DuckDuckGo, which has long complained that Google’s tactics have made it too tough to get people to use their search engine on a mobile phone, will be one of many rivals to the online search giant eyeing a once-in-a-generation antitrust trial set to begin Tuesday.
The United States will argue Google didn’t play by the rules in its efforts to dominate online search in a trial seen as a battle for the soul of the Internet.
The U.S. Justice Department is expected to detail how Google paid billions of dollars annually to device makers like Apple Inc. AAPL.O, wireless companies like AT&T T.N and browser makers like Mozilla to keep Google’s search engine atop the leader board.
DuckDuckGo has also complained, for example, that removing Google as the default search engine on a device and replacing it with DuckDuckGo takes too many steps, helping keep them to a measly 2.3% market share.
DuckDuckGo, MicrosoftMSFT.O and Yahoo are among a long list of Google competitors who will be watching the trial closely.
“Google makes it unduly difficult to use DuckDuckGo by default. We’re glad this issue is finally going to have its day in court,” said DuckDuckGo spokesman Kamyl Bazbaz who said that Google had a “stranglehold on major distribution points for more than a decade.”
Google has denied wrongdoing and is prepared to vigorously defend itself.
The legal fight has huge implications for Big Tech, which has been accused of buying or strangling small competitors but has insulated itself against many accusations of breaking antitrust law because the services the companies provide to users are free, as in the case of Alphabet’s Google GOOGL.O and Facebook META.O, or low price, as in the case of Amazon.com AMZN.O.
“It would be difficult to overstate the importance of this case, particularly for monopolies and companies with significant market share,” antitrust lawyer Luke Hasskamp told Reuters.
“This will be a major case, particularly for the major tech companies of the world (Google, Apple, Twitter, and others), which have grown to have an outsized role in nearly all our lives,” he added.
Previous antitrust trials of similar importance include Microsoft, filed in 1998, and AT&T, filed in 1974. The AT&T breakup in 1982 is credited with paving the way for the modern cell phone industry while the fight with Microsoft is credited with opening space for Google and others on the internet.
Congress tried to rein in Big Tech last year but largely missed. It considered bills to check the market power of the companies, like legislation to prevent them from preferencing their own products, but failed to pass the most aggressive of them.
Big Tech’s rivals now pin their hope on Judge Amit Mehta, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The lawsuit that goes to trial was brought by former President Donald Trump’s Justice Department. In a rare show of bipartisan agreement, President Joe Biden’s Justice Department has pressed on with the lawsuit and filed a second one against Google in January focused on advertising technology.
Judge Mehta will decide if Google has broken antitrust law in this first trial, and, if so, what should be done. The government has asked the judge to order Google to stop any illegal activity but also urged “structural relief as needed,” raising the possibility that the tech giant could be ordered broken up.
The government’s strongest arguments are those against Google’s revenue sharing agreements with Android makers, which requires Google to be the only search on the smartphone in exchange for a percentage of search advertising revenue, said Daniel McCuaig, a partner at Cohen Milstein who was formerly with the U.S. Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.
As young children went back to school across Sweden last month, many of their teachers were putting a new emphasis on printed books, quiet reading time and handwriting practice and devoting less time to tablets, independent online research and keyboarding skills.
The return to more traditional ways of learning is a response to politicians and experts questioning whether the country’s hyper-digitalized approach to education, including the introduction of tablets in nursery schools, had led to a decline in basic skills.
Swedish Minister for Schools Lotta Edholm, who took office 11 months ago as part of a new center-right coalition government, was one of the biggest critics of the all-out embrace of technology.
“Sweden’s students need more textbooks,” Edholm said in March. “Physical books are important for student learning.”
The minister announced last month in a statement that the government wants to reverse the decision by the National Agency for Education to make digital devices mandatory in preschools. It plans to go further and to completely end digital learning for children under age 6, the ministry also told The Associated Press.
Although the country’s students score above the European average for reading ability, an international assessment of fourth-grade reading levels, the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, highlighted a decline among Sweden’s children between 2016 and 2021.
In 2021, Swedish fourth-graders averaged 544 points, a drop from the 555 average in 2016. However, their performance still placed the country in a tie with Taiwan for the seventh-highest overall test score.
In comparison, Singapore — which topped the rankings — improved its PIRLS reading scores from 576 to 587 during the same period, and England’s average reading achievement score fell only slightly, from 559 in 2016 to 558 in 2021.
Some learning deficits may have resulted from the coronavirus pandemic or reflect a growing number of immigrant students who don’t speak Swedish as their first language, but an overuse of screens during school lessons may cause youngsters to fall behind in core subjects, education experts say.
“There’s clear scientific evidence that digital tools impair rather than enhance student learning,” Sweden’s Karolinska Institute said in a statement last month on the country’s national digitalization strategy in education.
“We believe the focus should return to acquiring knowledge through printed textbooks and teacher expertise, rather than acquiring knowledge primarily from freely available digital sources that have not been vetted for accuracy,” said the institute, a highly respected medical school focused on research.
The rapid adoption of digital learning tools also has drawn concern from the United Nations’ education and culture agency.
In a report published last month, UNESCO issued an “urgent call for appropriate use of technology in education.” The report urges countries to speed up internet connections at schools, but at the same time warns that technology in education should be implemented in a way so that it never replaces in-person, teacher-led instruction and supports the shared objective of quality education for all.
In the Swedish capital, Stockholm, 9-year-old Liveon Palmer, a third-grader at Djurgardsskolan elementary school, expressed his approval of spending more school hours offline.
“I like writing more in school, like on paper, because it just feels better, you know,” he told the AP during a recent visit.
His teacher, Catarina Branelius, said she was selective about asking students to use tablets during her lessons even before the national-level scrutiny.
“I use tablets in math and we are doing some apps, but I don’t use tablets for writing text,” Branelius said. Students under age 10 “need time and practice and exercise in handwriting … before you introduce them to write on a tablet.”
Online instruction is a hotly debated subject across Europe and other parts of the West. Poland, for instance, just launched a program to give a government-funded laptop to each student starting in fourth grade in hopes of making the country more technologically competitive.
In the United States, the coronavirus pandemic pushed public schools to provide millions of laptops purchased with federal pandemic relief money to primary and secondary students. But there is still a digital divide, which is part of the reason why American schools tend to use both print and digital textbooks, said Sean Ryan, president of the U.S. school division at textbook publisher McGraw Hill.
“In places where there is not connectivity at home, educators are loath to lean into digital because they’re thinking about their most vulnerable (students) and making sure they have the same access to education as everyone else,” Ryan said.
Germany, which is one of the wealthiest countries in Europe, has been famously slow in moving government programs and information of all kinds online, including education. The state of digitalization in schools also varies among the country’s 16 states, which are in charge of their own curricula.
Many students can complete their schooling without any kind of required digital instruction, such as coding. Some parents worry their children may not be able to compete in the job market with technologically better-trained young people from other countries.
Sascha Lobo, a German writer and consultant who focuses on the internet, thinks a national effort is needed to bring German students up to speed or the country will risk falling behind in the future.
“If we don’t manage to make education digital, to learn how digitalization works, then we will no longer be a prosperous country 20 years from now,” he said in an interview with public broadcaster ZDF late last year.
To counter Sweden’s decline in fourth-grade reading performance, the Swedish government announced an investment worth $64.7 million in book purchases for the country’s schools this year. Another 500 million kronor will be spent annually in 2024 and 2025 to speed up the return of textbooks to schools.
Not all experts are convinced Sweden’s back-to-basics push is exclusively about what’s best for students.
Criticizing the effects of technology is “a popular move with conservative politicians,” Neil Selwyn, a professor of education at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, said. “It’s a neat way of saying or signaling a commitment to traditional values.”
“The Swedish government does have a valid point when saying that there is no evidence for technology improving learning, but I think that’s because there is no straightforward evidence of what works with technology,” Selwyn added. “Technology is just one part of a really complex network of factors in education.”
Раніше реактори типу ВВЕР-440 працювали тільки на ядерному паливі російського виробництва
За його словами, в Україні «вже працює економіка воєнного часу» і макрофінансова допомога партнерів дає можливість витрачати внутрішні ресурси на армію
The cost of building an artificial intelligence product like ChatGPT can be hard to measure.
But one thing Microsoft-backed OpenAI needed for its technology was plenty of water, pulled from the watershed of the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers in central Iowa to cool a powerful supercomputer as it helped teach its AI systems how to mimic human writing.
As they race to capitalize on a craze for generative AI, leading tech developers, including Microsoft, OpenAI and Google, have acknowledged that growing demand for their AI tools carries hefty costs, from expensive semiconductors to an increase in water consumption.
But they’re often secretive about the specifics. Few people in Iowa knew about its status as a birthplace of OpenAI’s most advanced large language model, GPT-4, before a top Microsoft executive said in a speech it “was literally made next to cornfields west of Des Moines.”
Building a large language model requires analyzing patterns across a huge trove of human-written text. All that computing takes a lot of electricity and generates a lot of heat. To keep it cool on hot days, data centers need to pump in water — often to a cooling tower outside its warehouse-sized buildings.
In its latest environmental report, Microsoft disclosed that its global water consumption spiked 34% from 2021 to 2022 (to nearly 1.7 billion gallons, or more than 2,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools), a sharp increase compared to previous years that outside researchers tie to its AI research.
“It’s fair to say the majority of the growth is due to AI,” including “its heavy investment in generative AI and partnership with OpenAI,” said Shaolei Ren, a researcher at the University of California, Riverside, who has been trying to calculate the environmental impact of generative AI products such as ChatGPT.
In a paper due to be published later this year, Ren’s team estimates ChatGPT gulps up 500 milliliters of water (close to what’s in a 16-ounce water bottle) every time you ask it a series of between 5 to 50 prompts or questions. The range varies depending on where its servers are located and the season. The estimate includes indirect water usage that the companies don’t measure — such as to cool power plants that supply the data centers with electricity.
“Most people are not aware of the resource usage underlying ChatGPT,” Ren said. “If you’re not aware of the resource usage, then there’s no way that we can help conserve the resources.”
Google reported a 20% growth in water use in the same period, which Ren also largely attributes to its AI work. Google’s spike wasn’t uniform — it was steady in Oregon, where its water use has attracted public attention, while doubling outside Las Vegas. It was also thirsty in Iowa, drawing more potable water to its Council Bluffs data centers than anywhere else.
In response to questions from The Associated Press, Microsoft said in a statement this week that it is investing in research to measure AI’s energy and carbon footprint “while working on ways to make large systems more efficient, in both training and application.”
“We will continue to monitor our emissions, accelerate progress while increasing our use of clean energy to power data centers, purchasing renewable energy, and other efforts to meet our sustainability goals of being carbon negative, water positive and zero waste by 2030,” the company’s statement said.
OpenAI echoed those comments in its own statement Friday, saying it’s giving “considerable thought” to the best use of computing power.
“We recognize training large models can be energy and water-intensive” and work to improve efficiencies, it said.
Microsoft made its first $1 billion investment in San Francisco-based OpenAI in 2019, more than two years before the startup introduced ChatGPT and sparked worldwide fascination with AI advancements. As part of the deal, the software giant would supply computing power needed to train the AI models.
To do at least some of that work, the two companies looked to West Des Moines, Iowa, a city of 68,000 people where Microsoft has been amassing data centers to power its cloud computing services for more than a decade. Its fourth and fifth data centers are due to open there later this year.
“They’re building them as fast as they can,” said Steve Gaer, who was the city’s mayor when Microsoft came to town. Gaer said the company was attracted to the city’s commitment to building public infrastructure and contributed a “staggering” sum of money through tax payments that support that investment.
“But, you know, they were pretty secretive on what they’re doing out there,” he said.
Microsoft first said it was developing one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers for OpenAI in 2020, declining to reveal its location to the AP at the time but describing it as a “single system” with more than 285,000 cores of conventional semiconductors and 10,000 graphics processors — a kind of chip that’s become crucial to AI workloads.
Experts have said it can make sense to “pretrain” an AI model at a single location because of the large amounts of data that need to be transferred between computing cores.
It wasn’t until late May that Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, disclosed that it had built its “advanced AI supercomputing data center” in Iowa, exclusively to enable OpenAI to train what has become its fourth-generation model, GPT-4. The model now powers premium versions of ChatGPT and some of Microsoft’s own products and has accelerated a debate about containing AI’s societal risks.
“It was made by these extraordinary engineers in California, but it was really made in Iowa,” Smith said.
In some ways, West Des Moines is a relatively efficient place to train a powerful AI system, especially compared to Microsoft’s data centers in Arizona, which consume far more water for the same computing demand.
“So if you are developing AI models within Microsoft, then you should schedule your training in Iowa instead of in Arizona,” Ren said. “In terms of training, there’s no difference. In terms of water consumption or energy consumption, there’s a big difference.”
For much of the year, Iowa’s weather is cool enough for Microsoft to use outside air to keep the supercomputer running properly and vent heat out of the building. Only when the temperature exceeds 29.3 degrees Celsius (about 85 degrees Fahrenheit) does it withdraw water, the company has said in a public disclosure.
Як заявили в Кабміні, це «сучасна, прогресивна» угода, важлива для збільшення інвестицій, активізації торгівлі послугами і розвитку цифрової торгівлі
Members of the International Radio and Television Union from about 50 countries, meeting this week in the Cameroonian capital, Yaounde, say a lack of infrastructure and human and financial resources remains a major obstacle to the switch from analog to digital broadcasting in public media, especially in Africa.
They are asking governments and funding agencies to assist with digitalization, which they say is necessary in the changing media landscape. More than half of Africa’s media is yet to fully digitalize.
Increasing reports of cross-interference between broadcasting and telecom services is a direct consequence of switchover delays, they said.
Professor Amin Alhassan, director general of Ghana Broadcasting Corp., says most African broadcasters are not serving their audiences and staying as relevant as they should because of the slow pace of digital transformation.
“Public media stations across the world are very old,” Alhassan said. “They have heavy investments in analog media and also analog media expertise. Our staff are used to analog systems, and to translate it into digital ecosystems is a challenge.
“Our challenge is how do you transform our existing staff to have a mindset change to understand the operations of digital media,” he said.
The International Telecommunication Union, or ITU, says digital broadcasting allows stations to offer higher definition video and better sound quality than analog. Digital broadcasting also offers multiple channels of programming on the same frequency.
In 2006, the ITU set June 2015 as the deadline for all broadcast stations in the world transmitting on the UHF band used for television broadcasting to switch from analog to digital. A five-year extension, to June 2020, was given for VHF band stations, mostly used in FM broadcasting, to switch over.
But the International Radio and Television Union says most of Africa missed the deadline, did not turn off analog television signals and is missing the advantages of digital broadcasting.
Mauritius, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are among the first African countries to complete the switch.
South Africa said in 2022 it would switch to digital TV on March 31, 2023. Jacqueline Hlongwane, programming manager of SABC, South Africa’s public broadcaster who attended the Yaounde meeting, said the switchover process is still ongoing after the deadline.
“Towards the end of last year, just before the soccer World Cup, we were able to launch our own OTT platform,” she said, referring to “over the top” technology that delivers streamed content over the internet.
“We are really, really excited about this because it’s been something that we’ve been working on for a very, very long time,” she said. “South African audiences for now can get access to content, which means that as a public broadcaster, we are also moving towards digitization of content.”
Public broadcasters say governments and funding agencies should help them with infrastructure and human and financial resources to increase digital penetration on the continent, which is estimated at between 30% and 43%, below the global average of about 70%.
Досі банк продовжував обслуговувати корпоративних клієнтів у цих країнах, попри санкції
Наразі не йдеться про скасування виплат, але деякі з них можуть бути зупинені, додала вона
It started with an image of U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on her China trip last month, reportedly taken on what the Chinese tech giant Huawei is touting as a breakthrough 5G mobile phone. Within days, fake ad campaigns on Chinese social media were depicting Raimondo as a Huawei brand ambassador promoting the phone.
The tongue-in-cheek doctored photos made such a splash that they appeared on the social media accounts of state media CCTV, giving them a degree of official approval.
VOA contacted the U.S. Department of Commerce for a reaction but didn’t receive a response by the time of publication.
Chinese nationalists spare no effort to tout the Huawei Mate 60 Pro — equipped with domestically made chips — as a breakthrough showing China’s 5G technological independence despite U.S. sanctions on exports of key components and technology. However, experts say the phone’s capability may be exaggerated.
A social media video posted by Chinese phone users shows that after the Huawei Mate 60 Pro is turned on and connected to the wireless network, it does not display the 4G or 5G signal indicator icon. But these reviewers say the download speed is on par with that of mainstream 5G phones.
A test done by Bloomberg also shows the phone’s bandwidth is similar to other 5G phones.
Richard Windsor, the founder and owner of the British research company Radio Free Mobile, told VOA a simple speed test is not good evidence that the phone is 5G capable.
“It is quite possible through a technique called carrier aggregation to get the kind of speed that was demonstrated,” Windsor said. “You can do that with 4G. … You will see the story on 5G is not [about] speed or throughput but latency efficiency and producing good reception at high frequencies. That’s what the 5G story is all about.”
Throughput and latency are ways to measure network performance. Latency refers to how quickly information moves across a network; throughput refers to the amount of information that moves in a certain time.
Huawei’s official website makes no mention of 5G technology, which also raised skepticism.
“If the new Huawei mobile phone was a 5G phone with an advanced Chinese chipset, Huawei and China would have told the whole world. Huawei and China are not humble people. They love to tell stories,” John Strand, CEO of Strand Consult, told VOA.
The research firm TechInsights took the Huawei phone apart and discovered a Kirin 9000 chip produced by Chinese chipmaker SMIC. The Kirin 9000-series chipsets support 5G connectivity.
While sanctions prevent SMIC from having access to the most cutting-edge extreme ultraviolet lithography tools used by other leading chipmakers — such as TSMC, Samsung and Intel — it could use some older equipment to make advanced chips.
However, experts suspect SMIC won’t be able to mass produce the Kirin 9000 chips on a profitable scale without more advanced tools.
“Being able to make a chip that works,” Windsor said, “and being able to make millions of chips at good yields that don’t bankrupt you in terms of costs are two very, very different things.”
VOA asked Huawei and SMIC for comment but didn’t receive a response by the time of publication.
Dan Hutcheson, vice chair of TechInsights, said in a press release that China’s production of the Kirin 9000 “shows the resilience of the country’s chip technological ability” while demonstrating the challenge faced by countries that seek to restrict China’s access to critical manufacturing technologies. “The result may likely be even greater restrictions than what exist today.”
U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said during a White House press briefing Tuesday that the U.S. needs “more information about precisely its character and composition” to determine if parties bypassed American restrictions on semiconductor exports to create the new chip.
Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican from the U.S. state of Texas, was quoted Wednesday saying he was concerned about the possibility of China trying to “get a monopoly” on the manufacture of less-advanced computer chips.
“We talk a lot about advanced semiconductor chips, but we also need to look at legacy,” he told Reuters, referring to older computer chip technology that does not fall under current export controls.
Russia’s cyber operations may not have managed to land the big blow that many Western officials feared following Moscow’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, but Ukrainian cyber officials caution Moscow has not stopped trying.
Instead, Ukraine’s top counterintelligence agency warns that Russia continues to refine its tactics as it works to further ingrain cyber operations as part of their warfighting doctrine.
“Our resilience has risen a lot,” Illia Vitiuk, head of cybersecurity for the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), said Thursday at a cyber summit in Washington. “But the problem is that our counterpart, Russia, our enemy, is constantly also evolving and searching for new ways [to attack].”
Vitiuk warned that Moscow continues to launch between 10 and 15 serious cyberattacks per day, many of which show signs of being launched in coordination with missile strikes and other traditional military maneuvers.
“These are not some genius youngsters in search for easy money,” Vitiuk said. “These are people who are working on day-to-day basis and have orders from their military command to destroy Ukraine.”
Vitiuk said Russia has launched 3,000 cyberattacks against Ukraine so far this year, after carrying out 4,500 such attacks following its invasion in 2022.
In addition, he said Russian officials are targeting Ukraine with about 1,000 disinformation campaigns per month.
Last month, for example, the SBU uncovered and blocked a Russian malware plot that sought to infiltrate critical Ukrainian systems by using Android mobile devices captured from Ukrainian forces on the battlefield.
Russian officials routinely deny any involvement in cyberattacks, especially those aimed at civilian infrastructure.
But Russian denials have been met with skepticism in the West, and in the United States, in particular.
“The Russians are increasing their capability and their efforts in the cyber domain,” said CIA Deputy Director David Cohen, who spoke at the same conference in Washington.
“This is a pitched battle every day,” Cohen added, noting that the fight in cyberspace is far from one-sided.
“The Russians have been on the receiving end of a fair amount of cyberattacks being directed at them from a sort of a range of private sector actors,” he said. “There have been attacks on Russian government, some hack and leak attacks. There have been information space attacks on the TV and radio broadcasts.”
Both Washington and Kyiv agree Ukraine’s cyber defenses are holding, at least for now.
Vitiuk, though, expressed caution.
“This war is not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” he said. “Our enemy is evolving, and [there are] a lot of things we still need to do, and a lot of things we still need to adopt in order to make this victory come faster.”
Vitiuk also warned that Russia’s determination should not be taken lightly, pointing to Ukrainian intelligence showing that Moscow is looking for ways to expand the reach of its cyber operations against Kyiv.
“We clearly see that there is a national cyber offensive program,” Vitiuk said. “Now they implement offensive [cyber] disciplines in their higher education establishments under control of special services.”
“They start to teach students how to attack state systems, and it is extremely, extremely dangerous,” he said.
China is turning to artificial intelligence to rile up U.S. voters and stoke divisions ahead of the country’s 2024 presidential elections, according to a new report.
Threat analysts at Microsoft warned in a blog post Thursday that Beijing has developed a new artificial intelligence capability that can produce “eye-catching content” more likely to go viral compared to previous Chinese influence operations.
According to Microsoft, the six-month-long effort appears to use AI-generators, which are able to both produce visually stunning imagery and also to improve it over time.
“We have observed China-affiliated actors leveraging AI-generated visual media in a broad campaign that largely focuses on politically divisive topics, such as gun violence, and denigrating U.S. political figures and symbols,” Microsoft said.
“We can expect China to continue to hone this technology over time, though it remains to be seen how and when it will deploy it at scale,” it added.
China on Thursday dismissed Microsoft’s findings.
“In recent years, some western media and think tanks have accused China of using artificial intelligence to create fake social media accounts to spread so-called ‘pro-China’ information,” Chinese Embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu told VOA in an email. “Such remarks are full of prejudice and malicious speculation against China, which China firmly opposes.”
According to Microsoft, Chinese government-linked actors appear to be disseminating the AI-generated images on social media while posing as U.S. voters from across the political spectrum. The focus has been on issues related to race, economic issues and ideology.
In one case, the Microsoft researchers pointed to an image of the Statue of Liberty altered to show Lady Liberty holding both her traditional torch and also what appears to be a machine gun.
The image is titled, “The Goddess of Violence,” with another line of text warning that democracy and freedom is “being thrown away.”
But the researchers say there are clear signs the image was produced using AI, including the presence of more than five fingers on one of the statue’s hands.
In any case, the early evidence is that the efforts are working.
“This relatively high-quality visual content has already drawn higher levels of engagement from authentic social media users,” according to a Microsoft report issued along with the blog post.
“Users have more frequently reposted these visuals, despite common indicators of AI-generation,” the report added.
Additionally, the Microsoft report says China is having Chinese state media employees masquerade as “as independent social media influencers.”
These influencers, who appear across most Western social media sites, tend to push out both lifestyle content and also propaganda aimed at localized audiences.
Microsoft reports the influencers have so far built a following of at least 103 million people in 40 languages.
Дочірні компанії групи, які виробляють скло, посуд і тару, сплатити в Росії податків на понад 11,2 мільйона доларів за 2022 рік
Japan launched a rocket Thursday carrying an X-ray telescope that will explore the origins of the universe as well as a small lunar lander.
The launch of the HII-A rocket from Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan was shown on live video by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, known as JAXA.
“We have a liftoff,” the narrator at JAXA said as the rocket flew up in a burst of smoke and then flew over the Pacific.
Thirteen minutes after the launch, the rocket put into orbit around Earth a satellite called the X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission, or XRISM, which will measure the speed and makeup of what lies between galaxies.
That information helps in studying how celestial objects were formed, and hopefully can lead to solving the mystery of how the universe was created, JAXA said.
In cooperation with NASA, JAXA will look at the strength of light at different wavelengths, the temperature of things in space and their shapes and brightness.
David Alexander, director of the Rice Space Institute at Rice University, believes the mission is significant for delivering insight into the properties of hot plasma, or the superheated matter that makes up much of the universe.
Plasmas have the potential to be used in various ways, including healing wounds, making computer chips and cleaning the environment.
“Understanding the distribution of this hot plasma in space and time, as well as its dynamical motion, will shed light on diverse phenomena such as black holes, the evolution of chemical elements in the universe and the formation of galactic clusters,” Alexander said.
Also aboard the latest Japanese rocket is the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon, or SLIM, a lightweight lunar lander. The Smart Lander won’t make lunar orbit for three or four months and would likely attempt a landing early next year, according to the space agency.
The lander successfully separated from the rocket about 45 minutes after the launch and proceeded on its proper track to eventually land on the moon. JAXA workers applauded and bowed with each other from their observation facility.
JAXA is developing “pinpoint landing technology” to prepare for future lunar probes and landing on other planets. While landings now tend to be off by about 10 kilometers (6 miles) or more, the Smart Lander is designed to be more precise, within about 100 meters (330 feet) of the intended target, JAXA official Shinichiro Sakai told reporters ahead of the launch.
That allows the box-shaped gadgetry to find a safer place to land.
The move comes at a time when the world is again turning to the challenge of going to the moon. Only four nations have successfully landed on the moon, the U.S., Russia, China and India.
Last month, India landed a spacecraft near the moon’s south pole. That came just days after Russia failed in its attempt to return to the moon for the first time in nearly a half century. A Japanese private company, called ispace, crashed a lander in trying to land on the moon in April.
Japan’s space program has been marred by recent failures. In February, the H3 rocket launch was aborted for a glitch. Liftoff a month later succeeded, but the rocket had to be destroyed after its second stage failed to ignite properly.
Japan has started recruiting astronaut candidates for the first time in 13 years, making clear its ambitions to send a Japanese to the moon.
Going to the moon has fascinated humankind for decades. Under the U.S. Apollo program, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon in 1969.
The last NASA human mission to the moon was in 1972, and the focus on sending humans to the moon appeared to wane, with missions being relegated to robots.
Йдеться про заволодіння коштами на суму понад 9,2 мільярда гривень. У справі фігурують шестеро людей