Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Russian Soyuz rocket failure caused by a damaged sensor: investigation
The abortive launch last month of a manned Soyuz mission to space was caused by a sensor damaged during the rocket's assembly at the cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Russian investigators said on Thursday. A Russian cosmonaut and U.S. astronaut were forced to scrap their mission on Oct. 11 after a rocket bound for the International Space Station (ISS) failed, sending them plunging back to Earth in an emergency landing.
Some dinosaurs had exquisite eggs with colours, spots, speckles
Some dinosaurs laid coloured, speckled and spotted eggs boasting exquisite hues of blue and brown, scientists said on Thursday, in a discovery that scrambles the notion that such exceptional traits originated with birds. An analysis of 12 fossilized dinosaur eggshells from Europe, Asia, North America and South America detected the same two pigments present in colourful birds eggs in a dinosaur group called eumaniraptorans, which includes well-known meat eaters like Velociraptor and the small feathered dinosaur ancestors of birds.
To the Moon and beyond: Airbus delivers powerhouse for NASA's Orion spacecraft
Europe's Airbus on Friday delivered the "powerhouse" for NASA's new Orion Spaceship that will take astronauts to the Moon and beyond in coming years, hitting a key milestone that should lead to hundreds of millions of euros in future orders. Engineers at the Airbus plant in Bremen, Germany on Thursday carefully packed the spacecraft into a special container that will fly aboard a huge Antonov cargo plane to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the first step on its way to deep space.
Musk shakes up SpaceX in the race to make satellite launch window: sources
SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk flew to the Seattle area in June for meetings with engineers leading a satellite launch project crucial to his space company's growth. Within hours of landing, Musk had fired at least seven people on the program's senior management team at the Redmond, Washington, office, the culmination of disagreements over the pace at which the team was developing and testing its Starlink satellites, according to two SpaceX employees with direct knowledge of the situation.
South Africans make bricks from human urine
South African researchers say they have made bricks using human urine in a natural process involving colonies of bacteria, which could one day help reduce global warming emissions by finding a productive use for the ultimate waste product. The grey bricks are produced in a lab over eight days using urine, calcium, sand and bacteria. Fertilizers are also produced during the processes. And no, the bricks do not smell.
Scientists launch plan to map genes of all complex life on earth
Scientists launched a vast project on Thursday to map the genetic code of all 1.5 million known species of complex life on earth, aiming to complete the work within a decade. They described the Earth BioGenome Project (EBP) as "the next moonshot for biology" after the Human Genome Project, a 13-year $3 billion endeavour to map human DNA which was completed in 2003.
(With inputs from agencies.)