Rover speeding to Mars landing
The Curiosity rover is within 100 days of landing on Mars, and NASA scientists hope it will determine whether life might have existed on the planet at any time. The rover blasted off on Nov. 26 and is expected to complete the 352-million-mile journey on Aug 5. The Mini Cooper-size vehicle with six wheels is a step up from previous Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which were each about the size of a golf cart. Beyond the latest mission, there are the long-term hopes for a manned mission to Mars.
Exotic animals to be returned
Ohio officials said Monday that they will return five surviving exotic animals to a woman whose husband released dozens of wild creatures before committing suicide last fall. Two leopards, two primates and a bear are to be returned to Marian Thompson of Zanesville, though it's unclear when. Terry Thompson released 56 animals from his eastern Ohio farm on Oct. 18 before he committed suicide. Fearing for the public's safety, authorities killed 48 of them. One of the six that survived later was euthanized. Some of the animals are believed to have been eaten by other escapees.
Billionaire will build 'Titanic II'
An Australian billionaire said Monday he'll build a high-tech replica of the Titanic at a Chinese shipyard and its maiden voyage in late 2016 will be from England to New York, just like its namesake planned. Weeks after the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the original Titanic, Clive Palmer said the Titanic II "will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic, but … will have state-of-the-art 21st-century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems." He did not provide a cost estimate.