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Mars lander smashed into ground at 540km/h after misjudging its altitude

Mars lander smashes on surfaceA tiny lander that crashed on Mars last month flew into the red planet at 540km/h (335mph) instead of gently gliding to a stop, after a computer misjudged its altitude, the European Space Agency has said.

Schiaparelli was on a test-run for a future rover meant to seek out evidence of life, past or present, but it fell silent seconds before its scheduled touchdown on 19 October.

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U.S. weather satellite's launch promises 'quantum leap' in forecasts

US weather satelliteA U.S. weather satellite that will "revolutionize" forecasting blasted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral on Saturday, promising to deliver continuous high-definition views of hurricanes and other storms over the Western Hemisphere.

A detailed stream of images provided by the satellite is expected to sharpen weather forecasts, provide more advanced warning of floods and better tracking of wildfires, plumes and volcanic ash clouds.

Carried atop an Atlas 5 rocket, the GOES-R satellite lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 6:42 p.m. EST.

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Stephen Hawking: We might have 1,000 years left on Earth

Hawking: 1000 years left on earthScience celebrity Stephen Hawking says the only way humankind can escape mass extinction is to find another planet.

And the clock is ticking.

During a speech Tuesday at Britain’s Oxford University Union, Hawking detailed the history of man’s understanding of the universe and reiterated that the future of humankind lies in space, the Daily Express reported.

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Cosmic-ray detector finds possible crack in Earth's magnetic shield

Magnetic field possibly crackedThe world's largest, most sensitive cosmic-ray detector has identified a potential crack in Earth's magnetic field.

The weakness was revealed by a burst of galactic cosmic rays, detected by GRAPES-3 during a severe geomagnetic storm in June 2015. The storm as triggered by a plasma cloud ejected from the sun's corona.

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Greenland fossils showcase recovery from extinction event 252 million years ago

Greenland fossil goes back over 200 million yearsSome 252 million years ago, the planet suffered the most catastrophic mass extinction event in its 4.5 billion-year history.

A trove of newly discovered fossils -- unearthed in Greenland by a team of palaeontologists -- have offered scientists a snapshot of the ecological recovery closer to the poles.

Even biodiversity far from the equator was obliterated.

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'The stuff of nightmares': US primate research centers investigated for abuses

Animal abuse ion research labsNine US research centers that receive millions of dollars in federal funding are being investigated over the mistreatment of primates, prompting calls for the facilities to be shut down.

Incidents include the deaths of dozens of monkeys from strangulation, water deprivation and poor handling by staff. Other primates have died while trying to escape, while others have been injured so badly they required amputations.

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European spacecraft goes silent minute before difficult Mars landing

European space craft goes silentThe “Mars Curse” may have claimed another victim.

Europe’s Schiaparelli lander, scheduled to settle into the Martian dust at 10:48 am ET Wednesday, went silent a minute or so before its expected landing time.

Engineers hope to know more about the lander’s fate within a few hours. By that time they’ll have gotten a chance to receive and process data from Europe’s Mars Express spacecraft, now in orbit around Mars and listening for a signal from Schiaparelli.

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