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Select gold medals for the 2014 olympic games will include russian meteorite fragments

February 15, 2014

Some gold medals for next winter’s Olympics will be truly out-of-this-world. Russian officials said Wednesday that athletes who win gold on Feb. 15, 2014 at the Sochi Olympics will receive medals that include meteorite fragments. The date commemorates the one-year anniversary of the meteor strike that injured over a thousand people in central Russia.

"We will hand out our medals to all the athletes who will win gold on that day, because both the meteorite strike and the Olympic Games are the global events,” Chelyabinsk Region Culture Minister Alexi Betekhtin said, according to R-Sport.

Rosetta wake up and year ahead

January 20, 2014

Next year, on 20 January, after 957 days of hibernation in deep space, ESA’s comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft is set to wake up automatically en route to the destination it has been travelling towards for nearly a decade.

In preparation for the critical activation and the challenges that lie ahead for Rosetta, members of the media are invited to a briefing by ESA’s science and mission control experts and partners on Tuesday, 10 December, 10:00–12:30 CET, at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany.

The 20 January milestone will mark the start of an intensive year as Rosetta draws steadily closer to comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko ahead of rendezvous in August. After extensively mapping the comet’s surface, it will dispatch the lander Philae in November for close-up study of the nucleus.

Solar flare delays International Space Station supply mission

January 8, 2014

A strong solar storm is interfering with the latest grocery run to the International Space Station. On the bright side, the orbiting lab has won a four-year extension, pushing its projected end-of-lifetime to at least 2024, a full decade from now.

"This is a big plus for us," said Nasa's human exploration chief, Bill Gerstenmaier.

Sunspot goes wild! X-class solar flare blasts in our direction

January 7, 2014

he sun erupted with a powerful solar flare on Tuesday, disrupting radio traffic and sending a blast of electrically charged particles our way. And there may be more blasts to come.

The X1.2-class flare was recorded by sun-observing satellites, including NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, at about 2:32 p.m. ET. X-class flares are the strongest category of solar outbursts, although X1.2 is toward the category's low end.