Reuters Science News Summary
Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
SpaceX to retry U.S. satellite national security launch
Elon Musk's SpaceX was poised on Wednesday to launch a long-delayed navigation satellite for the U.S. military, trying for a second day to complete its first designated national security mission for the United States. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, carrying a roughly $500 million global positioning system (GPS) satellite built by Lockheed Martin Corp, is due to take off from Florida's Cape Canaveral shortly after 9 a.m. local time (1400 GMT).
Sue, the world-famous T. rex, gets a new lair in Chicago
Sue, the largest, most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever unearthed, gets to show off its new lair this week at the Field Museum in Chicago. The museum on Friday will unveil the 40-1/2-foot-long (12.3-meter) Sue, one of the world's best-known dinosaur fossils, in the giant meat-eater's new permanent exhibition space after 10 months of work moving and remounting the huge bones. Sue's bones were mounted in a way that reflects new understanding about the species acquired over the past two decades.
Solar system's most distant object is 'Farout' pink dwarf planet
Scientists have discovered the most distant object known in our solar system, so remote and unusual they chose the nickname "Farout" for the slow-moving, icy, pinkish dwarf planet about 120 to 130 times further from the sun than Earth. Astronomer Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington said on Tuesday the dwarf planet, officially designated as 2018 VG18, is estimated to have a diameter of 310 to 375 miles (500 to 600 km).
Wondrous extinct flying reptiles boasted rudimentary feathers
A microscopic examination of fossils from China has revealed that the fur-like body covering of pterosaurs, the remarkable flying reptiles that lived alongside dinosaurs, was actually made up of rudimentary feathers. The surprising discovery described by scientists on Monday means that dinosaurs and their bird descendants were not the only creatures to boast feathers and that feathers likely appeared much longer ago than previously known. Pterosaurs were only distantly related to dinosaurs and birds.
Big dinosaur predator from Italy was given a burial at sea
Scientists have unearthed fossils of a large meat-eating dinosaur that stalked northern Italy 198 million years ago that was remarkable both in life and in death. The researchers said on Wednesday Saltriovenator zanellai was about 25 feet long (7.5 meters) and weighed at least a ton, meaning that when it lived early in the Jurassic Period it was the largest-known carnivorous dinosaur that had ever existed.
Israeli spacecraft gets final element before 2019 moon launch
Israeli engineers on Monday added the final element to a spacecraft destined for the moon - a digital time capsule - and said they aimed to land the craft early next year, somewhere between the landing sites of Apollo 15 and 17. It will be the first mission of its kind since 2013 and, if it is successful, Israel will be the fourth country to carry out a controlled "soft" landing of an unmanned vessel on the moon.
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