Science News Round-up: Space crew survives, Scientists use stem cells, Boeing rocket for NASA
The first test launch of the Space Launch System rocket, which is supposed to send humans to the moon and ultimately allow deep space exploration, was most recently slated for mid-2020 with a crew launch to follow in 2022. The launches have been delayed at least three times.
Space crew survives plunge to Earth after Russian rocket fails
A Russian cosmonaut and a U.S. astronaut were safe on Thursday after a Soyuz rocket bound for the International Space Station failed in mid-air two minutes after liftoff in Kazakhstan, leading to a dramatic emergency landing. The two-man crew, Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and American Nick Hague, landed unharmed on the Kazakh desert steppe as rescue crews raced to reach them, according to the U.S. space agency NASA and Russia's space agency Roscosmos.
Scientists use stem cells and gene editing to make mice with two mums
Chinese scientists said on Thursday they had used gene editing and stem cell techniques to produce healthy mice with two mothers which developed well enough to go on to have normal offspring of their own. In experiments designed to explore what makes it so difficult for some animals to reproduce with same-sex parents, the researchers said mice from two fathers were also born but survived for only a couple of days.
Bristol-Myers to invest in Compugen, collaborate in clinical trials
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Israel's Compugen said on Thursday they will collaborate in clinical trials for patients with advanced solid tumours. The trials will evaluate the safety and tolerability of Compugen's COM701, an investigational antibody, in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb's immune checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo.
Boeing rocket for NASA over budget, could further delay launch: audit
Boeing Co is building the largest rocket in NASA's history but the aerospace giant's "poor performance" has resulted in an $8.9 billion price tag that is double the initial budget and could further delay the launch, the U.S. space agency's watchdog office said on Wednesday. The first test launch of the Space Launch System rocket, which is supposed to send humans to the moon and ultimately allow deep space exploration, was most recently slated for mid-2020 with a crew launch to follow in 2022. The launches have been delayed at least three times.
Virgin's Branson halts talks on $1 billion Saudi investment in space ventures
British billionaire Richard Branson said on Thursday that his Virgin Group would suspend its discussions with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund over a planned $1 billion investment in the group's space ventures, in light of the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "What has reportedly happened in Turkey around the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, if proved true, would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi government," Branson said in a statement.
(With inputs from agencies.)