‘One giant leap’: US marks Apollo mission 50 years on

  by Leila Macor with Issam Ahmed in Washington   CAPE CANAVERAL, United States (AFP) — Fifty years after a mighty rocket set off from Florida carrying the first humans to the Moon, a veteran of the Apollo 11 crew returned to its fabled launch pad Tuesday to commemorate “one giant leap” that became a defining moment in human history. “We crew felt the weight of the world on our shoulders, we knew that everyone […]

French inventor soars above Champs-Elysees on flyboard at Paris parade: AFP

PARIS, France (AFP) — A French inventor and entrepreneur on Sunday soared above the Champs-Elysees on a turbine-engine-powered flying board in front of President Emmanuel Macron and other EU leaders. Former jet-skiing champion Franky Zapata, grasping a rifle in a sign of the possible military uses of his device, took to the air in a futuristic showpiece of the annual Bastille Day parade, an AFP reporter said. French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly told France […]

At 82, NASA pioneer Sue Finley still reaching for the stars

by Issam AHMED WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Sue Finley began work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as the US prepared to launch its first satellite into orbit in 1958, racing to match the Soviet Union, which had accomplished the feat months earlier. Now 82, she is one of NASA’s longest-serving women, starting out as one of its “human computers,” whose critical yet long-hidden contributions to the space program, including the Apollo missions to the […]

PHIVOLCS launches app to help people prepare for quakes, and volcanic, hydro-meteorological hazards

(Eagle News)–The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Tuesday, July 16, launched an application that aims to help people prepare for earthquakes, and volcanic and hydro-meteorological hazards. In a statement, PHIVOLCS said HazardHunterPH is “the first one-stop shop online application that generates initial hazard assessment report for seismic, volcanic, and hydro-meteorological hazards with explanation and recommendation from mandated government agencies in just a few clicks.” According to PHIVOLCS, it worked together  with Philippine Atmospheric, […]

Twitter revamps website in bid to mimic mobile app

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) — Twitter on Monday began rolling out an overhauled version of its website, making it more similar to the mobile version of the one-to-many messaging platform. The revamp to the Twitter page accessible on computer web browsers comes as the San Francisco-based company seeks to ramp up engagement while managing abusive content. “We are starting to roll out a new — a refreshed and updated website that is faster, easier to navigate […]

Japan’s Hayabusa2 probe makes second touchdown on asteroid: space agency

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Japan’s Hayabusa2 probe touched down on a distant asteroid on Thursday, the country’s space agency said, on a mission to collect samples that could shed light on the history of the solar system. “The control room received Doppler data showing that the probe appears to have touched down successfully,” Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency spokesman Takayuki Tomobe told AFP. “But Doppler only shows the speed and altitude so we will need definitive […]

Hard soil, big jumps and epiphanies: what it’s like on the Moon

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Twelve American men walked on the Moon between 1969 and 1972, with most describing in great detail their experiences on the dusty, low-gravity world lit by the blinding light of the Sun. Here are their impressions, collected from a series of oral history interviews by NASA during the 1990s and 2000s, unless otherwise stated. Right after landing  “That’s where you experience the most quiet moment a human being can experience […]

Virgin Galactic seeks space tourism boost with market launch

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic will merge with a New York-listed company to become the world’s first publicly-traded space tourism venture, the British billionaire’s group announced Tuesday. “By embarking on this new chapter, at this advanced point in Virgin Galactic’s development, we can open space to more investors and in doing so, open space to thousands of new astronauts,” Branson said in a statement. Virgin Galactic and public-investment vehicle Social Capital […]

Great leaps in science thanks to Apollo

by Issam AHMED WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The Apollo 11 mission to the Moon and back 50 years ago went down in history as mankind’s giant leap, changing the way we saw our place in the universe. But the program was also the catalyst for profound scientific and engineering breakthroughs that reverberate to this day. It required overcoming myriad technical challenges, a task made possible only by Congress’ decision to hand a blank check […]

Facebook services back online after worldwide outage

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Facebook said it was “back at 100 percent” Wednesday evening after an outage on all of its services affected users in various parts of the world. Online monitoring service DownDetector reported earlier the outage began around 1200 GMT and affected Facebook as well as its Instagram and WhatsApp services. “The issue has since been resolved and we should be back at 100% for everyone,” the company tweeted at 0006 […]

NASA tests launch-abort system for moon-mission capsule

  WASHINGTON, United States — NASA carried out a successful test Tuesday of a launch-abort system for the Orion capsule designed to take US astronauts to the Moon. The three-minute exercise at Cape Canaveral in Florida aimed to test in almost real-life conditions the evacuation of astronauts from the capsule in the event of an explosion or rocket booster failure. The test “put us one huge step closer to the first Artemis flight carrying people […]

French consumer group launches class action against Google for violating EU’s data privacy laws

  PARIS, France (AFP) — A French consumer rights group said Wednesday that it has launched a class action lawsuit against US tech giant Google for violating the EU’s strict data privacy laws. The UFC-Que Choisir group said in a statement that the goal of its class action is to “end the insidious exploitation of users’ personal data, particularly those using Android devices with a Google account, and compensate them for up to 1,000 euros […]