World Bulletin / News Desk
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, dispatched to study if the Red Planet could have hosted life, will take its first test drive on Wednesday.
The one-ton, nuclear-powered robotic geologist, which landed inside a Martian crater on Aug. 6, will get instructions for a 30-minute drive, mission manager Michael Watkins told reporters on a conference call Tuesday.
Later in the day, Curiosity will drive about 10 feet (3 meters), turn its wheels, then drive back to its landing site, ending up at a 90-degree angle from where it touched down inside Gale Crater.
"We want to park in a place we've exactly examined. We just want to be extra safe," Watkins said.
Ultimately, scientists plan to drive the six-wheeled rover, which is about the size of a small car, to a 3-mile-high (5-km-high) mound of layered rock rising from the center of the crater's floor, the primary target of the $2.5 billion, two-year mission.
Scientists believe the mound, known as Mount Sharp, is the remnant of sediment that once completely filled the 96-mile-wide (154-km-wide) basin.
The rover is equipped with 10 science instruments to search for organic materials and other minerals needed to support and possibly preserve microbial life.
Determining how Mount Sharp formed might be a little more difficult with the loss of one of Curiosity's two wind sensors, designed to measure the speed and direction of the planet's often unpredictable breezes.
Engineers suspect small pebbles kicked up by the rover's landing rockets during touchdown may have hit its deck and severed delicate wires on one of the sensor's exposed circuit boards.
"These are pretty fragile devices," deputy project scientists Ashwin Vasavada said, adding the damage is believed to be permanent.
DETECTING WIND SPEED
The lose of one sensor may make it more challenging for scientists to determine wind speed and direction inside Gale Crater, located near the planet's equator.
Scientists suspect that winds long ago circled inside the crater, transporting sediment that eventually built up Mount Sharp, which rises slightly above the basin's rim. Winds also likely play a role in forming and moving sand dunes that ring Mount Sharp today.
"We are trying to figure out how much sediment is going in today, how much is able to be carried out and then projecting that backward in time, using our computer simulations, to figure out basically how the mound came to be and what processes have shaped it and formed it and then eroded it over time," Vasavada said.
So far, the wind sensor is the only instrument on Curiosity that is not working properly. On Monday, the rover flexed its robot arm for the first time since landing on Mars and pivoted one of its back wheels, a preparation for Wednesday's test drive.
The arm holds a 73-pound (33 kg) turret of tools needed to collect and analyze rock and soil samples.
"The arm has already performed all these motions on Earth, but in a different gravity condition and that gravity does matter," said rover engineer Louise Jandura, with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
Most industry experts expect the first product of 5G technology in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
The slowdown in the rate of rising temperatures, from faster gains in the 1980s and 1990s, has puzzled scientists because heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions
The discovery challenges currently held theories that black holes and their host galaxies grew in relative lockstep over the eons.
Australian researchers are developing the new way to have a final product for Boeing Co, Airbus Group NV, very quickly than now. 3D printing can cut production times for components from three months to just six days.
Bogachev is charged in the United States with running a computer attack network called GameOver Zeus that allegedly stole more than $100 million from online bank accounts.
The account started sharing videos and photos of the militant group a few days ago
U.S., UK spies hacked SIM card maker Gemalto's system, Intercept says, giving spies ability to monitor calls on billions of phones
The next time an earthquake hits the Pacific Northwest, a handful of computers in offices across the region will have access to a software that will send out an alarm, alerting people before the earthquake strikes.
Researchers in Britain have discovered that limpet teeth exhibit a strength that is potentially higher than spider silk.
Epigenetic differences are one reason identical twins, who have identical DNA, do not always develop the same genetic diseases, including cancer.
Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria.
The makers of mobile travel app "Bey2ollak" have warn on bomb scares and resulting hold-ups in Cairo and Alexandria using the hashtag #WhereIsTheBomb.
The preschool programme, aimed at children aged between three and six, is based on the Finnish National Curriculum, widely considered one of the world's best education systems.
Kansai Electric is aiming to start the reactors by November, according to a plan submitted to the government to raise electricity prices, a spokesman said on Thursday.
European Space Agency's (ESA) Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) size of a car.