Cape Canaveral, Feb 13 (AP/UNB) — NASA is trying one last time to contact its record-setting Mars rover Opportunity, before calling it quits.
The rover has been silent for eight months, victim of one of the most intense dust storms in decades. Thick dust darkened the sky last summer and, for months, blocked sunlight from the spacecraft's solar panels.
NASA said Tuesday it will issue a final series of recovery commands, on top of more than 1,000 already sent. If there's no response by Wednesday — which NASA suspects will be the case — Opportunity will be declared dead, 15 years after arriving at the red planet.
Team members are already looking back at Opportunity's achievements, including confirmation water once flowed on Mars. Opportunity was, by far, the longest-lasting lander on Mars. Besides endurance, the six-wheeled rover set a roaming record of 28 miles (45 kilometers.)
Its identical twin, Spirit, was pronounced dead in 2011, a year after it got stuck in sand and communication ceased.
Both outlived and outperformed expectations, on opposite sides of Mars. The golf cart-size rovers were designed to operate as geologists for just three months, after bouncing onto our planetary neighbor inside cushioning air bags in January 2004. They rocketed from Cape Canaveral a month apart in 2003.
It's no easier saying goodbye now to Opportunity, than it was to Spirit, project manager John Callas told The Associated Press.
"It's just like a loved one who's gone missing, and you keep holding out hope that they will show up and that they're healthy," he said. "But each passing day that diminishes, and at some point you have to say 'enough' and move on with your life."
Deputy project scientist Abigail Fraeman was a 16-year-old high school student when Opportunity landed on Mars; she was inside the control center as part of an outreach program. Inspired, Fraeman went on to become a planetary scientist, joined NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and ended up deputy project scientist for Opportunity.
"It gives you an idea just how long this mission has lasted," she said. "Opportunity's just been a workhorse ... it's really a testament, I think, to how well the mission was designed and how careful the team was in operating the vehicle."
Rather than viewing the dust storm as bad luck, Callas considers it "good luck that we skirted so many possible storms' over the years. Global dust storms typically kick up every few years, and "we had gone a long time without one." Unlike NASA's nuclear-powered Curiosity rover still chugging along on Mars, Opportunity and Spirit were never designed to endure such severe weather.
Cornell University's Steve Squyres, lead scientist for both Opportunity and Spirit, considers succumbing to a ferocious storm an "honorable way" for the mission to end.
"You could have lost a lot of money over the years betting against Opportunity," Squyres told the AP Tuesday.
The rovers' greatest gift, according to Squyres, was providing a geologic record at two distinct places where water once flowed on Mars, and describing the conditions there that may have supported possible ancient life.
NASA last heard from Opportunity on June 10. Flight controllers tried to awaken the rover, devising and sending command after command, month after month. The Martian skies eventually cleared enough for sunlight to reach the rover's solar panels, but there was still no response. Now it's getting colder and darker at Mars, further dimming prospects.
Engineers speculate the rover's internal clock may have become scrambled during the prolonged outage, disrupting the rover's sleep cycle and draining on-board batteries. It's especially frustrating, according to Callas, not knowing precisely why Opportunity — or Spirit — failed.
Now it's up to Curiosity and the newly arrived InSight lander to carry on the legacy, he noted, along with spacecraft in orbit around Mars.
As for Opportunity, "It has given us a larger world," Callas said. "Mars is now part of our neighborhood."
Dhaka, Feb 12 (UNB) - The Galaxy M10 smartphone, designed specifically for the millennial lifestyle, has been made available in the local market by Samsung Bangladesh.
This highly-anticipated affordable phone comes with best-in-class infinity-V display and powerful features such as dual camera with ultra-wide lens, long lasting battery, high performance processors and a new Samsung Experience UX, the company said in a statement Monday.
Priced at Tk 11,999, the Galaxy M10, with 2GB of RAM and 16GB ROM, will be available at a special price of Tk 10,999 from pickaboo.com starting February 12. In addition, customers can get up to 500 taka cash back on bKash payment alongside Pickaboo club points.
This special deal also comes with a two-year extended warranty. Matching the online lifestyle of the millennials, the smartphone will be available with multiple payment options, cashbacks, exchange facilities and countrywide home delivery. Data bundles with all major mobile operators will also be available.
“We believe that Galaxy M10 will be an iconic breakthrough catering to the aspirations of today’s tech savvy millennials,” said Md Muyeedur Rahman, Head of Mobile of Samsung Bangladesh.
“These users of the modern age want a smartphone that is lightning fast, runs longer and comes loaded with latest innovations. Samsung, as a trusted brand, hopes to continue delivering all the demands of the users,” he said.
Galaxy M10 comes with 6.2” HD+ infinity-V display ensuring truly immersive viewing experience. It comes with Widevine L1 certification for seamless streaming of HD content through popular apps.
Powerful dual camera is another major highlight of Galaxy M series, as today’s millennials love to click photos and make videos on the go. The Galaxy M10 sports dual rear camera, with ultra-wide feature. Its 13MP primary rear camera has F1.9 aperture. The secondary rear camera has a 5MP ultra-wide feature.
The ultra-wide mode lets users capture more expansive photos with complete ease. It is perfectly suited for capturing landscapes, cityscapes, group photos, among others, when users want to fit a lot into one single frame.
To ensure non-stop streaming of music and video, Samsung has packed a powerful 3400 mAh battery in Galaxy M10. To support the flawless entertainment, Galaxy M10 is powered by Exynos 7870 octa-core processor. Additionally, Galaxy M series comes with a new Samsung Experience version 9.5 UX which is optimised for a fast and smooth user experience.
Samsung has also prioritised the security for the users as the Galaxy M10 comes with face recognition
Cape Canaveral, Feb 12 (AP/UNB) — The faraway space snowman visited by NASA last month has a surprisingly flat — not round — behind.
New photos from the New Horizons spacecraft offer a new perspective on the small cosmic body 4 billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) away. The two-lobed object, nicknamed Ultima Thule, is actually flatter on the backside than originally thought, according to scientists.
Pictures released late last week — taken shortly after closest approach on New Year's Day — provide an outline of the side not illuminated by the sun.
When viewed from the front, Ultima Thule still resembles a two-ball snowman. But from the side , the snowman looks squashed, sort of like a lemon and pie stuck together, end to end.
"Seeing more data has significantly changed our view," Southwest Research Institute's Alan Stern, the lead scientist, said in a statement. "It would be closer to reality to say Ultima Thule's shape is flatter, like a pancake. But more importantly, the new images are creating scientific puzzles about how such an object could even be formed. We've never seen something like this orbiting the sun."
Project scientist Hal Weaver of Johns Hopkins University, home to New Horizons flight control center, said the finding should spark new theories on how such primitive objects formed early in the solar system.
Ultima Thule — considered a contact binary — is the most distant world ever explored. New Horizons zipped past it at high speed, after becoming the first visitor to Pluto in 2015. Mission managers hope to target an even more distant celestial object in this so-called Kuiper Belt, on the frozen fringes of the solar system, if the spacecraft remains healthy.
New Horizons is already 32 million miles (52 million kilometers) beyond Ultima Thule. It will take another 1 ½ years to beam back all the flyby data.
The spacecraft rocketed from Florida in 2006.
Dhaka, Feb 10 (UNB) – Bangladesh is on top of the countries having the risk of mobile malware infections with 35.91 percent of users being affected, according to a study.
The study conducted by US-based Comparitech on 60 countries, however, ranked Bangladesh 6th in overall cybersecurity rankings (from the worst to the best) with a total score of 47.21.
According to the study, 35.91 percent mobiles and 19.7 percent computers are infected with malware in Bangladesh.
Japan is the most cyber-secure country in the world with overall score of 8.81 and lowest percentage of mobile malware infections at 1.34 while Algeria worst cyber-secure country with overall score of 55.75 and highest percentage of computer malware infections at 32.41.
Lowest percent of computer malware infections is in Denmark at 5.9 percent.
Germany has been ranked the country with highest number of financial malware attacks at 3 percent while Ukraine lowest at 0.3 percent.
The study looked at 60 countries and found huge variances in a number of categories, from malware rates to cybersecurity-related legislation.
It said there were some countries that lacked significantly in a variety of areas and others who outperformed the majority of countries.
Dhaka, Feb 10 (UNB)- Robi, a leading digital service provider of the country, has recently signed a corporate agreement with Thengamara Mohila Sabuj Sangha (TMSS).
Under the agreement, TMSS will enjoy Robi’s post-paid connections, different types of IoT and ICT solutions, and cloud solutions.
Robi’s Head of Enterprise Business, Adil Hossain and TMSS’s Founder Executive Director, Professor Dr Hosne-Ara Begum signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations at a programme in Momo Inn of Bogura.
Robi Enterprise Business’s Vice President, Enterprise Business, AKM Nazmul Islam, General Manager, Sayem Ahmed and TMSS’s Deputy Executive Director, Dr Md Matiur Rahman, Director, Finance & Accounts, Md Nasirun Nabi, Chief of Program, Md Zakir Hossain were present on the occasion.
TMSS is an NGO specialising on micro-credit. It was founded in 1980 in Bogura by Dr Hosne-Ara Begum. TMSS works extensively for the alleviation of poverty, empowerment of women and improvement of socio-economic infrastructure of Bangladesh.