Friday 23 April 1999
But Nasa engineers have shown that smart software can keep aircraft flying, even if some of their control surfaces are disabled. The tests took place at the Dryden Flight Research Center at the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) in California using a modified F-15 fighter aircraft, similar to those used in the Balkans. For the first time, neural nets were shown to be capable of keeping the damaged aircraft under control even at supersonic speeds.
THREE OF the six gyroscopes used by the Hubble Space Telescope to keep its delicate orientation in space have now failed, as confirmed by Nasa this week.
The third gyroscope to fail began to behave erratically in January. Its loss means that the Hubble will have to stop operating if any of its remaining three gyros fail. "Any further gyroscope failure will cause the observatory to go into a protective safe mode that gives ground controllers complete control of the telescope, but prevents its use for taking observations of the sky," Nasa said. A repair mission is scheduled for later this year.
AMERICAN SCIENTISTS plan to land a sundial on Mars so that people can monitor the Martian day via the Internet. The sundial will reach Mars in January 2002, carried on board Nasa's Mars Surveyor spacecraft, and is expected to be positioned near its equator. Much of the fabrication is being done at Arizona State University. The parts will be returned to the University of Washington in Seattle for final assembly, and the sundial is to be delivered to Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena later this year.
This first extraterrestrial sundial will monitor the movements of a shadow over a Martian year, which is twice as long as Earth's. Mars's seasons are exaggerated - the planet's orbit is far more elliptical than that of Earth - so shadows vary greatly in length.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Calum Chambers: Southampton's latest example of Generation X-factor
- 2 Crash victims in car flattened by shipping container emerge with just minor injuries
- 3 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 4 Exclusive: David Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
- 5 Joey Barton and Yossi Benayoun become involved in Twitter row over Israel-Gaza conflict
Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor 'wheel on people who have mental health problems' says comedian Jo Brand
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
Orange Is The New Black season 3: Pornstache isn't coming back
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage from US parenting groups
Coolio has sold his soul to Pornhub
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains