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Why is a NASA spacecraft crashing into an asteroid?

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida– In the first save-the-world experiment of its kind, NASA is about to smash a small, harmless asteroid millions of kilometers away.

A spacecraft called Dart will focus on the asteroid Monday for a head-on impact at 14,000 mph. The impact should be just enough to put the asteroid in a slightly tighter orbit around its companion space rock – demonstrating that if a killer asteroid ever comes our way, we have a good chance of deflecting it.

“This is stuff from sci-fi books and really cheesy episodes of Star Trek from my childhood, and now it’s real,” NASA Program Scientist Tom Statler said Thursday.

Cameras and telescopes will track the crash, but it will take days or even weeks to figure out if it actually changed orbit.

The $325 million planetary defense test started with Dart launched last fall.

ASTEROID TARGET

The asteroid with the porthole on it is Dimorphos, about 7 million miles (9.6 million kilometers) from Earth. It’s actually the puny sidekick of a 2,500-foot (780-meter) asteroid named Didymos, Greek for twin. Discovered in 1996, Didymos is spinning so fast that scientists believe it ejected material that eventually formed a moon. Dimorphos – about 525 feet (160 meters) across – orbits its mother body at a distance of less than a mile (1.2 kilometers).

“This is really about asteroid deflection, not perturbation,” said Nancy Chabot, a planetary scientist and leader of the mission team at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, which is leading the effort. “That won’t blow up the asteroid. Rather, the impact will dig out a crater several tens of meters wide and hurl about 2 million pounds (1 million kilograms) of rock and dirt into space.

NASA insists there is no chance of an asteroid threatening Earth — now or in the future. That’s why the couple was chosen.

DART, THE IMPACTOR

The Johns Hopkins lab took a minimalist approach to developing Dart – short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test – as it is essentially a battering ram subject to certain destruction. It has a single instrument: a camera used for navigating, aiming, and recording your last action. Thought to be essentially a debris pile, Dimorphos will emerge as a point of light an hour before impact, appearing larger and larger in the camera images that are bounced back to Earth. Managers are confident that darts will not accidentally crash into the larger didymos. The spacecraft’s navigation is designed to distinguish between the two asteroids and target the smaller one in the last 50 minutes.

The spacecraft is the size of a small vending machine at 1,260 pounds (570 kilograms) and will smash into about 11 billion pounds (5 billion kilograms) of asteroids. “Sometimes we describe it as going into a large pyramid in a golf cart,” Chabot said.

If darts don’t miss — NASA estimates there’s less than a 10% chance it will — it’s the end of the road for darts. As it screams past both space rocks, it will encounter them again for Take 2 in a few years.

SAVE EARTH

The little Dimorphos makes a circle around the big Didymos every 11 hours and 55 minutes. Dart bounce should reduce by about 10 minutes. Although the impact itself should be visible immediately, it could take a few weeks or more to verify the Moon’s changed orbit. Cameras on Dart and a mini-Tagalong satellite will capture the collision at close range. Telescopes on all seven continents, along with the Hubble and Webb Space Telescopes and NASA’s asteroid-hunter Lucy spacecraft, could see a bright flash as Dart strikes Dimorphos, catapulting streams of rock and soil into space. The observatories will track the asteroid pair as they orbit the Sun to see if Dart has changed Dimorphos’ orbit. In 2024, a European spacecraft called Hera will replicate Dart’s journey to measure the effects of impact.

Although the intended push should only slightly change the position of the small moon, Chabot says this will add up to a large shift over time. “So if you were doing this for the defense of the planet, you would be doing it five, 10, 15, 20 years in advance for this technique to work,” she said. Even if Dart misses, the experiment will still be valuable insight,” said Andrea Riley, NASA program director. “That’s why we’re testing. We want to do it now and not when there’s an actual need,” she said.

ASTEROID MISSIONS IN SHELL

Planet Earth is chasing asteroids. NASA has almost a pound (450 grams) of it Debris collected from the asteroid Bennu driven to earth. The stock should arrive next September. Japan became the first country to take asteroid samples, accomplishing the feat twice. China hopes to follow suit with a mission in 2025. NASA’s Lucy spacecraft, meanwhile, is on its way to asteroids near Jupiter after being launched last year. Another spacecraft, Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, is loaded onto NASA’s New Moon rocket and awaits launch; It will use a solar sail next year to fly past a space rock less than 18 meters tall. In the next few years, NASA also plans to launch a census telescope to identify hard-to-find asteroids that could pose risks. An asteroid mission is shelved while an independent review board weighs its future. NASA’s Psyche spacecraft Actually, this year should have started to a metal-rich asteroid between Mars and Jupiter, but the team could not test the flight software in time.

HOLLYWOOD’S RECORDING

Hollywood has produced dozens of killer space rock movies over the decades, including 1998’s “Armageddon,” which brought Bruce Willis to Cape Canaveral to film, and last year’s “Don’t Look Up,” which starred Leonardo DiCaprio a celebrity cast. NASA planetary defense officer Lindley Johnson estimates he’s seen them all since 1979’s Meteor, his personal favorite “since Sean Connery played me.” While some of the sci-fi movies are more accurate than others, he noted, entertainment always wins. The good news is that the coast appears to be free for the next century, with no known threats. Otherwise “it would be like a movie, right?” said NASA’s science mission director Thomas Zurbuchen. However, what is worrying are the unknown threats. Less than half of the 460-foot (140-meter) objects have been confirmed, with millions of smaller but still dangerous objects zooming around. “These threats are real, and what makes this time special is that we can do something about it,” Zurbuchen said. Not by blowing up an asteroid, as Willis’ character did – that would be a last-minute last resort – or by imploring government leaders to take action, as DiCaprio’s character did in vain. If time permits, the best tactic might be to nudge the menacing asteroid out of our way like Dart.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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More than 100 million Indian users with 5G phones waiting for network rollout: Ericsson

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Swedish telecom company Ericsson has released a Promise of 5G report, which finds that consumer readiness for 5G is high in the country. According to the report, the intention to upgrade to 5G among urban Indian smartphone users is twice as high as in markets like the United States and the United Kingdom, where 5G networks have already been rolled out.

According to the study, the number of smartphone users owning a 5G cell phone in India has tripled in the past two years. Ericsson also claims that more than 100 million users with 5G-enabled smartphones will want to upgrade to a 5G subscription in 2023, and that more than half of them are open to upgrading to a higher data plan in the next 12 months.

Among those planning to upgrade to 5G, 36 percent plan to switch to the service provider with the best 5G network once it becomes available. These users are willing to pay 45 percent more for a premium plan.

Seven out of ten current smartphone users are happy to see better video streaming quality when they upgrade to 5G. 60 percent of users with 5G-enabled smartphones already use more than three different digital services, more than those of 4G smartphones.

According to the study, the rollout of the 5G network will lead to an increase in the consumption of cloud gaming and high-definition video streaming.

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Sources: Apple VP of Procurement Tony Blevins is leaving after joking in a viral TikTok video on September 5 that he fondles "big-breasted women" for a living (Mark Gurman/Bloomberg)

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Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:

Sources: Apple’s VP of Procurement Tony Blevins is leaving the company after he joked in a viral TikTok video on Sept. 5 that he fondles “big-breasted women” to make a living– One of Apple Inc.’s top executives is leaving the company after appearing in a viral video on TikTok making a lewd joke…

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Google to Shut Down Stadia Video Game Streaming Service

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Google said it would shut down video game streaming service Stadia, its answer to Microsoft’s XBox and Sony’s PlayStation video game consoles, another sign of Google’s bid to slim down amid fears of an economic slowdown.

Stadia, which has streamed games over the internet rather than requiring expensive consoles, will shut down Jan. 18, Phil Harrison, Stadia’s vice president and general manager, wrote on Thursday in a blog entry. The product debuted almost three years ago and promised to revolutionize the way people play video games. But it didn’t catch on with enough players.

“It hasn’t garnered the traction we expected from users, so we’ve made the difficult decision to retire our Stadia streaming service,” Mr. Harrison wrote.

Google will refund all gaming hardware purchases made through the Google Store, as well as game purchases made on the Stadia Store, Mr. Harrison wrote. He said the company expects to complete most refunds by mid-January.

The company had already begun selling Stadia’s underlying streaming technology to other companies, and said it expects many Stadia team members to “drive this work forward in other parts of the company.” February 2021 Google shut down Stadia’s in-house games studio, set up to develop new titles, prompting fears the entire service might one day disappear.

Stadia is just the newest product killed by google. The company will shut down Hangouts, its messaging app, in November. And YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, announced in January that it would stop producing original content.

Amid rising inflation and concerns about economic instability, Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai has embarked on what he called a “simplicity sprint,” an attempt to improve business efficiencies and cut unnecessary spending. The company recently cut funding and jobs at his in-house tech incubator called Area 120 and has cancelled unnecessary business trips.

This is a groundbreaking story. Check for updates again.

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