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Exploding satellite debris could cause crash in space

The fragments could pose a major risk to other spacecraft, like in the film Gravity Credit: PA

Scientists from the University of Southampton have warned that a recent satellite explosion in space could pose a major risk to other spacecraft.

50,000 small pieces of debris are now travelling around earth at enormous speeds, according to new research. Scientists fear the fragments could cause extensive damage, just like the plot of Hollywood blockbuster film Gravity.

Even though many of these objects will be no bigger than the ball in a ballpoint pen, they can disable a spacecraft in a collision because of their enormous speed

– Dr Hugh Lewis, UK Space Agency

The US DMSP-F13 satellite exploded in February. The Southampton team have developed a new technique called CiELO (debris Cloud Evolution in Low Orbits) to assess the collision risk to space missions from small-sized debris. They produced a collision probability map showing a peak in the risk at altitudes just below the location of the DMSP-F13 explosion.

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Older motorists embracing new technology to keep them on the road for longer

Their cars are often a lifeline, but elderly drivers need training to adapt to technology according to new research. The AA says older motorists should embrace new gadgets if it keeps them driving for longer. 92-year-old Gordon Crowther from Hook agrees. He got his licence more than seventy years ago and believes modern cars make motoring more comfortable as Kate Bunkall reports.

Telephone fraudsters targeted 430 Dorset residents

Dorset residents warned over telephone scam Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Police have revealed more than £2m has been scammed from residents in south-west England by telephone fraudsters in the past year.

About 700 offences have been reported to police since March 2014, with more than 430 victims in Dorset.

Officers have warned people in Poole, Dorchester and Weymouth to be especially wary of giving out card details or handing over money.

Callers often pose as police officers or bankers to trick vulnerable people.

In total, 30 people in Dorset have lost money, although police suspect the overall number is much higher as many attempts to defraud people go unreported.

Flyers, leaflets and social media are being used to warn residents.

Two people were arrested and released on bail on 2 March in relation to a number of alleged telephone money scams in the Poole area.

On Tuesday, two men were jailed at Bristol Crown Court for defrauding vulnerable people in Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall out of more than £88,000.

MOD awards £50m armoured vehicle contract to BAE

A British Army Warrior armoured infantry fighting vehicle Credit: MOD

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has awarded a £50m contract to Hampshire-based company BAE Systems to support the British Army's armoured tracked vehicle fleet, safeguarding 100 jobs.

The five-year contract covers an array of design services including safety advice and elements of operational effectiveness for light, medium and heavy armoured vehicles.

It also combines a number of existing support contracts into a more efficient and effective contracting agreement saving taxpayers money.

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Nearly 1,000 jobs secured as Dungeness Power Station life is extended by 10 years

The life of Dungeness Power Station in Kent is to be extended by 10 years, safeguarding nearly a thousand jobs. The plant, operated by energy giant EDF, will continue in operation until 2028 thanks to a 150 million pound investment.But environmentalists say the money should be spent on renewable energy. Iain McBride reports.

Extension of Dungeness is 'bad news', says MEP

“10 more years of unsafe and expensive nuclear energy production is bad news. Instead we should be focusing our efforts on the switch to a truly sustainable energy future – one which focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency, and which would deliver more jobs, faster carbon reductions and a fundamentally more democratic energy system fit for the future.”

– Keith Taylor Green MEP for South East England

Dungeness B life extended by a decade

EDF Energy has extended the expected life of its Dungeness B nuclear power station by ten years.

This means it is due to continue generating low carbon electricity until 2028, producing enough power each year to supply the equivalent of 1.5m homes.

Credit: EDF

The decision has been made possible by a £150m investment programme to extend the life of the station. It comes after extensive reviews of the plant’s safety cases and work with the independent nuclear regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

The life extension at Dungeness B is part of a wider EDF Energy programme to extend the lives of its eight nuclear power stations.

According to EDF, it will secure 550 jobs and work for 200 contractors at the site, as well as maintaining essential expertise in engineering and the UK nuclear industry.

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