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Soyuz launch failure due to deformation!

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KOROLYOV: A Russian rocket that carried two people to space last month failed and sent the craft back to Earth because of “deformation” of a part that was made during an assembly at the cosmodrome, a space official said Thursday.
“The cause of a non-standard separation (of the rocket’s second stage)” was a “deformation” of a part during an assembly at the Baikonur cosmodrome, said Oleg Skorobogatov who headed the Russian commission probing the accident. He said this caused a booster rocket from the first stage to malfunction and hit a fuel tank which “led to the loss of stabilization” and triggered an emergency landing.
The Russian-American crew of two had to withstand a ballistic descent back to Kazakhstan on October 11, but both emerged from their landing craft safe and sound. The executive director of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency Sergei Krikalyov said Wednesday that the root of the problem was a sensor that indicated the separation of the first two stages of the Soyuz rocket.
Skorobogatov, who heads TsNIIMash, a Russian research institute specializing in spacecraft and missile development, said the commission ruled out that the problem happened at a production facility. Russia is the only country currently able to send astronauts to the International Space Station, and the accident caused it to suspend all launches until getting to the bottom of the rare failed manned launch.
However, the safe descent to Earth by cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague led both Roscosmos and NASA to stand by the Soyuz system as reliable. The Soyuz “remains the most reliable rocket,” said Dmitry Baranov, the acting director of Russia’s Energia rocket and space corporation.
Following the investigation by the space experts, “appropriate law enforcement authorities” will work out who is guilty of the assembly mistake, said Roscosmos deputy head, Alexander Lopatin. “Every accident has a name and surname (of the guilty party),” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

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Livestock: Smart ear tag developed in Australia!

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Smart ear tag developed in Australia

CANBERRA: Australia’s peak scientific agency has developed a tool to help farmers track the fitness and location of their livestock.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) joined forces with agriculture technology startup Ceres Tag to develop the ear tag, which delivers data similar to that provided by a smartwatch.

By using accelerometers, the tags can send out signals warning of unusual patterns that could indicate an animal is either sick or giving birth.

Farmers will also be able to use the devices to track their herds and their grazing patterns, potentially saving them thousands of dollars in manual tracking costs.

The ear tag is designed to survive for the entire lifespan of an animal.

“Ceres Tag gives greater transparency over grazing management, allowing farmers to locate and monitor their animals, to reduce risk and operating costs and to improve efficiency and assist with traceability,” Ceres Tag’s chief executive David Smith said in a media release on Tuesday.

“The ear tag is GPS-enabled, allowing farmers to track the location of individual animals remotely, via the Internet of Things (IoT) capability,” David said.

The ear tag has been successfully trialed on 100 cattle at a CSIRO research station. It will be exhibited at Meat and Livestock Australia’s Red Meat 2018 event in Canberra on Nov. 22 and 23, as well as the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture in Brisbane the following week.

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WW II-era fighter plane crash kills 2 in Texas

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WASHINGTON: A World War II-era fighter plane crashed on Saturday into a Texas parking lot, killing a veteran and one other person, local media and officials said.
The US National Transportation Safety Board said it was investigating the crash of “a North American P-51D” in the city of Fredericksburg.
The P-51 Mustang served in the Pacific and other theaters of World War II, as well as during the Korean War. Fredericksburg is home to the National Museum of the Pacific War, which said on Twitter that there were two victims, one of whom was a veteran.
“At this time we have no further information,” the museum tweeted. According to the museum website, an outdoor show about the “equipment and weapons” used in the Pacific theater, including a battle re-enactment, was to take place Saturday.
Attempts to reach the museum for further comment were not immediately successful. Pictures from the San Antonio Express-News showed the wreckage of the silver plane in a parking lot, where vehicles appeared damaged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Super-Earth discovered orbiting Sun’s nearest star

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PARIS: A “super-Earth” has been discovered orbiting the closest single star to our Sun, scientists said Wednesday in a breakthrough that could shine a light on Earth’s nearest planetary neighbors.
Astronomers studied Barnard’s Star, a red dwarf just six light years away – practically in our back garden, galactically speaking — and noticed the presence of a “frozen, dimly lit world” at least 3.2 times heavier than Earth.
The planet, known for now as Barnard’s Star b, is the second nearest to Earth outside the solar system and orbits its host star once every 233 days.
“It’s important because it’s really our next door neighbor and we like to meet our neighbors in general,” Ignasi Ribas, from the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia and Spain’s Institute of Space Sciences, told AFP.
Despite being relatively close to its parent star, the planet receives less than two percent of the energy Earth gets from the Sun, and the team estimates it has a surface temperature of -170 degrees Celsius (-274 Fahrenheit) – far too cold to support life as we know it.
“It’s definitely not in the habitable zone, no liquid water. If it has any water or gas this is probably in solid form so that’s why we call it frozen,” said Ribas.
In mankind’s bid to map the planets in the night sky, most historical research has focused on brighter, newer stars, which produce more light and increase the chances of scientists noticing anything orbiting them.
But since Barnard’s Star is a red dwarf, a small and cooling star probably about twice as old as the Sun, it produces relatively little light making it hard to discern any bodies in its orbit.
To find Barnard’s Star b, Ribas and the team studied more than 20 years’ worth of observations from seven separate instruments.
They then used a phenomenon known as the Doppler effect to track the impact of its gravitational pull on its parent star.
Astronomers can use this technique to measure a planet’s velocity and, therefore, mass.
“We have all worked very hard on this breakthrough,” said Guillem Anglada Escude, from London’s Queen Mary University, who co-authored the study published in the journal Nature.
The team worked with the European Southern Observatory using astronomical instruments so accurate they can detect changes in a star’s velocity as small as 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) per hour — a gentle walking pace.
It’s thought that Barnard’s Star is tearing through space at around 500,000 km/h, making it the fastest-moving known object in the universe.
Ribas said that although stargazers could predict its size and orbit with relative accuracy using the Doppler effect, any attempt at this stage to find out what the new planet looked like would be “guesswork”.
“It’s sort of in a fuzzy area with respect to its properties. We’ve seen planets of this mass be rocky, meaning that it could look like Earth with a solid surface with potentially some atmosphere or some frozen layer on top,” he said.
“Or it may be what we call a mini-Neptune, like a scaled-down version of the gas giants of our solar system.”
It might be cold, inhospitable and all but invisible but the new planet has one thing going for it: it’s really close.
The only known exoplanet closer to Earth was discovered in 2016 orbiting one of a cluster of stars in the Alpha Centauri system, just over four light-years away.
“There’s not so many stars in our immediate neighborhood. The investment to find them is expensive,” said Ribas.
“It’s really near and therefore if you have the hope – like I do – of eventually seeing these planets to study them in detail we have to start with the immediate ones. It could lead potentially to other discoveries.”

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