Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Explainer: Tesla drops radar; is Autopilot system safe?
Tesla Inc has dropped radar sensors from its semi-autonomous driving system, Autopilot, raising concerns over the safety of the camera-only version, Tesla Vision. Tesla aims to make the driver-assist system fully self-driving, and many in that young industry are skeptical that a vision-only system will work, saying such systems face challenges in darkness, sunny glare and poor weather conditions.
Virus does not threaten U.S.
blood supply; high vitamin D levels do not protect against COVID-19
The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.
Coronavirus does not threaten U.S. blood supply
NASA plans two new missions to Venus, its first in decades
NASA on Wednesday announced plans to launch two new scientific missions to Venus between 2028 and 2030 – its first in decades – to study the atmosphere and geologic history of Earth’s closest planetary neighbor.
The U.S. space agency said it was awarding about $500 million for development of each of the two missions, dubbed DAVINCI+ (short for Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble Gases, Chemistry and Imaging) and VERITAS (an acronym for Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography and Spectroscopy).