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U.S. Astronauts Conduct Spacewalk to Repair ISS

A pair of American astronauts stepped outside the International Space Station Wednesday for a spacewalk to do repairs and upkeep at the orbiting outpost, NASA said.

Reid Wiseman and Barry "Butch" Wilmore finished their spacewalk after six hours and 34 minutes, right on schedule, the U.S. space agency said.

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Rare Comet Fly-by of Mars on Sunday

A fast-moving comet is about to fly by Mars for a one-in-a-million-year encounter with the Red Planet, photographed and documented by a flurry of spacecraft, NASA said.

The comet, known as Siding Spring (C/2013 A1), has a core about a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide in diameter, but is only as solid as a pile of talcum powder.

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Australia Aims to End Extinction of Native Wildlife by 2020

Australia's Environment Minister Greg Hunt has pledged to end the extinction of native mammal species by 2020, with a focus on culprits such as feral cats.

Hunt said Australia had the worst rate of mammal loss in the world and the nation's "greatest failure" in environmental policy was protecting threatened species.

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Total Croc: Toothy Tyrant of the Jurassic Was 9m Long

A forerunner of today's crocodiles that lurked in coastal waters and estuaries some 150 million years ago measured 9.26 meters (some 30 feet) from snout to tail, scientists reported Wednesday.

Paleontologists from half a dozen European countries took a fresh look at the classification of so-called crocodylomorphs that go by the name of Machimosaurus.

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Horn Free: Lagos Tries to Tackle Noise Pollution

Nigeria's chaotic megacity Lagos on Wednesday sought to impose a one-day ban on the use of the car horn, hoping to raise awareness about damaging noise pollution and improve quality of life.

The occasional honk still rang out on the crowded streets of the country's financial capital yet drivers, public transport users and pedestrians said they noticed that things were a bit quieter.

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Study: Humans May Only Survive 68 Days on Mars

Space enthusiasts planning a move to Mars may have to wait to relocate: conditions on the Red Planet are such that humans would likely begin dying within 68 days, a new study says.

Oxygen levels would start to deplete after about two months and scientists said new technologies are required before humans can permanently settle on Mars, according to the study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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Green Power Floods Japan Grid as Premium Prices Bite

Japan's utilities say they are being swamped by green power because of rules forcing them to buy up every last watt produced from renewable sources, as new generating companies seek to cash in on premium prices.

Power firms say the grid does not have enough capacity to cope with the rocketing levels of electricity that is coming from a growing number of solar power facilities, possibly risking blackouts.

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IEA: Africa Must Reform Energy Sector to Boost Growth

Sub-Saharan Africa's energy sector needs overhauling to help power its economic and social prosperity, the IEA said on Monday.

The International Energy Agency, unveiling its first-ever Africa Energy Outlook at a London press conference, said increasing access to modern forms of energy was critical in a region where two-thirds of the population -- or 620 million people -- currently live without electricity.

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Pentagon: Climate Change 'Immediate' National Security Risk

Rising global temperatures, rapidly melting arctic ice and other effects of climate change are posing immediate risks to U.S. national security and military and humanitarian operations, the Pentagon warned Monday.

In a comprehensive report billed as a roadmap for adapting to climate change, the Defense Department said it has begun to boost its "resilience" and ensure mission readiness is not compromised in the face of rising sea levels, increasing regularity of natural disasters, and food and water shortages in the developing world.

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With their Mark on Earth, Humans May Name Era, Too

People are changing Earth so much, warming and polluting it, that many scientists are turning to a new way to describe the time we live in. They're calling it the Anthropocene — the age of humans.

Though most non-experts don't realize it, science calls the past 12,000 years the Holocene, Greek for "entirely recent." But the way humans and their industries are altering the planet, especially its climate, has caused an increasing number of scientists to use the word Anthropocene to better describe when and where we are.

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