The Daily Dose: Another SpaceX success; Chernobyl families not showing many mutations.

The promise of reusable space rockets continues to bear fruit for Elon Musk. According to the Associated Press, “SpaceX launched four astronauts into orbit Friday using a recycled rocket and capsule, the third crew flight in less than a year for Elon Musk’s rapidly expanding company. The astronauts from the U.S., Japan and France should reach the International Space Station early Saturday morning, following a 23-hour ride in the same Dragon capsule used by SpaceX’s debut crew last May. They’ll spend six months at the orbiting lab. It was the first time SpaceX reused a capsule and rocket to launch astronauts for NASA, after years of proving the capability on station supply runs. The rocket was used last November on the company’s second astronaut flight.” Every time a rocket gets recycled, bringing down the costs of space flight, it feels like landing a human on Mars inches a little bit closer.

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In stark contrast with his MAGA predecessor, President Joe Biden is taking an aggressive and progressive approach to tackling climate change. Besides instructing his government to make significant efforts at reducing carbon emissions, he has brought international stakeholders together to discuss how to tackle the problem. Per Reuters, “U.S. President Joe Biden called on nations to work together on the transition to clean energy on Friday, the second and final day of a climate summit he is hosting that seeks to rally world ambition to reduce global warming. ‘Nations that work together to invest in a cleaner economy will reap the rewards for their citizens,’the Democratic president said at the virtual summit.” Of course, talk is talk. But just the change in tone is very important and cause for some hope.

In the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster, one obvious concern was the danger of passing down mutations down to future generations. Recent research paints a more promising picture. Per Science, “Survivors of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster have long lived with a lingering fear: Did radiation exposure mutate their sperm and eggs, possibly dooming their children to genetic diseases? ‘Many people think if you have been irradiated, you must have effects in the next generation,’ says immunologist Dimitry Bazyka, director-general of the National Research Centre for Radiation Medicine in Kyiv, Ukraine. But new findings from Bazyka and his colleagues should dispel that fear. In a study of more than 200 Chernobyl survivors and their children, the researchers found no evidence of a transgenerational effect.”

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.

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