Science News Roundup: NASA's awarding of moon lander contract to SpaceX; Genetic study offers good news and more
Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Exclusive: Space entrepreneur Max Polyakov acquires South Africa's Dragonfly satellite maker
Max Polyakov, an ultra-wealthy entrepreneur with ambitions of building a space transportation empire, has acquired South African satellite maker Dragonfly Aerospace, he told Reuters. The deal gives Polyakov an anchor point in the booming but fiercely competitive market for small-satellite technology, and a potential revenue source for rocket maker Firefly Aerospace, which is majority-owned by Polyakov's Noosphere Ventures investment fund.
Genetic study offers good news for endangered Sumatran rhinoceros
A genome study involving the last remaining populations of the Sumatran rhinoceros - a solitary rainforest dweller - is providing what scientists called good news about the prospects of saving this critically endangered species from extinction. The researchers said on Monday that their study found that the two existing wild populations of this rhino on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra boast unexpectedly good genetic health and surprisingly low levels of inbreeding.
Blue Origin protests NASA's awarding of moon lander contract to SpaceX
Blue Origin, the space rocket company backed by billionaire Jeff Bezos, is formally challenging the $2.9 billion moon lander contract awarded by NASA to rival Elon Musk's SpaceX. Blue Origin said on Monday it had filed a protest with the federal Government Accountability Office, accusing NASA of moving the goalposts for contract bidders at the last minute.
(With inputs from agencies.)