Science News Summary: SpaceX Capsule With World’s First All-Civil Orbital Crew Returns Safe; Cambodian bat researchers on mission to trace the origin of COVID-19 and beyond
Below is a summary of the latest scientific news.
Cambodian bat researchers on a mission to trace the origin of COVID-19
Researchers are collecting samples from bats in northern Cambodia to understand the coronavirus pandemic and are returning to an area where a very similar virus was found in the animals a decade ago. Two samples of horseshoe bat were collected in 2010 in the province of Stung Treng near Laos and stored in freezers at the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge (IPC) in Phnom Penh.
SpaceX capsule with the world’s first purely civilian orbital crew returns safely
The quartet of freshly minted civil astronauts that comprise the SpaceX Inspiration4 mission landed safely in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida on Saturday and completed a three-day flight of the first all-civilian crew ever to orbit. The successful launch and return of the mission, the latest in a series of rocket-propelled expeditions funded by its billion-dollar passengers, marked another milestone in the fledgling commercial astrotourism industry 60 years after the start of manned space travel.
Scientists in Singapore are turning leftover fruit into antibacterial bandages
Scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore are tackling food waste by turning discarded durian pods into antibacterial gel dressings. The process extracts cellulose powder from the peel of the fruit after it has been sliced and freeze-dried, and then mixes it with glycerin. This mixture becomes a soft hydrogel, which is then cut into strips of bandage.
The Tianzhou-3 cargo spacecraft docks with the Chinese space station module
A Chinese robotic replenishment spaceship successfully docked with an orbiting space station module on Monday in the fourth of eleven missions required to complete China’s first permanent space station by the end of next year. A Long March 7 rocket with the Tianzhou-3, or “Heavenly Vessel” in Chinese, was launched at 3:10 p.m. Beijing time (0710 GMT) from the Wenchang Space Launch Center on the southern island of Hainan, state media reported.
(With contributions from agencies.)