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  1. European Mars mission funding approved even after test lander's crash

    A full-size model of the European ExoMars entry, descent and landing module, Schiaparell is seen during a press conference at the European Space Agency (ESA) Headquarters in DarmstadtEuropean space agency (ESA) member states have approved another 450 million euros ($479 million) in funding for the ExoMars mission to the Red Planet, even after a test lander that was part of the program crashed in October, ESA said on Friday. The European-Russian ExoMars program sent a gas-sniffing orbiter and the test lander to Mars this year to search for signs of past or present life on the Red Planet and to lay the groundwork for a rover that is due to follow in 2020. The Schiaparelli lander crashed after a sensor failure caused it to cast away its parachute and turn off braking thrusters more than two miles (3.7 km) above the surface of the planet, as though it had already landed.


  2. Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin recovering well after Antarctic evacuation

    Buzz Aldrin testifies at space competitiveness hearing on Capitol Hill in WashingtonFormer U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, posted photos on Saturday of his recovery in a New Zealand hospital after he was evacuated from the South Pole due to illness. Aldrin, 86, who was visiting the pole as part of a tourist group, was flown to Christchurch, New Zealand, early on Friday local time when his condition deteriorated. Aldrin appeared in good spirits on Saturday after receiving a visit from NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman at Christchurch Hospital.


  3. Russian cargo ship destroyed after launch for Space Station

    Russian Progress MS-04 space cargo ship with food and supplies for International Space Station blasts off from launch pad at Baikonur cosmodromeBy Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - An unmanned Russian cargo ship loaded with more than 2-1/2 tons of food and supplies for the International Space Station broke apart about six minutes after liftoff on Thursday, Russia's space agency Roscosmos said in a statement. A Soyuz rocket carrying the Progress capsule blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan as planned at 9:51 a.m. EST, a NASA TV broadcast showed. The six-member crew aboard the International Space Station is not in any danger and has enough supplies for several months, NASA said.


  4. Facebook developing artificial intelligence to flag offensive live videos

    A man poses with a magnifier in front of a Facebook logo on display in this illustration taken in SarajevoBy Kristina Cooke MENLO PARK, Calif. (Reuters) - Facebook Inc is working on automatically flagging offensive material in live video streams, building on a growing effort to use artificial intelligence to monitor content, said Joaquin Candela, the company’s director of applied machine learning. Facebook has historically relied mostly on users to report offensive posts, which are then checked by Facebook employees against company "community standards." Decisions on especially thorny content issues that might require policy changes are made by top executives at the company. Candela told reporters that Facebook increasingly was using artificial intelligence to find offensive material.


  5. SpaceX aims for December 16 return to flight, customer Iridium says

    By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Tech billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX hopes to return its Falcon 9 rocket to flight on Dec. 16, said Iridium Communications Inc, which plans to have 10 of its satellites on board for launching. The launch is contingent on approval by the Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees U.S. commercial space transportation, Iridium said on Thursday. “We are looking forward to return to flight,” SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement from Iridium.  SpaceX suspended flights after one of its rockets burst into flames on Sept. 1 as it was being fueled for a routine prelaunch test at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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