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China Experimental Moon Orbiter Returns

China on Saturday successfully recovered an experimental spacecraft that flew around the moon and back in a test run for the country's first unmanned return trip to the lunar surface.

The eight-day trip marked the first time in almost four decades that a spacecraft has returned to Earth after traveling around the moon. China plans to send a spacecraft to the moon in 2017 and have it return to Earth after collecting soil samples.

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Australia Confident of Antarctic Marine Reserve in 2015

Australia said Saturday it was confident its plans for a marine reserve to protect biodiversity in East Antarctica would succeed next year, after international talks in Hobart failed to agree on the measure.

The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting closed late Friday with the 25 members unable to reach consensus on two Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

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Branson Shocked as Virgin Spaceship Crash Kills Pilot

Virgin's pioneering tourist-carrying spacecraft crashed on a test flight in California on Friday, killing a pilot and scattering debris across the desert -- and raising questions about the program's future.

But Virgin chief Richard Branson, while voicing shock at the accident involving Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, vowed to push forward towards the dream of space flight for the paying public.

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Australia Set to Pay Polluters to Cut Emissions

Australia is set to approve measures giving polluters financial incentives to reduce emissions blamed for climate change, in a move critics described as ineffective environmental policy.

The so-called "direct action" plan, which will see the government pay companies to increase energy efficiency, passed through the upper house Senate early Friday following a marathon debate.

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Decades-Old Soviet Engines Powered U.S. Rocket that Exploded

The Orbital Sciences rocket that exploded after launch was powered by a pair of rocket engines that were made during the Soviet era and refurbished, experts said.

The Ukrainian-designed AJ-26 engines date back to the 1960s and 1970s, and Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California has a stockpile that it refurbishes for Orbital Sciences.

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Plans for Antarctic Marine Reserve Falter Again

A plan to protect a vast swath of ocean off Antarctica by creating the world's largest marine reserve appeared headed for failure for the fourth time.

The countries that make decisions about Antarctic fishing finish a 10-day meeting Friday in Hobart, Australia.

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Plans for Antarctic Marine Reserve Falter again

A plan to protect a vast swathe of ocean off Antarctica's coast by creating the world's largest marine reserve appears headed for failure for a fourth time.

The countries that make decisions about Antarctic fishing will wrap up a 10-day meeting Friday in Hobart, Australia.

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'The Great Invisible' Shows Blood Spilled for Oil

The cameras have left, but tears continue to fall in the Gulf of Mexico, four years after the environmental catastrophe caused by an explosion on British oil giant BP's Deepwater Horizon rig.

In "The Great Invisible", a documentary which won the Grand Jury prize at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Texas, director Margaret Brown shines the spotlight back on the main victims of the disaster.

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Hopes Raised after 'Success' of Koala Chlamydia Vaccine Trial

Australian scientists Wednesday said they had successfully tested a vaccine against chlamydia in wild koalas, in what they believe is a breakthrough in combating the disease ravaging the native marsupial.

The much-loved furry animal has been under increasing threat, with the government classifying it as a vulnerable species amid a plunge in population numbers from habitat loss, disease and other factors.

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Orbital Rocket Explodes after Launch

An unmanned rocket owned by Orbital Sciences Corporation exploded Tuesday in a giant fireball and plummeted back to Earth just seconds after launch on what was to be a resupply mission to the International Space Station.

"The Antares rocket suffered an accident shortly after lift-off," NASA mission control in Houston said, describing the blast at Wallops Island, Virginia, as a "catastrophic anomaly."

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