Science, Energy, Health & Environment
Science, Energy, Health & Environment
Science, Energy & Environment News
14 November 2013 Secretary Kerry: The Crush on Wildlife "Wildlife trafficking is a conservation problem, an economic problem, a health problem, and a security problem. Our governments and citizens cannot afford to stand idle while poachers and wildlife traffickers destabilize whole regions, undermine economic development, and hunt elephants, rhinos, tigers, bears, sharks, or any species to extinction. Leaders everywhere must step up and meet the challenge of rooting out the corruption, graft, and complicity in the system that threaten all of us. The United States is committed to doing our part."
12 November 2013 U.S. to Crush Illegal Ivory On Thursday, November 14, the United States will be joining the very short list of countries that have destroyed their confiscated stores of ivory to demonstrate that they too will take all available measures to disrupt and prosecute those who engage in elephant poaching and ivory trafficking. To that end the U.S. will destroy six tons of illegal African and Asian elephant ivory seized by law enforcement across the country at this historic event.
08 November 2013 U.S. Sends Mercury Treaty Ratification to U.N. A global agreement to reduce environmental pollution from the heavy metal mercury moved forward November 6 when the United States became the first nation to send ratifying documents to the United Nations. That action from the U.S. Department of State came on the same day that U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Kerri-Ann Jones signed the Minamata Convention.
06 November 2013 Researchers Obtain Crucial Data from Meteoroid Impact A team of NASA and international scientists for the first time have gathered a detailed understanding of the effects on Earth from a small asteroid impact. The unprecedented data obtained as the result of the airburst of a meteoroid over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on February 15, 2013, has revolutionized scientists’ understanding of this natural phenomenon.
03 November 2013 Better Hemispheric Weather Forecasts Goal for U.S. Agency The Advanced Baseline Imager, or ABI, will be the primary instrument on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites-R series (GOES-R) spacecraft for scanning Earth’s weather, oceans and environment, and is a significant improvement over instruments on NOAA’s current geostationary satellites.
31 October 2013 Hello from New ESTH Counselor I’m the new Environment, Science, Technology and Health (ESTH) Counselor at the U.S. Embassy, and I arrived in London about two months ago. We have decided that the top priority of the ESTH section would be climate change. There has been a lot to do!
31 October 2013 A Ghostly Trio from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope In the spirit of Halloween, scientists are releasing a trio of stellar ghosts caught in infrared light by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. All three spooky structures, called planetary nebulas, are, in fact, material ejected from dying stars. As death beckoned, the stars’ wispy bits and pieces were blown into outer space.
28 October 2013 Efficiency Up, Emissions Down as U.S. Moves to Low-Carbon Economy The United States is making steady progress in reducing energy consumption, increasing efficiency and deploying alternative energy technologies, actions that contribute to lower levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and could transform the country to a low-carbon economy.
23 October 2013 Nations Work to Educate Public on Lead Poisoning Risks Health advocates in more than 35 nations are promoting Lead Poisoning Prevention Week October 20–26, educating publics about harmful exposure to lead, a metal known to cause mental retardation when ingested.
22 October 2013 U.S. Climate Negotiator Sees Path to New Global Agreement The chief U.S. climate negotiator is proposing the main pillars of a new world agreement to control greenhouse gases (GHGs) and limit climate change, pillars which allow greater flexibility in how nations move toward creating clean-energy economies.
18 October 2013 NASA Manages Deluge of “Big Data” for Global Benefit For NASA and its dozens of missions, data pour in every day like rushing rivers. Mission planners and software engineers are coming up with new strategies for managing the ever-increasing flow of such large and complex data streams, referred to in the information technology community as “big data.”
16 October 2013 Joint Statement on Marine Protected Areas Around Antarctica Statement released by the foreign ministers of Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States and the commissioner for maritime affairs and fisheries of the European Union.
01 October 2013 Cassini Makes New Find in Titan's Atmosphere A U.S.-European space mission continues to offer Earth-bound scientists tantalizing discoveries about the Saturn moon Titan, the only moon in the solar system with an atmosphere. Cassini’s latest discovery gives scientists greater understanding of the chemical ingredients in Titan’s atmospheric soup.
01 October 2013 Saturn Moon May Have Rigid Ice Shell Data from Saturn's moon Titan obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft suggests there could be something unexpected about the moon's outer ice shell. A study published August 28 in the journal Nature suggest that Titan's ice shell could be rigid, and that relatively small topographic features on the surface could be associated with large ice “roots” extending into the underlying ocean.
23 September 2013 Icelandic, U.S. Scientists Map Fire and Ice The Icelandic Meteorological Office and the U.S. Geological Survey have produced a map that depicts how fiery volcanic eruptions influence the island’s hundreds of glaciers, their flow and flooding outbursts.
17 September 2013 Russia-U.S. Pact to Expand Collaboration on Nuclear Research Russia and the United States have signed an agreement to expand cooperation between the countries in nuclear research. U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Director-General of Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) Sergey Kirienko signed the pact on the margins of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s General Conference in Vienna.
12 September 2013 NASA Spacecraft Reaches Interstellar Space NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft officially is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 19 billion kilometers from the sun.
10 September 2013 U.S. Gets Tough on Wildlife Trafficking U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the membership of a new federal council September 9 that will better coordinate domestic and international efforts to apprehend and prosecute this criminal activity.
27 August 2013 Scientists Spot Water on Moon's Surface that Hints at Water Below Using data from NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument aboard the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, scientists remotely detected magmatic water, or water that originates from deep within the moon’s interior, on the surface of the moon.
21 August 2013 NOAA Retires GOES-12 Satellite After 10 Years of Service GOES-12 has seen it all, from Hurricane Katrina, which hit the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005, to the Christmas blizzard that crippled the central United States in 2009. It even traveled south of the equator to provide coverage for South America starting in 2010. Now, after more than 10 years of stellar service, the satellite is being retired.
21 August 2013 Report: Global Partnership Needed to Reach Outer Space NASA and 13 like-minded space agencies from around the world released a global plan for space exploration August 20, asking some of the biggest questions humanity has ever pondered: Why should earthlings go to space? What should be accomplished there? How do we make the way?
20 August 2013 Mars Rover Opportunity Explores New Martian Landscape The Mars rover Curiosity has become an international celebrity since landing on the planet in August 2012. In the meantime, the senior NASA rover on the Martian surface, Opportunity, is quietly preparing to tuck in for its fifth winter on the Red Planet. Since it landed on Mars in January 2004, Opportunity has survived five Martian winters, which occur less frequently than on Earth because of the planet’s slower orbit around the sun.
07 August 2013 Wind Power Capacity Expanding Rapidly in U.S. Wind power is gaining a greater share of the U.S. energy market, according to a new assessment from the Department of Energy, making the United States one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing markets for this clean and renewable source of energy.
06 August 2013 NASA Marks First Anniversary of Curiosity's Mars Landing One year since landing on Mars, the rover Curiosity and the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) on board have answered the big question the craft was sent there to investigate: Have Martian environmental conditions ever been conducive to life? Yes, is Curiosity’s answer.
01 August 2013 Wind Power Advances in U.S. with First Offshore Lease Auction As part of the Obama administration’s comprehensive plan to move the U.S. economy toward domestic clean energy sources and cut carbon pollution, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau July 31 held the nation’s first competitive lease sale for renewable energy in federal waters.
16 July 2013 United States and China Commit To Work Together To Combat Wildlife Trafficking Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Robert D. Hormats and Administrator Zhao Shucong of the Chinese State Forestry Administration led a historic breakout session on wildlife trafficking during the 2013 U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington, DC.
16 July 2013 Results of the Special Meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (state.gov) "I regret that the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) was not able to reach agreement on establishing marine protected areas, including in the Ross Sea Region, but we’ll soon get another bite at the apple and a formulation for protecting the Ross Sea can and will be found, period. There's simply no comprehensive effort to protect earth's most critical resource that doesn't include an equally comprehensive effort to create marine protected areas (MPAs)."
10 July 2013 Next Mars Mission Will Seek Traces of Ancient Life The Curiosity rover that landed on Mars in 2012 has accomplished its mission to document the geologic remains of what once was a watery, temperate climate that might have supported some form of life. A select scientific panel now advises NASA that another rover like Curiosity should return to Mars with equipment to detect signs of past life.
02 July 2013 Polar-Orbiting Weather Satellite on Track for 2017 Launch The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Joint Polar Satellite System recently completed two key reviews at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and is continuing a steady, on-schedule and on-budget march toward the 2017 launch of JPSS-1, the second in a series of next-generation polar-orbiting weather satellites.
01 July 2013 U.S. Boosts Support for Anti-Wildlife Trafficking Campaign The war against international wildlife trafficking is escalating as President Obama announces new resources and strong resolve to protect species threatened by illegal hunters. The U.S. president made the announcement in Tanzania, the final stop on his trip to Africa.
27 June 2013 Climate Change Puts Marine Economy at Risk, Scientists Say Accelerating climate change is increasing the difficulty of maritime
activities at the same time it heightens the risk of natural hazards,
according to a joint statement issued by a scientific organization
representing 65,000 members worldwide.
• Century-Old Science Helps Confirm Global Warming
27 June 2013 U.S. Estimates Its Ability to Store Carbon Underground The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has calculated the carbon storage capacity of the United States. The United States has the potential to store about 3,000 metric gigatons of carbon dioxide in geologic basins throughout the country, according to the first-ever national carbon-sequestration assessment released June 26 by the USGS.
21 June 2013 New USAID–Science Foundation Projects Focus on Development The U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. National Science Foundation have announced 54 new collaborative research projects in 32 countries that will focus on critical areas of development. The projects will be funded through the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research Science competitive grants program. Through PEER Science, USAID directly supports researchers in developing countries who are working with U.S. scientists funded by NSF.
20 June 2013 Energy Innovation Key to Economic Growth, Clean Environment The second person to serve President Obama as energy secretary is roaring into the job at full throttle. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz appeared before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to explain how he’ll tackle the administration’s goals to produce more energy, grow the economy and protect the environment at the same time.
07 June 2013 Researchers Seek the Deepest Secrets of the Caribbean Sea An international team of researchers is working in the Caribbean Sea in June, looking at what may emerge from the core of the planet. The research site is in the western Caribbean Sea, south of Jamaica and immediately south of the Cayman Islands. The trench, known as the Mid-Cayman Rise, is one of the deepest in the Caribbean.
07 June 2013 Get to Know Our Oceans: The Atlantic With an area more than six times that of the United States (76.762 million square kilometers), the Atlantic Ocean is the world’s second-largest ocean and includes the Baltic, Caribbean, Labrador and Mediterranean seas, among other bodies of water.
06 June 2013 Rover Heads for New Destination in Mars Exploration The rover Curiosity and the scientific instruments of the Mars Space Laboratory (MSL) have been tested and proven in the last nine months. Now NASA points the rover in a new direction, heading for a mountain about 8 kilometers away.
05 June 2013 Senator Lautenberg's Legacy Advances Ocean Conservation The world’s oceans lost a champion when U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg died June 3 of viral pneumonia. Lautenberg, 89, was the last World War II veteran serving in the Senate. He is mourned in Washington by a long list of former Senate colleagues, including the president, the vice president and the secretaries of state and defense.
31 May 2013 Curiosity Radiation Data Guides Planning for Astronaut Safety An astronaut crew aboard the space voyage that took the rover Curiosity to Mars would have been exposed to an excessive level of radiation, NASA scientists announced. Analysis of data collected by a Radiation Assessment Detector on board the flight is giving NASA scientists greater insight into the systems that will be required to protect a human crew on a Mars mission.
30 May 2013 Energy Innovation Centers Seek Ways to Power the Future Leaders at the forefront of innovative U.S. research have a vision of the future. It’s a place where your car is fueled by sunshine. Buildings where you work and live are healthier and more efficient. The power grid that provides electricity is smarter. And you may just have a nice, clean nuclear power plant right down the street from your home, providing all the power your neighborhood needs.
28 May 2013 Electric Cars Advance in U.S. as Tesla Motors Repays Loan Early White House National Security Advisor Tom Donilon said in April that U.S. energy-related greenhouse gas emissions have fallen to 1994 levels “due in large part to our success over the past four years in doubling electricity from renewables, switching from coal to natural gas in power generation and improving energy efficiency.” The early repayment of a $465-million loan from the Department of Energy to Tesla Motors, a manufacturer of electric cars, is good news for the future of America’s growing electric vehicle industry, according to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
28 May 2013 Energy Efficiency Increasing in U.S. Buildings Participants in the Better Buildings Challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, are reporting a 2.5 percent increase in efficiency since they entered the campaign in 2011. Commercial and industrial buildings account for roughly half of the nation’s entire energy consumption each year.
21 May 2013 Researchers Use Bacteria to Control Malaria Parasite Mosquitoes get a lot of the blame for malaria, but the single-cell parasite Plasmodium carried by the mosquito is the real cause of the disease. Researchers are finding they can control the reproduction of that parasite so the mosquito won’t pass it to a human when the insect goes in for a blood meal.
07 May 2013 U.S. Prepares for Insect Invasion 17 Years in the Making They have been living at least 20 centimeters underground for the past 17 years. This spring billions of cicadas known as Magicicada septendecim will emerge to invade parts of the U.S. East Coast, filling the skies and trees and making a lot of noise. This year’s visitors, known as Brood II, were last seen in 1996 and are one of the insect’s largest populations.
06 May 2013 NASA Works on Long-Term Plan to Send Humans to Mars The U.S. space program is pursuing two goals to expand the dominion of the human race: flying astronauts to an asteroid by the year 2025 and landing astronauts on Mars by the 2030s. NASA Director Charles Bolden called on the space community and the aerospace industry May 6 to help solve some of the technological problems that must be overcome if those goals are to be met.
01 May 2013 Weather, Climate Forecasts Help Farmers Worldwide The U.S. agency responsible for daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring is using freely available satellite imagery and scientific analysis to help farmers around the world make decisions about what crops to plant and how to allocate their water and land resources.
11 April 2013 Agency Retires Satellite that Aided in Rescue of Thousands The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has retired the NOAA-17 Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellite, one of NOAA's longest-operating spacecraft. The shutdown will not cause any data gap, as NOAA-17 was being used as a back-up satellite and was removed from service after several key systems on board became inoperable.
09 April 2013 Remaining Martian Atmosphere Still Dynamic Mars has lost much of its original atmosphere, but what’s left remains quite active, recent findings from NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity indicate. Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument analyzed an atmosphere sample the week of April 1 using a process that concentrates selected gases. The results provided the most precise measurements ever made of isotopes of argon in the Martian atmosphere. Isotopes are variants of the same element with different atomic weights.
08 April 2013 Detector Dogs Sniff Out Smuggled Wildlife The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a message for would-be traffickers in illegal wildlife: there’s a new dog in town, and if you try to bring illegal wildlife parts into the United States, there’s a good chance he’s going to sniff you out. And there are more just like him. That’s because on April 4, the first class of “wildlife detector dogs” and their handlers graduated from their training in searching for protected species. In coming weeks, USFWS said, they will be stationed at key ports of entry around the country, searching for wildlife smuggled across U.S. borders.
03 April 2013 Brain Research Initiative Seeks Innovation, Cures President Obama announced major new investments in a broad public-private research project to unlock the “enormous mystery” of the human brain and find the cures for crippling neurological diseases. The research will also pursue greater understanding and better treatments for an array of illnesses that originate in the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and traumatic brain injury.
22 March 2013 Euro-U.S. Space Mapping Reveals Older Universe A new map of the oldest light searing through space reveals that the universe is older than previously believed — about 100 million years older. The findings come from the Planck Space Observatory, a European Space Agency (ESA) mission, which receives support from NASA and the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
21 March 2013 U.S., Partners Save Lives in Tuberculosis (TB) Battle The lives of 20 million people have been saved in recent years because the United States and other governments have scaled up their campaign against tuberculosis, working to overcome one of the world's most deadly diseases, the U.S. Agency for International Development says.
20 March 2013 Cooperation Is World Water Day Theme With recognition of the International Year of Water Cooperation in
2013, the United States is working on multiple fronts to help address
the unmet needs of hundreds of millions of people, bringing together the
skills, know-how and resources to develop water and sanitation
capabilities that will protect health and support development.
• U.S. Water Policy
19 March 2013 U.S. Supports Antarctic Conservation, Environmental Protection The United States advocates a proposal to create a vast marine reserve in Antarctica's Ross Sea, said Secretary of State John Kerry at a March 18 event. At the same time, he emphasized the Obama administration's renewed focus on climate change and environmental stewardship.
12 March 2013 NASA Rover Finds Traces of Habitable Environment on Mars Seven months after the rover Curiosity landed on Mars, scientists announced March 12 that they’ve found what they were looking for: an environment that could have supported microbial life.
08 March 2013 Turtles Win One at Conservation Conference An international conference on endangered species adopted U.S.- and Chinese-backed proposals to increase protections for 44 species of Asian freshwater turtles and tortoises and three species of North American pond turtles. Members of the U.S. delegation were encouraged by the March 8 adoption of measures to prevent trade in these wide-ranging creatures.
07 March 2013 Conference Keeps Protections for Polar Bears at Same Level A proposal to increase the protection of Arctic polar bears failed to win necessary support among the parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The United States, backed by Russia, had submitted a proposal that would have classified the polar bears as a species threatened with extinction and banned all commercial trade. Polar bears are currently ranked as a nonthreatened species, but with the potential to become so.
01 March 2013 Space Satellite Collects Flood of Ocean Data An international scientific collaboration to better understand the salinity of the world's oceans is yielding the first year of data gathered by a satellite instrument orbiting the planet. NASA describes the Aquarius mission as "studying our salty seas from space".
27 February 2013 USAID Wins Award for Best Government Mobile Development Policy The U.S. Agency for International Development received the Best Government Policy for Mobile Development Award at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. USAID is the first bilateral donor agency to establish a mobile solutions team.
25 February 2013 World Body Says U.S. Risk for BSE Is Low The Scientific Commission for the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recommendation that the U.S. risk status be upgraded from “controlled” to “negligible” confirms that U.S. beef ranchers, processors, and federal and state governments maintain interlocking standards to protect human and animal health against BSE, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
13 February 2013 U.S.-EU Joint Consultative Group Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation The United States and the European Union met to discuss ways to enhance their science, technology and innovation cooperation.
11 February 2013 Landsat Liftoff Opens New Chapter in Earth Observation Landsat 8 lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California February 11, beginning a mission to constantly collect data about surface conditions on Earth. The mission puts more sensitive instruments in orbit, opening the latest chapter in Earth observation.
11 February 2013 Curiosity Rover Collects First Martian Bedrock Sample NASA’s Curiosity rover, for the first time, has used a drill carried at the end of its robotic arm to bore into a flat, veiny rock on Mars and collect a sample from its interior. This is the first time any robot has drilled into a rock to collect a sample on Mars.
08 February 2013 NASA Tracks Record-Sized Rock Zooming By Earth An asteroid about the length of an Olympic pool is going to zip past Earth. The Near-Earth Object Program at NASA announced the flyby after tracking the object since the first sighting about a year ago. Scientists explained the phenomenon in a news briefing, expressing complete confidence that the space rock they named 2012 DA14 will not strike our planet.
07 February 2013 USAID Launches Science and Technology Contest The U.S. Agency for International Development has launched the Science and Technology Pioneers Prize contest to identify ideas for solving development challenges.
05 February 2013 International Treaty Puts Free Internet in Jeopardy The head of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission warned U.S. lawmakers that the Internet “is under assault” following a United Nations telecommunications treaty that was adopted in December 2012 by the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union at an international conference in Dubai.
23 January 2013 Opportunity Rover Begins 10th Year on Mars The NASA rover Opportunity enters its 10th year exploring the surface of Mars. Opportunity and its twin rover Spirit landed on the Red Planet on January 24, 2004. Opportunity’s designers projected a three-month working life and about 600 meters of travel. That mission was fulfilled in the first months when the rover relayed information back to Earth to convince scientists that water had long ago soaked the small crater where the rover landed.
17 January 2013 The United States and United Kingdom Joint Statement on the Global Positioning System The United States and United Kingdom issued a joint statement regarding Global Positioning System Intellectual Property today which affirmed their commitment to ensuring that GPS civil signals remain perpetually free and openly available for users worldwide. The joint statement also affirms the commitment of both the United States and United Kingdom to even deeper space cooperation across a range of civil and defense-related challenges and opportunities.
16 January 2013 European, U.S. Space Agencies Plan Human Flights Far into Space NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are working together to build a spacecraft that will take a human crew farther into space than ever before.
14 January 2013 New Generation in Earth Observation to Begin A new Earth-observing satellite, being prepared for launch in February, will enter orbit with the capability to collect more and better data than any of its seven predecessors in the Landsat series.
08 January 2013 Long-Lived Satellite Mission Winds Down Landsat 5 has been orbiting and observing Earth since 1984, long before the computer became a household appliance and a third of the world’s population made everyday visits to a place called the Internet. The U.S. Geological Survey has announced it will begin to decommission the satellite starting sometime in January, ending the longest-operating observational satellite mission in history.
27 December 2012 Mars Mission Leads a Year of Space Milestones The U.S. space agency delved into the secrets of other worlds in 2012, developed and tested new technology to reach those worlds and pursued these goals in partnership with space agencies from many other countries.
14 December 2012 U.S., Allies Reject Internet Regulation in Telecom Treaty The United States, Canada, Great Britain and Australia are among about 20 nations that refused to sign a new treaty on global telecommunications, which has been in development at the World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The U.S. delegation and like-minded nations walked away from the overall agreement December 13 because of clauses that could serve as groundwork for government regulation of the Internet.
13 December 2012 Ambassador Kramer's Remarks on World Telecommunications Meeting
10 December 2012 Russia, U.S. Inspect Antarctica Stations A joint Russian-U.S. team concluded a 10-day inspection of foreign research stations in Antarctica. The inspectors looked for violations of international environmental commitments and other aspects of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty that established Antarctica as a scientific preserve and banned military use.
07 December 2012 U.S. and Allies Work to Block Increased Internet Regulation The United States and allies from Europe and the Western Hemisphere are standing firm against proposals that might allow increased government regulation of Internet content and content providers at the World Conference on International Telecommunications under way in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
05 December 2012 Researchers Complete Map of Wheat DNA U.S. agricultural scientists and international collaborators have completed sequencing the wheat genome, an accomplishment expected to lead to higher yields and hasten the development of wheat lines with enhanced nutrition and resistance to pests and diseases.
04 December 2012 Conservation Matters Kerri-Ann Jones, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.
04 December 2012 Combating Wildlife Trafficking: Respect and Protect Illicit trade in threatened and endangered species is a multibillion-dollar business, and the increasingly intense demand for products derived from Africa’s and South Asia’s iconic land animals threatens peace and security in both regions. High demand, combined with difficult enforcement issues, attracts transnational criminal networks also involved in money laundering and trafficking in arms and narcotics.
03 December 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications Opens in Dubai
30 November 2012 U.S. Opposes Attempts to Limit Communications Freedom The United States will support expanded availability of Internet access and affordable broadband service when the World Conference on International Telecommunications convenes in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 3–14.
28 November 2012 Growing Self-Sufficiency for U.S. Energy This blog post by Dr. Jeri Guthrie-Corn, acting U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, originally appeared on the State Department blog.
19 November 2012 Space Station Crew Returns to Earth The Expedition 33 crew returned to Earth from the International Space Station, landing the Soyuz spacecraft in northeast Kazakhstan after 127 days in space.
05 November 2012 NASA Soil-Nutrient Map May Aid Efforts on Food Security, Climate A new analysis led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory estimates how much the growth of plants worldwide is limited by the amount of nutrients available in their soil. The maps produced from the research will be particularly useful in evaluating how much carbon dioxide Earth's ecosystems may be able to soak up as greenhouse gas levels increase.
01 November 2012 Analysis of Nearly 1,100 Human Genomes Could Help Treat Diseases An international scientific collaboration has produced an analysis of 1,092 human genomes identifying genetic variants that can lead to disease or robust good health.
29 October 2012 Cassini Goes Stormwatching on Saturn NASA's Cassini spacecraft has tracked the aftermath of a rare massive storm on Saturn, shown by swirling colors in the top portion of the above image, including a huge spike in the temperature of Saturn's stratosphere and a large increase in the amount of ethylene gas.
16 October 2012 Cassini Marks Anniversary in Saturn's Orbit An unmanned spacecraft orbiting Saturn celebrated a solitary anniversary of 15 years in flight October 15, still on the job, sending back data about the ringed planet in our solar system. Cassini is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Space Agency
02 October 2012 U.S. Energy Department Marks 35 Years of Change The U.S. Department of Energy celebrated its 35th anniversary October 1. Although it is one of the newer agencies in the U.S. government, its evolution has seen significant change in energy policies and in the public’s perception of energy as a commodity and a pillar of national security.
01 October 2012 Marshlands, Hungry for CO2, Could Slow Warming Rising sea levels are among the most threatening consequences of climate change, but new research suggests that higher waters in coastal marshlands may help slow climate change as they enable the ecosystem to more quickly capture and consume carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
27 September 2012 NASA Rover Finds Old Streambed on Martian Surface
NASA's Curiosity rover mission has found evidence a stream once ran vigorously across the area on Mars where the rover is driving. There is earlier evidence for the presence of water on Mars, but this evidence -- images of rocks containing ancient streambed gravels -- is the first of its kind.
24 September 2012 Safer Air Travel Should Result from U.S.-Backed Innovation The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has developed a turbulence-avoidance system for use in flight, allowing pilots to better detect and avoid patches of potentially dangerous air turbulence.
20 September 2012 U.S, European Satellites Work Together for Weather The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites launched the environmental satellite METOP-B from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The satellite will provide data for NOAA to feed into numerical prediction models used to forecast weather and climate, according to the agency’s top satellite official.
20 September 2012 Curiosity to Begin Hands-On Science on Mars The Curiosity rover is moving across the surface of Mars, approaching its first target to conduct contact science, gathering and analyzing samples of materials.
19 September 2012 World Food Day Unites People in Fight Against Hunger Cooperative enterprises that produce and market food bring higher yields, better quality products and greater profits to many farmers than if they worked alone, says the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). To acknowledge the role cooperatives play in the goal of global food security, the FAO has made the theme for World Food Day 2012 "Agricultural cooperatives — key to feeding the world."
14 September 2012 U.S. Joins International Flash Flood Project in Europe The HyMex Experiment is a 10-year international effort to better understand the hydrologic cycle in support of improved forecasts of flash floods in the Mediterranean region. The project targets central Italy, southern France, the Balearic Islands, Corsica and northern Italy — all areas particularly susceptible to devastating flash flood events.
14 September 2012 Honor Your Ozoone Layer! A layer of gas that protects us from the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays is honored with the International Day for the Protection of the Ozone Layer September 16.
13 September 2012 World Food Prize Winner Pioneers Dry-Area Irrigation Growing up on pioneer settlements in the Jezreel and Jordan valleys of Israel, Daniel Hillel developed affinity for agriculture, water and the environment. Decades later his devotion to the interconnected areas of land and water use efficiency has earned him the 2012 World Food Prize.
07 September 2012 Goodbye, Sun; Hello, Space: Voyagers Mark Anniversaries The Voyager spacecraft left the launch pad and began a trip through the solar system in late August 1977 and early September 1977. The two craft have each earned superlatives as they approach interstellar space. Voyager 2, launched first in August 1977, is the longest-operating spacecraft ever. Voyager 1 is the most distant object ever sent from Earth.
30 August 2012 Antarctic Ice Sheet Holds Methane Reservoir, Studies Say The remains of life forms that thrived long ago in a temperate Antarctic have probably been converted into a large cache of methane that could be released if the ice sheet shrinks, researchers report.
28 August 2012 Rover Sends Human Voice and Panoramic View from Mars The rover Curiosity carried a recording from NASA Director Charles Bolden when the craft landed on the red planet August 6 (August 5 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory control center). At a news briefing August 27, the director’s voice came through loud and clear after its journey across millions of kilometers of empty space.
21 August 2012 New NASA Mission to Take First Look Deep Inside Mars NASA has selected a new mission, set to launch in 2016, that will take the first look into the deep interior of Mars to see why the Red Planet evolved so differently from Earth as one of the solar system’s rocky planets.
13 August 2012 Obama’s Remarks to NASA's Curiosity Rover Team
10 August 2012 NASA Mission Chases Mysteries of Radiation Belts Radiation belts, rings of highly energized particles surrounding Earth, are the target of an unmanned NASA mission launching August 23.
08 August 2012 Years of Preparation Give Curiosity Flawless Start All the complex equipment and systems on board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) are operating “flawlessly,” according to the scientific team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the NASA agency managing the mission to the Red Planet. In these first days on the surface, the team is checking out the various instruments and cameras on the craft to ensure they survived the almost 570-million-kilometer journey.
07 August 2012 Curiosity Rover Readies for Science on Mars The surface team is preparing the rover Curiosity for the scientific work to come, checking equipment status and staking out the surrounding terrain. It is not yet the work of great discovery, but mission manager Mike Watkins said at an briefing in California that members of the surface team have been learning and practicing to operate Curiosity for years now.
06 August 2012 NASA Lands Mars Rover; Images Returned from Red Planet The U.S. space agency landed a 1-ton vehicle on Mars August 5, and the craft, named Curiosity, began returning images of its new surroundings within moments of its touchdown. Curiosity will live up to its name and conduct real science on the Martian surface, searching for evidence the planet may have been habitable for life at some time in its history.
06 August 2012 NASA Lands Car-Size Rover Beside Martian Mountain NASA's most advanced Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet. The one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars Sunday to end a 36-week flight and begin a two-year investigation.
02 August 2012 NASA Enters Final Days of Countdown to Mars Landing An eight-month journey to Mars is coming to its final days as the Mars
Science Laboratory and the rover Curiosity approach the Red Planet. The
craft will land near a deltalike feature that could provide quick
evidence of water at some point in planetary history.
• NASA Announces News Activities for Mars Landing (NASA.gov)
• Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) homepage (NASA.gov)
02 August 2012 U.S. Energy-Related CO2 Emissions in Early 2012 Lowest Since 1992 An update from our Science Officer's blog.
01 August 2012 White House Issues First-Ever Biosurveillance Strategy While the nation has been on alert for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats since the 2001 terrorist attacks, this strategy aims to extend that surveillance to include emerging infectious diseases, possible pandemics, agricultural threats and food-borne illnesses.
24 July 2012 A Space Voyage Changed Everything for Women on Earth The six days Sally Ride spent in space on a 1983 space shuttle
Challenger flight changed a lot for American women, especially women
scientists. As the first U.S. woman astronaut, Ride proved that women
could excel in space exploration and the science that makes it possible.
• Statement by the President on the Passing of Sally Ride
23 July 2012 U.S. Celebrates 40th Birthday of First Earth-Observing Satellite NASA and the Interior Department marked the 40th anniversary of the Landsat program with a Washington event that celebrated the contributions of the world’s longest-running Earth-observing satellite program to environmental research and global development.
17 July 2012 Spacecraft Nears Mars; Landing Just Weeks Away A countdown is on at NASA for the next landing on the surface of Mars, a mission which space agency officials are calling the most challenging and risky undertaking ever made in robotic exploration. On August 5, the Mars Science Laboratory will zoom down to the Martian atmosphere at 21,100 kilometers per hour, arriving at a dead stop just seven minutes later.
11 July 2012 Saturn's Rings Are Back Cassini has changed the angle at which it orbits Saturn and is once again providing full views of Saturn’s glorious rings. These views are possible again because Cassini has changed the angle at which it orbits Saturn and regularly passes above and below Saturn’s equatorial plane.
09 July 2012 U.S. Leads Discussion on Whale Conservation The United States announced new whale conservation initiatives and led the effort to promote conservation work at the 64th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) July 2–6 in Panama.
09 July 2012 Native Whale Hunting Extended; Commercial Hunts Still Banned Native peoples of Alaska and the U.S. Pacific Northwest have a renewed license to hunt whales at a subsistence level after a vote from the International Whaling Commission. Meeting in Panama, the IWC renewed a policy to allow the designated native tribes to continue their traditional whale hunting practices. The commission also upheld its 30-year-old policy that commercial whaling is prohibited.
28 June 2012 NASA Adjusts Course of Mars-Bound Craft as Landing Date Nears The craft is set to zoom into the Martian atmosphere in the early hours of August 6, moving at 21,243 kilometers per hour and landing on the surface within seven minutes. With the course change just made, the spacecraft is headed for a landing target about seven kilometers closer to the site that is the objective of the entire mission.
15 June 2012 NASA’s Voyager 1 Points to Interstellar Future Data from NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft indicate that the deep-space explorer has encountered a region in space where the intensity of charged particles from beyond the solar system has markedly increased. Voyager scientists looking at this rapid rise draw closer to an inevitable but historic conclusion: humanity’s first emissary to interstellar space is on the edge of our solar system.
08 June 2012 Sea Turtle Conservation and Shrimp Imports On April 19, the Department of State certified 39 nations and one economy as having adequate measures in place to protect sea turtles during the course of shrimp trawl fishing, which permits those countries to export wild-caught shrimp to the United States.
07 June 2012 Biodiversity Is Crucial to Sustainability, Scientists Report More than 1,000 environmental studies conducted over the last 20 years led an international group of scientists to conclude that a decline in biological diversity reduces the productivity and sustainability of ecosystems. The scientific group concludes that the variety of species and the diversity of genetic traits and characteristics that they bring to an ecosystem are critical to its balance.
30 May 2012 GRAIL Scan of Moon Is Successful; Further Study Ahead Twin spacecraft named Ebb and Flow have been in orbit around the moon for almost 90 days, and they have sent back data that NASA scientists will use to create the first high-resolution map of the satellite’s gravitational field.
22 May 2012 "Water Drop" Satellite Will Help Forecasters Worldwide A polar-orbiting satellite launched from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan will help scientists forecast severe storms, monitor the decline of Arctic sea ice, and predict the onset of global climate phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña.
11 May 2012 U.N. Report Shows Progress in Water Policies More than 80 percent of countries have reformed their water laws in the past 20 years, according to a survey conducted by the United Nations. The reforms have improved drinking water access, human health and water efficiency in agriculture, but have made less progress in the areas of irrigation, rainwater harvesting and investment in freshwater ecosystem services.
08 May 2012 U.S. Researchers Find New Way to Stop Dangerous African Pest U.S. researchers have developed a satellite-guided method of tracking and eradicating tsetse fly populations. The tsetse fly carries Trypanosoma protozoa, which cause a disease commonly known as sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in cattle.
07 May 2012 Online Gamers Join Battle Against Malaria Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have developed a computer game that could use the power of online crowdsourcing to identify the parasites that cause malaria, one of the greatest killers of Africa’s children.
03 May 2012 U.S., Japan Successfully Test Methane Hydrate Technologies U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the completion of a successful test of technology in the North Slope region of Alaska that was able to safely extract a steady flow of natural gas from methane hydrates.
03 May 2012 U.S., Mexico, Canada Map Potential Carbon Dioxide Storage Capacity The U.S. Department of Energy joined with Canada and Mexico to release the first atlas mapping potential carbon dioxide storage capacity in North America. These areas could be used for storing carbon dioxide from industrial sources or power plants to keep them from the atmosphere.
27 April 2012 U.S. Program Seeks to Attract Women to Clean Energy Careers The U.S. Department of Energy announced a three-part plan to help implement the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment initiative or "C3E," a ministerial program aimed at attracting more women to clean energy careers and supporting their advancement into leadership positions.
26 April 2012 U.S. Environmental Agency Rewards Young Innovators The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) award competition at the expo featured more than 300 college innovators showcasing projects designed to protect the environment, encourage economic growth and use natural resources more efficiently.
26 April 2012 Coalition Wants to Squeeze More Energy Efficiency from Appliances New designs for more energy-efficient household appliances are among the top goals announced at a high-level governmental forum working to speed the global transition to cleaner technologies.
25 April 2012 Coalition of World Energy Ministers Commit to Improvements in Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Energy Access Leaders from the 23-government Clean Energy Ministerial and the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative outlined specific commitments by participating countries and private sector leaders which will promote improved energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies, and increased energy access around the world.
25 April 2012 Global Vaccination Campaign Targets Measles, Rubella Vaccination against measles works, and when vaccination programs falter, the disease will resurge. Those are the key findings of research described in the April 24 edition of the medical journal the Lancet. The findings also point global health donors toward promoting a new immunization campaign.
24 April 2012 "Massive Scale-Up" on Malaria Reduces Child Deaths The U.S. Agency for International Development will recognize World Malaria Day April 25 by presenting the U.S. Congress with a report documenting substantial progress in reducing deaths from malaria as a result of increased investment by the United States and others in the global anti-malaria campaign.
10 April 2012 eJournal USA: Growing Up Green In 1992, representatives from 172 nations — including 108 heads of state — and more than 24,000 representatives from nongovernmental organizations gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the first United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, or Rio Earth Summit. This issue of eJournal USA explores how young people are leading the way to a cleaner, greener, more sustainable future.
09 April 2012 U.S. Scientists Lend Skills to Water Resource Protection Whether monitoring the flow of the Yangtze River in China, assessing available water in Kabul, or predicting the possibilities for flood and drought in Saudi Arabia, scientists of the U.S Geological Survey are working in many ways and in many places to ensure the best use of freshwater resources.
03 April 2012 International Team Watches Sea Traffic from Space Station Research being conducted on the International Space Station (ISS) is on the way to developing technology for monitoring global shipping traffic. Such a system, according to a press release from the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA, could provide a new body of data for use in an array of activities: law enforcement, fishery control, maritime border control, marine environment monitoring, global security and search-and-rescue activities.
28 March 2012 NASA Craft Passes Halfway Mark on Journey to Mars Passing the halfway point in its eight-month journey to Mars, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory has made successful adjustments in its flight path to remain on course for an August arrival at the red planet. In the second of six planned trajectory correction maneuvers during the cruise to Mars, the spacecraft ignited thrusters for nearly nine minutes March 26, reports NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California, making a successful course change.
26 March 2012 U.S. Anti-Drug Strategy Based on Science, Compassion President Obama’s strategy for reducing U.S. demand for illegal drugs represents a modern approach based on science, research and compassion, says Rafael Lemaitre of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Until fairly recently, there were two prevailing and diametrically opposed theories on how to deal with drug addicts, Lemaitre said.
24 March 2012 World TB Day: Stop Tuberculosis in My Lifetime! Our Science Officer blogs about World TB Day, commemorating the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB).
22 March 2012 Prevention, Treatment in Children Stressed on World TB Day Children with tuberculosis (TB) often go undiagnosed because they lack access to health care or because the health care workers they see lack training to detect the symptoms of TB in this young age group according to findings from the Stop TB Partnership.
12 March 2012 Embassy Science Officer News Today on the science blog: UK/US Space Weather Collaboration; $1 Billion Clean Vehicle Challenge; 2012 Energy Innovation Summit; Cal, Wisc, Okla Initiatives.
21 February 2012 U.S. Government Opens Energy Patents to Benefit World The technology to improve access to fuel, electricity and clean water for some of the world’s poorest people may already be in the patent portfolios of the U.S. Energy Department’s national labs.
16 February 2012 State’s Rose on International Space Cooperation
09 February 2012 New NASA Data Offer Greater Detail in Earth Ice Depletion Satellite observations accumulated over a seven-year period show that the volume of Earth’s land ice mass decreased by 4.3 trillion tons (more than 4,150 cubic kilometers) and increased global sea level by 12 millimeters. A research team at the University of Colorado reached these conclusions based on satellite measurements collected from 2003 to 2010 by the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE).
08 February 2012 Obama Wants More Math and Science Students - and Teachers Even as President Obama welcomed a crowd of more than 100 students with their science exhibits to the White House, he made it clear he wants to see a whole lot more. At the second White House Science Fair celebrating the student winners of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions around the country, Obama announced a private-public commitment totaling more than $100 million to prepare 100,000 STEM teachers in the next decade.
07 February 2012 Biotech Adoption Rates Highest Ever Agricultural biotechnology continues to grow around the world at unprecedented rates, with 8 percent more biotech hectares planted in 2011 than in 2010, according to a major international research group.
07 February 2012 Life Not Likely on Dry Mars Surface; Search Goes Underground Microscopic analysis of surface material on Mars leads scientists to believe that the planet has been dry for 600 million years, conditions that would not have supported life. But that conclusion doesn’t eliminate the possibility of life; it just narrows down the places where researchers might look to find traces of life existing at some point in the planet’s past.
01 February 2012 Safety of Nanomaterials Not Well Understood; Research Needed The potential effect of nanomaterials on the environment and human health and safety is not adequately understood, according to a recently released report, despite the fact that the use of nanomaterials has already become a $1 billion business in the United States. The area where most nanomaterials reach the consumer today is personal care and cosmetic products, but use of these materials in medical therapies, processed food and electronics is expanding.
01 February 2012 Education, Awareness Focus of World Cancer Day The United States joins the Union for International Cancer Control, the World Health Organization and a host of other players in recognition of World Cancer Day February 4, an event to raise awareness of one of the leading causes of death worldwide. A main objective of World Cancer Day is to warn people about those risks, all of which are within the individual’s power to control: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use and alcohol use.
30 January 2011 U.S. and Russian Federation Conclude Joint Inspection in Antarctica A joint team from the U.S. and the Russian Federation concluded a six-day inspection of foreign research stations, installations and equipment in Antarctica, pursuant to the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 and its Environmental Protocol.
27 January 2012 Asteroid Vesta Likely Cold and Dark Enough for Ice Though generally thought to be quite dry, roughly half of the giant asteroid Vesta is expected to be so cold and to receive so little sunlight that water ice could have survived there for billions of years, according to the first published models of Vesta’s average global temperatures and illumination by the sun.
26 January 2012 Mars Rover Enters Ninth Year with New Discoveries The exploration rover Opportunity entered its ninth year on Mars January 25, and a newly begun mission is already yielding new findings about the Red Planet. In eight years, the golf-cart sized craft has traveled almost 35 kilometers across Mars, examining the landscape and taking samples of rock and surface dust. In
25 January 2012 Cassini Sees the Two Faces of Titan’s Dunes A new analysis of radar data from the Cassini mission orbiting Saturn has revealed regional variations among sand dunes on Saturn’s moon Titan. The result gives new clues about the moon’s climatic and geological history.
19 January 2012 At Edge of Solar System, Voyager 1 Gets Cooler Now flying through a region between the solar system and interstellar space, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft is operating one of its instruments at temperatures lower than ever. To reduce power consumption, mission managers turned off a heater on part of the spacecraft in December, dropping the temperature of its ultraviolet spectrometer by more than 23 degrees Celsius. It is now operating at a temperature below minus 79 degrees Celsius, the coldest temperature that the instrument has ever endured.
18 January 2012 Space Environment at Risk; U.S. Joins Talks on Space Conduct Code The U.S. will join other nations and the European Union to develop an International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities to maintain “long-term sustainability, safety, stability, and security of space by establishing guidelines for the responsible use of space,” according to a statement by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
• State Dept on Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities
13 January 2012 NASA, Canada Fly High to Track Snow Fall NASA will fly an airborne science laboratory above Canadian snowstorms to tackle a difficult challenge facing the upcoming Global Precipitation Measurement satellite mission: measuring snowfall from space. Knowing how “wet” a snowflake is allows scientists to measure overall water content. A wet, heavy snow can shut down a city, and melted snow is a crucial source of freshwater in many areas.
12 January 2012 Remembering “Extra-Special” Space Shuttle Flight Joan Higginbotham remembers how the Earth looked when she saw it from the space shuttle Discovery in 2006. There is nothing in space to distort the view, she said, “and when you look down on the ocean there are such vibrant blues and greens — the colors seem almost made up.”
30 December 2011 NASA Twin Spacecraft on Final Approach for Moon Orbit NASA’s twin spacecraft to study the moon from crust to core are nearing their New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day main-engine burns to place the duo in lunar orbit. Named Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL), the spacecraft are scheduled to be placed in orbit beginning at 4:21 p.m. EST for GRAIL-A on December 31, and 5:05 p.m. EST for GRAIL-B the next day.
28 December 2011 Happy Birthday, Endangered Species Act! When the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973, U.S. businesses and industries predicted protecting wildlife would cause economic harm. Thirty-eight years later, the animals and the people are still benefiting. The U.S. law, enacted on December 28, 1973, established legal protections for animal and plant species at risk of extinction as well as for the habitats in which they live.
09 December 2011 New Scientific Integrity Policy Should Contribute to Public Trust The administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has unveiled a scientific integrity policy to govern the meteorological, climatic and marine science conducted by her agency.
01 December 2011 Demonstration Begins to Put Carbon in Ground, Not Atmosphere Excessive levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere are causing the planet to grow warmer, most researchers agree. One possible response to the problem is to prevent CO2 from entering the atmosphere by storing it somewhere else. That approach is called carbon sequestration, and a million-ton demonstration of CO2 storage has entered a critical phase — the injection of CO2 from a biofuels plant into a sandstone formation more than 2,100 meters below the surface of Decatur, Illinois.
26 November 2011 NASA Launches Most Capable and Robust Rover to Mars (NASA) NASA began a historic voyage to Mars with the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory, which carries a car-sized rover named Curiosity. The mission will pioneer precision landing technology and a sky-crane touchdown to place Curiosity near the foot of a mountain inside Gale Crater on 06 August 2012. During a nearly two-year prime mission after landing, the rover will investigate whether the region has ever offered conditions favorable for microbial life, including the chemical ingredients for life.
23 November 2011 Curiosity Will Look for Signs that Mars Could Support Life The U.S. space agency is set to launch an unmanned mission to Mars November 26, and while the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will leave Earth’s orbit alone, the craft represents 40 years of research and analysis conducted by generations of scientists trying to better understand life in the universe.
21 November 2011 Earth Observation Grows in Importance as Landsat Turns 40 The Landsat program began in 1972, and since then seven earth-observation satellites have been launched. Two remain in orbit today — Landsats 5 and 7 — and the 40th anniversary of the program will be noted as scientists and engineers work to ready Landsat 8 for launch in 2013.
16 November 2011 Briefing on the New Bureau of Energy Resources within the Department of State "Today, we’re pleased to announce that we have officially launched and have begun operations of an energy resources bureau. The bureau was created directly as a result of the work that Secretary Clinton mandated on the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review that began in 2009. At that point, she asked the Department to take a look at the challenges that the United States is going to face in foreign policy, international security, and international economics issues over the coming 25 years."
15 November 2011 NASA Readies Vehicle for Mars Mission The United States is preparing to send another exploratory vehicle to the planet Mars, the “largest and most complex piece of equipment to ever be placed on the surface of another planet,” said the director of the Mars exploration program, Doug McCuistion.
06 November 2011 NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Makes New Pass at Enceladus NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will acquire the first detailed radar images of Saturn’s moon Enceladus during a flyby on November 6. These will be the first high-resolution radar observations made of an icy moon other than Titan. The results will provide new information about the surface of Enceladus and enable researchers to compare its geological features as seen by radar with those of Titan.
20 October 2011 Malaria Vaccine Candidate Yields Promising Results in Trial Researchers and government health officials express measured optimism about a malaria vaccine candidate that has produced positive results in trials involving more than 15,000 children across 11 sites in seven countries in Africa, where the disease causes the most deaths. The vaccine is known as RTS,S and it has provided “young African children with significant protection against clinical and severe malaria with an acceptable safety and tolerability profile,” according to a press announcement made by two of the main partner organizations that conducted the trial.
18 October 2011 The Cookstove Conundrum: Old Ways vs. New Habits, Better Health The U.S. Agency for International Development is initiating research to find out whether developing world families will adopt a new cooking technology and adapt their cooking methods to save their health.
12 October 2012 TB Deaths Reach New Lows, World Health Organization Says The number of deaths from tuberculosis and the number of new cases of this infectious disease are both on the decline, according to data released by the World Health Organization. Health policymakers devoted new energies and resources to tuberculosis in the last decade when it was recognized as a principal cause of death for people with AIDS.
03 October 2011 Genome Reveals Blood Pressure Markers in International Study An international research consortium has identified 29 genetic variations that influence blood pressure, providing insight into blood pressure abnormalities that are risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke. This class of disease is the world’s largest killer, taking more than 17 million lives in 2008, according to the World Health Organization.
20 September 2011 Nuclear Energy Challenges Global Safety and Security, Chu Says Chu said the goal is for a future in which peaceful nuclear energy is not only safe, but also accessible by all nations that abide by their obligations. “We must safeguard against any possible diversion or misuse of nuclear energy, whether by nations or terrorists, and ensure nations that violate their obligations face consequences,” he said, reading from a message sent by President Obama.
15 September 2011 Cleaner Fuel on Ships Produces Fewer Emissions, NOAA Finds Air pollution emitted by a seagoing vessel drops sharply when the ship switches to a cleaner, low-sulfur fuel, according to a study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
13 September 2011 Global Community to Accelerate Action Against Killer Diseases In a special session of the U.N. General Assembly September 19–20, the world community is expected to agree on an “action-oriented” plan for combating noncommunicable diseases. The plan is expected to have an emphasis on healthy lifestyles as the key step in prevention of these disorders, which include cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cancer and diabetes.
07 September 2011 U.S., EU Join Forces to Stop Illegal Fishing Top regulatory officials from the United States and the European Union signed an agreement September 7, pledging to escalate their efforts to stop illegal fishing. Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Maria Damanaki, E.U. commissioner for maritime affairs and fisheries, signed the pact to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing because it deprives fishermen who abide by the rules of $23 billion in seafood products each year.
31 August 2011 U.S. Government Calls for New Ideas to Develop Clean Energy The Obama administration is making progress in its campaign to move the United States forward in the use and development of innovative alternative energy technologies.
21 July 2011 Space Shuttle Lands, NASA Looks to New Era The space shuttle Atlantis dropped through the pre-dawn darkness July 21 toward a long strip of pavement at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, landed in perfect form, and ended a 13-day journey. The craft rolled to a stop and closed a 30-year chapter in U.S. manned space flight.
19 July 2011 Shuttle Atlantis Leaves Space Station, Heads Home The shuttle Atlantis undocked from the International Space Station July 19 to complete final inspections and journey back to Earth, the last of the shuttle craft ever to do so, as this era of manned space flight comes to a close.
13 July 2011 NASA Plans New Future for Space Program as Shuttle Era Ends The 30-year era of the space shuttle will end in about a week, but NASA, the Congress and the Obama administration are having some difficulty coming to terms on what’s ahead for the United States in space exploration.
11 July 2011 Space Shuttle Delivers Spare Parts, Equipment, Food, Supplies The space shuttle Atlantis is living up to the nickname given this class of spacecraft 30 years ago. The “space truck” safely delivered a huge cargo cache to the International Space Station July 11. The work of unpacking almost 4,100 kilograms of spare parts, equipment, food and other supplies begins. Atlantis is carrying a year’s worth of supplies for the International Space Station (ISS) because the shuttle fleet is going into retirement after 135 trips into orbit.
29 June 2011 NASA Prepares for Last Shuttle Mission Launch The cargo is being loaded, the astronauts are getting physical examinations and NASA is counting the final days before the July 8 launch of the final space shuttle mission in the 30-year-old program. The fourth of the shuttles to be built, Space Shuttle Atlantis will deliver the grand finale for the shuttle program. STS-135 is due for lift-off on 08 July 2011.
23 June 2011 U.S. Enters New Era in Ocean Governance From remote corners of the nation, from the farthest Pacific territories, members of U.S. ocean communities came to Washington June 21–23 to undertake a task never before attempted on a national scale. They are offering up their ideas, needs and questions to support a new national policy for the oceans, the coastlines and the Great Lakes.
22 June 2011 Vienna Talks Focus on Improving Nuclear Plant Safety Member nations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are working in Vienna to strengthen the safety protocols in international agreements on the peaceful use of nuclear power. Their meeting comes three months after the accident at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.
21 June 2011 More Research Builds Case for Global Warming, Rising Seas New research published June 20 finds a steady rise in the sea level on the U.S. Atlantic coast, a faster rise now than at any time in the last 2,000 years. The findings represent the first continuous sea-level reconstruction for the past 2,000 years, comparing variations in global temperature to changes in sea level over the millennia.
20 June 2011 Messenger Spacecraft Sends New Data from Mercury The first spacecraft to ever orbit the planet Mercury, Messenger, is sending Earth-bound scientists images providing surface details they’ve never seen before. Messenger is now sending images of greater clarity and higher resolution than ever seen before.
17 June 2011 U.S., EU Consider Code of Conduct for Space The United States is reviewing a European Union-proposed code of conduct for space activities as a mechanism to strengthen security, safety and sustainability for that vast area beyond the bounds of Earth. Coming to a shared understanding of what “space security” means is a starting point, said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Space and Defense Policy Frank A. Rose. He explained how the United States defines the term: “the pursuit of those activities that ensure the sustainability, stability and free access to, and use of, outer space in support of a nation’s vital interests.”
17 June 2011 U.S. Military Unveils Ambitious Energy Strategy The Pentagon is calling for dramatic cuts in the U.S. military’s energy consumption and a revised look at the impact of energy use on combat effectiveness. As the single largest U.S. consumer of energy, the Pentagon has been under increasing pressure to reduce its energy bill — around $15 billion in 2010 — as the government faces tough budgetary choices and the price of petroleum rises.
02 June 2011 Presidential Proclamation on National Oceans Month During National Oceans Month, we celebrate the value of our oceans to American life and recognize the critical role they continue to play in our economic progress, national security, and natural heritage.
01 June 2011 Space Shuttle Endeavour Lands, Shuttle Atlantis at Launch Pad Space shuttle Endeavour landed for the final time at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center after 248 orbits around Earth and a journey of 6,510,221 miles on STS-134. During the 16-day mission, Endeavour and its crew delivered the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) and spare parts including two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank and additional spare parts for Dextre.
24 May 2011 Trees Have Carbon Task Want to do something about climate change? Plant a tree.
17 May 2011 Nations Must Recommit to Polio Eradication, Health Leader Says A top U.S. health official called on the community of nations to devote resources and energy to the final eradication of the paralyzing disease of polio. "Until the disease is eradicated everywhere, it remains a threat everywhere," said U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius at a meeting of the 64th World Health Assembly in Geneva. "We all have a role to play."
13 May 2011 U.S. Signs Arctic Search-and-Rescue Agreement Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has joined representatives of the seven other Arctic Council member states to sign a search-and-rescue agreement, the council’s first legally binding deal. The Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic “coordinates life-saving international maritime and aeronautical coverage and response among the Arctic states across an area of about 13 million square miles."
10 May 2011 U.S. Takes High-Level Interest in Arctic Meeting Two U.S. Cabinet secretaries head to Nuuk, Greenland, for a meeting of the Arctic Council May 12, devoting a “historic” level of executive branch attention, according to one U.S. official, to this meeting of nations with territorial claims to the top of the world.
04 May 2011 NASA Remembers First U.S. Manned Space Flight America’s national space agency is marking the 50th anniversary of the United States’ entry into manned space flight May 5. Commemorative events, including a re-enactment of the flight, are being celebrated at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
25 April 2011 Studies Say Cities Are Ill Prepared for Hazards of Climate Change A U.S. researcher says cities worldwide are particularly vulnerable to damage from the effects of climate change — and doing little to prepare for them. The cities also are failing to reduce the damage they are causing through carbon emissions, the researcher said.
22 April 2011 Scientists Try to Learn from Japanese Earthquake The Earth “rang like a bell” when one of the greatest earthquakes ever recorded struck the eastern coast of Japan and sent shock waves to monitoring stations around the globe. What science learns from the March 11 data will help all nations better understand, prepare for and protect themselves from the damage such violent natural phenomena can do.
20 April 2011 State Department Releases Benchmarks to Meet Energy and Sustainability Goals The Department of State released its Fiscal Year 2010 scorecard on sustainability and energy performance in accordance with Executive Order 13514, which directs Federal agencies to meet a range of energy, water, pollution, and waste reduction targets. The scorecard, issued by the Office of Management and Budget, indicates the Department is meeting most of its environmental requirements.
14 April 2011 Panel on Space Situational Awareness Remarks by Frank Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, at the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.
12 April 2011 Announcement that 2011 is the International Year of Forests Remarsk by Daniel Reifsnyder, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs in Washington, DC.
07 April 2011 World Health Day Marked with Warnings on Loss of “Wonder Drugs” Medical science made a giant leap forward in the mid-20th century with the discovery of antibiotics, but now the prospect of a reversal in progress looms, as medications once known as “wonder drugs” lose their effectiveness. Widely used antibiotics are losing their effectiveness against fighting disease because the bacteria they target have mutated to develop resistance to the medications.
30 March 2011 Obama Announces New Energy Security Measures The United States will begin an effort to reduce its dependence on
imported oil by a third over 10 years by increasing domestic energy
production, increasing the use of biofuels and natural gas, and
improving the fuel efficiency of U.S.-built cars and trucks, President
• Fact Sheet on U.S. Energy Security
23 March 2011 New Treatments, Diagnostic Methods Celebrated on TB Day 2011 Medical practitioners involved in treating tuberculosis will mark World Tuberculosis Day March 24 with a new sense of hope about progress against the disease.
22 March 2011 U.S., World Bank Collaborate to Improve Water Access, Sanitation In a transcontinental commemoration of World Water Day March 22, the United States and the World Bank signed an agreement to energize their efforts to improve developing world access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.
• U.S. Water Policy: Water Security is Human Security
• Secretary Clinton on World Water Day
21 March 2011 Threat of Major Nuclear Accident in Japan Subsides International experts provide hope that Japan is inching away from the brink of a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, severely damaged by the earthquake and resulting tsunami that pounded the nation’s northeast coast March 11.
18 March 2011 U.S. Water Policy: Water Security is Human Security
17 March 2011 U.S. Radiation-Detection Experts and Supplies Sent to Help Japan The Obama administration has sent equipment and expertise to help Japanese authorities as they work to contain the emergency at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant.
16 March 2011 Japan Quake Magnitude Boosted to 9 The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has followed Japanese scientists
in upgrading the wallop of the massive earthquake that struck northeast
Japan on March 11. The temblor, which the Japanese have dubbed the Tohoku quake, ranked
a magnitude 9, not the 8.9 originally reported.
• USAID Fact Sheet on Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (14 March 2011)
06 March 2011 President Obama Makes Long Distance Call to Space On Thursday President Obama called the crews of the Space Shuttle Discovery and International Space Station (ISS) to congratulate them on their achievements and courage as they work and live in orbit around the Earth. This Space Shuttle mission, which is the last for the venerable Discovery orbiter before it is retired, includes tasks such as delivering the first human-like robot to space and transporting the last major structural element for the U.S. segment of the ISS.
04 March 2011 United States Joins International Renewable Energy Agency The United States today deposited its instrument of acceptance to join the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), becoming the 63rd member. IRENA formed in 2009 in response to growing international interest in the adoption of renewable energy technologies to meet the challenges of sustained economic growth, energy security and climate change.
25 February 2011 Discovery Thunders into Space to Begin Final Flight Space shuttle Discovery rode a brilliant trail of fire and smoke Thursday afternoon as it soared into orbit for an important mission to the International Space Station. The launch came after a last-minute technical glitch with the Air Force's Eastern Range that left only four seconds in the launch window and a practical limit of two seconds because of draining requirements with the external fuel tank.
17 February 2011 U.S., Russian Scientists Researching North Pacific Volcanoes Building on 20 years of productive collaboration, scientists from the United States and Russia are planning the next steps in researching the dynamic geological forces at work in a 4,000-kilometer arc stretching from the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East across the Aleutian Islands chain to mainland Alaska.
17 February 2011 Wind Power Becoming Competitive with Coal The U.S. government is pushing for large-scale wind power development and the timing may be just right. A recent study from Bloomberg New Energy Finance says that costs for electricity generated by onshore wind are now on par with costs for coal-generated power in the United States and several other markets. That could speed up development of renewables at a time when the world seeks cleaner sources of energy.
07 February 2011 Solar Panels Versus Trees Americans love their trees. As a growing number of homeowners in leafy neighborhoods install solar panels, however, an awkward debate has emerged. What is more important for the environment and for humans in the long run: clean energy or trees?
02 February 2011 One Million Electric Cars Coming Our Way? Traffic on American roads soon could run a bit cleaner. Cleaner vehicles are part of the federal government's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build "clean" industries that provide new jobs. Some experts have questioned whether the goal President Obama set in his speech is realistic, considering that the market for electric cars is still in its infancy.
26 January 2011 Obama Outlines Ambitious Energy Agenda Continued heavy investment in clean energy is necessary to help the United States transition to a stronger and more sustainable economy, President Obama said in his January 25 State of the Union address to Congress. With more research and incentives, the United States can be the first country that has 1 million electric vehicles on the road five years from now, he said. A quarter century from now, the country should be able to get 80 percent of its electricity from wind, solar, biomass, natural gas and nuclear plants, he added.
24 January 2011 Clean Energy for the Empire State Building The Empire State Building on New York's Manhattan Island is an architectural icon. It also happens to be one of America’s biggest "green building" success stories. After a two-year, $20 million building retrofit that cut the Empire State Building’s energy consumption by 38 percent, property managers recently signed a contract to purchase all electricity for the building from a company that offers only renewable energy. The two-year contract covers about 55 million kilowatt hours of wind power annually while cutting carbon dioxide emissions by almost 45 million kilos.
20 January 2011 U.S. Toughens Offshore Drilling Rules The worst oil spill in U.S. history has triggered a shake-up of the government agency that oversees offshore drilling and prompted new rules that officials hope will keep oceans safe from future accidents. At stake are not just American waters, but oceans worldwide, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told an ocean conference being held in Washington January 19–21.
19 January 2011 Solar Lights Bring Life to Afghan Capital The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has spent $160,000 to install 28 streetlights along a busy commercial street in the Afghan capital. Another 170 or so solar energy lights will go up in coming months. It turns out that solar lights are a natural fit for the city, said Steve Danner, the Army Corps of Engineers' Kabul area officer in charge.
12 January 2011 Fact Sheet: U.S.-Russia 123 Agreement on Nuclear Energy The Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation for Cooperation in the Field of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (The U.S.-Russia 123 Agreement).
04 January 2011 Coal Plants Take a Back Seat Construction of coal-fired power plants has slowed significantly in the United States as a sluggish economy and uncertainties surrounding future energy policy make electric utilities rethink their investment plans.
28 December 2010 Emissions Rules for Power Plants, Refineries On the Way The U.S. government continues to use federal regulatory powers to rein in greenhouse gas emissions, most recently focusing on power plants and oil refineries. The two industries produce nearly 40 percent of emissions in the United States.
15 December 2010 Carbon Capture: A Tough Nut to Crack Populations grow, emissions increase, global temperatures continue to rise. What to do? Emission cap-and-trade schemes and renewable energy alone likely won’t be able to bend the carbon curve — the term climate-change experts like to use to describe a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. For that reason, governments and companies increasingly are looking for new and unconventional solutions to the climate problem.
01 December 2010 World Aids Day 2010 On this day we honor the millions of people around the world who have been impacted by the AIDS epidemic -- those who are living with HIV, those we have lost, and the caregivers, families, friends and communities who have provided support.
22 November 2010 Indonesia, United States Partner to Fight Bird Flu, Other Viruses The new Indonesian National Laboratory for Infectious Diseases Research — a sophisticated research facility at Badan Litbangkes in Jakarta built by the Indonesian National Institute of Health and Research Development (NIHRD) — is seeking to better understand and control the avian influenza (bird flu) virus and other dangerous diseases facing Indonesia. “Avian influenza started in Hong Kong and then spread globally,” Frank Mahoney, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) office in Indonesia, told America.gov. The disease is “a real challenge and there has been a great deal of concern that there could be a pandemic,” Mahoney said.
12 November 2010 World Pneumonia Day 2010 The 2nd Annual World Pneumonia Day will take place on 12 November 2010 and is an opportunity to raise global awareness of pneumonia. The United States is committed to preventing unnecessary loss of life to pneumonia, the single largest cause of death in children worldwide according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
10 November 2010 China Pursues Green Energy China will aggressively pursue clean energy policies for the foreseeable future, driven mostly by the desire to reduce its dependence on overseas energy supplies, according to U.S. experts. China's energy industries have been shifting away from small, inefficient coal-fired power plants toward larger, modern and cleaner units, and, with government support, have been investing in renewable energy sources and industries. The government also is phasing in stringent fuel economy standards to reduce petroleum consumption in transportation.
03 November 2010 Green, Affordable Homes Make It Right Three years ago, Hollywood actor and film producer Brad Pitt decided to help rebuild a low-income New Orleans neighborhood devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Today, his project shows that energy-efficient, green homes are not just feasible — they also can be affordable with a little help.
28 October 2010 Robots and Other Wonders Lure American Kids to Science Robots that kick soccer balls, solar-powered vehicles and helmets that offer virtual bike rides were some of the attractions at America’s first national science exposition, the grand finale of two weeks of activities intended to motivate more young people to pursue careers in science.
28 October 2010 Conservation Agency Races to Protect U.S. Wildlife All U.S. government agencies are rethinking how they do business as a rapidly warming climate disturbs natural resources, but few may be as focused on these changes as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Charged with protecting and managing animals and sensitive habitats in America’s vast wilderness areas, many of the agency’s 9,000 employees spent more than 18 months planning and consulting with environmental groups, state wildlife conservation agencies and other outside partners before unveiling an ambitious, long-range climate action plan.
19 October 2010 Many People See Great Potential in Small Reactors Few energy technologies have generated more interest among U.S. utilities and developing nations than small, modular nuclear reactors (SMRs). Modular reactors under 300 megawatts (MW), which are considered small and often are no larger than a shipping container, are put together in a factory rather than at a power plant and then sealed and transported by rail, truck or barge to a plant’s site.
15 October 2010 Presidential Proclamation on National Breast Cancer Awareness Month While considerable progress has been made in the fight against breast cancer, it remains the most frequently diagnosed type of non skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in our country.
13 October 2010 U.S. Dengue Virus Discovery Might Lead to New Treatments Discovery of a key step in how the dengue virus infects a cell might lead to new drugs to prevent or treat the infection, the U.S. National Institutes of Health announced. NIH researchers have discovered how the dengue virus releases itself from the protective membrane that shields it from penetrating a cell.
13 October 2010 U.S. Environment Agency Helps Shanghai Breathe Easier A successful U.S.-China collaboration on air quality monitoring was witnessed firsthand by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson during a visit to the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.
20 September 2010 U.S. Energy Secretary at IAEA's 54th General Conference Secretary Chu Addresses the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference.
21 September 2010 Clean Cookstoves to Save Lives, Cut Pollution The U.S. government has teamed up with the United Nations Foundation and a number of international partners to tackle a major health threat and contributor to climate change: cookstoves.
07 September 2010 Americans Consume Less Energy, Less Fossil Fuel Efforts to wean Americans off fossil fuels and onto green energy and conservation are beginning to pay off, a new study suggests. Households and businesses across the United States used significantly less coal and oil in 2009 than the year before, the study from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory shows.
31 August 2010 Energy from Oceans and Rivers to Power the U.S. Grid There was the sun and the wind — and now comes the power of water. If the promise of this fledgling energy technology holds true, it could eventually be as affordable and viable as fossil fuel and nuclear power. In late 2010, Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) expects to become the first ocean wave-energy company to produce power for the U.S. electric grid. If things go as planned, the New Jersey-based corporation would also become the world’s first to continuously produce wave-generated power for public consumption.
10 August 2010 U.S. Nuclear Power Expansion Gains Traction The next chapter in the history of the U.S. nuclear power industry will open around two giant pits about 40 kilometers south of Atlanta. More than 3 million cubic meters of dirt have been removed from the pits in preparation for the construction of Vogtle 3 and Vogtle 4, the first nuclear reactors to be ordered in the United States in 30 years.
27 July 2010 Statement on U.S.-Canada Joint Arctic Survey Mission The U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Task Force, chaired by the Department of State, will conduct a joint Arctic mission with the Government of Canada this summer to collect scientific data pertaining to the extended continental shelf and Arctic seafloor. The mission will continue the U.S.-Canada collaboration begun in 2008. As in the past two years, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent will participate in the mission. The joint operations will be conducted from August 7 to September 3.
26 July 2010 Investments in Renewable Energy Top Fossil-Fuel Projects Despite a continued weak global economy, investments in solar, wind and other renewable energy projects outpaced fossil fuel investments in 2009 for the second year in a row, a new study from the United Nations Environment Programme shows. This was true in both the United States and in the European Union.
09 July 2010 Virginia Tech Home Wins Solar Decathlon Europe Americans get less than 1 percent of their electricity from the sun, but that humble statistic doesn’t discourage Corey McCalla and other students at Virginia Tech who brought their high-tech, energy-producing home to Solar Decathlon Europe in Madrid, Spain, in June and conquered the competition. Their house design, called Lumenhaus, uses a mix of flexible solar power roof panels, geothermal heating, an open floor design and natural heating and lighting from the sun to provide the kind of comfort and lifestyle many people in a country such as the United States have come to expect.
29 June 2010 New U.S. Space Policy Emphasizes International Cooperation The Obama administration is making international cooperation a cornerstone of its new space policy and is emphasizing technological innovation in the private sector and expanding research on the Earth’s atmosphere and climate.
16 June 2010 Obama Vows to Fight Oil Spill “With Everything We’ve Got” President Obama told Americans his administration will fight the Gulf of Mexico oil spill “with everything we’ve got for as long as it takes,” and that he will tell BP executives to set aside money for an independently administered compensation fund for businesses and workers harmed by the spill. Obama also urged Americans to accelerate the country’s transition to a clean energy economy.
15 June 2010 Remarks by President Obama to the Nation on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (White House)
14 June 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: International Offers of Assistance including United Kingdom As we work to mitigate the effects of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the United States is grateful for the offers of assistance received from seventeen countries and four international bodies in the form of equipment, expertise and general assistance.
07 June 2010 Climate Change Media Partnership Trains, Connects Journalists Mass communications media in the developed world have covered scientific and political debates over the impact of global climate change for nearly two decades. But journalists in developing countries did not have the budgets, the training, or the opportunities to do the same.
06 June The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill (White House)
05 June 2010 Secretary Clinton on World Environment Day
28 May 2010 Obama: We Will Stop Gulf Oil Leak President Obama said the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is a tragedy that is difficult to stop, but the U.S. government is exploring all reasonable strategies in an effort to plug the leak and mitigate the ecological and economic damage. Speaking to reporters at a White House press conference, Obama said the federal government is overseeing the actions taken by British Petroleum to plug the leak at its offshore well, saying government officials are “authorized to direct BP in the same way that they’d be authorized to direct those same teams if they were technically being paid by the federal government.”
17 May 2010 As Shuttle Program Winds Down, Space Station Science Takes Off Two shuttle missions remain after Atlantis’s perfect, final May 14 launch.
03 May 2010 Governments Respond to Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico Federal, state and local officials are working aggressively to contain a major oil spill from a collapsed deep-water oil rig that is threatening beaches, marshlands and estuaries along the U.S. coast of the Gulf of Mexico. President Obama traveled to the southeastern Louisiana coast May 2 to reassure residents and fishermen that the federal government was doing all it can to help mitigate the impact of a huge oil spill that is drifting toward the U.S. coastline.
03 May 2010 New U.S. Support for Nuclear Weapons-Free Zones and Energy Use Countries gathered at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference must decide if the 21st century will be a time that sees the continued spread of nuclear weapons or a period that helps realize the vision of a world without them, said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
02 May 2010 Remarks by President Obama on Oil Spill President Obama promises help as disaster worsens
29 April 2010 Video: U.S. Contributes to Global Millennium Seed Bank Project To celebrate Earth Day, Environment Officer Sonia Laul travelled to Kew Gardens, London to find out about the Millennium Seed Bank Project.
22 April 2010 The 40th Anniversary of Earth Day: A Day
of Celebration The first Earth Day took place in 1970 inthe United States
and succeeded in launching the modern environmental movement. Rising
environmental awareness during that period led the U.S. government to establish
the Environmental Protection Agency in late 1970, and to enact ground-breaking
• Presidential Proclamation for Earth Day (PDF 13KB)
• What is Earth Day ?
19 April 2010 The Americas Move Forward on Clean Energy More than 30 energy ministers and delegates from 32 Western Hemisphere countries spent two days in Washington discussing collaborative approaches to a low-carbon future and new partnerships that will help address clean energy and energy security concerns in the region.
16 April 2010 Obama Lays Out Plan for U.S. Space Program President Obama set out his plan for the future of the U.S. space agency NASA. His vision includes an eventual manned flight to Mars, although not as soon as many Americans had hoped. The president went to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center to defend his controversial proposal to change America’s course in space.
13 April 2010 About the Earth Day Network with President Kathleen Rogers
Earth Day, celebrated on April 22 each year, marks the anniversary of the
birth in 1970 of the modern environmental movement in the United States. The
first Earth Day led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species acts.
• See also: What is Earth Day?
24 March 2010 Obama Administration Recording Greenhouse Gas Emissions The United States is seeking to increase the number of industry sectors that must report greenhouse gas emissions under a new mandatory reporting system.The collected data would provide a better understanding of specific sources and help regulators and businesses develop effective ways to reduce emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the federal agency that regulates substances that could damage the environment.
22 March 2010 Dwindling Water Rises to Top U.S. Priority Increased
population growth and the effects of climate change will cause nearly
two-thirds of the world’s population to be living under water-stress
conditions by the year 2025, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
warns, and she says the United States is elevating the issue of water
scarcity in its foreign policy not only to encourage more efficient
use, but also to minimize future political conflicts as resources
become more scarce.
• Secretary Clinton's Remarks on World Water Day
• Watch Video of Secretary Clinton speaking on World Water Day
01 March 2010 U.S. Science Envoys A new diplomacy effort sends scientists to North Africa, Southeast Asia and beyond to strengthen partnerships and help solve global challenges.
16 February 2010 Obama Sets Funding Help for First New Nuclear Plant in Decades U.S. President Barack Obama says the government will guarantee more than $8 billion in loans to help build the first new American nuclear power plant in decades. The project is expected to produce roughly 4000 new jobs. The president says clean, safe nuclear power is vital to the nation's future. “To meet our growing energy needs and prevent the worst consequences of climate change, we will need to increase our supply of nuclear power. It is that simple,” he said.
16 February 2010 Finding the Softer Side of Steel People have been working with metal for thousands of years to make it harder, tougher, stronger. Afsaneh Rabiei has made it fluffier. Her invention promises to save energy and lives. Rabiei is an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, and the metal foam for which she was awarded a patent in January is lightweight and strong but can absorb energy as it compresses.
09 February 2010 An Update on International Climate Change Negotiations (Video from americanprogress.org) Todd Stern, U.S. Special Envoy for climate change, spoke about the lessons of the COP-15 summit in Copenhagen last December, the significance of the Copenhagen Accord and the path forward over the coming year and beyond.
13 January 2010 Why Was Haiti Earthquake So Devastating? More than 3 million people in Haiti are estimated to have been affected by the earthquake that struck January 12. Registering at magnitude 7.0, it is the most violent earthquake to hit that island nation in a century. Deaths, injuries and damage are yet to be tallied. According to experts, magnitude 7 earthquakes - considered "severe" by seismologists - occur around the world 12 to 15 times each year. What made the Haiti earthquake especially devastating?
11 February 2010 VIDEO: RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch at Winfield House RSPB members and guests join in the Big Garden Birdwatch by going to the American Ambassador's residence in London, Winfield House.
11 January 2010 Announcement on Travel of First U.S. Science Envoys The U.S. Science Envoys Program is a core element of the U.S. commitment to global engagement in science and technology. American science and technology contributes to the global engine of progress and growth, and short-term visits by highly-respected American scientists have the potential to build bridges and help identify opportunities for sustained cooperation.
17 December 2009 Clinton
Says U.S. Would Raise Billions for Developing Countries The Obama
administration is prepared to join other major economies in coming up with $100
billion per year over the next 10 years for a fund to help developing countries
cope with climate-change needs. However, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham
Clinton says, any global climate-change agreement will also need to include
transparency standards to help verify that each country is fulfilling its
• Remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
14 December 2009 Fact sheet: Clean Energy Technology Announcements Today at the Copenhagen climate conference, on behalf of President Obama, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the launch of a new initiative to promote clean energy technologies in developing countries. Secretary Chu also welcomed progress under the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) and invited his counterparts in MEF and other countries to a first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial next year.
18 November 2009 VIDEO: U.S. Taking Practical Action on Climate Change Deputy Chief of Mission Richard LeBaron speaks at the "creating the climate for change" conference in London.
18 November 2009 Economic Recovery Depends on Rebalancing Global Demand To establish a global foundation for growth and avert future economic crises, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says, the major advanced economies must rebalance global demand. “The financial crisis also showed clearly that previous global economic patterns were unsustainable,” he said. “Cooperation through the (Group of 20) will remain essential as we start to unwind extraordinary measures and put in place the broad framework to achieve a strong, sustainable and balanced recovery, and implement profound financial reforms at home and abroad.”
17 November 2009 Statement on U.S.-China Energy Efficiency Action Plan Plan emphasizes economy, energy security and combating climate change.
• Announcements on U.S.-China Clean Energy Programs
17 November 2009 Statement on U.S.-China Shale Gas Resource Initiative Initiative to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy security.
12 November 2009 Mitigation Policy Central Challenge in Climate Change Negotiation When negotiators meet in Copenhagen in December to discuss international action to fight global warming, the hottest debate will concern how to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Policies designed to reduce CO2 emissions and stabilize greenhouse gases at a level that is environmentally sustainable are crucial to mitigate the effects of climate change.
12 November 2009 Clinton Sees Copenhagen Climate Conference as Steppingstone The U.N.-sponsored climate conference in December in Copenhagen can become the steppingstone to a full and binding legal climate agreement if it focuses on the right blend of practical approaches and principles, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says. “The United States has taken dramatic steps in the past year to change the way we use energy at home, and we have taken our seat at the table in international climate negotiations,” said Clinton in a press conference at the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Singapore
12 November 2009 International Collaboration Key to Mitigating Climate Change (Part 1 in a series) Human activities, especially those that burn fossil fuels and emit planet-warming carbon dioxide, are driving changes in the climate system. Mitigating these changes and their potentially disastrous effects is stimulating a new kind of technology cooperation among governments, industries and institutions.
05 November 2009 Briefing by Ambassador Morningstar on U.S.-EU Energy Council Dialogue on strategic energy policy and technology via teleconference.
09 October 2009 U.S. Officials Announce New Food and Agriculture Research Agency A new government agency plans to bring together government and private scientists to improve research in food and agriculture. The establishment of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture was announced October 8 by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and White House Science Advisor John Holdren.
05 October 2009 Three American Researchers Awarded Nobel Prize in Medicine Three American medical researchers won the 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine for their research into how cells operate. Their work has affected cancer treatment and understanding of the aging process. The winners are Elizabeth Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco, Carol Greider of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Jack Szostak of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.
02 October 2009 Seeking a New Generation of Cyberdefenders Though they tend to be young and eager, skilled cybersecurity experts are small in number. There simply are not enough of them to meet projected long-term global public and private sector requirements. Corporations, smaller businesses and governments need future leaders who can provide information assurance by protecting computer networks containing proprietary information or political-military strategies and monitoring, detecting, analyzing and responding to any actions that could compromise or infiltrate those networks.
29 September 2009 Successful HIV Vaccine Study Will Lead to Further Research Medical researchers in Thailand have developed an approach to prevent HIV the same way it has been treated, by using a combination vaccine to successfully halt the spread of the disease. Public health officials announced in Bangkok that they successfully used two previously unsuccessful HIV vaccines in combination in a large, six-year study to prevent people from getting HIV, which causes AIDS. The vaccines used in the study cannot cause HIV infection because they are not made from and do not contain the whole virus, active or dead, the medical researchers said.
21 September 2009 Ambassador Susman op-ed on Meeting the Climate Change Challenge
15 September 2009 Norman Borlaug, "Father of the Green Revolution," Dies at Age 95 Norman Borlaug, the plant scientist recognized around the world as the "father of the Green Revolution," died September 14 in his home in Dallas. He was 95 years old. Borlaug is credited with saving more than 1 billion lives from starvation in Pakistan and India during the 1960s and early 1970s. These years were "the greatest period of food production in human history," said Kenneth Quinn, president of the Iowa-based World Food Prize Foundation. Borlaug founded the foundation in 1996.
14 September 2009 Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern will lead U.S. participation in the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate at the Department of State on September 17-18, 2009. Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs Michael Froman will serve as chair. The meeting will take place at the level of leaders' representatives and will be the first meeting since the leaders met on July 9, 2009 in L'Aquila, Italy.
12 August 2009 U.S. Contributes $500,000 to Support World Climate Conference U.S. delegation will be headed by NOAA Administrator Lubchenco.
10 August 2009 North American Leaders' Summit: Energy Deliverables Collaboration on energy remains an important aspect of trilateral relations.
10 August 2009 North American Leaders' Declaration on H1N1 Leaders pledge to continue close collaboration to address H1N1 pandemic.
31 July 2009 Less Driving, Better Vehicles: Keys to Energy, Climate Causes When asked if gasoline-electric hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles are the most promising auto technologies, Rob Farrington paused. It wasn’t that he did not know the answer. After all, he heads the advanced vehicle group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. It was that the question did not address the real issue.
31 July 2009 Advanced Cars Will Save the Day, and Fuel, Eventually Who is more environmentally conscious: someone who owns a large sport utility vehicle or someone who has a compact car in his garage? That is the question Rob Farrington asks his audiences when he lectures. The answer is … it depends. A sport utility vehicle whose owner takes a bus to work and drives only on weekends uses less gasoline and produces fewer greenhouse gases than does a compact car used by its owner for a daily commute to work.
28 July 2009 Fact Sheet: Climate Change, Energy and the Environment U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue faces challenges.
24 July 2009 Interior Secretary: The Way to a New Energy Future
21 July 2009 Obama Letter on U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Report Report to Congress covers activities from October 4, 2008, to June 30, 2009.
20 July 2009 Astronaut Marsha Ivins Discusses 40th Anniversary of Moon Mission Astronaut Marsha Ivins answered questions in a CO.NX webchat on the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
16 July 2009 Endeavour Mission Will Finish Installing Japanese Kibo Laboratory Endeavour is on its way to the International Space Station to complete the installation of Japan's Kibo laboratory, after a delay in June to fix a gaseous hydrogen leak on the external tank and a series of July launch attempts canceled due to Florida’s summer thunderstorms.
13 July 2009 Signing of Intergovernmental Agreement on Nabucco Pipeline Statement by Ian Kelly, Spokesman.
09 July 2009 Meeting the International Clean Energy and Climate Change Challenges From his first days in office, President Obama has made it a top priority of the United States to accelerate our transformation to a clean energy economy and combat climate change. President Obama is committed to leading the way through strong domestic actions and working with partners around the world to achieve an international agreement that will promote the clean energy technologies necessary to lower global greenhouse gas emissions in the developed and developing worlds alike. As a key part of this effort, President Obama launched the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate.
02 July 2009 International Science Council to Revamp World Data Centers For more than 50 years, the International Council for Science (ICSU) has had world data centers — open, nonpolitical repositories of data for scientists in every country. Now, the ICSU is replacing the centers with a leading-edge World Data System (WDS) whose scope and technologies are evolving but whose policy of nondiscriminatory access to science remains a priority.
29 June 2009 Secretary's Remarks: Signing the Statute of the International Renewable Energy Agency "I am pleased to announce that, as part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to the development of clean, renewable energy, the United States today signed the Statute of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). IRENA will engage governments around the world in promoting a rapid transition toward the widespread and sustainable use of renewable energy on a global scale.
26 June 2009 Understanding the Carbon Cycle Carbon: the fourth most abundant element in the universe and the building block of life on Earth. Carbon moves throughout the Earth — between the atmosphere, the oceans, sedimentary rock, soil and plants and animals — in what scientists call the carbon cycle.
20 June 2009 Climate Change Is an Urgent Problem Opening Remarks by Head of the U.S. Delegation at UNFCCC Climate Change Talks, Bonn, Germany
17 June 2009 U.S. Regions Experiencing Climate Change Effects Now, Report Says The first U.S. report in nearly a decade to assess the impacts of climate change in different regions of the United States confirms and extends research that describes rising sea and air temperatures and sea levels, melting ice, intensified hurricanes and many other changes that are happening now. Such changes will continue into the future, affecting water resources, agriculture, coastal areas and health.
12 June 2009 China, United States Can Cooperate to Reduce CO2 Emissions Representatives
of China and the U.S. have completed open and candid discussions in
Beijing "about what needs to be done on both sides to advance toward a
successful outcome" at the U.N. climate change meeting in Copenhagen in
December, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern told
reporters in Washington June 12.
• Remarks by Todd Stern, Special Envoy for Climate Change
08 June 2009 U.S. Global Partnerships Key in Fighting Drug-Resistant TB Thousands of kilometers apart, a classroom in the Philippines, a network of clinics in Brazil and a medical research center in South Korea demonstrate a key element of the United States' response to drug-resistant tuberculosis. Partnerships involving governments, the private sector and nongovernmental organizations are critical in global efforts to conquer multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR TB).
29 May 2009 Obama Administration Breaks New Ground on the Internet During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama impressed Americans and the world with his deft use of the Internet and social networking technologies. Now his administration is using the Internet to make government more accessible and include citizens in the policymaking process. The Open Government initiative, calls for more citizen participation to enhance government effectiveness and for greater collaboration across all levels of government and with the private sector to harness innovative tools.
28 May 2009 NASA on Insulating Paint Powder Turning Every Color "Green" Transforms color into environmentally friendly barrier, saves energy, cost
27 May 2009 Remarks by the President on Alternative Energy
26 May 2009 Space Telescope Fix a Success; Shuttle Prepares for June Launch Space shuttle Atlantis is home after a nearly 13-day mission and a weather-delayed landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California on May 24. Space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station on June 13, leaving seven flights to go before the shuttle's final flight in September 2010.
19 May 2009 President Obama Seeks New Fuel Efficiency Standards New federal rules proposed May 19 would increase national fuel efficiency standards for vehicles sold in the United States. “We have set in motion a national policy aimed at both increasing gas mileage and decreasing greenhouse gas pollution for all new trucks and cars sold in the United States of America,” President Obama said at the White House.
13 May 2009 Forecasts Show How Changing Environment Might Affect Life Scientists are combining climate-related data sets, data from Earth-observing satellites and mathematical models of organism behavior to forecast the effects of environmental change on ecosystems, much like how meteorologists forecast weather and climate.
11 May 2009 Atlantis Launch Begins Final Repair Mission for Space Telescope Space shuttle Atlantis and its seven-member crew began the fifth and final repair mission for the nearly 20-year-old Hubble Space Telescope with a midafternoon launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. During the 11-day STS-125 mission, which will extend Hubble operations through 2014, astronauts will install two new, cutting-edge instruments to enhance Hubble’s capabilities; replace gyros, batteries and other components; and attempt the first on-orbit repair of two instruments — the space telescope imaging spectrograph and the advanced cameras for surveys.
04 May 2009 Statement on Sea Turtle Conservation and Shrimp Imports Public Law 101-162 Section 609 provides benefits to endangered sea turtles.
29 April 2009 Climate Change "Clear and Present Danger, Secretary Clinton Says Representatives of 17 of the most important contributors to rising concentrations of planet-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases met April 27–28 to begin discussions they hope will lead to success at the United Nations climate change meeting in Copenhagen in December.
28 April 2009 Half of Population at Risk for Curable, Preventable Malaria Malaria infects more than 500 million people a year and kills more than 1 million — mostly infants, young children and pregnant women in Africa. Fighting the disease takes the determined work of many around the world, all of whom were recognized on April 25, World Malaria Day.
27 April 2009 Obama to Seek Record Levels of Research Investment In a speech before a group of scientists and engineers April 27, President Obama announced new measures to bolster science and technology research and a new initiative to encourage the development of clean energy technology.
27 April 2009 Swine Flu Outbreaks Mobilize International Public Health Effort Outbreaks of a new strain of influenza virus that began in north-central Mexico March 22 and have spread to the United States, Canada and Spain so far have prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the event a public health emergency of international concern.
10 April 2009 Technology Demonstration Projects Pave Way for U.S. Smart Grid Around the U.S., teams of utility companies, universities, national laboratories, state regulators and private companies are developing and demonstrating on a limited scale some of the key technologies that will eventually make up the 21st-century version of the nation’s aging electric power infrastructure.
09 April 2009 U.S. Electric System Begins Long Transformation to a Smart Grid Following the lead of some European and Pacific Rim nations, U.S. government technical and regulatory agencies, electric utilities, energy service providers and private companies are working to turn the nation’s century-old electric power grid into a 21st-century "smart grid."
08 April 2009 Scientists Find Humans Grow New Heart Muscle Scientists are using measurements of the radioactive carbon produced by Cold War-era nuclear bomb tests to prove adult humans replace heart muscle.
06 April 2009 United States Hosts 32nd Meeting of Antarctic Treaty Nations At a critical time for the Antarctic Peninsula, which scientists say is one of the fastest-warming places on Earth, and the increasing loss of summer ice in the Arctic Ocean, the first joint session of officials representing the Antarctic Treaty and the Arctic Council convened April 6 in Baltimore.
26 March 2009 Video: Science, GMOs and Food Security
Dr. Nina Fedoroff, Science and Technology Advisor to the Secretary of State and USAID Administrator discusses the benefits of GMOs.
25 March 2009 Food For Thought: USDA Promoting American Food Overseas
A look at the US Department of Agriculture's role in promoting American food and drink at the International Food & Drink Exhibition in London.
16 March 2009 Shuttle to Deliver First Japanese Crew Member to Space Station Ten minutes after the sun set in Florida and just over a month after its original launch date, space shuttle Discovery roared off the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center March 15 on a 13-day mission to deliver the International Space Station’s final set of solar array wings, completing the station's backbone.
03 March 2009 Keynote Remarks at U.S. Climate Action Symposium Special Envoy for Climate Change, Todd Stern
20 February 2009 Spacecraft Missions Play Dodgeball with Orbiting Debris Tens of thousands of pieces of space debris, or space junk as some call it, orbit the earth, threatening to disrupt space travel and destroy communications satellites on which the world depends.
30 January 2009 New NASA Spacecraft Dedicated to Studying Carbon Dioxide NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on February 23, the first U.S. spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide. The spacecraft will map the globe once every 16 days for at least two years.
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