Reuters Science News Summary

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Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Japanese researchers build robotic tail to keep elderly upright

Millions of years after the ancestors of humans evolved to lose their tails, a research team at Japan’s Keio University have built a robotic one they say could help unsteady elderly people keep their balance. Dubbed Arque, the grey one-meter device mimics tails such as those of cheetahs and other animals used to keep their balance while running and climbing, according to the Keio team.

China state agency successfully launches rocket for commercial use: CCTV

A Chinese government space agency successfully launched on Saturday its first rocket meant for commercial use, state television CCTV reported, as firms in the country compete to join a commercial satellite boom. Smart Dragon-1 rocket, which weighs 23 tonnes and was developed by a unit of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC), successfully delivered three satellites into orbit after a launch in Jiuquan, Gansu, CCTV said.

NASA chief announces Alabama facility as moon spacecraft headquarters

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Friday said Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama will serve as headquarters for the U.S. space agency’s program to build a spacecraft to put astronauts back on the moon by 2024. Bridenstine made the announcement at the Alabama facility, accompanied by lawmakers from that state. The announcement, which means potential jobs and prestige for Alabama, disappointed lawmakers from Texas who had lobbied for a site in their state.

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