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NASA launches first-ever space mission to study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids

NASA launched a first-of-its kind mission on Saturday to study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids, two large clusters of space rocks that scientists believe are remnants of primordial material that formed the solar system's outer planets.

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NASA launches first-ever space mission to study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids
GNN Media: Representational Photo

The space probe, dubbed Lucy and packed inside a special cargo capsule, lifted off on schedule from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 5:34 a.m. EDT (0934 GMT), NASA said. It was carried aloft by an Atlas V rocket from United Launch Alliance (UAL), a joint venture of Boeing Co (BA.N) and Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N).

Lucy's mission is a 12-year expedition to study a record number of asteroids. It will be the first to explore the Trojans, thousands of rocky objects orbiting the sun in two swarms - one ahead of the path of giant gas planet Jupiter and one behind it.

The largest known Trojan asteroids, named for the warriors of Greek mythology, are believed to measure as much as 225 kilometers (140 miles) in diameter.

Scientists hope Lucy's close-up fly-by of seven Trojans will yield new clues to how the solar system's planets came to be formed some 4.5 billion years ago and what shaped their present configuration.

Believed to be rich in carbon compounds, the asteroids may even provide new insights into the origin of organic materials and life on Earth, NASA said.

"The Trojan asteroids are leftovers from the early days of our solar system, effectively the fossils of planet formation," principal mission investigator Harold Levison of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, was quoted by NASA as saying.

No other single science mission has been designed to visit as many different objects independently orbiting the sun in the history of space exploration, NASA said.

As well as the Trojans, Lucy will do a fly-by of an asteroid in the solar system's main asteroid belt, called DonaldJohanson in honor of the lead discoverer of the fossilized human ancestor known as Lucy, from which the NASA mission takes its name. The Lucy fossil, unearthed in Ethiopia in 1974, was in turn named for the Beatles hit "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."

Lucy the asteroid probe will make spaceflight history in another way. Following a route that circles back to Earth three times for gravitational assists, it will be the first spacecraft ever to return to Earth's vicinity from the outer solar system, according to NASA.

The probe will use rocket thrusters to maneuver in space and two rounded solar arrays, each the width of a school bus, to recharge batteries that will power the instruments contained in the much smaller central body of the spacecraft.

SOURCE: REUTERS

Faisal Ali Ghumman

Mr. Ghumman is a seasoned journalist who has 19 years of diversified experience in print, electronic and digital media. He has worked with 92 News HD, Daily Pakistan Today, Daily The Business, Daily Dawn, Daily Times and Pakistan Observer as News Reporter, Feature Writer, Editor, Web Content Editor and Article Writer. Mr Ghumman has graduated from the Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan and is currently enrolled in M.Phil in Mass Communication at the University of Punjab.

World

Deadly attack on Turk President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan foiled

The bomb was affixed to the undercarriage of the officer’s private car

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Deadly attack on Turk President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan foiled

Ankara: An alleged attack on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been foiled by the security officials in the city of Siirt, the Turkish Presidential office confirmed.

A small explosive device was reportedly attached to a car belonging to a police officer who was supposed to secure a rally attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday.

The bomb was affixed to the undercarriage of the officer’s private car and found before he left for the rally, Turkey media said.

The explosive was found on the officer’s vehicle in the province of Mardin, around 125 miles from the rally in the city of Siirt, the report said.

The officer had been assigned to the rally and was a member of the riot police.

A bomb disposal team removed the device without causing any injuries, the report said.

Security officials are investigating the incident.

Turkey has been battling the Kurdish PKK group in the area for decades.

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Pakistan

Body of missing instructor pilot recovered from Balochistan

Pilot of a gyrocopter died as the small lightweight aircraft crashed

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Body of missing instructor pilot recovered from Balochistan

Karachi: The dead body of Qazi Ajmal, an instructor pilot who has been missing for three days, has been recovered from Kand Malir, Balochistan.

According to details, a pilot of a gyrocopter died as the small lightweight aircraft crashed in Awaran area of ​​Balochistan. He flew from Karachi last night with his gyrocopter and entered Balochistan.

Balochistan Wildlife official Amanullah Sajidi confirmed that the plane crashed at Poldat area near Hingol National Park. The aircraft crashed after hitting mountain.

Qazi Ajmal belongs to the famous Qazi family of Peshawar and SP Lasbela Ayub Achakzai has also confirmed that Qazi Ajmal's zero helicopter was found in the area of Kand Malir.

SP Lasbela said that the body of Qazi Ajmal was being shifted from Kand Malir to Hub.

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Sports

Pakistan vs Bangladesh: Match called off due to rain on Day 2 of Dhaka Test

Day three is now scheduled to start at 9:30am local time

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Pakistan vs Bangladesh: Match called off due to rain on Day 2 of Dhaka Test

Dhaka: Day two of the second Test between Pakistan and Bangladesh was eventually called off Sunday following multiple delays and resumptions due to rain in Dhaka.

The play had resumed after lunch, following rain and bad light that saw the morning session in Dhaka cancelled.

However, the play had to be called off for the day due to persistent rain and a wet outfield. Day three is now scheduled to start at 9:30am local time.

Only 57 overs of play were possible on the first day on Saturday, when Pakistan reached 161-2, with skipper Babar Azam unbeaten on 60 alongside Azhar Ali, 36 not out.

Day one of the second Test was halted due to rain and bad light and it was said that the game will be resumed half an hour ahead of the scheduled time. However, the play did not resume after the tea break on Saturday.

Captain Babar Azam struck a fifty to help Pakistan make steady progress against Bangladesh before bad light forced early stumps on Saturday.

The Azam-Ali duo put on 91 runs in their unbroken third-wicket stand after Bangladesh left-arm spinner Taijul Islam removed both openers in the morning session at a 59-runs score.

Azam led the batting charge hitting seven fours and a six so far, and brought up his 19th Test fifty after rain briefly halted the game.

 

SOURCE: AFP

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