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Sentinel satellite heads to Russia for rocket launch

The Sentinel 5P satellite Credit: Airbus Defence and Space

A Stevenage built satellite is heading to Russia for launch. The Sentinel 5P Satellite was designed and made at Airbus in the town.

Europe’s pollution monitoring satellite Sentinel-5 Precursor is heading to the launch site at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.

The probe is part of the global monitoring programme “Copernicus”, a joint European Commission–ESA undertaking which aims to acquire continuous and accurate Earth observation data and provide services to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change.

"This mission will give Europe new way to measure global pollution levels in much greater detail.”

– Colin Paynter, Managing Director of Airbus Defence and Space in the UK

More on the Copernicus project.

Crop of Iron: Researchers develop new wheat strain

New wheat strain to tackle iron deficiency Credit: PA Images

A new strain of wheat pumped full of iron has been created by bio-engineers at the Norwich John Innes Centre plant science institute.

The genetically modified cereal produces a white flour containing twice the normal amount of the mineral.

Scientists believe the levels, significantly higher than those in any commercially grown variety of wheat, could help alleviate iron deficiency around the world.

Dr Janneke Balk, from the centre said:

"This breakthrough means that higher levels of iron from the wheat itself could replace added iron in everyday items such as white flour and breakfast cereals, helping the estimated one billion people that suffer from iron deficiency worldwide."

– Dr Janneke Balk

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Scientists ask public to help record 'solitary bee' sightings

Solitary bees are unlike honeybees and bumblebees.

Scientists at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge want the public to help record sightings of solitary bees.

Unlike honeybees and bumblebees - solitary bees like the one pictured - rear their young on their own.

There are about 250 species of solitary bee in the UK, meaning they account for more than 90% of our total bee species

It is hoped the research will give a better understanding of important pollinators.

Stephen Hawking: 'We should start seeking other planets'

Professor Stephen Hawking has warned the human race must colonise a new planet or face dying out.

The Cambridge scientist was in London previewing a science and arts festival festival in Norway next month.

He believes overpopulation and climate change are threatening human survival and the search for other planets to live on should start now.

I strongly believe we should start seeking alternative planets for possible habitation.

We are running out of space on Earth and we need to break through the technological limitations preventing us living elsewhere in the universe.

– Professor Stephen Hawking
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