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News Briefs: NASA sued; Electric car regret; Moon dirt; Balloon war

News briefs include dirt fromt he far side of the moon, NASA space debris lawsuit, electric car owners want to go back to gas and more.

Florida homeowner suing NASA over space debris

After NASA space junk crashed through his home, Florida homeowner Alejandro Otero is suing to recover damages. The space debris crashed through his roof, through the floor and into the crawlspace in on March 8. Otero’s son Daniel was in the room at the time. The debris left a large hole in the roof through the floor. NASA confirmed later that the space debris was from its flight support equipment, which was used to mount the batteries on the cargo pallet in 2021 and only this year did it gain re-entry. Otero’s insurance company has also filed a claim against NASA. “Space debris is a real and serious issue because of the increase in space traffic in recent years,” said Mica Worthy, the family’s attorney.

Electric car owners want to switch back to gas

Nearly half of American owners of electric cars want to switch back to traditional cars powered by internal combustion engines, according to a consumer survey released by McKinsey and Co. earlier this month, reports the Washington Times. The consulting firm surveyed consumers in multiple countries: the U.S., China, Germany, Norway, Australia, France, Italy, Japan and Brazil. Between all of those countries, 29% of electric car owners want to return to driving gas-powered vehicles, with about 1 in 2 American electric car owners wanting to do so. “I didn’t expect that. I thought, ’Once an EV buyer, always an EV buyer,’” Philipp Kampshoff, the leader of the McKinsey Center for Future Mobility, told Automotive News. Among the owners surveyed who are planning to switch back, 35% cited the lack of charging infrastructure, 34% said the costs were too high, 32% said planning long driving trips was too difficult, 24% said they could not currently charge at home, 21% said worrying about charging was too stressful and 13% said they did not enjoy how the cars felt while driving.

Balloon war between the Koreas

More than 350 North Korean balloons drifted were launched towards South Korea overnight. The launch follows an earlier incident in which the communist north sent poop-filled balloons into the south. About 100 of the balloons fell inside South Korean regions, most of which were found in north of Gyeonggi Province and the capital Seoul with “no hazardous substances” found so far, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff stated. North Korea has sent over 1,000 balloons toward the South since May. In response last week, a South Korean advocacy group flew 20 large balloons carrying thousands of anti-North Korean propaganda leaflets and USB sticks with South Korean entertainment toward North Korea.

Dirt from the far side of Moon now on earth

China’s Chang’e 6 lunar probe returned to Earth on Tuesday with rock and soil samples from the little-explored far side of the moon in a global first, CNN reports. The probe landed in northern China on Tuesday afternoon in the Inner Mongolian region. While past U.S. and Soviet missions have collected samples from the moon’s near side, the Chinese mission was the first that has collected samples from the far side. The moon program is part of a growing rivalry with the U.S. — still the leader in space exploration — and others, including Japan and India. Israel’s moon mission ended with a hard landing that destroyed the craft. China has put its own space station in orbit and regularly sends crews there. The Chinese probe mission took 53 days.

–Dwight Widaman and wire services

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