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Dragonfly mission to Titan launch delayed by a year due Dragonfly mission to Titan launch delayed by a year due

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Dragonfly mission to Titan: launch delayed by a year due to budget uncertainty

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NASA’s Dragonfly mission, aimed at exploring Saturn’s moon Titan, will be delayed: the next stage of development has been postponed by a year, and the launch is scheduled for July 2028. The official reason for the delay was budget uncertainty, which delayed official confirmation and determination of the cost and schedule of the Dragonfly mission.

The Dragonfly team will continue to work on the next phase of development, Phase C, which will develop a rotary unmanned vehicle the size of a car. This vehicle will fly over Titan’s dunes and will be able to land to study Titan’s abundance of organic molecules.

Dragonfly mission to Titan: launch delayed by a year due to budget uncertainty

Artist’s illustration of the Dragonfly mission soaring above Saturn’s moon Titan. Source: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben

On November 28, at a meeting of NASA’s External Planetary Assessment Group (OPAG), Laurie Glaze, director of the agency’s planetary science division, announced the reasons for the delay in the launch, which was originally scheduled to take place in 2027. Funding and budget uncertainties for 2024 and 2025 were the main reason for the delay in official confirmation of the Dragonfly mission. Glaze also noted that the Dragonfly mission design will be presented again to the program management council (APMC) in the spring of 2024, following the preliminary readiness of the fiscal year 2025 budget proposal at NASA.

The Dragonfly team will replan the mission, and once all necessary changes are completed and verified, NASA will assess the mission’s readiness for launch in mid-2024. As a result, some elements of the Dragonfly mission will be delayed while other aspects continue to be developed.

Dragonfly is the only NASA mission planned to explore the surface of Titan. When the device arrives on Titan, it will look for signs indicating the possibility of life. Dragonfly will also study how advanced prebiotic chemistry is on Saturn’s moon, and even look for signs of water or hydrocarbon-based molecules.

In addition to traveling further on Titan than any other alien rover on its missions, Dragonfly will also land on Saturn’s surface in different regions, collecting samples to determine the composition of surface materials in different regions.

Studying Titan is a high priority for planetary scientists because it is the only moon in the solar system known for its thick atmosphere and hydrological cycle similar to Earth’s. It is also an oceanic world with clouds of methane, rain, and liquid on the surface that forms lakes and seas. The discovery of oceans and the potential presence of organic matter frozen in Titan’s ice increases the potential for viability on this moon.

The Dragonfly mission is being developed and will be managed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Maryland. To carry out the research on board the device, cameras, sensors and sample collection tools will be used.

“Dragonfly is a fearless engineering concept that is one of a kind. I am inspired by how our team has repeatedly overcome obstacles by working together and thinking outside the box,” said Dragonfly Principal Investigator Elizabeth Turtle.

Several components of Dragonfly, including control and navigation systems, have already been tested over California deserts chosen for their similarity to the dunes on Titan – as well as in wind tunnels at NASA’s Langley Science Center. The full-scale model was also tested in the Titan Simulation Chamber at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory—which recreates the cold temperatures and atmospheric pressures similar to Titan’s methane environment.

For now, the Dragonfly mission remains the only NASA mission planned to study the surface of Titan. It represents an important step in exploring the potential viability and organic chemistry of other planets and moons in the solar system.

“Team Dragonfly has demonstrated readiness for the next phase of our journey to conquer Titan. We are relentlessly moving forward without losing the curiosity and creativity that are key to the success of the Dragonfly mission,” said Turtle.

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Car News

Hyundai Creta N Line 2024 sports car declassified

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Hyundai Creta N Line 2024 sports car declassified

The sportiest version of the recently updated Hyundai Creta crossover has been declassified in India: orders for the Hyundai Creta N Line 2024 in the local market are already being accepted, but the official premiere will take place on March 11.

Hyundai Creta N Line 2024 sports car declassified

Judging by the photo, the crossover received more aggressive bumpers, a different radiator grille, and red accents on the body and interior design. Wheels will be 18 inches. According to Autocar India, the car will be offered in two trim levels: base and top-end. Accordingly, the first will have a manual gearbox, the second will have a robotic one. But there is only one engine – the most powerful: a 1.5-liter gasoline turbo engine with 160 hp.

Hyundai Creta N Line 2024 sports car declassified

Hyundai Creta N Line 2024 sports car declassified

Prices will be announced on the day of the premiere, but it is already clear that the Creta N Line will be the most expensive in the lineup.

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How much does it cost to repair Xiaomi 14 Ultra? The official price list for spare parts has been published

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How much does it cost to repair Xiaomi 14 Ultra

Xiaomi 14 Ultra has just gone on sale in China, but Xiaomi has already published the official price list for spare parts so that users understand how much it will cost to repair the device out of warranty.

How much does it cost to repair Xiaomi 14 Ultra?  The official price list for spare parts has been published

Despite the fact that Xiaomi 14 Ultra is currently the pinnacle of the Chinese company’s smartphone manufacturing, repair prices are approximately at the level of other flagships. Replacing the motherboard will cost the most – from 380 to 420 dollars, depending on the amount of memory soldered on it. Out-of-warranty replacement of the screen will cost $190, battery – $25, back cover – $40. Replacing the front camera is $10, speaker replacement is $5.

As for the camera, this is interesting. Replacing the main module with an inch Sony LYT-900 image sensor will cost $140! Replacement of a module with an ultra-wide-angle lens is $70, replacement of a module with a telephoto lens is only $25. And this is quite strange, since these modules use the same Sony IMX858 sensors, and the module with a telephoto lens is more complex due to the presence of an OIS system.

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Components

A mini PC weighing only 660 grams with an 8-core Ryzen 7 7840HS, 32 GB of RAM, a built-in screen and a fingerprint scanner – for $515. Tianbao GEM12 introduced

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A mini PC weighing only 660 grams with an 8 core

An atypical mini-computer went on sale on the Chinese marketplace JD.com. The creators of the device, called Tianbao GEM12, integrated a small screen and even a fingerprint scanner into the body, which can work as part of the Windows Hello biometric identification function.

A mini PC weighing only 660 grams with an 8-core Ryzen 7 7840HS, 32 GB of RAM, a built-in screen and a fingerprint scanner - for $515.  Tianbao GEM12 introduced

The hardware basis of Tianbao GEM12 is an 8-core 16-thread Ryzen 7 7840HS processor with a Radeon 780M graphics core. The device is sold as a DIY kit for $350 or as a pre-configured system: 16GB/512GB for $430 and 32GB/1TB for $515.

A mini PC weighing only 660 grams with an 8-core Ryzen 7 7840HS, 32 GB of RAM, a built-in screen and a fingerprint scanner - for $515.  Tianbao GEM12 introduced

A mini PC weighing only 660 grams with an 8-core Ryzen 7 7840HS, 32 GB of RAM, a built-in screen and a fingerprint scanner - for $515.  Tianbao GEM12 introduced

The mini-PC cooling system has two heat pipes and one fan. The screen is used to display the time, album covers when playing music, and processor load. There is an integrated 2.5 Gbps wired Ethernet adapter with two RJ-45 ports and a module that implements Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 communications.

A mini PC weighing only 660 grams with an 8-core Ryzen 7 7840HS, 32 GB of RAM, a built-in screen and a fingerprint scanner - for $515.  Tianbao GEM12 introduced

Dimensions of the computer: 130 x 130 x 60 mm, weight: 660 grams.

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