Family News

Family News Photo: BBC
China and Russia to build lunar space station

China and Russia have announced plans to build a space station on or around the moon, or both.

The Russian space agency Roscommos says it has signed an agreement with China’s National Space Administration to develop research facilities on or around (or both) our nearest celestial neighbour.

A statement from both countries’ space agencies says it will be available for use by other nations.

It comes as Russia prepares to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its first-ever manned space flight.

The International Scientific Lunar Station will carry out a wide range of scientific research including exploration and utilisation of the moon, a statement from both agencies said.

“China and Russia will use their accumulated experience in space science, research and development and use of space equipment and space technology to jointly develop a road map for the construction of an international lunar scientific research station,” the statement said (in Mandarin).

It added that both Russia and China will collaborate in the planning, design, development and operation of the research station.


Divers find Philippine reef covered with face masks

The BBC reported that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is washing up on coral reefs close to the Philippine capital, Manila. According to an estimate by the Asian Development Bank, during the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak, the city could have been generating up to 280 tonnes of extra medical waste per day.

Environmental groups are warning that the plastic inside face masks is breaking down and being consumed by marine wildlife. They’re urging the Philippine government to improve its handling of medical waste, to prevent further pollution of the seas.


Gloucestershire family at the centre of meteorite joy

The Wilcock family have found themselves at the centre of a major scientific occurrence after a meteorite hit their property in Winchcombe at the end of February.

It was the most valuable rock from space ever to fall on the UK, and the discovery has made waves in the British scientific community.

A carbonaceous chondrite – a dark stony material that retains unaltered chemistry from the formation of our Solar System 4.6 billion years ago – it could give fresh insights on how the planets came into being.

The Wilcock family heard a dull thud outside their home on the night of Sunday, February 28.

“When I heard it drop, I stood up and looked out the window to see what was there,” recalled Hannah Wilcock. “But because it was dark I couldn’t see anything.

“It was only the next morning when we went out that we saw it on the drive – a bit like a kind of splatter. And in all honesty, my original thought was – has someone been driving around the Cotswolds lobbing lumps of coal into people’s gardens?” she told BBC News.