Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Deep-sea mining tests resume after robot rescued from Pacific Ocean floor
Belgium’s Global Sea Mineral Resources has resumed tests that could lead to the mining of battery minerals from the Pacific Ocean floor after it managed to recover a robot stranded at a depth of thousands of metres. Global Sea Mineral Resources (GSR) has been testing Patania II, a 25-tonne mining robot prototype, 4 km (13,000 ft) below the surface in its concession in the Clarion Clipperton Zone since April 20.
Vaccine protects COVID-19 survivors against variants; virus’ spike protein damages blood vessels
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. Vaccine protects COVID-19 survivors against variants
Italy unveils new hi-tech floor design for Colosseum area
The ancient Roman Colosseum is once again going to have a floor thanks to a new, hi-tech project announced by the culture ministry on Sunday. “It is an extraordinary project,” said Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, detailing the plans to create a flexible floor to give tourists a clearer idea of how the arena would have looked when gladiators fought to the death there.
NASA tells SpaceX to halt lunar lander work pending contract challenges
U.S. space agency NASA has told Elon Musk’s SpaceX to halt work under a contract it won to develop a lunar spacecraft, pending the outcome of challenges by rival bidders at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the agency said on Friday. NASA’s decision means SpaceX has to stop any work specifically related to the moon program contract until the GAO makes a ruling, expected Aug. 4 at the latest.
After exceeding all expectations with its initial four test flights, the first ever by an aircraft over the surface of another planet, NASA’s tiny Mars robot helicopter Ingenuity is ready for graduation. The U.S. space agency announced on Friday that Ingenuity is shifting from a pure proof-of-concept, technology demonstration mode to a more ambitious mission gauging how aerial scouting and other functions might benefit future scientific exploration of the Red Planet.
Four astronauts return from space station aboard SpaceX capsule
Four astronauts returned safely to Earth from the International Space Station early on Sunday in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, parachuting to splash-down in the Gulf of Mexico, NASA said. Their return marked the end of the first crew rotation mission to the station by the Crew Dragon spacecraft, developed in partnership between NASA and Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX, the agency said in a statement.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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