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Science News: Solar Impulse to Unveil Plane for Around-the-World Flight in 2015

Solar Impulse to Unveil Plane for Around-the-World Flight in 2015Pilots André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard are slated to reveal a new solar-powered airplane, dubbed Solar Impulse 2, in a ceremony tomorrow (April 9), beginning at 9 a.m. EDT (3 p.m. local time in Switzerland). Last year, Borschberg and Piccard alternated flying a different solar-powered plane, called Solar Impulse, from California to New York, completing the cross-country journey on July 6, 2013, after roughly two months and five planned stops. The pilots are planning to fly the new Solar Impulse 2 plane on a first-of-its-kind journey around the world. "After years of design, complex simulations and test flights with the first prototype, Solar Impulse 2 will be presented to our partners, friends and media before undertaking, in 2015, the ultimate technological and symbolic adventure of flying around the world without fuel, only powered by the sun," Solar Impulse officials said in a statement.


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Science News: Mars Rover Curiosity Takes Aim at Next Martian Science Target

Mars Rover Curiosity Takes Aim at Next Martian Science TargetAfter a long stretch of pedal-to-the-metal driving, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has its next science target in sight. The 1-ton Curiosity rover is just 282 feet (86 meters) north of a site called "the Kimberley," where four different types of terrain intersect. The rover's handlers are keen to study the Kimberley rocks and may even break out Curiosity's sample-collecting drill at the site, NASA officials said. "The orbital images didn't tell us what those rocks are, but now that Curiosity is getting closer, we're seeing a preview," Curiosity deputy project scientist Ashwin Vasavada, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement.


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Science News: Springtime Suicide Peak Still Puzzles Scientists

Springtime Suicide Peak Still Puzzles ScientistsOne 1995 study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine examined monthly suicide rates in 28 countries and found that in 25 in the Northern Hemisphere, suicides were most common in May and ebbed in February. But anti-inflammatory agents are already used in combination with anti-depressant drugs to boost their effectiveness, highlighting the biological roots of suicidal behavior.


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Science News: Chernobyl Trees Barely Decomposed, Study Finds

Almost 30 years ago, the world's attention was fixed on Chernobyl, the nuclear power plant in Ukraine that exploded in one of the world's worst nuclear disasters. "We were stepping over all these dead trees on the ground that had been killed by the initial blast," Tim Mousseau, a professor of biology at the University of South Carolina, said in a statement. "Years later, these tree trunks were in pretty good shape. Much of their work has taken them into the Red Forest, the infamous wooded region surrounding Chernobyl where the trees turned an ominous reddish-brown color before dying.

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Science News: How the 1964 Alaska Earthquake Shook Up Science

How the 1964 Alaska Earthquake Shook Up ScienceThe earthquake struck at 5:36 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on Good Friday. For more than 4 minutes, the earth buckled and lurched all across southern Alaska. In 50 years, no earthquake since has matched the power of the March 27, 1964, Great Alaska earthquake.


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