Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Placental infection may be more likely early in pregnancy; COVID-19 may cause heart failure in some patients
The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Placental infection may be more likely in early pregnancy
China launches robot prototype capable of catching space debris with net
A Chinese space mining start-up launched into low Earth orbit on Tuesday a robot prototype that can scoop up debris left behind by other spacecraft with a big net. The NEO-01, which will also peer into deep space to observe small celestial bodies, was launched on the government’s Long March 6 rocket along with a handful of satellites, a state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
American astronaut Michael Collins, who as pilot of the Apollo 11 command module stayed behind on July 20, 1969, while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin traveled to the lunar surface to become the first humans to walk on the moon, died on Wednesday at age 90, his family said. A statement released by his family said Collins died of cancer.
China launches key module of space station planned for 2022
China launched an unmanned module on Thursday containing living quarters for three crew on a permanent space station that it plans to complete by the end of 2022, state media reported. The module, named “Tianhe” , or “Harmony of the Heavens”, was launched on the Long March 5B, China’s largest carrier rocket, at 11:23 a.m. (0323 GMT) from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre on the southern island of Hainan.
Mining robot stranded on Pacific Ocean floor in deep-sea mining trial
A seabed mining robot being tested on the Pacific Ocean floor at a depth of more than 4 km (13,000 ft) has become detached, the Belgian company running the experimental trial said on Wednesday. Global Sea Mineral Resources (GSR), the deep-sea exploratory division of dredging company DEME Group, has been testing Patania II, a 25-tonne mining robot prototype, in its concession in the Clarion Clipperton Zone since April 20.
U.S. FCC approves SpaceX satellite deployment plan
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said on Tuesday it had voted to approve a SpaceX plan to deploy some Starlink satellites at a lower earth orbit than planned as part of its push to offer space-based broadband internet. Elon Musk’s SpaceX had asked the FCC for approval to fly 2,824 satellites at a lower orbit as part of the plan to provide high-speed broadband internet services to people who currently lack access.
Musk trolls Bezos as space race between world’s richest men heats up
The two billionaires, who have been trying to launch long-range orbital rockets, were competing for a coveted contract from the government to build a spaceship to deliver astronauts to the moon as early as 2024.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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