Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Trump seeks extra $1.6 billion in NASA spending to return to moon by 2024
The Trump administration asked Congress on Monday to increase NASA spending next year by an extra $1.6 billion as a "down payment" to accommodate the accelerated goal of returning Americans to the surface of the moon by 2024. The increased funding request, announced by President Donald Trump on Twitter, comes nearly two months after Vice President Mike Pence declared the objective of shortening by four years NASA's previous timeline for putting astronauts back on the moon for the first time since 1972.
Quakes show that moon, gradually shrinking, is tectonically active
The moon may be dynamic and tectonically active like Earth - not the inert world some scientists had believed it to be - based on a new analysis disclosed on Monday of quakes measured by seismometers in operation on the moon from 1969 and 1977. Researchers examining the seismic data gathered during NASA's Apollo missions traced the location of some of the quakes to step-shaped cliffs called scarps on the lunar surface that formed relatively recently, in geological terms, due to the ongoing subtle shrinking of the moon as its hot interior cools.
Brazil seeks China's OK for genetically modified sugarcane
Brazil's agriculture minister will ask Chinese officials on Thursday to greenlight exports to the Asian nation of sugar made from genetically modified (GM) sugarcane, which is expected to be widely used in Brazil in coming years. Minister Tereza Cristina Dias told Reuters in Beijing on Wednesday, on her first visit to Brazil's top buyer of farm goods, that she would raise the GMO issue during a visit to China's General Administration of Customs on Thursday.