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NASA satellite snaps adorable Earth image on way to Mars

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Washington, May 16: NASA has just shared a new version of the famous “pale blue dot” image originally snapped on February 14, 1990 by the agency’s Voyager 1 spacecraft from its perch at that time beyond Neptune.

Now a class of tiny, boxy spacecraft, known as CubeSats, have just taken their own version of a “pale blue dot” image, capturing Earth and its moon in one shot, NASA said on Tuesday.

NASA set a new distance record for CubeSats on May 8 when a pair of CubeSats called Mars Cube One (MarCO) reached one million kilometres from Earth.

One of the CubeSats, called MarCO-B used a fisheye camera to snap its first photo on May 9.

That photo is part of the process used by the engineering team to confirm the spacecraft’s high-gain antenna has properly unfolded.

As a bonus, it captured Earth and its moon as tiny specks floating in space, the US space agency added.

“Consider it our homage to Voyager,” said Andy Klesh, MarCO’s Chief Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

“CubeSats have never gone this far into space before, so it’s a big milestone. Both our CubeSats are healthy and functioning properly. We’re looking forward to seeing them travel even farther,” Klesh added.

The cameras of Voyager 1 on February 14, 1990, pointed back toward the Sun and took a series of pictures of the Sun and the planets, making the first ever “portrait” of our solar system as seen from the outside.

Taking these images was not part of the original plan, but the late Carl Sagan, a member of the Voyager imaging team at the time, had the idea of pointing the spacecraft back toward its home for a last look. The title of his 1994 book, “Pale Blue Dot,” refers to the image of Earth in this series.

This “family portrait” captures Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Earth and Venus from Voyager 1’s unique vantage point. A few key members did not make it in — Mars had little sunlight, Mercury was too close to the Sun, and dwarf planet Pluto turned out too dim.

NASA said the MarCO spacecraft are the first CubeSats ever launched into deep space.

Most never go beyond Earth orbit; they generally stay below 800 kilometres above the planet.

Though they were originally developed to teach university students about satellites, CubeSats are now a major commercial technology, providing data on everything from shipping routes to environmental changes.

The MarCO CubeSats were launched on May 5 along with NASA’s InSight lander, a spacecraft that will touch down on Mars and study the planet’s deep interior for the first time.

InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, will attempt to land on Mars on November 26, NASA said.

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Summit with Kim Jong-un could still go ahead on June 12: Trump

A day earlier, Trump in a letter to Kim announced to cancel their June 12 summit meeting in Singapore. He blamed Pyongyang’s “tremendous anger” and “open hostility” for his decision.

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Washington, May 25 : US President Donald Trump today said that his administration is now talking with the North Koreans and hinted that the summit with Kim Jong-un could still go ahead on June 12, a day after he cancelled it.

“We’ll see what happens. We are talking to them now,” Trump said at the White House before boarding Marine One for a commencement address in Annapolis.

“They very much want to do it. We’d like to do it. We will see what happens,” he said.

Trump appeared to be optimistic even about the cancelled June 12 summit in Singapore. “It could be even on 12th June, he said in response to a question. “We will see what happens,” said the US President.

A day earlier, Trump in a letter to Kim announced to cancel their June 12 summit meeting in Singapore. He blamed Pyongyang’s “tremendous anger” and “open hostility” for his decision.

Later the White House said a “trail of broken promises” by the North Koreans, including keeping a team of US officials waiting in Singapore for a preparatory meeting, left Trump with no choice but to cancel his proposed summit with Kim.

In a statement, North Korea regretted the cancellation of the summit and said that it was willing to meet anytime in any way. Trump described it as a very good news.

“It was a very nice statement they put out. We will see what happens,” he told reporters in response to another question.

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Pakistan bans screenings of Indian films during Eid

The restrictions would be in place around the period of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Azha.

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Islamabad [Pakistan], May 25: The Pakistan government has imposed a ban on the screenings of Indian films in the country during the time of Eid.

According to a May 24 notification issued by Pakistan’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the exhibition and screening of Indian and foreign films will be banned for two days before the Eid to until two weeks after the holidays.

Pakistan Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Report

Image Credit- News18

Under this ban, no cinema across Pakistan will be allowed to show Indian movies during the Eid holidays which usually run for four days and bring in big business for the new Pakistani, Bollywood and Hollywood films.

The restrictions would be in place around the period of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Azha.

The ministry, in its letter, said the move was taken in order to “revive and promote the local film industry in Pakistan.”

“All the importers/distributors of the foreign films have been directed to restrain from the screening of Indian films in cinema houses all over the country during the above mentioned time period,” the letter stated.

An official in the ministry said the step had been taken after Pakistani film exhibitors, distributors and production houses complained about facing stiff competition from the Indian and Hollywood movies due to which their films get restricted to a limited number of screens in the country.

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Ready to sit down for talks with US anytime: North Korea

The North Korean side expressed regret over US President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel the summit with Kim Jong Un, previously scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

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Pyongyang, May 25 (IANS) North Korea said on Friday that it is ready to sit down for talks with Washington anytime to solve problems between them, after the US side cancelled a planned summit with Pyongyang.

The North Korean side expressed regret over US President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel the summit with Kim Jong Un, previously scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

Kim Kye Gwan also said that Trump’s decision does not conform to the international community’s aspiration for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the whole world.

Trump on Thursday sent a letter to Kim Jong Un, saying that their planned meeting will not happen.

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