Fifteen years ago, Opportunity touched down on the Red Planet for a mission that was supposed to last just over 90 days. But while it might not have even had a chance to unpack its bags with that kind of timeline, Oppy far exceeded its original shelf life. An artist’s concept of NASA’s Opportunity rover on the surface of Mars. NASA/JPL/Cornell University/Maas Digital The Little Rover That Could traipsed around for 5,352 sols (equivalent to 5,498 Earth days) covering more than 45 kilometres (28 miles) and sending back valuable data for researchers. That included discoveries that pointed to signs of water on the planet in the past and evidence that Mars could have supported ancient microbial life. All that bodes well for us humans as we think about travelling to Mars in the future, thanks to our rather unfortunate reliance on water.But while Opportunity survived for eight Martian years and lived far longer than its twin rover on the Mars Exploration Rover program (the equally positive sounding Spirit), Earth lost contact with it in 2018 and eventually declared the mission complete in February 2019. While the world has mourned the loss of a particularly adorable and helpful robot, one question remains: Why does Mars keep killing all the stuff we shoot up there? 6:31 Comments Share your voice Mars rovers NASA Space Another Mars rover bites the dust, but NASA’s not finished… Now playing: Watch this: Sci-Tech Humans on Mars: An atlas of plans to land on the Red Planet In this week’s episode of Watch This Space, we take a look at the death of Opportunity and the travails of the rovers that came before it. Why were they sent to Mars? What conditions did they need to overcome to survive? And how did Mars eventually kill them all? From the science we’ve scienced along the way to the next steps for Martian discovery, we look at all the things the world’s rovers have achieved and what the next phase of Mars exploration looks like. Because while Mars might have claimed NASA’s little Wall-E rover, that’s not going to stop us from launching more rovers and getting them to reccy the planet before us humans head to Mars as well.To learn more about the death of NASA’s little Wall-E rover and what else we’ve got in store for Mars, check out this week’s episode of Watch This Space. You can get your space fix every other Friday with new episodes, or catch up with the whole series on CNET or YouTube. Tags 32 Photos 8
Volvo India, the auxiliary unit of Swedish auto manufacturer Volvo Cars, on Friday launched its much-awaited Volvo V40 Cross Country in India with a price tag of ₹28.50 lakhs.The company, which plans to expand its Indian market, has tied up with Bajaj Allianz for vehicle insurance. The V40 Cross Country hatchback packs a high-performance turbocharged T5 five-cylinder engine which accelerates from 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds.Volvo Drives V40 Cross Country To India at ₹ 28.5 lakh (Facebook)The diesel engine offered for India is expected to churn out 148 bhp power and 35.7 Kgm at 350 Nm torque. The vehicle hosts a number of unique style features like contrasting front and rear bumpers, honeycomb mesh grille, upright day-running lights and an integrated skid plate. The car sports alloy wheels upto 19 inches and has a sporty R-Design model. In terms of safety features, the V40 comes with front, curtain and knee airbags, ABS+EBD, traction control, ESP and City Safety Braking.Volvo Drives V40 Cross Country To India at ₹ 28.5 lakh (Facebook)”Volvo V40 Cross Country, which is a variant of the V40, represents a model that is premium in design, features, technology and safety. The car will bring in new impetus to our growth strategy in India,” said Volvo Auto India Managing Director, Thomas Ernberg. Volvo Drives V40 Cross Country To India at ₹ 28.5 lakh (Facebook)Volvo sets new target with the launch of V4 in India. The company aims to increase its sales in India by around 50 percent in the current financial year. As part of company’s aggressive plan for the Indian market, Volvo will launch two new models – S60 and XC 60 in the country by October.Volvo Drives V40 Cross Country To India at ₹ 28.5 lakh (Facebook)”Volvo struggled over how to succeed in India but now we are the fastest growing luxury car makers here and we continue to see that in future too,” Thomas said. The lately launched car will take direct competition with BMW’s X1 which is priced between ₹27.9 lakh and ₹32.5 lakh .Volvo Drives V40 Cross Country To India
Sony Corp shares witnessed a sharp fall on Tuesday, after the electronics manufacturing giant announced that it would sell shares and convertible bonds worth nearly 440 billion yen ($3.6 billion) to raise funds to improve its image sensors business.After the announcement, stock prices of Sony plunged 8.3% to trade at 3,461.5 yen on the Japanese stock exchange. The shares have gained by 40% so far this year, while the benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose by 16%.Sony plans to invest the amount raised from the sale in increasing the production of image sensors amid soaring demand from smartphones makers.The company said that it would raise 321.5 billion yen from selling shares and 120 billion yen through sale of convertible bonds.Sony will issue shares and convertible bonds for sale to the public in Japan and abroad and it is the first sale by the company since 1989.However, analysts express concerns about the company’s fund raising program, saying that it is contradictory to the growth seen in image sensors.”The amount they are raising doesn’t correspond to the kind of growth we see in image sensors,” said Yasuaki Kogure, chief investment officer at SBI Asset Management Co.”This is pretty negative, and the share selloff shows a mismatch with market expectations,” Kogure said.In February, the company had said that it would invest 105 billion yen to increase the production of sensors so as to raise revenues from rapidly growing sensors business, as its income from TV and mobile divisions come under pressure.”We have gone through a restructuring phase and are now entering into an investment stage,” the company’s spokesman Yasuhiro Okada told Bloomberg.The company plans to use 25 billion yen of the total amount raised from convertible bond sale towards repayment of debt.The share and convertible bond sales account for 10% of current market capitalisation of Sony at nearly 4.1 trillion yen.
Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremists are strengthening ties with the Islamic State group, as shown by reports that Nigerian militants are fighting in Libya, recent arrests in Lebanon and India and the blocking of thousands of suspected extremists from leaving Nigeria.Boko Haram pledged allegiance to IS in March and in June was declared its West African province. More than 1,000 people have been killed in the insurgency since President Muhammad Buhari was elected in March and pledged to halt the 6-year-old Islamic uprising blamed for the deaths of some 20,000. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortAn estimated 80 to 200 Boko Haram fighters are in the Libyan city of Sirte, according to Nigeria analyst Jacob Zenn, in The Sentinel magazine of the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation.Algerian security forces believe Boko Haram fighters have joined other militants in northern Niger, he wrote.“The openness of migration routes from Nigeria through eastern Niger to Libya makes travel … fairly straightforward, and the Islamic State can easily afford to pay smugglers to carry militants (and weapons) along that route,” wrote Zenn.Further evidence of Boko Haram’s links with IS is the arrest on August 15 by Lebanese authorities of hard-line IS cleric Ahmad al-Assir at Beirut airport. They said he planned to fly to Nigeria on a forged Palestinian passport with a Nigerian visa.
Kolkata: The Election Commission has allotted 552 companies of Central Forces to conduct the fourth phase of elections in eight constituencies of Bengal on April 29. Berhampore, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat, Bardhaman, Bardhaman East, Durgapur-Asansol, Bolpur and Birbhum will go to polls on the day.According to an official at the CEO’s office, EC is trying to cover 97 percent polling stations during the fourth phase. The move has been taken up to ensure free and fair elections. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe remaining booths will be manned by the state armed forces. The Commission has already identified the sensitive booths in all the eight constituencies and also the areas where trouble could break out. Meanwhile, it may be mentioned that altogether 324 companies of Central Forces were deployed during the third phase of elections on Tuesday, covering over 92 percent of the polling stations across the five constituencies that went to poll. The deployment of Central Forces had been the highest in Murshidabad and Jangipur with 177 companies, while 94 companies were deployed in Malda North and Malda South. Around 44 companies were pressed into action in Balurghat.