Two U.S. astronauts floated outside the International Space Station on Wednesday to replace a failed computer that serves as a backup to critical control systems, including the outpost's solar panel wings. Flight engineers Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson left the station's Quest airlock just after 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT) for what was expected to be a 2-1/2-hour spacewalk. They carried with them a spare computer to be installed in the central section of the station's exterior power truss. "It looks like a great day to take a walk in space," Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen radioed to the crew from NASA's Mission Control in Houston.
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - The chance of a city-killing asteroid striking Earth is higher than scientists previously believed, a non-profit group building an asteroid-hunting telescope said on Tuesday. A global network that listens for nuclear weapons detonations detected 26 asteroids that exploded in Earth's atmosphere from 2000 to 2013, data collected by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization shows. "There is a popular misconception that asteroid impacts are extraordinarily rare ... that's incorrect," said former astronaut Ed Lu, who now heads the California-based B612 Foundation. The foundation on Tuesday released a video visualization of the asteroid strikes in an attempt to raise public awareness of the threat.
Sun seekers who leave northern Europe for warmer climes are marginally less happy than those left behind, a study found. A sample of more than 300 migrants from Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Britain who resettled in Mediterranean countries found that they were slightly less satisfied with life than a much larger sample of 56,000 people living in northern countries. The sun lovers scored 7.3 out of a possible 10 on average on a "happiness" scale while the stay-at-homes came in at an average of 7.5 percent, according to the study released on Wednesday by Dr David Bartram, a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology at England's University of Leicester. "The key finding from the analysis is that people from northern Europe who migrated to southern Europe are less happy than the stayers in northern Europe," Bartram said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The first of six U.S. test sites chosen to perform unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) research will start flight operations during the week of May 5, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said on Monday. The site in North Dakota will begin using a Draganflyer X4ES small UAS, with the initial goal to agricultural research including checking soil quality and the status of crops. (Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Doina Chiacu)
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russians with smartphones and dashboard cameras captured footage of a meteor that flashed across the night sky near the Arctic Circle over the weekend. There were no reports of damage but the ball of fire raised eyebrows after a meteorite crashed to Earth near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013, shattering windows, damaging buildings and injuring more than 1,200 people. ...