Health care workers prepare to transport a COVID-19 patient from an intensive care unit (ICU) at a hospital in Kyjov to hospital in Brno, Czech Republic, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. With cases surging in central Europe, some countries are calling in soldiers, firefighters, students and retired doctors to help shore up buckling health care systems. (AP Photo)

MADRID — Spain’s parliament has voted to keep the country’s state of emergency in place until May 2021 to try to rein in the resurging coronavirus pandemic.

The government and parliament agreed Thursday to vote again in March on possibly ending the state of emergency.

Spain announced its second nationwide state of emergency Sunday, imposing an 11 p.m.-6 a.m. nationwide curfew, except in the Canary Islands. It allows the country’s 17 regions to set more restrictions, such as regional border closures.

FILE – In this Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020 file photo, Healthcare workers put a nasal swab sample from a patient into a plastic bag during a test day at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in Antwerp, Belgium. Small, yet so divided, Belgium is hit hard again by the pandemic, and now has some of the worst results to show in Europe during the resurgence of the Coronavirus, it is revealed Tuesday Oct. 27, 2020. (AP Photo)

Last week, Spain became the first European country to surpass 1 million officially recorded coronavirus cases. The death toll is at least 35,000. Health experts say the true figure could be three times higher because of a lack of testing and reporting.

An Indian family wearing face masks as a precaution against the coronavirus bargain for a ride with an autorickshaw driver in Bengaluru, India, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. India’s confirmed coronavirus caseload surpassed 8 million on Thursday with daily infections dipping to the lowest level this week, as concerns grew over a major Hindu festival season and winter setting in. India’s trajectory is moving toward the worst-hit country, the United States, which has over 8.8 million cases. (AP Photo)

___

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— France prepares for monthlong partial lockdown

— Pope Francis ends general public audiences amid virus surge in Italy

— Germany’s Merkel says to expect a “difficult winter”

— Central Europe sounds the alarm as a surge of virus cases hit a region short of medical workers

— India’s cases surpass 8 million as concerns grow over Hindu festivals, winter and social distancing fatigue

— On the road in Mississippi, AP finds a story of love in the time of coronavirus

___

— Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s prime minister says he’ll try to avoid a national lock-down as long as possible despite a steep spike in infections.

Mateusz Morawiecki spoke a new temporary hospital for up to 1,200 COVID-19 patients that’s been readied at the National Stadium in Warsaw but is not in use yet.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks via video conference into a press room at EU headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. The European Commission on Wednesday, is launching an additional set of actions, to help limit the spread of the coronavirus, save lives and strengthen the internal market’s resilience. (AP Photo)

Morawiecki appealed to all citizens to strictly observe distancing and hygiene rules to help prevent the hospitals from filling up.

Poland reached more than 20,100 new daily cases of infection on Thursday, raising the total to nearly 320,000 in the central European nation of 38 million.

All of Poland is a “red zone” since Saturday, meaning that masks must be worn outdoors, shops have limits of clients, restaurants can only do takeout food and fitness centers are closed.

Morawiecki appealed to people demonstrating against a recent tightening of the abortion law to refrain from more street protests because they may spread the virus.

___

LONDON — Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says restrictions are working to limit the resurgence of the coronavirus.

While announcing a new five-tiered system for restrictions in the country, Sturgeon says the “early” decision to impose restrictions are reducing the growth of new infections.

FILE – In this Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020 file photo, medical staff work in the intensive care ward for COVID-19 patients at the CHR Citadelle hospital in Liege, Belgium. Small, yet so divided, Belgium is hit hard again by the pandemic, and now has some of the worst results to show in Europe during the resurgence of the Coronavirus, it is revealed Tuesday Oct. 27, 2020. (AP Photo)

She told Scottish lawmakers in Edinburgh there were “some encouraging signs,” with new cases increasing by only 4% on a weekly basis compared with 40% two weeks ago.

The Scottish government closed pubs and restaurants across central Scotland on Oct. 9, including in the two biggest cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The other nations of Britain — England, Wales and Northern Ireland — also have tightened restrictions.

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MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Madison will resume enrolling patients for a coronavirus vaccine trial next week.

Thirty-six people had received the first of two shots before the study at the School of Medicine and Public Health was paused in September.

The study is for a coronavirus vaccine produced by Oxford University and the British pharmaceutical manufacturer AstraZeneca, which announced last Friday that testing would resume after it got clearance from the Food and Drug Administration.

Testing of AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate was paused after a study volunteer developed a serious health issue. Such temporary halts of drug and vaccine testing are relatively common. It allows researchers time to investigate whether an illness is a side effect or a coincidence.

A health officer in protective suit gives hand sanitizer to another at a COVID-19 testing center in Dharmsala, India, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. (AP Photo)

The school will resume enrolling volunteers, Wisconsin Public Radio News reported.

On Wednesday, the state reported 3,800 new coronavirus cases and 45 deaths, bringing the death toll to 1,897 in Wisconsin. The positivity rate for the most recent seven-day period was the state’s highest at 27.2%.

There were a record 1,439 people hospitalized with the virus in the state Wednesday, including 339 patients in intensive care.

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BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania’s infections spiked to more than 6,000 daily cases on Thursday.

The 6,481 cases were a record for a second consecutive day, bringing the total number of infections to 229,040 since late February.

President Klaus Iohannis says the central government is not considering a national lockdown. Some localities have stepped up restrictive measures in recent days to stem the spread of the virus.

Romania has reported 6,764 deaths from the pandemic.

___

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican is ending Pope Francis’ general audiences with the public amid a surge in coronavirus cases in Italy and a confirmed infection at last week’s encounter.

The Vatican says Francis would resume livestreaming his weekly catechism lessons from his library in the Apostolic Palace, as he did during the Vatican’s coronavirus lockdown during the spring and summer.

Francis resumed his Wednesday general audiences on Sept. 2 in a Vatican courtyard with limited numbers of faithful.

Francis’ decision to not wear a mask during his audiences has drawn criticism on social media, especially when he would greet prelates at the end of the audience. The Vatican said Thursday that someone who attended the Oct. 21 audience tested positive, though it didn’t say if that person was among those who greeted the pontiff.

___

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin assured there’s no plans to impose a nationwide lockdown, despite reaching a daily record of 17,717 new infections on Thursday.

”(We) are not planning to impose all-out restrictive measures, launch a so-called nationwide lockdown, when the economy and businesses shut down completely,” Putin said at an investment forum. “Despite a difficult epidemiological situation, right now we’re much better prepared for working during an epidemic.”

Russia has had a resurgence of the coronavirus in the past two months, with new infections spiking from 5,000 a day in early September to more than 16,000 a day this week. Reports have surfaced about overwhelmed hospitals, drug shortages and inundated medical workers.

Russia has the world’s fourth-largest tally of confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 1.5 million. The government’s coronavirus task force has reported more than 27,000 deaths.

___

CAIRO — The World Health Organization says the coronavirus pandemic has reached “an alarming juncture” in Eastern Mediterranean countries.

Speaking at a virtual news conference in Cairo on Thursday, Rana Hajjeh, WHO Director of Program Management said: “There are about 3 million confirmed cases in the region and the number of COVID-19 associated deaths exceeds 75,000, with an overall death rate of 2.5%.”

She added the region has recently seen the highest weekly number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Our first and foremost line of defense in the battle against COVID-19 remains preventive public health and social measures,” said Hajjeh, noting the need for more wearing of masks and social distancing in the region.

The WHO Eastern Mediterranean comprises 21 states and the Palestinian territories, with a total population of more than 580 million.

___

PRAGUE — The Czech Parliament has approved a government plan to allow up to 300 military medical personnel from NATO and EU countries to help with the coronavirus.

The first group of 28 medical staff is expected from the U.S. National Guard.

The Czech Republic’s daily increase in confirmed cases reached a record 15,663 on Tuesday. There’s been 297,013 confirmed cases, including more than half — 157,000 — in the last two weeks.

Also, a new health minister was sworn in. Jan Blatny is replacing epidemiologist Roman Prymula who was dismissed after he was photographed visiting a restaurant.

Restaurants and bars are closed in the country as part of the tight regulations imposed to curb the surge. Prymula denied wrongdoing, saying he went through the restaurant to a private space for a meeting, but offered his resignation.

Blatny, a specialist in pediatric hematology, was deputy director of the University Hospital in the second largest Czech city of Brno. The Czech Republic has reported 2,675 deaths in a country of 10 million.

___

PARIS — Doctors are expressing relief and business owners despair as France prepares to shut down for a month to try to put the brakes on a fast-moving fall coronavirus outbreak.

Shoppers at a Paris farmers’ market say they were ready to relinquish some freedom given the country’s rising number of virus-related deaths and COVID-19 patients filling French hospitals.

The new lockdown is gentler than the one the French government ordered in the spring, but restaurants and other non-essential businesses have been ordered to close their doors in one of the world’s biggest economies.

French schools will stay open this time to reduce learning gaps and allow parents to keep working. Farmer’ markets, parks and factories can continue operating, officials say.

___

BERLIN — Germany has begun taking in COVID-19 patients from neighboring countries like it did during the height of the pandemic’s first wave in the spring.

Germany has seen a sharp rise in confirmed virus cases in recent weeks, but the number of new daily infections remains below those even in smaller neighboring countries.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech about German government’s policies to combat the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19 disease at the parliament Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. (AP Photo)

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement to The Associated Press on Thursday that two patients from the Netherlands and two from Belgium have been transferred to hospitals in western Germany in recent days.

In the spring, Germany took in 232 patients requiring intensive care from France, Italy and the Netherlands.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has stressed the country remains ready to help allies again, including through a new European coordination office that’s received 220 million euros ($258 million) in funding.

___

WARSAW, Poland — Poland has registered another sharp spike in confirmed coronavirus cases with a new daily record of more than 20,100.

The spike, from almost 19,000 Wednesday, raised the possibility of the government further tightening restrictions that already call for masks to be worn outdoors and restrictions on shopping, restaurants and fitness activities.

People arrive to be tested for COVID-19 in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, Oct.22, 2020. With cases surging in central Europe, some countries are calling in soldiers, firefighters, students and retired doctors to help shore up buckling health care systems. Many faced a shortage of medical personnel even before the pandemic, and now the virus has sickened many health workers, compounding the shortfall. (AP Photo)

The most affected regions in the nation of 38 million are Poznan, in the west, Warsaw, in central Poland, and Silesia, in the south.

The country also reported 301 more virus-related deaths on Thursday, including 46 people who died of COVID-19 and 255 of the disease combined with other health problems. Health Ministry says Poland has 320,000 confirmed cases and nearly 5,150 deaths.

___

NAIROBI, Kenya — Africa’s top public health official says the time is now to prepare for a second wave of coronavirus on the continent as countries such as Kenya see infections creep up.

John Nkengasong with the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Africa is at a “pivotal period and a very trying moment” as confirmed cases surge again in Europe and elsewhere.

He says Africa has made many gains against the coronavirus since the pandemic began and faces a delicate balance as African nations aren’t rapidly locking down like earlier in the year.

“We cannot be saving lives and not the economy,” said Nkengasong, adding the only way to avoid further lockdowns is by increasing public health measures.

Testing for the virus in Africa’ remains relatively low with just 18 million tests conducted so far. The 54-nation continent has over 1.7 million confirmed virus cases — an increase of less than 1% from the previous week — and more than 42,000 virus-related deaths.

____

BERLIN — Switzerland’s top spy has contracted the coronavirus.

The NDB intelligence service says its head, Jean-Philippe Gaudin, tested positive Wednesday and is self-isolating.

The agency says Gaudin isn’t displaying any symptoms and is continuing to work from home.

This month, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, his two deputies and other staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.

___

LONDON — The British government is insisting that a national lockdown would not be the right approach to deal with the resurgence of the coronavirus even as other countries in Europe are choosing variations of that route.

A day after France and Germany ratcheted up their national responses to contain surges in new infections, hospitalizations and deaths, Britain’s Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said it is “right we try everything in our powers to avoid a blanket national lockdown.”

He said the virus is “very concentrated in some places” so the correct approach is to target restrictions on those areas with the worst outbreaks.

The British government, which is responsible for public health in England, has set out a three-tiered approach to the virus’ resurgence. In addition to national restrictions such as limiting public gatherings, there are tighter measures in parts of the country where the virus is most prevalent, such as large sections of northern England.

___

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel told Germans to expect a “difficult winter” as the number of newly reported coronavirus cases in the country hit a new high.

Merkel spoke Thursday in Parliament a day after she and the governors of Germany’s 16 states agreed upon far-reaching restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, including the closure of bars and restaurants, limits on social contacts and bans on concerts and other public events.

Germany’s disease control agency said local health authorities reported 16,774 new positive tests for COVID-19 in the past day, pushing the country’s total close to half a million. The Robert Koch Institute also recorded 89 additional deaths, taking the total to 10,272.

Merkel told lawmakers that Germany is in a “dramatic situation” as it goes into winter, which she said would be “four long, difficult months. But it will end.”

The long-time German leader said authorities had no choice but to drastically reduce social contacts as three-quarters of infections can’t be traced be traced anymore.

“If we wait until the ICUs are full, then it will be too late,” she said.

___

BRUSSELS — The number of patients in Belgian hospitals is higher than during the first wave of the coronavirus crisis.

The latest figures showed that 5,924 patients were in hospital, surpassing the previous April 6 record of 5,759. The figures by the Sciensano center underscored the seriousness of the situation, which already pushed authorities to reinforce measures which they had relaxed only a month ago.

Patients in intensive care units reached 993, and virologists have said that unless tougher measures having a quick impact the saturation point of 2,000 patients will be reached on Nov. 6.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo promised tougher measures across the nation to avoid a breakdown of the country’s health system.

___

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The first iPhone went on sale 10 years ago today

The first #iPhone went on sale 10 years ago today — here's how @Steve Jobs announced it https://www.facebook.com/imagemagazinenews/posts/510362259306278 ➡ http://www.businessinsider.com/watch-steve-jobs-first-iphone-10-years-ago-legendary-keynote-macworld-sale-2017-6/#jobs-took-to-the-stage-in-his-trademark-black-turtleneck-sweater-for-the-now-legendary-presentation-in-january-1
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The first iPhone went on sale 10 years ago today

Chinese Largesse Lures Countries to Its Belt and Road Initiative

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s plan to revive an ancient trade route connecting the Middle Kingdom, Central Asia and Europe has...
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Chinese Largesse Lures Countries to Its Belt and Road Initiative

RadioShack Files for Bankruptcy

Electronics Retailer to Sell as Many as 2,400 Stores to Standard General RadioShack Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection. Illustration:...
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RadioShack Files for Bankruptcy

Staples buys Office Depot to fight internet competition

Staples tried to buy Office Depot in 1997, but the move was rejected by US regulators US office supply store...
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Staples buys Office Depot to fight internet competition

US economy adds 252,000 jobs in December

The US economy added 252,000 jobs in December, while the unemployment rate fell to 5.6% from 5.8%, according to Labor...
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US economy adds 252,000 jobs in December

US adds 321,000 jobs in November

The US economy added 321,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate stayed at 5.8%, official Labor Department figures show....
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Swiss, French call to bring home gold reserves as Dutch move 122 tons out of US

The financial crisis in Europe is prompting some nations to repatriate their gold reserves to national vaults. The Netherlands has...
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Swiss, French call to bring home gold reserves as Dutch move 122 tons out of US

OPEC Refuses to Cut Production, Oil Plunges off the Chart

The global oil glut, as some call it, is caused by the toxic mix of soaring production in the US...
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OPEC Refuses to Cut Production, Oil Plunges off the Chart

Science

China prepares for return of lunar probe with moon samples

In this China National Space Administration (CNSA) photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a simulated image of the ascender of...
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China prepares for return of lunar probe with moon samples

Gen Chuck Yeager, ‘Right Stuff’ test pilot who broke sound barrier, dead at 97

FILE PHOTO: General Chuck Yeager, the first person to break the sound barrier, speaks to a crowd December 16, 2003...
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Gen Chuck Yeager, ‘Right Stuff’ test pilot who broke sound barrier, dead at 97

Japanese space officials eager to analyze asteroid samples

In this photo provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), a capsule, center, dropped by Hayabusa2 is seen before...
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Japanese space officials eager to analyze asteroid samples

Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope, already damaged, collapses

This satellite image provided by 2020 Maxar Technologies shows the damaged radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico,...
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Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope, already damaged, collapses

China launches mission to bring back material from moon

A Long March-5 rocket carrying the Chang'e 5 lunar mission lifts off at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Wenchang...
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China launches mission to bring back material from moon

Pfizer ends vaccine trial with 95% success rate, paving way for a shot this year

FILE PHOTO: Syringes are seen in front of displayed Biontech and Pfizer logos in this illustration taken November 10, 2020....
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Pfizer ends vaccine trial with 95% success rate, paving way for a shot this year

SpaceX and NASA set for first operational astronaut mission to space

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, topped with the Crew Dragon capsule, is readied to carry four astronauts on the first...
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SpaceX and NASA set for first operational astronaut mission to space

Why NASA’s moonshot, Boeing, Bezos and Musk have a lot riding on U.S. election

FILE PHOTO: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from pad 39A with the seventh batch of SpaceX broadband network...
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Why NASA’s moonshot, Boeing, Bezos and Musk have a lot riding on U.S. election

Potential sign of alien life detected on inhospitable Venus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists said on Monday they have detected in the harshly acidic clouds of Venus a gas called...
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Potential sign of alien life detected on inhospitable Venus

SpaceX wins launch of United States Air Force X-37B space plane

#SpaceX wins #launch of United States Air Force X-37B #space #plane https://www.facebook.com/imagemagazinenews/posts/485598805115957 https://twitter.com/imagealerts/status/872240916291080196 ➡ http://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-spacex-idUSKBN18X2SV #UnitedStates
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SpaceX wins launch  of United States Air Force X-37B space plane

Researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia say they have created an artificial womb

Researchers at the Children's Hospital of #Philadelphia say they have created an #artificial #womb to improve #care for #extremely #premature...
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Researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia say they have created an artificial womb

Donald J. Trump​ congratulating NASA’s Peggy Whitson‏

#CongratsPeggy #PeggyWhitson‏   Donald J. Trump​ congratulating NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration​s Peggy Whitson‏ President Donald Trump congratulated...
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Donald J. Trump​ congratulating NASA’s Peggy Whitson‏

World’s oldest fossilized blood vessels found inside 240mn-yr-old bones (VIDEO)

Scientists in Poland have discovered the world’s oldest preserved fossilized blood vessels inside the bones of reptiles that became extinct...
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World’s oldest fossilized blood vessels found inside 240mn-yr-old bones (VIDEO)

NASA: US Space Agency Successfully Tests RS-25 Rocket Engine for Potential Mars Travel

Engine Test Marks Major Milestone on NASA’s Journey to Mars NASA engineers conduct a successfully test firing of RS-25 rocket...
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NASA: US Space Agency Successfully Tests RS-25 Rocket Engine for Potential Mars Travel

Apollo 10 astronauts heard mysterious ‘music’ on the dark side of the moon, newly uncovered tapes reveal

While orbiting the moon in 1969, the Apollo 10 team heard 'weird music' They were on the far side of...
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Apollo 10 astronauts heard mysterious ‘music’ on the dark side of the moon, newly uncovered tapes reveal

World’s largest concentrated solar plant switches on in the Sahara

Morocco has switched on what will be the world's largest concentrated solar power plant. The new site near the city...
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World’s largest concentrated solar plant switches on in the Sahara

Ninth planet may have been discovered, researchers say

(CNN)You might have a replacement, Pluto. There could be another planet in our solar system. Researchers at the California Institute...
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Ninth planet may have been discovered, researchers say

Prepare for a Celestial Spectacle as Five Planets Align

Five planets will parade across the dawn sky early Wednesday in a rare celestial spectacle set to repeat every morning...
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Prepare for a Celestial Spectacle as Five Planets Align

SpaceX Makes History: Falcon 9 Launches, Lands Vertically

SpaceX completed an historic vertical landing of its Falcon 9 rocket on Monday night — the first time such a...
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SpaceX Makes History: Falcon 9 Launches, Lands Vertically

Mars: NASA Reveals Red Planet Contains Both Frozen, Liquid Water

NASA revealed today liquid water has been found on the surface of Mars -- upending the perception of Mars as...
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Mars: NASA Reveals Red Planet Contains Both Frozen, Liquid Water

SpaceX Launches Observatory on 3rd Try, Nixes Landing Test

SpaceX launched an observatory inspired by former Vice President Al Gore toward a solar-storm lookout point a million miles away...
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SpaceX Launches Observatory on 3rd Try, Nixes Landing Test

Rings Like Saturn’s, but Supersized

Living large: Artist's conception of the giant ring system Ron Miller Think you've seen big rings in our own solar...
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Rings Like Saturn’s, but Supersized

Vast 5,000 year-old underground city discovered in Turkey

Researchers discovered these ruins from an underground city in Turkey's Central Anatolian region in this Dec. 28, 2014 file photo....
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Vast 5,000 year-old underground city discovered in Turkey

Nasa’s Orion spaceship makes splashdown

  BBC News, Cape Canaveral Nasa put up a drone to watch Orion drop down into the Pacific Ocean The...
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Nasa’s Orion spaceship makes splashdown

Watch NASA Orion launch video: Spaceship set to take humans to Mars 1st test flight

The first unmanned test flight of NASA's Orion Spacecraft is blasting off atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape...
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Watch NASA Orion launch video: Spaceship set to take humans to Mars 1st test flight

Orion Exploration Flight Test-1

NASA’s Orion spacecraft, is set to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket December 4, 2014. The...
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Orion Exploration Flight Test-1

Philae lander ‘sniffed’ organic molecules on comet before hibernation

The Philae lander has managed to discover carbon-based organic molecules on a Comet 67P some 500 million kilometers from Earth...
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Philae lander ‘sniffed’ organic molecules on comet before hibernation

Philae probe makes historic landing on comet

Rosetta mission’s safe landing gives scientists their first chance to ride a comet and study close up what happens as...
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Philae probe makes historic landing on comet