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Senators urge review of U.S. Air Force satellite launch program

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. senators on Wednesday urged the Air Force to allow more competition in the multibillion-dollar market for launching government satellites, citing rising costs and concerns about Russian-made engines that power some of the U.S. rockets.

Space launch forces French jumbo to make refueling stop

HAMBURG (Reuters) - An Air France A380 jumbo jet flying from Shanghai to Paris was forced to make an unscheduled landing at Hamburg airport on Wednesday after a space mission launch caused it to run low on fuel, the airline said. Flight AF111 had to make a diversion after airspace over Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan was closed for at least 30 minutes for the launch of a Russian Soyuz space rocket, an Air France spokeswoman said.

U.S. aims to correct issue behind 2013 failed missile defense test

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Missile Defense Agency on Tuesday said it was optimistic it had found the cause of a failed missile defense test in July 2013 and aimed to carry out a fix for the entire fleet of ground-based interceptors by the end of the year.

U.S. aims to correct issue behind 2013 failed missile defense test

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Missile Defense Agency on Tuesday said it was optimistic it had found the cause of a failed missile defense test in July 2013 and aimed to carry out a fix for the entire fleet of ground-based interceptors by the end of the year.

Comet-probing robot to wake from hibernation

A fridge-sized robot lab hurtling through the Solar System aboard a European probe is about to wake from hibernation and prepare for the first-ever landing by a spacecraft on a comet. The delicate operation, starting Friday, marks the next phase in the European Space Agency's billion-dollar mission to explore one of these ancient wanderers of our star system. Sent to sleep in 2011 to save energy, the lander will start a weeks-long process of progressively waking up, checking and updating its systems ahead of its historic rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

USFK chief says N. Korean missile to be capable of hitting mainland U.S. by 2024

By Lee Chi-dong WASHINGTON, March 25 (Yonhap) -- The top U.S. military commander in Korea said Tuesday Pyongyang will have ballistic missiles to reach the mainland U.S. within a decade. "We have a challenging environment in terms of North Korea's development of ballistic missiles. And they continue apace at that," Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti told senators at a budget hearing in Washington, D.C. Asked if he expects North Korea to have missile capability capable of hitting the U.S. homeland by 2024, he said yes.

USFK chief says N. Korean missile to be capable of hitting mainland U.S. by 2024

By Lee Chi-dong WASHINGTON, March 25 (Yonhap) -- The top U.S. military commander in Korea said Tuesday Pyongyang will have ballistic missiles to reach the mainland U.S. within a decade. "We have a challenging environment in terms of North Korea's development of ballistic missiles. And they continue apace at that," Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti told senators at a budget hearing in Washington, D.C. Asked if he expects North Korea to have missile capability capable of hitting the U.S. homeland by 2024, he said yes.

Mars on Earth: vacuum chambers mimic the Red Planet

Scientists have built Mars here on Earth -- at least within the walls of a simulation chamber that mimics conditions on the Red Planet down to its Martian dust, according to a paper out Tuesday. The Spanish researchers built a vacuum chamber to reproduce conditions including temperature, pressure, gas composition and radiation on Mars, to help test gear designed for missions to the fourth planet from the sun. The rovers -- and their advanced sensors and instruments -- are being used in NASA missions aimed at discovering whether the planet could ever have supported life.

US reviews use of Russian rockets for satellite launches

In response to soaring tensions with Moscow, the Pentagon is reviewing whether a reliance on Russian rocket engines for US military satellite launches poses a potential national security risk, officials said Friday. Since 1995, the US military has used the Russian-made engines on Atlas V rockets, which are often employed to send Air Force and other satellites into space.

S. Korea successfully completes engine test for space rocket

SEJONG, March 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has successfully conducted ground combustion tests for what will be the third-stage engine of its own space rocket, the government said Tuesday. The seven-ton thrust engine successfully passed five separate combustion tests that checked both the steady injection of fuel and stability of the engine, according to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.
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