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Tuesday, Sep 26th

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A simulated voyage to Mars: Crew emerges from isolation

Simulated voyage to Mars ends after 8 monthsA NASA-backed research crew who have been cooped up in a Mars-like habitat on a remote Hawaii volcano since January have emerged from isolation.

The six-member group was part of a study designed to better understand the psychological impacts a long-term space mission would have on astronauts.
Data from the simulated voyage to Mars "will contribute to the future exploration of Mars and the future exploration of space in general", science officer Samuel Paylor said on Sunday.

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Farewell Cassini: Saturn spacecraft makes fiery, final dive

Cassini makes final, fiery diveNASA's Cassini spacecraft disintegrated in the skies above Saturn on Friday in a final, fateful blaze of cosmic glory, following a remarkable journey of 20 years.

Confirmation of Cassini's expected demise came about 7:55 a.m. EDT. That's when radio signals from the spacecraft — its last scientific gifts to Earth — came to an abrupt halt. The radio waves went flat, and the spacecraft fell silent.

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The Sun Just Fired Off A Massive Flare, And It’s Headed Toward Earth Right Now

Solar flare

It’s one of the biggest solar flares in years, and it’s coming this way.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images on Wednesday of the most powerful flare recorded since at least 2008, when the current solar cycle began.

The space agency said radiation from solar flares “cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground.”

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Massive black hole discovered near heart of the Milky Way

Black hole found at center of Milky WayAn enormous black hole one hundred thousand times more massive than the sun has been found hiding in a toxic gas cloud wafting around near the heart of the Milky Way.

If the discovery is confirmed, the invisible behemoth will rank as the second largest black hole ever seen in the Milky Way after the supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A* that is anchored at the very centre of the galaxy.

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Astronaut Peggy Whitson home safe after record stay aboard space station

Astonaut Peggy Whitson homeAstronaut Peggy Whitson is home safe after spending a record 288 days on the International Space Station.

Whitson touched down in Kazakhstan at 9:21 p.m. EDT on Saturday aboard a Soyuz capsule. Whitson was joined for the trip home by NASA colleague Jack Fischer and cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikin of Roscosmos.

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'Most bizarre dinosaur ever found' is missing evolutionary link – study

Most bizarre dinosaur ever foundAn unusual vegetarian dinosaur with the silhouette of a flesh-ripping velociraptor, whose fossilised remains were unearthed in southern Chile 13 years ago, is a missing link in dinosaur evolution, researchers have said.

A revised assessment of the kangaroo-sized Chilesaurus diegosuarezi , reported in the journal Biology Letters, bolsters a theory unveiled earlier this year that threatens to upend a long-standing classification of all dinosaurs.

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U.S. scientists fix disease genes in human embryos for 1st time

US scientists fix disease genes in human embryosFor the first time, scientists working in a U.S. lab have used gene editing to correct a disease-causing mutation in viable human embryos, according to scientific paper published Wednesday.

The work, reported in Nature, could be a step toward genetically modified babies. But the altered embryos created in the study were quickly destroyed and never intended to be implanted in a woman — a step that would be illegal under current regulations in the United States and many other countries.

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