NASA is taking job applications for future astronauts for the first time in four years.

NASA plans to land US citizens on the Moon again by 2024, but this time they’ll stay – before taking the “next giant leap” to Mars.

“We will send the first woman and next man to the lunar South Pole by 2024, and we need more astronauts to follow suit on the Moon, and then Mars,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine says.

“If you have always dreamed of being an astronaut, apply now.”

The ‘basic’ requirements aren’t so basic though — starting with a master’s degree in a STEM field and at least two years of “related, progressively responsible professional experience, or at least 1000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft”.

NASA expects to select final candidates in mid-2021.

Global markets finally caught a rocket yesterday (or is it a dead cat bounce?), driven by hopes for fiscal and monetary stimulus to support economies through the coronavirus outbreak.

According to CommSec, “bargain hunters moved in embracing what analysts say were deeply oversold levels.”

Which seems to be the case in local markets this morning. By lunchtime, the ASX 200 was up 1.86 per cent to 6,510 points, while the Small Ords index was up 2.45 per cent to 2,774 points.

WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Tuesday March 3:

Swipe or scroll to reveal the full table. Click headings to sort.

CODE NAME PRICE % CHANGE MARKET CAP
BNO Bionomics 0.07 +63.64% $35.4M
EGR Ecograf 0.07 +47.83% $20.9M
NCR NuCoal Resources 0.01 +42.86% $7.7M
ESH Esports Mogul 0.01 +40.00% $14.3M
DXB Dimerix 0.17 +32.00% $30.0M
RMY RMA Global 0.56 +28.74% $225.7M
MRC Mineral Commodities 0.23 +27.78% $96.9M
FIJ Fiji Kava 0.08 +27.69% $7.9M
PUA Pure Alumina 0.01 +27.27% $3.1M
NZS New Zealand Coastal Seafoods 0.01 +25.00% $5.3M
RNU Renascor Resources 0.01 +25.00% $11.9M
AC8 Auscann Group Holdings 0.26 +23.81% $79.3M
NSB NeuroScientific Biopharmaceuticals 0.13 +22.73% $10.6M
JYC Joyce Corp 1.46 +21.67% $41.0M
MIL Millennium Services Group 0.45 +21.62% $20.7M
WOA Wide Open Agriculture 0.14 +20.83% $10.2M
LBL Laserbond 0.47 +20.51% $44.5M
BNL Big Star Energy 0.01 +20.00% $4.4M
MHC Manhattan Corp 0.01 +20.00% $5.6M
TSC Twenty Seven Co 0.01 +20.00% $8.9M
BAR Barra Resources 0.02 +20.00% $10.7M
KAU Kaiser Reef 0.28 +19.57% $9.0M

 

Seems like everyone picked the first green day in a while to put out their good (and bad) news announcements.

Biopharma stock Bionomics (ASX:BNO) led the winners with a +60 per cent jump in morning trade.

The company sold a couple of its French subsidiaries for about $3m to focus on the clinical development of BNC210, a drug to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

READ: Here’s how to pick a successful drug out of the 99pc of failures

Ecograf (ASX:EGR) has “in principle debt funding support” from the Australian government for a proposed $US72m ($110.2m) battery graphite purification plant in Kwinana, Perth.

The proposed $US35m debt funding package covers about 50 per cent of total construction costs, says the company, which was up almost 50 per cent in morning trade.

Sand miner Image Resources (ASX:IMA) jumped +18 per cent after announcing that sales of heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) to Chinese offtake partners are back on track.

Its Chinese partners’ processing factories are now returning to full production following a coronavirus-inspired extension of the Chinese New Year break, it says.

THC Global Group (ASX:THC) has kicked off production after receiving its permits from the Aussie Office of Drug Control.

The company will be supplying cannabis medicines to 6,000 patients from next quarter under the Canndeo brand. Shares rose 16 per cent in morning trade.

Fellow pot stock Impression Healthcare (ASX:IHL) also jumped ~12 per cent after announcing a new clinical trial of its novel cannabinoid formula against brain trauma.

Impression will be targeting Australian MMA fighters, aiming to recruit 50 who have sustained “moderate to severe” concussions.

While the company’s shares saw a spectacular run in the third quarter of last year, they retreated in recent weeks due to the coronavirus spooking investors.

 

LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Tuesday March 3:

Swipe or scroll to reveal the full table. Click headings to sort.

CODE NAME PRICE % CHANGE MARKET CAP
BIR BIR Financial 0.06 -25.00% $4.9M
SCT Scout Security 0.04 -19.23% $5.0M
JAY Jayride Group 0.2 -18.00% $20.7M
OKR Okapi Resources 0.07 -17.50% $2.4M
XF1 XREF 0.2 -16.67% $35.6M
CZN Corazon Mining 0.0025 -16.67% $6.0M
RGL Riversgold 0.01 -16.67% $2.5M
HNR Hannans 0.006 -14.29% $11.9M
CNJ Conico 0.006 -14.29% $2.3M
ARM Aurora Minerals 0.006 -14.29% $1.4M
ICI iCandy Interactive 0.03 -13.79% $8.4M
LSR Lodestar Minerals 0.007 -12.50% $6.0M
AGS Alliance Resources 0.11 -12.50% $16.2M
AVZ AVZ Minerals 0.08 -12.22% $184.7M
VAR Variscan Mines 0.02 -12.00% $4.5M
ATP Atlas Pearls 0.008 -11.11% $3.4M
VEN Vintage Energy 0.1 -10.00% $26.4M
VN8 Vonex 0.09 -10.00% $15.4M