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Russia investigates top space official for abuse of office

The head of the famed Russian space-rocket company Energia that makes the Soyuz spacecraft faces a criminal investigation into alleged abuse of office, Russia's Investigative Committee said on Wednesday. Vitaly Lopota, president of Energia, is suspected of approving unauthorised loans to an international space consortium, Russia's equivalent of the FBI said in a statement. Lopota is one of the country's most important space officials, responsible for a company that has won the bulk of the contracts for Russian space hardware.

Russia investigates top space official for abuse of office

The head of the famed Russian space-rocket company Energia that makes the Soyuz spacecraft faces a criminal investigation into alleged abuse of office, Russia's Investigative Committee said on Wednesday. Vitaly Lopota, president of Energia, is suspected of approving unauthorised loans to an international space consortium, Russia's equivalent of the FBI said in a statement. Lopata is one of the country's most important space officials, responsible for a company that has won the bulk of the contracts for Russian space hardware.

CSA head says business as usual on space station, despite sanctions against Russia

MONTREAL - The head of the Canadian Space Agency says sanctions taken against Russia for its invasion of Crimea are not affecting operations on the International Space Station. NASA is continuing co-operation related to the space station but has severed its ties with Russia and forbidden its employees from travelling to the country. Canadian Space Agency president Walt Natynczyk says Canada continues to work with all its partners involved in the space station, which include the United States, Russia, Europe and Japan.

SpaceX cargo run to space station reset for Friday

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Privately owned Space Exploration Technologies canceled its planned cargo run to the International Space Station on Monday after a helium leak was found in its rocket's first stage, NASA said. The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule had been slated for 4:58 p.m. EDT (2058 GMT). But an hour before liftoff, engineers reported that the rocket's first stage was leaking helium, prompting a postponement.

SpaceX cargo mission to ISS delayed over helium leak

The US company SpaceX delayed its latest supply mission to the International Space Station on Monday due to a helium leak on its Dragon cargo capsule. "Today's launch is scrubbed due to a Helium leak on Falcon 9," SpaceX tweeted shortly before the planned blast-off from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 4:58 pm (2058 GMT). The tweet added that a fix would be implemented by the next launch opportunity on April 18. Owned by Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, SpaceX became the first commercial entity to reach the space station with its Dragon cargo ship in 2012.

NASA to go ahead with Dragon capsule SpaceX launch

The launch of a SpaceX rocket and its Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station will go ahead as scheduled Monday despite a glitch affecting a computer on the station, officials said. The Falcon 9 rocket and its unmanned capsule Dragon is scheduled to blast off from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 4:58pm (2058 GMT), SpaceX vice president Hans Koenigsmann said. Weather forecasts indicated an 80 percent probability of conditions favorable for a successful launch, the third operated by the private space company. It had originally been scheduled for mid-March.

'Cherry tree from space' mystery baffles Japan

A cosmic mystery is uniting monks and scientists in Japan after a tree grown from a cherry stone that orbited the Earth for eight months bloomed years earlier than expected -- and with very surprising flowers. The four-year-old sapling -- grown from a cherry pit that spent time onboard the International Space Station (ISS) -- burst into blossom on April 1, possibly a full six years ahead of Mother Nature's normal schedule. Its early blooming turned on its head the received wisdom of the Buddhist brothers at the ancient temple in central Japan where the tree is growing.

Atlas rocket blasts off with secret U.S. military satellite

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - An unmanned Atlas 5 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Thursday to put a classified satellite into orbit for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. The 20-story tall rocket, built by United Launch Alliance, blasted off its seaside launch pad at 1:45 p.m. ET (1745 GMT). United Launch Alliance is a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

Russian cargo ship docks to space station

A Russian cargo ship has successfully docked with the International Space Station Thursday, bringing the crew crucial supplies and water, Russia's space agency said. The unmanned Progress M-23M ship, which was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, docked with the ISS at 2114 GMT, two minutes later than scheduled, the Roscosmos agency said. The station was flying over the west coast of Peru at the time, NASA said.

New Israeli spy satellite enters orbit: defence ministry

A new Israeli spy satellite entered orbit early Thursday, the defence ministry said, boosting the Jewish state's ability to monitor arch-foe Iran. The observation remote-sensing Ofek 10 satellite, launched into space on a Shavit rocket late Wednesday, outdoes earlier models with its ability to "skip" from one target to another rather than simply "sweep" areas, ministry officials told reporters. Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon noted Ofek 10 would "enable the security establishment to better deal with threats near and far, at all hours of the day and in any weather."
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