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NASA’s Dawn asteroid mission ends as fuel runs out

WASHINGTON: Dawn, a NASA spacecraft that launched 11 years ago and studied two of the largest objects in the asteroid belt, has ended its mission after running out of fuel, officials said Thursday. Scientists have known for about a month that Dawn was essentially out of hydrazine, the fuel that kept the spacecraft's antennae oriented toward Earth and helped turn its solar panels to the Sun to recharge. When the spacecraft missed scheduled communications with NASA's Deep Space Network on Wednesday and Thursday, the…

NASA is ready to launch its first mission to the Sun and you are invited!

NASA's Parker Solar Probe, which is humanity's first mission to the Sun, has cleared the final procedures ahead of its launch on August 11. "NASA's Parker Solar Probe has cleared the final procedures in the clean room before its move to the launch pad, where it will be integrated onto its launch vehicle, a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy," the space agency said in a statement. NASA is also inviting people around the world to submit their names online to be placed on a microchip aboard NASA’s historic Parker Solar…

Polls on July 25 mark important stage in Pakistan’s democratic development: EU observers

ISLAMABAD: European Union election observers on Thursday said general elections taking place on July 25 marked an important stage in Pakistan's democratic development. Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, Chief Observer of European Union Election Observation Mission Michael Gahler said they were examining fairness and transparency in electoral process in Pakistan. He said mandate of the EU election mission was to observe all aspects of the electoral processes and to assess the extent to which the elections were…

OPCW continuing mission into Syria gas attack despite air strikes

THE HAGUE: Experts from the world's global chemical arms watchdog are continuing their mission to probe a gas attack in Douma despite Western air strikes in Syria, the body said Saturday. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has been "working in close collaboration" with UN security experts "to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the team," it said. It vowed in its statement that the fact-finding mission due to go to Douma later Saturday "will continue its deployment to the Syrian Arab…

‘Pakistan to send satellite mission into space in two years’

ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Air Staff Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman on Thursday announced that Pakistan will send a satellite mission into space in next couple of years in collaboration with China. "Pakistan is engaged with Chinese experts in manufacturing the next generation aircraft. China is also providing technical assistance for launching the satellite programme," he said addressing the inaugural session of AirTech’17 conference, hosted by Air University in Islamabad, a press release issued by…

India’s first all-woman crew on around-the-globe mission

NEW DELHI: A team of six naval officers are starting a historic and gruelling around-the-world mission on Sunday -- the first circumnavigation of the globe by an Indian all-female crew. Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, who is leading the voyage which will begin in the western state of Goa, told AFP the project was "revolutionary" in bringing women to the helm and would inspire others in the country. In recent years, the Indian navy has sought to open its doors to women to take on more challenging roles, with the…

Mars spacecraft’s first missions face delays, says NASA

WASHINGTON: NASA will probably delay the first two missions of its Orion deep-space capsule, being developed to send astronauts beyond earth's orbit and eventually to Mars, the US space agency said. A report by NASA's Office of Inspector General cited technical as well as budget challenges. The first launch of the Orion spacecraft atop the planned Space Launch System, or SLS -- set to become the world's most powerful rocket when it flies -- is currently scheduled for early November 2018 with no crew. A second…

Rosetta crash-lands on comet, ending 12-year space mission

DARMSTADT, GERMANY:  Europe's pioneering Rosetta spacecraft concluded a 12-year odyssey with a controlled crash-landing Friday onto the comet it has orbited and probed for two years to unravel the secrets of the Solar System's birth, mission controllers said. "I can confirm the full success of the descent of Rosetta," Mission Manager Patrick Martin announced to wild cheering in the control centre, based in Darmstadt near Frankfurt in Western Germany. "Rock-n-roll Rosetta," added a visibly moved Matt Taylor, the mission's…