Sunday, Oct 20 2019 | Time 19:06 Hrs(IST)
image
  • Three killed as suicide bomber targets guv's motorcade in Afghanistan's Wardak province
  • Gen Rawat says 6-10 Pak soldiers killed in ceasefire violation
  • Heavy rains wreak havoc in Marathwada, damage standing Kharif crops in Parbhani, Osmanabad
  • Maradu flats: 84 owners missing
  • Haryana DGP urges voters to cast vote without fear
  • Jhabua gears up for by-poll voting on Monday
  • Menace of fake scheduled caste certificates rising each day : Kainth
  • Technology is the bridge to achieve 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas': PM
  • Upendra Kushwaha elected RLSP President
  • All arrangements for free & fair polling for by-election completed
  • Upendra Kushwaha elected RSLP President
  • Ranchi Test: Rohit, Rahane put India in driver's seat against Proteas on Day 2
  • Ranchi Test: Rohit, Rahane put India in driver's seat against Proteas on Day 2
  • Hong Kong Police Use Tear Gas, Water Cannons to Disperse Protesters: Reports
  • Stop lying & get ready for another poll drubbing: Capt Amarinder to Sukhbir
World


NASA turns a Mars sniffer into data relay satellite for rovers

Washington, Feb 11 (UNI) NASA announced on Monday that its atmosphere sniffer orbiting Mars would get closer to the red planet Monday to become a data-relay satellite for the US space agency's Mars 2020 rover to be launched next year.

The operation will reduce the highest point of the spacecraft's elliptical orbit from 6,200 to 4,500 kilometers above the surface, according to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Over the next few months, NASA engineers will take advantage of the drag of the Mars' upper atmosphere to slow the spacecraft down gradually, orbit by orbit.

The orbit of the four-year-old spacecraft called Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) orbit will not be drastically shorter than its present orbit, but even this small change will significantly improve its communications capabilities.

"It's like using your cell phone," said Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN principal investigator from the University of Colorado, Boulder. "The closer you are to a cell tower, the stronger your signal."

Also, coming in about 1,500 kilometers closer will allow the orbiter to circle Mars more frequently: 6.8 orbits per Earth day compared with 5.3 previously, thus communicating with the Mars rovers more frequently.

At unoccupied time, MAVEN will continue to study the structure and composition of the upper atmosphere of Mars.

"The MAVEN spacecraft has done a phenomenal job teaching us how Mars lost its atmosphere and providing other important scientific insights on the evolution of the Martian climate," said Jim Watzin, director of NASA's Mars Exploration Program.

The MAVEN has completed its two-year mission in space, but its fuel allows it to last through 2030, according to NASA.

The orbiter carries an ultra high-frequency radio that allows it to relay data between Earth and rovers or landers on Mars, including the Curiosity rover.

NASA engineers will begin carefully lowering the lowest part of the spacecraft's orbit into the Martian upper atmosphere over the next few days by firing its thrusters.

The spacecraft will circle Mars at this lower altitude about 360 times over the next 2.5 months, slowing down slightly with each pass through the atmosphere, according to NASA.
UNI XC-RHK 2248
More News

Brazil: Clean-up on beaches affected by oil spill

20 Oct 2019 | 4:37 PM

Sao Paulo, Oct 20 (UNI) Thousands of people have taken part in a huge clean-up operation to remove oil and tar from beaches along Brazil's north-eastern coast, says a BBC News report.

see more..
Guterres 'closely following' Mozambique election dispute

Guterres 'closely following' Mozambique election dispute

20 Oct 2019 | 3:50 PM

United Nations, Oct 20 (UNI) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said he had been "closely following developments" related to the 15 October general elections in Mozambique.

see more..
UN Chief condemns Afghanistan killings

UN Chief condemns Afghanistan killings

20 Oct 2019 | 3:43 PM

United Nations, Oct 20 (UNI) The attack on a mosque in Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan, which resulted in scores of civilians being killed, and dozens more injured, has been strongly condemned by UN chief António Guterres.

see more..
'Farm slave’ rescue highlights human trafficking in Ukraine

'Farm slave’ rescue highlights human trafficking in Ukraine

20 Oct 2019 | 3:41 PM

United Nations, Oct 20 (UNI) The UN migration agency, IOM, is warning of the dangers posed by human traffickers in Ukraine, who prey on jobless people in order to turn them into modern-day slaves.

see more..
Anti-Semitism toxic to democracy, UN expert warns

Anti-Semitism toxic to democracy, UN expert warns

20 Oct 2019 | 3:41 PM

United Nations, Oct 20 (UNI) To counter anti-Semitism, which is “toxic to democracy” and poses “a threat to all societies if left unaddressed”, countries must invest more in education, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief has warned, speaking at UN headquarters in New York.

see more..
image