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Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Archive offers new life for fallen space shuttle Columbia
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Space shuttle Columbia's flying days came to an abrupt and tragic end on February 1, 2003, when damage from a broken wing crescendo, dooming the seven astronauts aboard. Although Columbia now lies in pieces, its mission is not over.
South Korea launches first civilian rocket amid tensions with North
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea launched its first space rocket carrying a science satellite on Wednesday amid heightened regional tensions, caused in part, by North Korea's successful launch of its own rocket last month. It was South Korea's third attempt to launch a civilian rocket to send a satellite in orbit in the past four years and came after two previous launches were aborted at the eleventh hour last year due to technical glitches.
Rocket blasts off with new NASA communications satellite
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - An unmanned Atlas 5 rocket blasted off on Wednesday to put the first of a new generation of NASA communications satellites into orbit, where it will support the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope and other spacecraft. The 191-foot (58-metre) rocket lifted off at 8:48 p.m. (0148 GMT Thursday), the first of 13 planned launches in 2013 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station just south of NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
Science cafes offer a sip of learning
ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Americans may be turning away from the hard sciences at universities, but they are increasingly showing up at "science cafes" in local bars and restaurants to listen to scientific talks over a drink or a meal. Want a beer with that biology? Or perhaps a burger with the works to complement the theory of everything?
Scientists find genetic clue to severe flu among Chinese
LONDON (Reuters) - British and Chinese scientists have found a genetic variant which explains why Chinese populations may be more vulnerable to the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu. The discovery of the variant could help doctors find those people at high risk of severe flu and prioritize them for treatment, researchers said.