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U.S. Scientists Say 'Ninth Planet' May Exist in Solar System

A previously unknown giant planet, nicknamed Planet Nine, may have been discovered lurking in the outer reaches of our solar system, U.S. scientists announced on Wednesday.

The object "has a mass about 10 times that of Earth" and follows a "bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the distant solar system," said a statement by researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

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First Flower Blooms on International Space Station

A bright orange zinnia has blossomed aboard the International Space Station, marking a first in space.

"First flower even grown in space makes its debut," U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly wrote on Twitter, with a photo of the flower.

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Rampaging Elephants Force Myanmar Villagers to Tree-Top Refuge

Pushed from their forest home by encroaching farm land, wild elephants are driving fearful villagers in a Myanmar township to seek refuge in tree houses while the animals storm their rice paddies looking for food.

The elephants have trampled crops, destroyed homes and even, villagers say, killed people in their path -- forcing families in Kyat Chuang to build new shelters made of wood and bamboo on higher ground.

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Money Troubles May Delay Europe-Russia Mars Mission

Part of a joint European-Russian mission to search for signs of life on Mars may be delayed due to cash flow problems, the European Space Agency said Friday.

"We need some more money," ESA director general Jan Woerner told journalists in Paris, citing project cost increases.

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European Space Boss Has 'Crazy' Moon Village Plan

The European Space Agency's new boss elaborated Friday on his vision for a multinational research village on the Moon -- a leading contender for a project to succeed the International Space Station.

For now, it is just an idea -- called "crazy" by some -- but one that Jan Woerner said was being widely discussed as the end of the ISS looms large.

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'Exhilarated' British Astronaut Starts First Spacewalk

Astronaut Tim Peake on Friday became the first Briton to walk in space, undertaking a tricky mission to replace an electrical unit while under cover of darkness.

Peake and US colleague Tim Kopra switched their spacesuits on to battery power at 7:48 am (1248 GMT), marking the official start of the floating debut for Peake, who is also the first British astronaut to fly to the orbiting International Space Station.

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China Shoots for First Landing on Dark Side of the Moon

China will launch a mission to land on the dark side of the moon in two years' time, state media reported, in what will be a first for humanity.

The moon's far hemisphere is never directly visible from Earth and while it has been photographed, with the first images appearing in 1959, it has never been explored.

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Gravitational Wave Rumors Ripple through Science World

Rumors are rippling through the science world that physicists may have detected gravitational waves, a key element of Einstein's theory which if confirmed would be one of the biggest discoveries of our time.

There has been no announcement, no peer review or publication of the findings -- all typically important steps in the process of releasing reliable and verifiable scientific research.

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Time Running Out for Comet Probe Philae

Scientists will send a few final prods to robot lab Philae, incommunicado on the surface of a comet hurtling through space, but hopes for a reply are running out, they said Tuesday.

A last-chance maneuver was attempted Sunday to shift the tiny lander into a sunnier angle for its battery-replenishing solar panels.

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Canadian Pilot Dies after Falling into Antarctic Crevasse

A Canadian helicopter pilot has died after plunging 20 meters (66 feet) down a crevasse when he landed on a remote ice shelf in Antarctica, Australian officials said Tuesday.

David Wood, 62, was winched out of the deep crack after two hours by specialist officers from Australia's Davis scientific research station.

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