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Yesterday โ€” November 16th 2019Reuters Science News

Boeing received 'unnecessary' contract boost for astronaut capsule, watchdog says

Boeing's multibillion dollar contract to build U.S. astronaut capsules received an "unnecessary" extension from NASA, a watchdog report said on Thursday, the latest management blunders in the agency's program to restart domestic human spaceflight.

China completes crucial landing test for first Mars mission in 2020

China on Thursday successfully completed a crucial landing test in northern Hebei province ahead of a historic unmanned exploration mission to Mars next year.

China's huge mysterious extinct ape 'Giganto' was an orangutan cousin

Genetic material extracted from a 1.9 million-year-old fossil tooth from southern China shows that the world's largest-known ape - an extinct creature dubbed "Giganto" that once inhabited Southeast Asia - was an oversized cousin of today's orangutans.

Membrane in a minute: Singapore scientists produce in-vitro human skin

A piece of skin about the size of your thumbnail can be printed in less than a minute, scientists in Singapore say, a game-changing step for the future of non-animal testing for cosmetics and other products.

Before yesterdayReuters Science News

NASA unveils its first electric airplane - a work in progress

NASA, most prominent for its many Florida-launched exploits into space, showcased an early version of its first all-electric experimental aircraft, the X-57 "Maxwell," on Friday at its lesser-known aeronautics lab in the California desert.

Prehistoric ape from Germany was a pioneer of two-legged walking

Fossils unearthed in southern Germany of a remarkable ape that lived about 11.6 million years ago may dramatically alter the understanding of the evolutionary origins of a fundamental human trait - walking upright on two legs.

New Zealand base for methane-measuring satellite mission

A satellite mission to measure global methane emissions from oil and gas facilities will be based in New Zealand, the government said on Wednesday, in a collaboration with a U.S. environmental group.

Boeing tests space taxi, one of three parachutes does not open

Boeing Co said on Monday that one of three parachutes failed to deploy during an otherwise successful safety test of its unmanned CST-100 Starliner crew capsule, being developed to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

China launches high-res satellite able to provide stereo imagery - CCTV

China launched a new high-resolution remote sensing satellite capable of providing stereoscopic imagery on Sunday, state-run media said, marking another important step as Beijing seeks to reduce reliance on foreign technology in topographic mapping.

Time for fungus? Indonesian watchmaker turns to mushroom leather

A watchmaker in Indonesia's Bandung city thinks the next step in sustainability is a wristwatch with a strap made out of the complex root structure of a mushroom.

Czech lab grows mustard plants for Mars

Czech scientists have opened a lab to experiment growing food for environments with extreme conditions and lack of water, such as Mars.

Humankind's ancestral 'homeland' pinpointed in Botswana

A large ancient wetlands region spanning northern Botswana - once teeming with life but now dominated by desert and salt flats - may represent the ancestral homeland of all of the 7.7 billion people on Earth today, researchers said on Monday.

Secretive military spaceplane lands in Florida after record-long orbital flight

The Pentagon's secretive X-37B spaceplane landed in Florida on Sunday after a record-long orbital flight lasting more than two years, the U.S. Air Force said, capping the latest test mission for an array of military technologies.

NASA plans to send water-hunting robot to moon surface in 2022

NASA will send a golf cart-sized robot to the moon in 2022 to search for deposits of water below the surface, an effort to evaluate the vital resource ahead of a planned human return to the moon in 2024 to possibly use it for astronauts to drink and to make rocket fuel, the U.S. space agency said on Friday.

Post-apocalyptic fossils show rise of mammals after dinosaur demise

A revelatory cache of fossils dug up in central Colorado details as never before the rise of mammals from the post-apocalyptic landscape after an asteroid smacked Earth 66 million years ago and annihilated three-quarters of all species including the dinosaurs.

Google unveils quantum computer breakthrough; critics say wait a qubit

Alphabet Inc's Google said on Wednesday it had achieved a breakthrough in computing research by using a quantum computer to solve in minutes a complex problem that would take today's most powerful supercomputer thousands of years to crack.

Explainer: Google hails 'quantum supremacy', but don't chuck out your PC just yet

Researchers at Google say they have achieved 'quantum supremacy', in which a computer harnessing the properties of sub-atomic particles did a far better job of solving a problem than the world's most powerful supercomputer.

U.S. tech firm Maxar taps startup's software for moon mission

(This October 22 story has been refiled to correct headline to say software rather than robotics, first paragraph to clarify that the Olis software would run on a Maxar robotic arm, paragraphs 2 and 3 to state that the robotic arm belongs to Maxar, and paragraph 4 to remove reference to Olis building the robotic arm)

Manure, trash and wastewater: U.S. utilities get dirty in climate fight

Joey Airoso has always been proud of his cows, whose milk goes into the butter sold by national dairy company Land O'Lakes. Now he has something new to brag about: the vast amounts of gas produced by his 2,900-head herd is powering truck fleets, homes and factories across the state of California.

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