long, skinny handles, and spongy, neon-pink anemones — on the Arctic seafloor could help researchers determine how much methane, a potent greenhouse gas, will make its way to the atmosphere and contribute to climate change. It's amazing," said Guiliana Panieri, a scientist on the photo-taking expedition and a professor in environment and climate at The Arctic University of Norway. The colorful sea creatures live near methane seeps, or cracks in the ocean floor that naturally release methane.


Posted on 4 July 2015 | 8:55 am

Solar-Powered Plane Soars to New World Records

Solar-Powered Plane Soars to New World RecordsA solar-powered airplane currently soaring over the Pacific Ocean, from Japan to Hawaii, has set a slew of new world records, logging the farthest and longest flights made so far in a solar-powered aircraft. The Solar Impulse 2 plane set the new distance and duration records when it flew 3,519 miles (5,663 kilometers) in 80 hours. The solar-powered aircraft is currently partway through a planned journey around the world.


Posted on 4 July 2015 | 8:54 am

Ebola Returns to Liberia: Where Did It Come From, and Could It Spread?

The return of Ebola in Liberia — with three new cases reported this week in the previously Ebola-free country — is worrisome, and raises questions about whether Liberia was really free of the disease to begin with, experts say. Liberian health officials reported the death of a 17-year-old boy from Ebola on Sunday, and two other cases of Ebola in people who were with the boy when he died, according to ABC News. The new cases are the first in Liberia since the country was declared free of the disease on May 9.

Posted on 3 July 2015 | 6:40 pm

Solar-powered plane lands in Hawaii, pilot sets nonstop record

Swiss pilot Piccard takes a selfie in the Solar Impulse 2 plane during the 6th leg of the round the world trip from Chongqing to Nanjing(Reuters) - A Swiss man attempting to circumnavigate the globe with an aircraft powered only by the sun's energy landed in Hawaii on Friday, after a record-breaking five-day nonstop solo flight across the Pacific Ocean from Japan. The Solar Impulse 2 is the first aircraft to fly day and night without any fuel. Pilot Andre Borschberg's 120-hour voyage shattered the 76-hour record for nonstop flight by late American adventurer Steve Fossett in 2006 on the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer.


Posted on 3 July 2015 | 1:23 pm

Scientists convinced European heat waves boosted by climate change

By Laurie Goering LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As Germany and Spain sweated and London sweltered through its hottest July day on record this week, scientists said it is "virtually certain" that climate change is increasing the likelihood of such heat waves in Europe. In real-time data analysis released on Friday, a team of international climate scientists from universities, meteorological services and research organizations said the kind of heat waves hitting Europe this week – defined as three-day periods of excessive heat – are becoming much more frequent in the region. In De Bilt in the Netherlands, for example, a heat wave like the one forecast for the next few days would have been a roughly 1-in-30-years event in the 1900s, according to the scientists.

Posted on 3 July 2015 | 11:14 am

Seabirds Smell Their Way Home

Seabirds Smell Their Way HomeBy assessing bird flight patterns, a team of scientists has found evidence supporting the idea that seabirds navigate using smell. This is the "first direct evidence that seabirds use odor maps to navigate over vast expanses of visually featureless oceans to locate preferred grounds, and then to return home and pinpoint their breeding colony," said Andrew Reynolds, lead author of the new study detailing the findings. Reynolds is a research scientist in the Department of Computational and Systems Biology at Rothamsted Research, an agricultural research center in the United Kingdom.


Posted on 3 July 2015 | 10:09 am