Beijing, Jan 3 (AP/UNB) — A Chinese spacecraft on Thursday made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, state media said.
The lunar explorer Chang'e 4 touched down at 10:26 a.m., China Central Television said in a brief announcement at the top of its noon news broadcast.
The far side of the moon faces away from Earth and is relatively unexplored. It is also known as the dark side of the moon.
The pioneering landing demonstrates China's growing ambitions as a space power. In 2013, Chang'e 3 was the first spacecraft to land on the moon since the Soviet Union's Luna 24 in 1976.
The mission of Chang'e 4, which is carrying a rover, includes carrying out low-frequency radio astronomical observations and probing the structure and mineral composition of the terrain.
The Long March 3B rocket carrying Chang'e 4 blasted off on Dec. 8 from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southern China.
In May, a relay satellite "Queqiao," or "Magpie Bridge," named after an ancient Chinese folk tale, was launched to provide communications support between Chang'e 4 and Earth.
China plans to send its Chang'e 5 probe to the moon next year and have it return to Earth with samples — the first time that will have been done since 1976.
San Francisco, Jan 3 (AP/UNB) — Apple acknowledged that demand for iPhones is waning, confirming investor fears that the company's most profitable product has lost some of its luster.
The reckoning came in a letter from Apple CEO Tim Cook to the company's shareholders released after the stock market closed Wednesday.
Cook said Apple's revenue for the October-December quarter — including the crucial holiday shopping season — will fall well below the company's earlier projections and those of analysts, whose estimates sway the stock market.
Apple now expects revenue of $84 billion for the period. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected Apple's revenue to be about 9 percent higher — $91.3 billion. The official results are scheduled to be released Jan. 29.
Cook traced most of the revenue drop to China, where the economy has been slowing and Apple has faced tougher competition from home-team smartphone makers such as Huawei and Xiaomi. President Donald Trump has also raised new tensions between the U.S. and China by imposing tariffs on more than $200 billion in goods, although so far the iPhone hasn't been affected directly.
China's "economy began to slow there for the second half," Cook said during an interview with CNBC on Wednesday afternoon. "The trade tensions between the United States and China put additional pressure on their economy."
Cook also acknowledged that consumers in other markets aren't buying as many of the latest iPhones, released last fall, as Apple had anticipated — a factor that could stem from a starting price of $1,000 for Apple's top-of-the-line iPhones.
Apple's stock plunged 7 percent to $146.40 in Wednesday's extended trading. The shares had already fallen 32 percent from their peak in early October when investors still had high hopes for the new iPhone models. Apple's troubles may have ripple effects on other technology companies, given investors have been bailing on the industry in recent months. The tech-driven Nasdaq composite index now stands 18 percent down from its record closing high reached in August.
Now, Apple must try to find a way to win back Wall Street's confidence and reverse a steep decline that has erased $350 billion in shareholder wealth in just three months.
"This is Apple's darkest day during the Cook era," Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives said. "No one expected China to just fall off a cliff like this."
While President Donald Trump's trade war with China isn't helping Apple and other U.S. technology companies, Ives believes Apple miscalculated by continuing to roll out high-priced phones in China, creating an opening for rivals with less costly alternatives that still worked well.
The price gap is one reason Huawei surpassed Apple in smartphone sales from April through September last year to seize the No. 2 spot behind industry leader Samsung, according to the research firm International Data Corp.
"The question now is will Apple change its strategy or stick to its hubris," Ives said.
To help boost iPhone sales, Cook said Apple will expand its financing plans and build upon its recent efforts to make it easier to trade in older models at its stores.
But outsiders will find it harder to see how that's working out. In November, Apple unexpectedly announced that it would no longer disclose how many iPhones it ships each quarter, ending a long-running practice. Wall Street immediately interpreted the move as an attempt to mask a slow but steady downturn in sales.
Apple said at the time that it wanted to reduce investor focus on its iPhone division and instead highlight other promising areas of its business, including its services division that sells subscriptions for music streaming, collects app-related commissions and repairs malfunctioning devices.
But the company now expects its annual revenue to fall 5 percent from the previous year's level. That reversal of fortune could reinforce fears of a global economic slowdown .
Dhaka, Jan 2 (UNB)- Airtel, has introduced an amazing social networking- based data pack offer to enable the friends across the country to stay connected.
The offer provides 3GB data for the two most popular social networking sites: Facebook and Instagram, at a cost of only 12 taka recharge with 15 days validity. The users will have to dial USSD code *123*012# to avail the service.
Airtel has also revamped two of its popular digital services: the largest gaming platform of the country, Airtel MyPlay and entertainment platform (i.e. music videos, movies, dramas, TV shows etc.), Airtel Screen with latest exclusive contents. Friends can enjoy these revamped services for only 2.44 taka per day.
Laurel, Jan 2 (AP/UNB) -NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has survived humanity's most distant exploration of another world.
Ten hours after the middle-of-the-night encounter 4 billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) away, flight controllers in Laurel, Maryland, received word from the spacecraft late Tuesday morning. Cheers erupted at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory, home to Mission Control.
An anxious spill-over crowd in a nearby auditorium joined in the loud celebration.
New Horizons zoomed past the small celestial object known as Ultima Thule 3 ½ years after its spectacular brush with Pluto. Scientists say it will take nearly two years for New Horizons to beam back all its observations of Ultima Thule, a full billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) beyond Pluto. At that distance, it takes six hours for the radio signals to reach Earth.
A NASA spacecraft opens the new year at the most distant world ever explored, a billion miles beyond Pluto.
Flight controllers say everything looked good for New Horizons' flyby of the tiny, icy object at 12:33 a.m. Tuesday, 3 ½ years after its encounter with Pluto. Confirmation won't come for hours, though, given the vast distance. The mysterious target nicknamed Ultima Thule (TOO-lee) is 4 billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) from Earth.
Scientists want New Horizons observing Ultima Thule, not phoning home. So they won't know until late morning whether the spacecraft survived.
With New Horizons on autopilot, Mission Control at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, was empty. Instead, team members and their guests gathered nearby for back-to-back countdowns at midnight and again 33 minutes later.
Queen guitarist Brian May, who also happens to be an astrophysicist, joined the team at Johns Hopkins for a midnight premiere of the song he wrote for the big event.
Laurel, Jan 1 (AP/UNB) — A NASA spacecraft has gone into orbit around an ancient asteroid, setting a pair of records.
The Osiris-Rex spacecraft entered orbit Monday around the asteroid Bennu, 70 million miles (110 million kilometers) from Earth. It's the smallest celestial body ever to be orbited by a spacecraft. Bennu is just 1,600 feet (500 meters) across.
The spacecraft's laps are barely a mile (1.6 kilometers) above the asteroid's surface, another record.
Osiris-Rex arrived at Bennu in early December and flew in formation with it until the latest maneuver. The goal is to grab gravel samples in 2020 for return to Earth in 2023.
The New Year's Eve milestone occurred just hours before another NASA explorer, New Horizons, was set to fly past an icy space rock beyond Pluto.