Russian space experts regain control of first Angola satellite

In this photo taken on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, a Russian rocket Zenit-2SB AngoSat 1 satellite launches from cosmodrom Baikonur, Kazakhstan. (AP)
Updated 29 December 2017
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Russian space experts regain control of first Angola satellite

MOSCOW: Russian space experts have managed to regain control of Angola’s first satellite, which was launched earlier this week, officials said Friday.
The Russian-built satellite successfully entered a designated orbit after Tuesday’s launch from the Baikonur pad in Kazakhstan, but experts couldn’t immediately establish contact.
The state-run Energia company that built the AngoSat 1 satellite said Friday its engineers have finally established communications with the craft and received data indicating that all its systems are operating properly.
Relieved with the good news, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees space programs, congratulated the Angolan ambassador on the satellite launch, saying the two nations should further deepen their cooperation.
The initial glitch with the Angolan satellite followed a failed satellite launch in November, drawing attention to the Russian space industry’s problems and causing a round of finger-pointing between top officials.
Asked about the failures, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that they warrant a thorough analysis of the situation in the space industry.


First sounds of wind on Mars captured by InSight spacecraft

Updated 09 December 2018
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First sounds of wind on Mars captured by InSight spacecraft

  • 20 second audio clip shows sound of wind on Mars
  • Clip also supports evidence of wind speed and direction on Mars

DUBAI: An audio clip of the first sounds captured on Mars by its latest inhabitant, the InSight probe, was released last week, British broadcaster BBC reported.

The clip, 20 seconds long, has captured the sound of the wind on the desert planet.

InSight carries a British-made seismometer package, which was able to detect the vibrations from Martian air rushing over the solar panels.

Professor Tom Pike, leading the seismometer experiment from Imperial College London, likened the placement of the solar panels to the robot “cupping its ears”. “[They are] the perfect acoustic receivers.” he said.

The wind on Mars moves from the northeast to the southeast at about five to seven meters per second, according to the latest estimates. This falls in line with evidence shown by satellite pictures that display the tracks left by dust devils travelling in the same direction.

 “This is brilliant news because it means we know the sensors have survived the rigors of landing on Mars and are meeting the requirements to achieve their science goals,” Sue Horne, head of space exploration at the UK Space Agency, told the BBC.

“It is just amazing to hear the first ever sounds from Mars,” Horne added.

InSight landed on Mars on November 26th, following a six-month journey from Earth. Its overall aim is to study the world's interior from the mission site, a flat plain just north of Mars's equator.