Three retired space shuttles are to be given to museums in California, Florida and suburban Washington, according an announcement by NASA on 12 April – the 30th anniversary of the first space shuttle flight and the 50th anniversary of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becoming the first human to orbit the earth. The space shuttle Discovery is to go to the Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia, Atlantis will head to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, while Endeavour will be housed at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The prototype Enterprise, which never flew in space, will go to the Intrepid museum in New York City. Twenty-one US institutions applied for the retired shuttles.
A documentary film-maker has claimed that he has located two of the nails used to crucify Jesus. The nails, which are around two inches long, were originally discovered in a 2,000-year-old tomb in Jerusalem in 1990 – a grave said to belong to Caiaphas, who, according to the Bible, was the Jewish high priest who sent Jesus to the cross. However, the artefacts disappeared in mysterious circumstances shortly after the tomb was resealed; film-maker Simcha Jacobovici now believes he has tracked them down in a laboratory in Tel Aviv. However, his claims have not roused a great deal of interest among scholars and experts, many of whom believe Jacobovici to be a publicity-seeker. Meanwhile, the Israel Antiquities Authority has stated that it is not uncommon for nails to be found in tombs.
The skeleton of a man who was hanged for murder in Bristol in 1821 has been buried in Hanham, near Bristol, 190 years after his death. The body of John Horwood was originally used for dissection classes at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and his skeleton has remained in a cupboard at the University of Bristol ever since, still with the rope around its neck. Research revealed that Horwood’s body was skinned, preserved and tanned; his skin used to bind all the papers referring to the case. A relative of Horwood called for a proper burial of the remains and he was buried in a Christian service in a family grave, exactly 190 years to the hour after he was hanged.