Take 2: COVID conspiracies, moon lander

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Hannah Gonzalez

The Take 2 series features brief weekly updates on the state or nation's relevant news for the community.

Coronavirus speculation: President Trump announced Thursday the possibility of the coronavirus being released from a Wuhan lab, whether it be intentional or a mistake. While US intelligence ruled out the theory of COVID-19 being “manmade or genetically modified” but confirmed, they are investigating Trump’s theory. When questioned, the president said he was “not allowed” to publicize the evidence supporting his claims. 

Significance: Claims that China tried to silence those who spoke out about the virus early on are raising suspicion. In addition, the Wuhan lab studying the coronaviruses was in close proximity to the first group of confirmed cases of the novel virus. Because little is known about the origins of the virus, these are all theories at the time. Even with theories being ruled out and new ones being brought to light, we might never know how the virus started. 

NASA’s astronaut moon lander: On Thursday, NASA revealed that it chose the three designs by SpaceX, Blue Origin and Dynetics for the 2024 lunar landing project. SpaceX and Blue Origin are led by billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos respectively. The companies will be paid $967 million over the 10 month initial development phase. In February, they will reevaluate construction to determine which plan will be ready for the first lunar landing. 

Significance: The last moon landing was in 1972 by the Apollo 17 mission. This time, though, the goal is working towards a “long-term presence” that will help us eventually reach human interaction with Mars. For this design, NASA is receiving help from private companies rather than Boeing, who has helped with a majority of projects in the past. This is in hopes to coincide with the White House’s Moon-to-Mars campaign.