China launches satellite to explore dark side of moon: Xinhua

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China launched a relay satellite early on Monday designed to establish a communication link between earth and a planned lunar probe that will explore the dark side of the moon, the official Xinhua news agency said.

‘Made in China’ label sheds light on old Java Sea shipwreck

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A fresh examination of Chinese ceramics and other cargo from an important Java Sea shipwreck has led researchers to conclude that the vessel sank a century earlier than previously thought, providing insight into Asia’s maritime trade more than 800 years ago.

China launches first rocket designed by a private company

BEIJING (Reuters) – China launched its first privately developed rocket from a launchpad in northwestern China on Thursday, state media said, the latest milestone in the country’s ambitious space exploration program.

Scientists explore DNA secrets of green-blooded lizards

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group of lizards inhabiting the island of New Guinea boasts one of the most exotic traits of any animal: green blood. And scientists have been trying hard to figure out what benefit this characteristic — caused by high levels of an ordinarily toxic green bile pigment — may give them.

Oxygen presence in distant galaxy sheds light on early universe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After detecting a whiff of oxygen, astronomers have determined that stars in a faraway galaxy formed 250 million years after the Big Bang — a rather short time in cosmic terms — in a finding that sheds light on conditions in the early universe.

Europa’s plumes make Jupiter moon a prime candidate for life

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A new look at old data is giving scientists a fresh reason to view Europa, a moon of Jupiter, as a leading candidate in the search for life beyond Earth, with evidence of water plumes shooting into space.

Time travelers invited to Stephen Hawking send-off

LONDON (Reuters) – Stephen Hawking’s family have invited time travelers to his memorial service, seeking to tackle one of the curiosities that eluded the British physicist during his extraordinary life.

In an interplanetary first, NASA to fly a helicopter on Mars

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – NASA said on Friday it will send a small helicopter to Mars as part of the U.S. space agency’s 2020 mission to place a next-generation rover on the Martian surface, marking the first time such an aircraft will be used on another world.