Reuters Science News Summary

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

New Landsat Earth-monitoring satellite launched from California

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - - A new satellite to keep tabs on Earth's changing landscape rocketed into orbit on Monday, ensuring continuation of a 40-year-old photo archive documenting urban sprawl, glacial melting, natural disasters and other environmental shifts. The eighth and most sophisticated Landsat spacecraft blasted off at 1:02 p.m. EST aboard an unmanned Atlas 5 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The launch was broadcast on NASA Television.

Pentagon stands by use of lithium-ion batteries on F-35 fighters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon said it plans to continue using lithium-ion batteries on the new F-35 fighter jet despite problems with similar batteries that have grounded Boeing Co's <BA.N> new 787 airliner and are causing Airbus to rethink their use on its A350 jet. Joe DellaVedova, spokesman for the Pentagon's $396 billion F-35 program office, said on Tuesday that the lithium-ion batteries used on the new radar-evading fighter were made by different manufacturers than those used on the 787, and the jet's battery systems had been rigorously tested.

Space shuttle Columbia's second life - as a cautionary tale

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Space shuttle Columbia's flying days came to an abrupt and tragic end on February 1, 2003, when a broken wing gave way, dooming the seven astronauts aboard. Although Columbia now lies in pieces, its mission is not over.