May 11, 2009 | 3
As the world frets about the swine flu virus, the scientists credited with discovering HIV urged governments and international organizations to redouble their commitment to the battle against AIDS.
Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier, whose roles in identifying the viral cause of AIDS have been disputed over the years, came together Friday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of their discovery with a global call to action.
Acknowledging the public’s preoccupation with the unfolding H1N1 pandemic, Gallo said, "Don't forget we have a known problem…a known deadly epidemic." Some 175,000 people die from AIDS every month—about the same number of lives claimed by the 2004 Asian tsunami, he told the audience gathered at the National Press Club in Washington.
Mar 24, 2009
In space, no one can hear you scream, as the old saw goes. Does the same hold true for yelps of frustration at maintenance tasks gone awry? No doubt the crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) has the answer after its recent spate of glitches and repair woes.
The third and final spacewalk of the Discovery shuttle mission to the ISS hit a snag yesterday, as a cargo carrier refused to swing out. The platform, one of two intended to store spare parts on future missions, was also the center of a snafu in the second spacewalk Saturday, when astronauts apparently installed a pin in the assembly upside down. ISS flight director Kwatsi Alibaruho told Reuters, however, that the pin was not to blame for the stuck platform. "We thought initially that the incorrect installation of the pin was the reason we were not able to rotate the (mechanism) down to its proper configuration," he said. "We now believe that (it is) just much, much stiffer than expected."
Mar 17, 2009 | 7
As we mentioned in our coverage of Sunday's launch of space shuttle Discovery, which NASA personnel characterized as "picture-perfect," a bat was spotted clinging to the shuttle's external fuel tank (left) as liftoff approached. The same thing happened before a shuttle launch in 1998, and that bat flew away as the shuttle took flight, according to the space agency.
But as we noted on Twitter, thanks to Orlando Sentinel reporter Robyn Shelton, the latter-day bat was still present as Discovery blasted off (circled in photo at right) and most likely did not survive. NASA issued a press release today confirming that assessment.
Mar 16, 2009
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) may have to maneuver the station to evade flying junk as the space shuttle Discovery closes in for docking. The warning comes just four days after the crew was forced to take refuge in an escape capsule as a last-minute risk of debris strike was discovered.
Like last week's chunk of debris, which passed without incident as the three ISS members huddled in the station's Soyuz capsule, tomorrow's threatening object is not related to last month's collision between a Russian satellite and a commercial communications satellite.
Mar 15, 2009 | 2
Space shuttle Discovery reached orbit 200 miles above earth tonight at 7:51 local time, after taking off from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida at 7:43:44.
The shuttle will drop off the final pieces of the International Space Station's (ISS) solar arrays, and parts for its urine recycling system that would expand the ISS’s capacity from three to six crew members.
The launch was pushed back twice, first on February 4 when NASA said it needed more time to make sure that the valves controlling the flow of hydrogen gas into the external fuel tank do not pose a hazard. Engineers discovered that one of those valves had been damaged when another shuttle, Endeavour, lifted off in November.
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