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Submission + - Webcast from ISS Symposium Berlin (

japan_dan writes: Heads or sr. managers from all five ISS partner agencies are meeting in Berlin to hash out the way forward. It's a tough time: with US$100 bn invested, the Station owners really have to show that there are concrete and tangible bennies stemming from orbital science.

With the assembly of the International Space Station now complete and all ISS partner laboratories in operation, we have laid a solid and steady foundation for a wide range of research on the Station for at least a decade.

Submission + - Bergamo Airport ( 1

puinwali writes: Bergamo Airport is 45 kilometers northeast of Milan, close to the city of Bergamo. Milan has two international airports (Malpensa and Linate), but Bergamo also plays an important role for Milan.
This airport is especially used by budget companies in which Irish Ryanair is the most important. The airport has one terminal, in 2012 Bergamo processed almost 5.7 million passengers.


Submission + - Australian Billionaire Plans To Build Titanic II (

SchrodingerZ writes: Just in time to miss the 100 year anniversary of the fatal voyage of the Titanic; Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer announced he has plans to recreate the Titanic, calling it Titanic II. "It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic but of course it will have state-of-the-art 21st Century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems," says Palmer. He stated it was to be as close to the original as possible, with some modern adjustments. Its maiden voyage is set for 2016.

Submission + - Canada's new two-tiered wage system: Foreign workers can now be paid 15% less (

suraj.sun writes: Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has always vehemently denied bringing cheap foreign labour into Canada. Employers had to pay foreign temporary workers “the prevailing wage,” he pointed out. That indeed is what the rules said – until Wednesday, when Human Resources Minister Diane Finley quietly changed them. Employers will now be allowed to pay foreign temp workers 15 per cent less than the average wage.

Business leaders, eager to recruit low-cost workers abroad, were delighted. Immigrant support groups, already fighting to protect temporary foreign workers from exploitation, were heartsick. And labour leaders warned that the wage cut would bring down the pay scale for all workers and make it harder for Canadians to compete for jobs in their own country. When Canada introduced its temporary foreign worker program in 2002, the governing Liberals vowed never to adopt the European model route in which “guest workers” are paid less than nationals and treated as second-class residents.

Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - Latest version of Flashback uses Twitter as a backup command and control network (

suraj.sun writes: The Russian antivirus company Dr. Web report that the latest version of Flashback, the backdoor malware targeting Macs through a Java exploit, is using Twitter as a backup command and control network. Dr. Web was the first to report on the rapidly growing Flashback botnet—the largest recorded malware attack ever focused on Macs.

In an analysis of current variants of the malware, Dr. Web’s team found that the Trojan initially configured with a list of servers through which it can receive additional commands and configuration updates. If the malware doesn’t get a correct response from one of the control servers in its own internal generated list, it will search Twitter for posts containing a string of text generated from the current date, and look for a control server address embedded in the posts. “For example, some Trojan versions generate a string of the ‘rgdgkpshxeoa’ format for the date 04.13.2012,” the Dr. Web team wrote in their blog post. “If the Trojan manages to find aTwitter message containing bumpbegin and endbump tags enclosing a control server address, it will be used as a domain name.”


Submission + - Discovery Channel Crashes a Boeing 727 for Science Documentary (

conner_bw writes: "A Boeing 727 passenger jet has been deliberately crash-landed. The pilot ejected just minutes before the collision. The plane was packed with scientific experiments, including crash test dummies. Dozens of cameras recorded the crash from inside the aircraft, on the ground, in chase planes and even on the ejecting pilot's helmet. All of this was done for a feature length documentary to be shown on the Discovery Channel later this year."

Submission + - Mars Express to determine Phobos orbit more accurately than ever before (

japan_dan writes: The ESA Twitter account (@esaoperations) says this came about after a tip-off from a NASA station engineer at DSS-14 (Goldstone), who noted an 84-second signal loss from Mars Express on 14 April.

"On Monday, 30 April, Mars Express mission controllers at ESOC will take advantage of a rare alignment of the spacecraft with Phobos and Earth to use radio signals to determine the Martian moon's orbit. If the team's careful planning and preparation pay off, the occultation of Mars Express by Phobos (as seen from Earth) will provide highly accurate data that can be used to determine Phobos's orbit with unprecedented accuracy, possibly improving it by a factor of 2."

Submission + - ESA's ATV-3 launch delayed (

japan_dan writes: Looks like ESA's ATV-3 cargo vessel won't lift off on 9 March from Kourou. A bit of cargo seems to be banging about unsecured, and they want to reopen the hatch and lower a tech inside to inspect. No news yet on a fresh launch date — two week delay, maybe?

Submission + - First laser measurements of Europe's Galileo satel (

japan_dan writes: "The TIGO (Transportable Integrated Geodetic Observatory), in Concepcion, Chile, performed the world's first laser ranging to the first Galileo satellite on 27 November, and to the second satellite two days later, using a near-infrared laser beam at 847nm. Note this took place some days before the first location signals were transmitted from the satellites (Saturday 10 December). The laser ranging enables the location of the satellites to be known to within a few centimetres."

Submission + - Telemetry received from ATV via ESA tracking stati (

japan_dan writes: When ESA's first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) orbited to the International Space Station in 2008, it did so with a NASA waiver as it only had two communication channels: via NASA's TDRSS relay satellites or via ESA's own Artemis relay sat. To provide a third back-up channel and enhance redundancy, ESA have been working for more than a year to reconfigure the ATV's proximity link transceiver — normally used during docking to communicate line-of-sight with the Russian module of the ISS — to enable it to transmit and receive signals from ground stations. ESA choose to implement this as an 'all-European' solution: the stations selected for the new role were ESA's own 15m ESTRACK stations at Maspalomas and Villafranca, Spain, and Redu, Belgium. The engineers also had to devise a method to demonstrate to the ISS partners' satisfaction that the new link worked prior to flight — and that's exactly what happened this evening by running an over-the-air test between ATV Kepler, mounted on top of Ariane 5 in Kourou, and ESA's Kourou station, about 10 kms away. The telemetry was then sent from Kourou station to ESOC in Germany (where the ESTRACK control centre is located) and then back to ATV control centre in Toulouse.

Submission + - ESA new astronauts to graduate (

japan_dan writes: The European Space Agency will host a friends, family and media ceremony at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne to mark the completion of basic training for the new class of six European astros recruited in 2008.

Submission + - Reacting to threat of asteroid impacts (

japan_dan writes: This week ESA is hosting a closed-door meeting of the Association of Space Explorers, a grouping of ex-astronauts, that will study asteroid impact scenarios. This is one in a series of meetings of the ASE's Mission Planning Operations Group (MPOG) and the ultimate aim is to recommend deflection or destruction mission profiles to UNCOPUOS, given a future threat. Apollo 9 astro Rusty Schweickart will take part; he was also in USA Fox news on Friday commenting on NASA's Advisory Council report proposing five recommendations on how the agency should organize, acquire, investigate, prepare, and lead national and international efforts in planetary defense against near-Earth objects.

Submission + - Two ESA craft to observe 21 Lutetia (

japan_dan writes: It looks like two ESA spacecraft will observe 21 Lutetia during Rosetta's flyby on 10 July: Rosetta from 3160 km and Herschel from 450 mn km. Herschel's PACS and SPIRE spectrometers will view Lutetia in far IR, while Rosetta will gather data in a variety of wavelengths. Since the observations will be coordinated during and at closest approach, scientists will later be able to correlate the data to produce a map of the thermal radiation emitted by Lutetia. There are a pair of animations modelling the expected temperature distribution over Lutetia in the Rosetta Blog: The joint observations are part of a series of 8 sessions planned in the next couple of years by Herschel scientists of objects that will be visited by spacecraft.

Submission + - ESA spacecraft may help unravel cosmic mystery (

japan_dan writes: ESA published a report yesterday on their hopes that today's Rosetta earth fly-by may help provide more date for those studying the Earth fly-by anomaly problem: Since 1990, scientists and mission controllers at ESA and NASA have noticed that their spacecraft sometimes experience a strange variation in the amount of orbital energy they exchange with Earth during planetary swingbys. The unexplained variation is noticed as a tiny difference in speed gained or lost during the swingby when comparing that predicted by fundamental physics and that actually measured after the event.

Submission + - Hovering communication satellites near Mars (

japan_dan writes: An interesting way to enable Earth-Mars communication even when the Sun occults the direct radio line-of-sight: ESA proposes placing a pair of continuous-thrusting relay sats — one in front and ahead, one behind and below — Mars, with both following so-called 'B-orbits' (non-Keplerian). This means the direction of thrust is perpendicular to the satellites' direction of flight, allowing them to 'hover' with both Earth and Mars in view.

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