Last week, Virgin Galactic completed another flight, sending three passengers and an instructor to the edge of space. But these were not the surviving passengers on board the VSS Unity Due to which there was an uproar among many people. Instead, reports say archaeologists around the world are concerned that one of the passengers carried ancient human fossils into space on the flight.

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Fossils transported on VSS Unity includes some of australopithecus sedibaResearchers estimate that it existed about two million years ago. Where were the other fossils from? homo naledi, an ancient-human species that was 250,000 years old. Both species were discovered near Johannesburg in South Africa by teams led by Lee Berger.

In fact, it was Berger who received permission from the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) to export the fossils taken into space. He was brought on board the plane by Tim Nash, a South African businessman and one of three passengers on board the plane Unity,

video display homo nalediOne of two species of ancient human fossils taken to space.

Berger’s request stated that taking these ancient human fossils into space was part of an elaborate publicity stunt to draw attention to “science, exploration, human origins and South Africa”. Despite the potential risk, archaeologists say the move puts the remains at risk and could lead to the loss of one of the key identification references. A. sedibaBecause the scapula is actually the first one to be moved into space A. sediba The fossil has to be discovered, and thus a reference that helps define the species.

Of course, this story probably would have been very different had the flight not been successful, not only because of the loss of life, but also because of the loss of history if the flight had not gone so smoothly. Fortunately, that is not the case.

This is not the first time we have seen ancient fossils being transported to space. Before then, dinosaur fossils had been taken out of the Earth’s atmosphere. Still, archaeologists have a right to be worried. If the flight had gone bad, the bones here could have been destroyed forever. A small but important piece of history may have been lost with them.