Spacecraft contact lost
NASA on Tuesday said that it has lost contact with a US$32.7 million spacecraft headed to the moon to test a lopsided lunar orbit, but engineers are hopeful they can fix the problem. After one successful communication and a second partial one on Monday, NASA said that it could no longer communicate with the spacecraft, called Capstone. Engineers are trying to find the cause of the communications drop-off and are optimistic they can fix it, NASA spokeswoman Sarah Frazier said on Tuesday. The spacecraft, which launched from New Zealand on Tuesday last week, had spent nearly a week in Earth orbit and had successfully started on its way to the moon when contact was lost, Frazier said. The 25kg satellite is the size of a microwave oven and would be the first spacecraft to try out this oval orbit, which is where NASA wants to stage its Gateway outpost. Gateway would serve as a staging point for astronauts before they descend to the lunar surface. The orbit balances the gravities of Earth and the moon, and so requires little maneuvering and therefore fuel, allowing the satellite — or a space station — to stay in constant contact with Earth.
Time may be standardized
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday submitted a bill to end daylight saving time, putting an end to the practice of changing clocks twice a year. Secretary of Health Jorge Alcocer said the nation should return to “God’s clock,” or standard time, arguing that setting clocks back or forward damages people’s health. That would mean darkness falling an hour earlier on summer afternoons. “The recommendable thing is to return to standard time, which is when the solar clock coincides with the people’s clock, the clock of God,” Alcocer said. Mexicans set their clocks ahead this year on April 3 and are scheduled to set them back on Oct. 30. The changes, if approved, would presumably apply to next year. The change would mean that Central Mexican Time, which covers most of the country, potentially could be permanently two hours behind the east coast of the US. It is now one hour behind for most of the year. The US Senate in March passed a bill to make daylight savings permanent, although the measure has not passed the US House of Representatives.
CERN makes observations
The physics lab that is home to the world’s largest atom smasher on Tuesday announced the observation of three new “exotic particles” that could provide clues about the force that binds subatomic particles together. The observation of a new type of pentaquark and the first duo of tetraquarks at CERN, the Geneva-area home to the Large Hadron Collider, offers a new angle to assess the “strong force” that holds together the nuclei of atoms. Most exotic hadrons, which are subatomic particles, are made up of two or three elemental particles known as quarks. The strong force is one of four forces known in the universe, along with the “weak force” — which applies to the decay of particles — as well as the electromagnetic force and gravity. The collider’s underground ring of superconducting magnets that propel infinitesimal particles along a 27km circuit at near light speed began operating again on Tuesday. Data from the collisions are recorded by high-tech detectors along the circular path.
RE-EDUCATION: The ambassador to Australia told reporters that he understood there ‘might be a process for the people in Taiwan to have a correct understanding of China’ China’s ambassador to Australia yesterday said that Beijing is prepared to use “all necessary means” to prevent Taiwan from being independent, saying there can be “no compromise” on its “one China” principle. Chinese Ambassador to Australia Xiao Qian (肖千) repeatedly told the National Press Club in Canberra that the US was to blame for the recent escalation in tensions, adding that China’s decision to launch ballistic missiles in live-fire exercises in response to US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was “legitimate and justified.” Xiao said that after a “good start” with the new government of Australian Prime Minister
According to Forrest Gump, life is like a box of chocolates because “you never know what you’re going to get.” Now, an Indian remake of the movie has been hit by boycott calls over years-old comments by its Muslim star, Aamir Khan. It is the latest example of how Bollywood actors, particularly minority Muslims such as Khan, are feeling increased pressure under Hindu nationalist Indian Prime Minister Modi. Laal Singh Chaddha, an Indian spin on the 1994 Hollywood hit with Tom Hanks, is expected to be one of India’s biggest films of the year. This is due in large part to its
Screams from soldiers being tortured, overflowing cells, inhuman conditions, a regime of intimidation and murder. Inedible gruel, no communication with the outside world and days marked off with a home-made calendar written on a box of tea. This is what conditions are like inside Olenivka, a notorious detention center where dozens of Ukrainian soldiers burned to death late last month, said a former prisoner of the camp outside Donetsk in the Russian-occupied east of Ukraine. Anna Vorosheva — a 45-year-old Ukrainian entrepreneur — gave a harrowing account to the Observer of her time inside the jail. She spent 100 days in Olenivka
A landmark sexual harassment case in China yesterday returned to court after an earlier ruling dealt a blow to the country’s fledgling #MeToo movement. Zhou Xiaoxuan (周曉璇) stepped forward in 2018 to accuse state TV host Zhu Jun (朱軍) of forcibly kissing and groping her during her 2014 internship at the broadcaster. While the case of Zhou, now 29, inspired many others to share their experiences of sexual assault publicly and sparked a social media storm, a court ruled last year there was insufficient evidence to back her allegation. Zhou appealed, and returned to court for another hearing yesterday in Beijing. “I still feel