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.
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 As an ex prostitute, I urge all the political parties to commit to the Sex Buyer Law
- 2 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 3 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Goodfellas star Frank Sivero sues for $250m over Simpsons character
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - TV review: Silly, sensational and sensitive
Breaking Bad season 6 hoax: Vince Gilligan has not confirmed a new series
MOBO awards 2014: Sam Smith sweeps the board with four gongs
The Apprentice, episode 3 - review: Lord Sugar hacks away at the deadwood with another double elimination
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'