Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Virgin Galactic’s Branson ready for space launch aboard rocket plane
British billionaire Richard Branson prepared on Sunday to climb into his Virgin Galactic passenger rocket plane and soar more than 50 miles (80 km) above the New Mexico desert in the vehicle’s first fully crewed test flight to the edge of space. Branson, one of six Virgin Galactic Holding Inc employees strapping in for the ride, has touted the flight as a precursor to a new era of space tourism, with the company he founded poised to begin commercial operations next year.
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.
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