Two years ago, researchers from the University of Wollongong in Australia shook the science world by claiming to have discovered 3.7 billion-year-old fossils in a rock formation in Greenland, a finding that pushed back the origin of life on Earth by 200 million years. New research is now casting doubt on this discovery, with scientists saying the rock structures are of non-biological origin.
Last year, graduate student Dennis Becker watched from a safehouse as the MAIUS-1's sounding rocket took off from a launch facility in the Swedish Arctic. But after repeated delays from snow and wind, he wouldn’t know for a few days whether the rocket’s payload survived.
When the ambitious experiment dropped back to Earth after spending six minutes in space, clouds made a helicopter retrieval impossible, and the project sat for days alone in the Swedish tundra, where the temperatures dropped to -30C.