Space Innovations Soar: Virgin Galactic, Boeing, and SpaceX Lead the Way

This article highlights recent advancements in space travel and exploration. Virgin Galactic sent tourists to the edge of space, Boeing's Starliner docked with the ISS, SpaceX's Starship successfully landed, and iconic Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders passed away. Also noted is the impact of climate change on sea turtle conservation in Malaysia and a groundbreaking study on horse domestication.

Reuters | Updated: 09-06-2024 02:28 IST | Created: 09-06-2024 02:28 IST
Space Innovations Soar: Virgin Galactic, Boeing, and SpaceX Lead the Way
AI Generated Representative Image

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Virgin Galactic spaceplane takes tourists on flight

Virgin Galactic flew four tourists to the edge of space and back aboard its spaceplane, marking the second flight this year, the Richard Branson-founded company said on Saturday. The Galactic 07 mission carried Turkish, U.S. and Italian passengers to an altitude of about 55 miles (88.51 km) on a flight lasting slightly more than an hour.

Boeing Starliner's first astronaut crew welcomed aboard space station

Boeing's new Starliner capsule and an inaugural two-member NASA crew safely docked with the International Space Station on Thursday, meeting a key test in proving the vessel's flight-worthiness and sharpening Boeing's competition with Elon Musk's SpaceX. The rendezvous was achieved despite an earlier loss of several guidance-control jet thrusters, some of them due to a helium propulsion leak, which NASA and Boeing said should not compromise the mission.

Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders, who took 'Earthrise' photo, dead in plane crash

Retired astronaut William Anders, who was one of the first three humans to orbit the moon, capturing the famed "Earthrise" photo during NASA's Apollo 8 mission in 1968, died on Friday in the crash of a small airplane in Washington state. He was 90. NASA chief Bill Nelson paid tribute to Anders on social media with a post of the iconic image of Earth rising over the lunar horizon, saying the former Air Force pilot "offered to humanity among the deepest of gifts an astronaut can give."

In Malaysia, warmer temperatures mean fewer male turtles, hurting conservation efforts

On a secluded Malaysian beach, a group of volunteers carefully retrieved newly laid sea turtle eggs in the sand and moved them to a shady, cooler location, in response to fears by researchers that warmer weather is leading to fewer male hatchlings. The temperature of the developing turtle eggs is what determines sex. Observers at the Chagar Hutang Turtle Sanctuary on Redang Island believe they are already seeing fewer males being hatched due to climate change - with the situation made worse this year by prolonged hot and dry spells caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon.

Genome study shows how horses galloped into human history

The advent of horse-based transportation represented one of the seminal moments for humankind, connecting ancient peoples by enabling them to move quickly over long distances for the first time while also transforming how wars were waged. But the timing of equine domestication and the subsequent broad use of horse power has been a matter of contention. An analysis of genome data from 475 ancient horses and 77 modern ones is providing clarity. It revealed that domestication actually occurred twice - the first time being a dead end - and traced the rise of horse-based mobility to around 2200 BC in Eurasia, centuries later than previously thought.

SpaceX's Starship survives return to Earth, aces landing test on fourth try

SpaceX's Starship rocket survived a fiery, hypersonic return from space and achieved a breakthrough landing demonstration in the Indian Ocean on Thursday, completing a full test mission around the globe on the rocket's fourth try. Starship's controlled fall into the Indian Ocean just 65 minutes after launching from Texas capped the latest advance in the company's test-to-failure rocket development campaign, a multibillion-dollar effort by Elon Musk's space company to build a reusable satellite launcher and moon lander.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback