NASA's plans to return to the moon have taken a major hit

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Humans landed on the moon during NASA's Apollo program in the late 1960s and 1970s using computers that had much less processing power than today's smartphones.

However, even after five decades, landing on the moon is far from easy.

Several high-profile missions over the past few years have proven this point: Israeli Beresheet spacecraft It crashed into an ancient lunar volcanic field called the Serenity Sea in 2019, and last year, Russia's Luna 25 mission and a commercial spacecraft crashed. The Japanese lander is called Hakuto-R They both crashed on the moon's surface. (However, India celebrated being the fourth country To land a spacecraft on the moon's surface.)

Whether or not these efforts are successful, they are part of a new space race in which the push for lunar exploration has taken center stage. Several projects are expected to head towards the moon this year with an eye toward a soft landing.

The first flight – a commercial mission outside the United States – did not go as planned.

From Astrobotic

Astrobotic Technology shared the first image of the Peregrine lunar lander in space on Monday. The lander suffered a “critical” loss of propellant due to a fuel leak after liftoff.

Astrobotic Technology, a Pittsburgh-based company, which – under a $108 million contract with NASA – developed the first American lunar lander to be launched in five decades. She abandoned her plans to attempt a soft landing For its Peregrine One mission to the Moon.

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The spacecraft successfully lifted off Monday aboard a Vulcan Centaur rocket, a new vehicle developed by United Launch Alliance that was on its inaugural flight. Shortly after, Peregrine suffered a “critical” loss of propellant due to a fuel leak, meaning a controlled landing on the moon's surface, originally scheduled for February 23, was out of the question, according to Astrobotic.

NASA had hoped Peregrine 1 would bring early success to its Commercial Lunar Payload Services program, which aims to lower the cost of building a lunar lander — especially since the space agency It faces long delays in returning astronauts to the moon.

Northern Europeans are among the people most at risk of developing the debilitating autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis, and a new study based on DNA extracted from ancient bones and teeth has provided clues as to why.

A comparison of more than 1,000 ancient genomes, compiled as part of a new database, has found a link between risk of developing multiple sclerosis and common ancestry with a group of Bronze Age nomadic herders known as the Yamnaya.

Researchers believe that these nomads, who hail from the steppes of Central Europe, moved west and introduced a genetic variant that previously provided protection against infectious pathogens carried by domesticated animals but evolved To influence modern diseases In a very different way.

Yingqi Zhang

Many caves containing fossils of Gigantopithecus blackii are located in the characteristic karst landscape of the Guangxi region of China.

What led to the extinction of the largest apes that ever lived?

New research published this week has shed more light on the mystery of the disappearance of Gigantopithecus blacki — a species of primate sometimes called the real King Kong because it stands about 10 feet (3 meters) long.

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Paleontologists have analyzed and dated fossils and sediments from caves where animal remains were found to understand how their diet and the environment in which the creatures lived changed over time, narrowing the scope of the search. Possible time frame and reason to species extinction.

Gigantopithecus was discovered in 1935 after paleontologist GHR von Koenigswald found large teeth sold as “dragon bones” in a traditional medicine shop in Hong Kong.

The first fast radio burst, or FRB, was detected in 2007, and since then, scientists have detected hundreds of intense, millisecond-long bursts of radio waves coming from distant points across the universe.

Much about these rapid cosmic flashes and their origins is still unknown. But now astronomers are tracking One of the most powerful and far-reaching fast radio bursts It has been rediscovered back to its unusual cosmic home: a rare “dot-like” galaxy cluster.

This unexpected discovery could provide insight into what causes mysterious bursts of radio waves, a question that has puzzled scientists for years.

Current Biology Mooney et al.

The oldest known fossilized skin is at least 130 million years older than the oldest previously known example. The cobblestone surface resembles crocodile scales.

The world's oldest known fossilized skin belongs to a type of reptile that lived before dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

With a pebbled surface resembling crocodile scales, the piece of skin is more than 289 million years old, at least 130 million years older than the oldest previously known skin fossil, according to a new study published Thursday.

Skin and other types of soft tissue rarely turn into fossils, as they decompose much more easily than bone.

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But researchers at the University of Toronto Mississauga believe this specimen was preserved because… Unique properties Its location: The Richards Spur limestone cave system in Oklahoma, where many of the earliest examples of early terrestrial animals have been found.

Pay attention to these wonderful stories:

— China, in partnership with the European Space Agency and other institutions, It launched a probe to search for X-ray bursts Of black holes and other high-energy space phenomena.

Despite growing concerns from scientists and environmental activists, Norway may become the first country to allow deep-sea mining.

– A 106-year-old, three-masted sailing ship, on a two-year voyage to follow a path A pivotal voyage by British naturalist Charles Darwin This did much to inspire his theory of evolution.

– Older and equally large A recently identified relative of T. rex In New Mexico, according to researchers.

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