Science News Roundup: Japanese billionaire Maezawa trains in Russia ahead of space trip; China to send three astronauts to space station early on Saturday and more
Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Energy from bogs: Estonian scientists use peat to make batteries
Peat, plentiful in bogs in northern Europe, could be used to make sodium-ion batteries cheaply for use in electric vehicles, scientists at an Estonian university say. Sodium-ion batteries, which do not contain relatively costly lithium, cobalt or nickel, are one of the new technologies that battery makers are looking at as they seek alternatives to the dominant lithium-ion model.
Japanese billionaire Maezawa trains in Russia ahead of space trip
For Japanese fashion magnate Yusaku Maezawa, training in zero gravity ahead of his planned trip to space later this year was not always easy. "I've been alive for 45 years and have not experienced anything like that. I felt awkward at first," he said via a translator at a news conference, where he appeared alongside his assistant and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin.
China to send three astronauts to space station early on Saturday
China will send three astronauts to an unfinished space station early on Saturday, including the first female crew member to visit the station, where they are due to stay for six months. It will be the second of four planned crewed missions to the station, which is due to be completed by the end of next year.
Wake up and smell the 'sustainable' coffee produced in Finnish lab
With climate change threatening traditional coffee farming, Finnish scientists say they have produced coffee from cell cultures with an aroma and taste resembling the real thing.
'Profound experience': Star Trek's Shatner becomes world's oldest space traveler
Having made a career out of playing an explorer of the cosmos, William Shatner - Captain James Kirk of "Star Trek" fame - did it for real on Wednesday, becoming at age 90 the oldest person in space aboard a rocketship flown by billionaire Jeff Bezos's company Blue Origin, an experience the actor called profound. Shatner was one of four passengers to journey for 10 minutes and 17 seconds to the edge of space aboard the white fully autonomous 60-foot-tall (18.3 meters-tall) New Shepard spacecraft, which took off from Blue Origin's launch site about 20 miles (32 km) outside the rural west Texas town of Van Horn.
With 'Captain Kirk' aboard, Blue Origin to return to 'space, the final frontier'
Three months after billionaire U.S. businessman Jeff Bezos soared into space aboard a rocketship built by his Blue Origin company, the craft is set on Wednesday to take another all-civilian crew on a suborbital ride, this time with "Star Trek" actor William Shatner in the lead role. As one of four passengers selected for the flight, Shatner, at age 90, is poised to become the oldest person ever to venture into space.
(With inputs from agencies.)