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The Spill: India’s Moon Landing, 9/11 Anniversary, and Dinosaur Discovery

All the hot news this week.

Welcome to LNGenZ’s roundup of the trending topics in the news this week.

India’s Moon Landing – Unexplored Territory

India’s attempts to successfully make a moon landing may have failed. The Vikram, a lunar lander containing a rover vehicle that would have carried out a series of experiments in the uncharted areas of the moon, appears to have had “a heavy landing.” This unfortunate result has caused scientists dismay as they have been unable to re-establish contact.

Only three other nations – the US, China, and the former Soviet Union – have ever successfully landed a spacecraft on the moon. Until Indian scientists can reconnect to the rover, the Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) can not yet claim to be the fourth.

ISRO lost touch with the lander as it ended its descent, and although images show that it is has certainly reached the surface, it is not yet known whether this was a crash or a landing. At present, it seems as though the lander is resting on its side and is, therefore, incapable of being operated.

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America Commemorates 9/11

Never before in the history of the United States had a large-scale terrorist attack occurred on American soil until September 11, 2001, also known as 9/11. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives that day as a result of three suicide missions involving planes hitting strategic buildings. The date of the attack is ironically the same as the telephone number we use in case of fire, accidents, robberies or any other emergency, and for those whose lives were forever altered on that day, that number is a grim reminder of the events.

Early on the morning of 9/11, four planes left their terminals but would never reach their intended destinations in California. Two crashed into the iconic World Trade Center in New York. A third slammed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC. The fourth crashed in a rural field in Pennsylvania.

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Scientists Discover New Dinosaur Species

Japanese scientists have discovered a new species of dinosaur. Excavations in 72-million-year-old marine deposits in the Mukawa Town of northern Japan unearthed the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in the country. The dinosaur was originally nicknamed Mukawaryu, after the site in which it was found. Scientists subsequently gave it the official classification Kamuysaurus japonicas, which translates into “Japanese dragon god.”

In 2013, researchers from Hobetsu Museum and Hokkaido University Museum found part of the dinosaur’s tail, and eventually uncovered a nearly complete skeleton, with hundreds of bones. The specimen is thought to belong to a duck-billed, herbivorous species and, according to the study published in the journal Scientific Reports, the skeleton belonged to an adult 9 years or older. Analysis of the bones revealed that the creature measured eight meters (over 26 feet) in length and weighed either 4 or 5.3 tons when it was alive, depending on whether it was walking on two or four feet. It also had tilted spines along its back, a short jaw bone, and it may have had a thin, flat crest on its head.

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