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SpaceX rocket lifts off for space station cargo run

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - An unmanned Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Friday to deliver a cargo capsule to the International Space Station for NASA. The 208-foot (63-meter) tall rocket, built and operated by privately owned Space Exploration Technologies, bolted off its seaside launch pad at 3:25 p.m. EDT/1925 GMT, darting through overcast skies as it headed toward orbit.

NASA robotic spacecraft ends mission with crash into the moon

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - A robotic U.S. spacecraft ended a pioneering mission to map dust and gases around the moon with a planned, kamikaze crash into the lunar surface early on Friday, NASA officials said. The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, or LADEE, had been flying at increasingly lower altitudes to study how dust is lifted off the lunar surface and what gases comprise the moon's so-called exosphere - the region of space surrounding the airless moon.

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 says weird Mars lights are not a sign of life

A NASA robot has snapped pictures showing glints of light on the Martian horizon, which some UFO enthusiasts have seized on as a sign of alien life on the Red Planet. Not so, said the US space agency. More likely, the images of bright spots taken on April 2 and April 3 are a product of the sun's glare or cosmic rays, NASA said in a statement. In fact, similar glints of light are seen all the time in images taken by the Curiosity rover, a multibillion dollar unmanned vehicle equipped with cameras and drilling instruments that is exploring Mars.

U.S. Navy to test futuristic, super-fast gun at sea in 2016

By David Alexander WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy is planning sea trials for a weapon that can fire a low-cost, 23-pound (10-kg) projectile at seven times the speed of sound using electromagnetic energy, a "Star Wars" technology that will make enemies think twice, the Navy's research chief said.

U.S., eyeing North Korea, to send more missile defense ships to Japan

By Phil Stewart TOKYO (Reuters) - The United States will deploy two additional destroyers equipped with missile defense systems to Japan by 2017, in a move Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Sunday was a response in part to North Korean missile launches that have alarmed the region.

Japan ordered SDF to destroy any N. Korean missiles launched

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera on Thursday ordered the nation's Self-Defense Forces to destroy North Korean ballistic missiles if any are launched and threaten to fall within Japanese territory, a government source said Saturday. In response to the order, the source said, the SDF quickly deployed the Aegis-equipped destroyer Kirishima carrying Standard Missile-3 interceptors to the Sea of Japan, which lies between the Japanese archipelago and the Korean Peninsula.

Japan on Thurs. ordered SDF to destroy any N. Korean missiles launched

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera issued Thursday an order without disclosing it for the Self-Defense Forces to destroy North Korean ballistic missiles if any are launched, a government source said Saturday. In line with the order, which was not disclosed to minimize the effects on resumed governmental talks with North Korea, the SDF deployed to the Sea of Japan the Aegis destroyer Kirishima equipped with long-range SM-3 interceptor missiles, the source said.
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