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B.C. scientist joins NASA-funded simulated mission to Mars on Hawaiian mountain

KELOWNA, B.C. - A Kelowna, B.C., scientist is joining the crew of a NASA-funded simulated mission to Mars after beating out hundreds of applicants from around the world. Ross Lockwood and five others will spend four months inside a sealed environment high on the slopes of a Hawaiian mountain. The main purpose of the mission, starting March 28, is to help the space agency develop psychological guidelines that will be used to select future astronauts capable of making a real trip to Mars.

Water bottler's plans to tap far Northern California aquifer sparks opposition

MOUNT SHASTA, Calif. - Spring water bottler Crystal Geyser's plans to tap an aquifer at the base of Mount Shasta in far Northern California is running into opposition from some residents, environmentalists and Native American tribes. They say the planned bottling operation in the town of Mount Shasta in Siskiyou County could deplete wells and the aquifer, which feeds the headwaters of the Sacramento River. Crystal Geyser says the concerns are overblown. The company plans to use a plant that was built by Coca-Cola to bottle water for Dannon.

Monday night viewing: close encounter with enormous asteroid

(Reuters) - An asteroid estimated to be the size of three football fields is set for its close-up on a live webcast as it whizzes by Earth on Monday, roughly a year after one exploded over Russia and injured 1,200 people. Slooh Space Camera plans to track the close approach of Asteroid 2000 EM26 as it races past the planet at approximately 27,000 miles per hour (43,000 km/h), starting at 9 p.m. EST (2 a.m. GMT, February 18), the robotic telescope service said in a statement on Slooh.com.

Three Indonesia airports reopen after volcano eruption

Three Indonesian airports reopened Saturday while four others remained closed, officials said, after a volcanic eruption killed four people and forced mass evacuations. Mount Kelud, considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes on the main island of Java, spewed red-hot ash and rocks high into the air late Thursday night just hours after its alert status was raised.

Two dead, flights disrupted as Indonesia volcano erupts

A spectacular volcanic eruption in Indonesia has killed two people and forced mass evacuations, disrupting long-haul flights and closing international airports Friday. Mount Kelud, considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes on the main island of Java, spewed red-hot ash and rocks high into the air late Thursday night just hours after its alert status was raised.

Two dead, flights disrupted as Indonesia volcano erupts

A spectacular volcanic eruption in Indonesia has killed at least two people and forced mass evacuations, disrupting long-haul flights and closing international airports Friday. Mount Kelud, considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes on the main island of Java, spewed red-hot ash and rocks high into the air late Thursday night just hours after its alert status was raised. TV images showed ash and rocks raining down on nearby villages, while AFP correspondents at the scene saw terrified locals covered in ash fleeing in cars and on motorbikes towards evacuation centres.

Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano spews ash amid explosions

A series of explosions rocked Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano, spewing columns of ash into the air that reached as far as Quito. Ash fall from the plumes was reported up to 130 kilometers (80 miles) north in the Ecuadoran capital, authorities said. "There were five explosions of a moderate to large size, which sounded like heavy gunfire for several miles," director of the Geophysical Institute Mario Ruiz told the Gama TV channel. Tungurahua, which in the Quechua language means "throat of fire," has been erupting since 1999.

New Indonesian volcanic eruption halts search

A volcano in western Indonesia that killed 15 people in a weekend eruption shot hot ash and rocks high into the air again Monday, halting a search for any more victims. Before they stopped their search, a rescue team found the charred wreckage of motorcycles buried under ash which they believe had been carrying some of those killed by Mount Sinabung's eruption on Saturday.

Indonesia volcano kills at least 11, fears over more eruptions

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's Mount Sinabung volcano erupted and killed at least 11 people on the western island of Sumatra on Saturday, the first time it is known to have claimed any lives, a senior government official said. The volcano has become increasingly active in recent months, regularly spewing columns of ash several kilometers into the air. The government has evacuated tens of thousands of residents near the area.

Fears death toll could rise in Indonesia volcano eruption

Indonesian officials searched through thick ash for bodies Sunday after Mount Sinabung volcano erupted, killing at least 15 people, with the only sign of life an ownerless mobile phone ringing inside an abandoned bag. Scorching clouds engulfed victims during the eruption on Saturday, leaving rescuers with little hope of finding survivors as they searched through ash up to 30 centimetres (12 inches) thick.
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