Science & Technology

Science news

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

NASA's InSight lander is on its way to Mars, after a successful launch on Saturday morning.

The lander was launched by an Atlas V rocket taking off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California shortly after 4 a.m. local time. It successfully separated from the upper stage more than an hour later.

The lander is in contact with mission control as it heads off on its six-month trip to the Red Planet.

NASA is heading back to Mars. If all goes well, a two-stage Atlas V 401 will lift off from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on Saturday morning. Onboard will be a lander named InSight, an $813.8 million mission to study the interior of the Red Planet.

Recent Mars missions have snapped pictures of the surface, studied rocks, dug in the dirt and looked for signs that water once flowed on Mars. But as Insight's principal investigator William "Bruce" Banerdt sees it, that's just scratching the surface.

When it comes to the Olympic-style bidding for Amazon's second headquarters, the nation's capital and its neighbors could have joined together in a united front.

Instead, the District of Columbia and the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia decided to compete against each other.

When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995, they had dramatic impacts on parts of Northwestern United States. Decades later, a wealthy landowner wants to try a limited version of that experiment — in the Scottish Highlands.

NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy say they have successfully tested a new type of nuclear reactor that could one day provide juice to colonies on other worlds. The reactor can power several homes and appears able to operate in harsh environments.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

People are being warned not to feed the animals: kangaroos, specifically, at a psychiatric hospital in Australia's New South Wales that has become a hot spot for tourists seeking the perfect #rooselfie with the marsupials.

For some who ignore the advice, the consequences range from kicks and scratches to serious injury in a few cases — two men were attacked recently, one who received a deep gash to the stomach and another who required 17 stitches to his face, according to Greg Piper, a member of the New South Wales Parliament.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to play Cupid.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MARK ZUCKERBERG: It's going to be for building real long-term relationships - all right? - not just hookups.

(LAUGHTER)

Updated at 6:16 p.m. ET

Cambridge Analytica, the firm that used data from millions of Facebook users without their knowledge, said Wednesday that it is "immediately ceasing all operations." The firm worked for President Trump's 2016 campaign.

Scientists are one step closer to understanding how modern birds evolved to have beaks, and the answer starts millions of years ago with some of the sexiest dinosaurs.

World's Oldest Spider Dies At 43

May 1, 2018

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We're going to take a moment to remember the long life of a spider. She was 43, thought to have been the world's oldest spider. And her demise didn't have to happen the way it did.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Along the fortified border that divides the Korean Peninsula, soldiers in both North and South Korea began dismantling loudspeakers that for decades helped wage a war of words — blaring propaganda over the armistice line.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

The world of online dating is about to get more crowded: Facebook announced on Tuesday plans to roll out its own matchmaking feature.

The news sent shares of Match Group tumbling. Match is an online dating conglomerate, with ownership in Tinder, match.com and OkCupid, among others. Shares of Match fell 22 percent for the day.

Senior officials with Match welcomed Facebook to online dating in statements made on Tuesday.

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