Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Three billionaire entrepreneurs – Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk – are competing to usher in a new era of commercial space tourism. Here is how their rival ventures compare in the race to open the final frontier to wealthy, would-be citizen astronauts.
Decades after burnishing his reputation as a wealthy daredevil mogul in a series of boating and hot-air balloon expeditions, Richard Branson is poised to promote his burgeoning astro-tourism venture by launching himself to the final frontier. Branson’s Virgin Galactic Holding Inc is due on Sunday to send the company’s passenger rocket plane, the VSS Unity, on its first fully crewed test flight to the edge of space, with the British billionaire founder among the six individuals strapping in for the ride.
Benefits of mRNA COVID vaccines outweigh rare heart risks, says WHO
The benefits of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines outweigh the very small risk they might cause heart inflammation, as the jabs reduce hospitalisations and deaths, an advisory panel of the World Health Organization said on Friday. In a statement, the WHO said that reports of two rare conditions – myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart, and of its lining, called pericarditis – had typically occurred within days of vaccination, mainly among younger males after the second dose.
Northrop to build homes on moon orbit under $935 million NASA contract
Northrop Grumman Corp won a NASA contract worth $935 million to develop living quarters for the U.S. space agency’s planned outpost in lunar orbit, the weapons maker said on Friday. Astronauts will live and conduct research in the Habitation And Logistics Outpost (HALO) made by Northrop for the lunar Gateway – a vital component of NASA’s Artemis moon program.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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