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Posts Tagged ‘probe’

China’s Chang’E 2 Succeeds In Thrilling Asteroid Flyby

December 17th, 2012 12:09 admin View Comments

China

Zothecula writes “China has now joined the very select group of countries to have succeeded in carrying out an interplanetary probe mission. According to reports from China’s official news agency Xinhua, the Chang’E 2 probe passed a mere 3.2 km (2 miles) from the near-Earth asteroid Toutatis at 8:30:09 GMT on December 13, making it the closest asteroid flyby to date … and resulting in some remarkable photographs.”

Source: China’s Chang’E 2 Succeeds In Thrilling Asteroid Flyby

Views of the Asteroid Toutatis, From Earth As Well As Close-Up

December 16th, 2012 12:26 admin View Comments

Space

When Chinese probe Chang’e buzzed the asteroid Toutatis, it wasn’t the only one watching. NASA’s observatory in Goldstone, CA was taking radar images, which have now been assembled into a short (40-second) animation. The craft was recording the encounter, too, as reported by Sky & Telescope, which also gives a good summary of the history behind Chang’e's mission.

Source: Views of the Asteroid Toutatis, From Earth As Well As Close-Up

Chinese Moon Probe Flies By Asteroid Toutatis

December 15th, 2012 12:20 admin View Comments

China

hackingbear writes “Chinese moon probe Chang’e-2 made a flyby of the near-earth asteroid Toutatis on December 13 at 16:30:09 Beijing Time (08:30″09 GMT), the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) announced today. The flyby was the first time an unmanned spacecraft launched from Earth has taken such a close viewing of the asteroid, named after a Celtic god, making China the fourth country after the U.S., the EU and Japan to be able to examine an asteroid by spacecraft. Chang’e-2 came as close as 3.2 km from Toutatis, which is about 7 million km away from the Earth, and took pictures of the asteroid at a relative velocity of 10.73 km per second, the SASTIND said in a statement. Chang’e-2, originally designated as the backup of Chang’e-1, left its lunar orbit for an extended mission to the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrangian point on June 9, 2011, after finishing its lunar objectives, and then again began its mission to Toutatis this year. ‘The success of the extended missions also embodies that China now possesses spacecraft capable of interplanetary flight,’ said Wu Weiren, chief designer of China’s lunar probe program.”

Source: Chinese Moon Probe Flies By Asteroid Toutatis

Voyager 1, So Close To Interstellar Space That We Can Taste It!

December 3rd, 2012 12:20 admin View Comments

NASA

mphall21 writes “Voyager 1 is nearing the edge of the ‘magnetic highway’ of our solar system and scientists believe this is the final area the space probe must cross before entering interstellar space. The Voyager team infers this region is still inside of our heliosphere because the direction of the magnetic field has not changed. The direction of this field is expected to change when Voyager goes into interstellar space. ‘Although Voyager 1 still is inside the sun’s environment, we now can taste what it’s like on the outside because the particles are zipping in and out on this magnetic highway,’ said Edward Stone, Voyager project scientist based at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. ‘We believe this is the last leg of our journey to interstellar space. Our best guess is it’s likely just a few months to a couple years away. The new region isn’t what we expected, but we’ve come to expect the unexpected from Voyager.’ Moving at 10.5 miles per second, the space probe is the most distant man-made object from Earth. The space craft has been in operation for 35 years and receives regular commands and transmits data back to the Deep Space Network.”

Source: Voyager 1, So Close To Interstellar Space That We Can Taste It!

Concept Aquatic Rover May Explore a Lake On Titan

September 29th, 2012 09:30 admin View Comments

Space

cylonlover writes “Titan is Saturn’s largest moon, and it’s said to be one of the most Earth-like celestial bodies in the Solar System. It has a thick atmosphere, and is covered with a network of seas, lakes and rivers – albeit ones made up of liquid hydrocarbons instead of water. Now, a team of scientists are proposing sending a boat-like probe to Titan, that would travel across its largest lake. The probe, which is still in the concept stage, is known as TALISE – that stands for Titan Lake In-situ Sampling Propelled Explorer, although it’s also an Iroquois word for ‘beautiful water.’ The plan calls for it to land in the middle of Ligeia Mare, which is near the moon’s north pole. It would then set out on a six-month to one-year mission, taking scientific measurements and obtaining samples as it makes its way to the closest shore.”

Source: Concept Aquatic Rover May Explore a Lake On Titan

Does Jupiter Have More Water Than NASA’s Galileo Detected?

June 25th, 2012 06:46 admin View Comments

NASA

astroengine writes “Launched in August of last year, NASA’s Juno probe is on a Kamikaze mission to go prospecting for water on Jupiter. Although its predecessor, NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, took a death-dive into the gas giant it didn’t detect any signs of water in its atmosphere. Why? Fran Bagenela, of the University of Colorado, told a group of scientists at the recent meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Anchorage, Alaska, that the Galileo probe fell at the boundary between one of the brown atmospheric zones and white belts that form a striped pattern across the planet’s face. This gap region could have been unusually dry, she added. Now it’s up to Juno to investigate when it enters orbit around Jupiter in 2016.”

Source: Does Jupiter Have More Water Than NASA’s Galileo Detected?

Government Asks When It Can Shut Down Wireless Communications

May 8th, 2012 05:08 admin View Comments

Censorship

Fluffeh writes “Around nine months ago, BART Police asked to have wireless communications disabled (PDF) between Trans Bay Tube Portal and the Balboa Park Station. That was because they knew a public protest was to take place there — and the service to the underground communication system was disabled. This affected not only cellphone signals, but also the radio systems of Police, Fire and Ambulance crews (PDF) within the underground. This led to an even larger protest at a BART station and many folks filed complaints along with the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation. The FCC responded by launching a probe into the incident. The results were a mixed bag of ‘To protect citizens!’ and ‘Only in extreme cases,’ not to mention the classic ‘Terrorists use wireless communications!’ But even if the probe doesn’t lead to a full proceeding and formal order, the findings may well be used as a guide for many years to come.”

Source: Government Asks When It Can Shut Down Wireless Communications

FTC Expands Its Google Antitrust Investigations

January 14th, 2012 01:54 admin View Comments

Google

New submitter smithz writes “Bloomberg is reporting that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is expanding its antitrust probe of Google Inc. to include scrutiny of its new Google+ social networking service. Google this week introduced changes to its search engine so that results feature photos, news and comments from Google+. The changes sparked a backlash from bloggers, privacy groups and competitors who said the inclusion of Google+ results unfairly promotes the company’s products over other information on the Web. Before expanding the probe, FTC was already investigating Google for giving preference to its own services in search results and whether that practice violates antitrust laws. The agency is also examining whether the company is using its control of the Android mobile operating system to discourage smartphone makers from using rivals’ applications. Google is facing similar investigations in Europe and South Korea.”

Source: FTC Expands Its Google Antitrust Investigations

Russian Official Implies Foul Play In Mars Probe Failure

January 12th, 2012 01:54 admin View Comments

Mars

Back in November, Russia launched the Phobos-Grunt probe on a mission to return a soil sample from Mars’ largest moon. Sadly, the probe malfunctioned, and never left orbit. It’s due to crash into the Indian Ocean this weekend. An anonymous reader points out some interesting comments from a Russian official, Vladimir Popovkin, who obliquely suggested that interference from other countries was a possible cause of the failure. Quoting: “Mr. Popovkin’s remarks to the newspaper Izvestia were the first high-level suggestion of nefarious interference. A retired commander of Russia’s missile warning system had speculated in November that strong radar signals from installations in Alaska might have damaged the spacecraft. ‘We don’t want to accuse anybody, but there are very powerful devices that can influence spacecraft now,’ Mr. Popovkin said in the interview. ‘The possibility they were used cannot be ruled out.’ … Mr. Popovkin did not directly implicate the United States in the interview. But he said ‘the frequent failure of our space launches, which occur at a time when they are flying over the part of Earth not visible from Russia, where we do not see the spacecraft and do not receive telemetric information, are not clear to us,’ an apparent reference to the Americas.”

Source: Russian Official Implies Foul Play In Mars Probe Failure

DoJ Investigates eBook Price Fixing

December 8th, 2011 12:13 admin View Comments

The Almighty Buck

dave562 writes “The U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust arm said it was looking into potentially unfair pricing practices by electronic booksellers, joining European regulators and state attorneys general in a widening probe of large U.S. and international e-book publishers. A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed that the probe involved the possibility of ‘anti-competitive practices involving e-book sales.’ Attorneys general in Connecticut and, reportedly, Texas, have also begun inquiries into the way electronic booksellers price their wares, and whether companies such as Apple and Amazon have set up pricing practices that are ultimately harmful to consumers.”

Source: DoJ Investigates eBook Price Fixing

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