Science and Technology

NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity is getting New Software Installed

This mosaic image shows part of the left side of NASA's Curiosity rover and two blast marks from the descent stage's rocket engines. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

(Best Syndication News) - Between August 10 through August 13, NASA will be giving Mars rover Curiosity a “brain transplant” via a new software program. The new programming will include the code used for the next phase of the mission.

The software was sent to the rover’s memory while it was being transported from Earth to Mars. Now that the rover has landed on Mars, the new software will aid in surface operations.

Activision announces release of new Pitfall! Mobile App - Revamped 1980's Classic Video Game

Upclose keyboard keys - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - Remember the 1980’s? Back in 1982, Activision had captivated video game players with Pitfall! on the Atari 2600 game console. This video game had Pitfall Harry swing across crocodiles, jump over logs, and avoid falling into pits in the jungle. Today, Activision announced that they have released a new version of the classic video game with their Pitfall! App that will work on the Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

The video game was developed to work with the new technology at Activision's new Leeds, UK-based studio The Blast Furnace™. With the new technology, the Pitfall! game will be revamped for today’s gamers, but will keep elements of the classic game, such as the crocodiles, rope swings, gold bars, cobras, and diamond rings. The new version of Pitfall! will have 3D visuals with the ability to shift camera perspectives. There also will be vehicles and mine carts with a variety of challenges that the player will face.

NASA Mars Mission - Curiosity Rover to Land on Surface Tonight

(Best Syndication News) - After traveling through space since November 26, 2011, the Mars rover named Curiosity is scheduled to land on the surface of the planet tonight. The landing is planned for the early morning hours of August 6, 2012 at 1:31 a.m. EDT (August 5 at 10:31 p.m. Pacific Time).

NASA will be covering the event in a big way. Special coverage from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) will be broadcast on the Toshiba Vision screen in New York City’s Times Square. They will begin the coverage at 11:30 p.m. EDT on August 5 and continue it through 4 a.m. EDT the next day. The audio coverage will be broadcast on the Third Rock Radio station.

Google Listen to be discontinued

Shift key - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - Google announced that they will be discontinuing Google Listen. The service was to help people find and listen to podcasts. The company said that since they launched Google Listen in August 2009, they now have something better called Google Play, which gives a wider variety of podcast apps to the user.

People that have Google Listen installed can continue to use it for podcast listening and searching until November 1, 2012. After that time, these users will not be able to use the search function.

NASA announces agreement to have Three Commercial Companies develop Next Generation Spacecraft

USA Flag - BSN

NASA announced on Friday that they have reached agreements with three commercial companies -- Sierra Nevada Corporation, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), and The Boeing Company to help develop the next generation spacecraft. Over the next five years, these companies will help to design and build the new spacecraft for launching astronauts, government, and other commercial customers into space.

The agreements were signed under the Space Act Agreements through NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap). The initiative is in anticipation that the investments in commercial companies would eventually become a commercial human spaceflight service that would be able to be used by both government and commercial customers.

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