Tag Archives: Space Shuttle

Science Saturday: Shuttle Returns to Earth

The Space Shuttle Discovery landed at Andrews Air Force base in California today after bad weather canceled the planned landing in Florida. The shuttle, with seven astronauts on board, had hooked up with the International Space Shuttle for a supply mission. You can see video of the shuttle landing at BBC News.

New computer scans show a giant eagle may have hunted humans before it went extinct 500 years ago. The Haast’s eagle lived in New Zealand and weighed around 40 pounds. The main evidence shows that the birds were not scavengers but predators who may have been able to target small humans. Scientists also say the findings support stories told in Maori lore about huge birds that could pick up small children, AP.

Discovery News: Top 5 Volcano Videos.

If there is one thing to see this week, look at the first photos from the Hubble Telescope since it was grounded for repairs. View them here.

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Violence and Election Controversy in Afghanistan

According to current election returns, current President Hamid Karzai and main opponent Abdullah Abdullah are about even in the Afghan presidential race. Only 10 percent of votes are in, and there are already 50 complaints of election fraud, but many believe a runoff election will be needed, AP.

More than 4o people have been killed in a car bomb blast in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The city is a stronghold of the Taliban, though no one has yet claimed responsibility. 60 people were injured. Four U.S. soldiers were also killed in the country while patrolling, but a NATO spokesman would not reveal where in the country the troops were located, BBC News.

The White House is predicting that over the next decade, America will rack up a $9 trillion debt – more than the history of American debt combined. The economy is also predicted to shrink 2.5 to 2.8 percent this year. However, President Obama pointed out that there are signs that the U.S. will come out of the recession soon, such as the success of the cash for clunkers program, which ended yesterday, AP.

NASA will attempt to launch the Space Shuttle Discovery early Wednesday morning at 1:10 am. The shuttle attempted to take off today, but thunderstorms prevented the launch. Discovery will take a 13-day journey to link up with the International Space Station, SPACE. You can follow @Astro_Jose, crew member Jose Hernandez, on Twitter for updates.

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Space Shuttle Endeavour Finally Launches

After five delays, the space shuttle Endeavour finally lifted off today from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The shuttle will link up with the international space station for a 16-day mission, CNN.

A man was killed by police today near the U.S. Capitol building after he fled from a routine traffic stop. The man did have a weapon and two officers were injured, but it is not known whether the man fired his gun or not. Witnesses say about 15 shots were fired, Washington Post.

Natalia Estemirova, a Russian human rights activist, has been found dead after she was abducted in Chechnya this morning. According to reports, “she had been gathering evidence of a campaign of house-burnings by government-backed militias.” Human Rights Watch, a prominent human rights organization, say they believe that Estemirova undoubtedly was targeted because of the case she was working on, BBC News.

The black boxes from the Iranian plane that crashed earlier today have been recovered, but are reported to be damaged. The plane, en route from Tehran to Yerevan, crashed 16 minutes after takeoff and killed all 168 people on board, BBC News.

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Person Arrested in Connection with Florida Couple’s Murders

One person has been arrested in connection with the murders of a Florida couple found slain in their home on Thursday. The couple, Byrd and Melanie Billings, had 12 adopted children, many of which have special needs, CNN.

The U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill, had a close call in Iraq today when a small roadside bomb detonated close to the convey he was traveling in. The vehicle sustained minor damage and no injuries were reported. A U.S. military spokesman said it was unclear whether Hill was targeted or not, USA Today.

For the second time, NASA has delayed the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour due to weather concerns. The shuttle is now set to launch on Monday at 6:51 pm, CNN.

Hot Topic: Watch Sky News’ exclusive interview with President Obama.

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Uganada Moves to Ban Female Genital Mutilation

The president of Uganda wants to ban female genital mutilation (also called female circumcision). Yoweri Museveni’s proposal would ban the practice totally and could impose the death penalty if a girl dies as a result of the procedure, CNN.

Talks in Costa Rica mediating the crisis in Honduras have ended without resolution. Exiled president Manuel Zelaya and interim leader Roberto Micheletti did not meet face to face but only spoke through Costa Rican president Oscar Arias, BBC News.

Residents of Bundanoon, a small town in Australia, voted to ban the sale of bottled water. A company had planned to build a water-extraction plant to be used to supply the water for bottled water in the town. Bottled water is largely unregulated and in many cases is simply tap water or untreated water from underground reserves, Reuters.

GM exited bankruptcy after only 40 days. The company was allowed to reform after selling most of its assets. The new company is owned by the US government (60.8%), the Canadian government (11.7%), and the UAW retiree health trust (17.5%), Washington Post.

Bad weather threatens today’s scheduled space shuttle launch. This will be the third time the launch has been put off, CNET.

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Three Reported Dead in Tehran Clashes

If you haven’t, check out our earlier live blog of today’s protests in Tehran after Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of the presidential election. Some unverified reports say 50-100 people died in clashes, but BNO can only confirm three deaths so far, BNO.

President Obama met with Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai today and pledged to give $73m in aid to the struggling country. Tsvangirai shares power with President Robert Mugabe, who is widely criticized by international powers, BBC News.

The launch of the space shuttle Endeavour has been delayed because of a hydrogen gas leak. A second launch attempt will take at least four days, SPACE.

Hot Topic: NPR takes a look at military families who will have to have to celebrate Father’s Day without their dads. Read it here.

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Couple With Bank Error in Their Favor Flee New Zealand

A couple in New Zealand who mistakenly received $10NZ million in their bank account two weeks ago are believed to have fled to Hong Kong in an effort to keep the money. Leo Gao and his girlfriend Cara Young asked for an overdraw to a bank account of $NZ100,000 but a mistake put ten times that amount in their account. The next day the gas station Gao runs was closed. Bank officials have recovered some of the money, CNN.

Also on the run, is a 13 year-old boy with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and his mother. The boy does not want to continue his chemotherapy treatment. His mother is a member of a Native American spiritual group called Nemenhah Band which may be influencing her belief that the boy can be cured using alternative medicine. While the family argued that the decision fell under their Constitutional right of religious freedom, a judge ordered the family to seek treatment for their son and has issued a warrant for the arrest of the mother, People.

The  space shuttle will not land today as scheduled  due to poor weather conditions, New York Times.

India’s new government was sworn in today, BBC News.

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Over a Million Flee Pakistan Amid Fighting

Thousands have fled Pakistan today after the government announced they were lifting the curfew in the Swat Valley region in order to allow residents to leave. Fighting between Taliban fighters and the U.S. and Pakistani armies has caused civilian deaths, including 140 deaths last week that occurred during an American air strike. The UN estimates about one millions people have fled in the last two weeks, BBC News.

General Motors has announced they will close 1,100 dealerships in the U.S. Yesterday, Chrysler announced the same intention and will close hundreds of sales outlets. Insiders say the news is worse for GM dealers as Chrysler dealers often sell other brands of cars alongside Chrysler, but GM dealers almost exclusively deal with GM models, NPR.

Armed security forces fired tear gas and shots into the Arabic daily newspaper al-Ayyam’s offices on Wednesday. On Monday, forces attempted to arrest the paper’s editor-in-chief Hisham Basharheel in connection to a death at his home last year when armed men attacked the house and security guards fired back, killing one attacker. However, Amnesty International reports that they believe he is being sought after the paper’s coverage of protests in southern Yemen, Amnesty International.

PBS is considering stripping affiliation of any PBS channel that broadcasts religious programming. PBS voted in 1985 to only allow nonpartisan, nonreligious, and nonsecular programming because the station wants to ensure fairness as it is receives government programming and public donations, Washington Post.

Watch a slideshow of this week’s biggest stories in science, including the Atlantis space shuttle launch and the discovery of roaming black holes, Discovery News.

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