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Deal with Oil Giant Helps Near-Extinct Whale Recover

A decade ago, there were just 115 western gray whales left in the world, and their feeding grounds near Russia's Sakhalin Island, north of Japan, were being drilled for oil. 

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Launch Pad Blast Destroys SpaceX Rocket, Facebook Satellite

An unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launch pad during a test in Florida on Thursday, destroying a satellite that Facebook planned to use to beam high-speed internet to Africa.

The blast at Cape Canaveral -- though it caused no injuries -- marks a setback for the California-based private space firm and its founder, internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, who wants to revolutionize the launch industry by making rocket components reusable.

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Spacewalking U.S. Astronauts to Fix, Improve ISS

Two U.S. astronauts aboard the International Space Station began a spacewalk Thursday to make repairs and install new equipment.

Americans Jeff Williams, 58, and Kate Rubins, 37, emerged from the ISS at 1153 GMT for a mission expected to last about six and a half hours.

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Fossil Find Points to Life on Earth 3.7 Billion Years Ago

Life on Earth is even older than we thought, Australian scientists said Thursday as they unveiled fossils dating back a staggering 3.7 billion years.

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Human Relative 'Lucy' Died in Fall from Tree, Study Suggests

Lucy, an ancient ape-like human relative, met a brutal end when she plummeted from a tall tree, new analysis of the famous fossil suggested Monday -- offering a solution to a decades-old mystery.

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Mars Isolation Experiment in Hawaii Ends

The six people who went into isolation for a year in Hawaii to help NASA plan for a mission to Mars emerged Sunday, happy to breathe fresh air and meet new people.

The team was based on a barren, northern slope of Mauna Loa, living inside a dome that is 36 feet (11 meters) in diameter and 20 feet tall.

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From Solo Cup to an Asteroid: NASA's Newest Space Mission

The idea for a device that could unveil the origins of life in our solar system began with a Solo cup.

Next month, an invention inspired by that plastic, disposable beverage cup will launch into space aboard the United States' first robotic mission aimed at scooping up 4.5 billion-year-old dust from an asteroid.

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U.S. Astronauts Begin Spacewalk to Install New Docking Port

With more private spaceship traffic expected at the International Space Station in the coming years, two U.S. astronauts embarked on a spacewalk Friday to install a special parking spot for them.

The spacewalk began at 8:04 (1204 GMT) when Americans Jeff Williams and Kate Rubins switched their spacesuits to internal battery power.

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China Launches World First Quantum Satellite

China launched the world's first quantum satellite Tuesday, state media reported, in an effort to harness the power of particle physics to build an unbreakable system of encrypted communications.

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Scientists Warn Anthrax Just One Threat as Russian Permafrost Melts

A recent anthrax outbreak in the far north of Russia left a child dead, 23 people infected and the government scrambling to deploy hundreds of rescue workers and soldiers to stop any further spread.

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