Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Chinese spacecraft returns to Earth after inaugural flight
A Chinese spacecraft capable of flying to the edge of the atmosphere took off and returned to Earth on the same day in what China said was a big step towards developing reusable space transportation technology. The spacecraft lifted off from a launch centre in northwest China on Friday and completed its flight according to “set procedures”, said China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC), the country’s main space contractor.
U.S. warns SpaceX its new Texas launch site tower not yet approved
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has warned Elon Musk’s space company SpaceX that its environmental review of a new tower at its Boca Chica launch site in Texas is incomplete and the agency could order SpaceX to take down the tower. An FAA spokesman said on Wednesday that the agency’s environmental review underway of SpaceX’s proposed rocket assembly “integration tower” is “underway,” and added that “the company is building the tower at its own risk.”
Teenager to fly with Bezos in inaugural space tourism flight
An 18-year-old physics student whose father heads an investment management firm is set to take the place of a person who put up $28 million in an auction to take part in the inaugural space tourism flight for billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin company. Blue Origin said on Thursday Oliver Daemen will join the four-member all-civilian crew for Tuesday’s scheduled flight after the auction winner, whose name had not been made public, dropped out due to unspecified “scheduling conflicts.” Daemen becomes the company’s first paying customer.
(With inputs from agencies.)