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Twin Probes to Circle Moon to Study Gravity Field

The moon has come a long way since Galileo first peered at it through a telescope. Unmanned probes have circled around it and landed on its surface. Twelve American astronauts have walked on it. And lunar rocks and soil have been hauled back from it.

Despite being well studied, Earth's closest neighbor remains an enigma.

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San Francisco Bay Oil Spill Damaged Herring

A new study says the 2007 cargo ship accident that dumped tens of thousands of gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay has caused lasting damage to the region's herring population.

The study released Monday found that Pacific herring embryos collected from shorelines left coated in oil after the Cosco Busan spill suffered unusually high death rates.

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Indonesia Volcano Eruption Panics Villagers

One of Indonesia's most active volcanoes erupted Tuesday, spewing clouds of ash and panicking villagers but no evacuation has been ordered so far, a government volcanologist said.

The first eruption at Mount Lokon was at 3:07 am (1907 GMT Monday), followed by two more bursts within minutes, Farid Bina told Agence France Presse from a monitoring post near the volcano on Sulawesi island.

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China's Satellite Navigation System Live

China's home-grown satellite navigation system launched a limited positioning service Tuesday, the official Xinhua news agency said, as the country seeks to break its dependence on foreign technology.

China started building its space-based navigation network in 2000 to stop it having to rely on the U.S.-controlled Global Positioning System (GPS), and previous reports have said it will provide a worldwide service by 2020.

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Electricity Sparks New Life into Indonesia's Corals

Cyanide fishing and rising water temperatures had decimated corals off Bali until a diver inspired by a German scientist's pioneering work on organic architecture helped develop a project now replicated worldwide.

Based on "Biorock" technology (http://www.globalcoral.org), it is implemented in 20 countries, mainly in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific.

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Japan Probe Finds Nuclear Disaster Response Failed

Japan's response to the nuclear crisis that followed the March 11 tsunami was confused and riddled with problems, including an erroneous assumption an emergency cooling system was working and a delay in disclosing dangerous radiation leaks, a report revealed Monday.

The disturbing picture of harried and bumbling workers and government officials scrambling to respond to the problems at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was depicted in the report detailing a government investigation.

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Capture of Rare Sumatran Rhino Gives Hope for Species

Malaysian wildlife authorities said Monday the capture of a young female Borneo Sumatran rhino had given them a last chance to save the highly endangered species from extinction.

The female rhino, aged between 10 and 12 years old, was caught on December 18 and is being kept in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Sabah on the Malaysian area of Borneo island where it is hoped it will breed with a lone captive male.

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With Snow Scarce, Northern U.S. Has Brown Christmas

Dreams of a white Christmas are hanging by a thread in the North, where unusually mild weather has left the ground bare in many places — a welcome reprieve for people who don't like shoveling, but a lump of coal in the stockings of outdoor sports buffs who miss their winter wonderland.

From New England to the Dakotas and even parts of the Northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest, snowfall has been well below normal through the fall and early winter with cold air bottled up over Canada. Golf courses were open this week in Minneapolis, which a year ago was digging out from a storm that dumped more than 17 inches of snow and collapsed the Metrodome roof. Many downhill ski resorts are making snow to compensate for nature's stinginess.

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Rare Malaysian Rhino Gets New Mate to Save Species

Malaysian wildlife authorities said they have captured a female Borneo Sumatran rhino who will be paired with a new mate in a breeding program meant to save their species from extinction.

The plan is the cornerstone of efforts to preserve the bristly, snub-nosed animal, whose numbers have fallen to fewer than 40 in the jungles of Borneo island.

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Russian Spacecraft Delivers 3 to Orbiting Station

A Soyuz spacecraft safely delivered a Russian, an American and a Dutchman to the International Space Station on Friday, restoring the permanent crew to six members for the first time since September.

But just as concerns over the reliability of the Soyuz have eased, a different version of the Soyuz rocket failed Friday during an unmanned launch. It was the latest in a string of spectacular launch failures that have raised questions about the state of Russia's space industry.

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