16 November 2014

Comet scientists take break after 4 straight days

This is a combination photo of two images released by the European Space Agency, ESA, Sunday Nov. 16, 2014. ESA says it provides strong indication that Philae touched down for the first time almost precisely where intended. The photo on the left was taken about 3 min 34 sec before touchdown, the photo on the right 1 min 26 sec after by the navigation camera (NAVCAM) on board Rosetta as the orbiter flew over the (intended) Philae landing site on Nov. 12. The touchdown is seen as a dark area in the lower center of the right image which is considered as strong indication that the lander touched down at this spot (possibly raising dust from the impact). They were taken from a distance of about 15 km from the surface, Since landing Wednesday on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko some 311 million miles (500 million kilometers) away, the lander has performed a series of scientific tests.
The European Space Agency says that its scientists are taking a bit of a break after working for four days around the clock since the pioneering lander Philae touched down on a comet.
ESA spokeswoman Jocelyn Landeau-Constantin told The Associated Press that most of the agency's scientific teams were resting Sunday "after several sleepless nights."

Russian TV claims it has photo of downing of MH17

A pro-Russian rebel touches the MH17 wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week.
Russian state television has released a satellite photograph that it claims shows that a Ukrainian fighter jet shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. But the U.S. government dismissed the report as preposterous and online commentators called the photo a fake.
All 298 people aboard the Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were killed when it was shot down July 17 over a rebel-held area of Ukraine. Ukraine and the West have blamed the attack on Russia-backed rebels using a ground-to-air missile.

Space agency: Now-silent lander does main tasks

This image from Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera, released by the European Space Agency ESA on Nov. 13, 2014 shows the Philae lander on Nov. 12, 2014 Philae landed Nov. 12, next to a cliff that largely blocked sunlight from reaching its solar panels on the 4-kilometer-wide (2.5-mile-wide) 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet. The head of the European comet mission says scientists will listen for signals from the Philae lander Saturday Nov. 15, 2014 but think it is unlikely they will establish any kind of communication soon. Controllers at the European Space Agency on Friday ordered the lander to perform a maneuver intended to pull it out of a shadow on the comet so that solar panels could recharge the depleted batteries. “We don’t know if the charge will ever be high enough to operate the lander again,” Paolo Ferri, ESA’s head of mission operations, told The Associated Press.
The pioneering lander Philae completed its primary mission of exploring the comet's surface and returned plenty of data before depleted batteries forced it to go silent, the European Space Agency said Saturday.
"All of our instruments could be operated and now it's time to see what we got," ESA's blog quoted lander manager Stephan Ulamec as saying.

Official: witnesses in army slaying wrongly jailed

In this July 3, 2014 file photo, a state police vehicle sits parked outside a warehouse that was the site of a shootout between Mexican soldiers and alleged criminals on the outskirts of the village of San Pedro Limon, in Mexico state, Mexico. Two survivors of the June 30 mass slaying by Mexican soldiers who have been jailed for weapons possession are innocent and should be released immediately, the outgoing president of the National Commission on Human Rights says. Raul Plascencia says the two women were prostitutes hired to accompany a leader of the group that met in the abandoned warehouse.
Two survivors of a mass slaying by Mexican soldiers who have been jailed for weapons possession are innocent and should be released immediately, the outgoing president of the National Commission on Human Rights says.
Raul Plascencia told The Associated Press that the two women, who his commission says were tortured and sexually threatened into backing the army's version of the incident, were not affiliated with the 22 suspected gang members who were killed. Rather, they were prostitutes hired to accompany a leader of the group that met in an abandoned warehouse in southern Mexico on June 29. The leader was one of two men who escaped from the troops early on June 30.