Professor defends the launch of human fossils into space

A South African professor who helped to organise for two early human fossils that originate from the Cradle of Humankind in Gauteng to be launched into space has defended the sub-orbital voyage amid widespread criticism from members of the scientific community, writes William Brederode for News24.

Professor Lee Berger, the director of the Centre for the Exploration of the Deep Human Journey at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and a National Geographic explorer-in-residence, said in an online post that the decision to launch the fossils into space came after “careful consideration”.

In July, Berger submitted an application to the South African Heritage Resources Agency to launch the fossils into space. And on 8 September, bones from Homo naledi and Australopithecus sediba were sent into space on board a Virgin Galactic commercial spaceflight. In a statement released by Wits on the day of the launch, Berger said that sending the fossils into space was a tribute to the contribution of humanity’s ancestors and our ancient relatives to modern achievements.
Full report on the News24 site