By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Water that leaked into an astronaut’s helmet after a spacewalk on Wednesday poses no threat, clearing the way for another outing to rig the International Space Station for new space taxis, NASA said on Friday. Space station flight engineer Terry Virts was back in the station’s airlock on Wednesday following a successful spacewalk when he noticed a small amount of water in his helmet. Another astronaut nearly drowned during a July 2013 spacewalk due to a helmet leak. Virts, who was making his second spacewalk in a week, was never in any danger, NASA said.
By Colin Packham SYDNEY (Reuters) - Scientists say they have discovered a black hole so big that it challenges the theory about how they grow. Scientists said this black hole was formed about 900 million years after the Big Bang. "Based on previous research, this is the largest black hole found for that period of time," Dr Fuyan Bian, Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University (ANU), told Reuters on Wednesday. "Current theory is for a limit to how fast a black hole can grow, but this black hole is too large for that theory." The creation of supermassive black holes remains an open topic of research.
By Mayank Bhardwaj and Krishna N. Das NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Monsanto's Indian subsidiary expects to submit final trial results for its genetically modified (GM) corn to lawmakers within a year for the government to then decide on a commercial launch, the company's country head said on Friday. India does not currently allow the growing of GM food crops but the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, keen to improve farms' productivity, has encouraged open field trials after a five-year de facto ban. "We are close to the final stage in corn," Shilpa Divekar Nirula, chief executive of Monsanto India, told Reuters.
A particle physics student has used his downtime to build a Lego model of the world's most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and is now lobbying the toy company to take it to market. Nathan Readioff's design uses existing Lego pieces to replicate all four elements of the LHC -- known as ATLAS, ALICE, CMS and LHCb -- and uses cutaway walls to reveal all of the major subsystems. He also wrote step-by-step guides to making the miniatures and has now submitted his models to the Lego Ideas website, where ideas from members of the public that get more than 10,000 votes are considered by Lego for future production.
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla (Reuters) - Work to repair a Virginia-owned launch pad damaged by an Orbital ATK rocket explosion is about to halt amid a debate about who should pick up the bill, according to officials in the dispute. The Oct. 28, 2014 accident at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), located on Wallops Island, Virginia, caused about $20 million in damages to the state-owned launch pad.Orbital was launching its third Antares rocket for NASA under a $1.9 billion contract to fly cargo to the International Space Station. Orbital had insurance to cover its losses at Wallops, as well as damage to federal property and other entities as required by the Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees commercial launches in the United States. “We looked at insurance for the pad, but the coverage was inadequate to our needs, and to the extent it was available, was exorbitantly costly,” MARS Executive Director Dale Nash wrote in an email.