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WATCH: SpaceX launches Intelsat-40E mission with NASA



SpaceX’s commercial communications satellite Falcon 9 blasted off on Friday into the orbit with a NASA Earth science instrument aboard, reported

The rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Florida that carried Intelsat 40e satellite toward geostationary transfer orbit.

The Falcon 9 first-stage booster supporting this mission previously launched CRS-26, said SpaceX.

The launch occurred Friday is SpaceX’s 23rd of the year, and the Falcon 9’s touchdown was the company’s 184th orbital rocket landing overall, according to SpaceX.

The booster successfully landed on the “A Shortfall of Gravitas” drone ship within nine minutes.

Intelsat was deployed on the upper stage of the rocket after 32.5 minutes after the launch.

Intelsat-40E is a modern geostationary satellite which aims to give access to the company and its customers all across North and Central America.

The geostationary satellite — carried by rocket — is developed by Maxar Technologies which also hosts NASA’s Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) as a payload.

The satellite will be stationed in a geostationary orbit — 22,000 miles above the Earth — performing its tasks as other geostationary satellites do.

Additionally, it will also be capturing aerial photos on an hourly basis of air pollution over North America.

Those spacecrafts positioned in geostationary orbit over Earth appear in a fixed position while low Earth orbiting objects see the completion of 16 rounds every 24 hours.

In a press briefing on April 5, Karen St Germain, Earth Science Division director at NASA’s headquarters said: “We have several other missions that make observations of atmospheric constituents and atmospheric composition.”

“The real unique difference here with TEMPO is going to be that geostationary look”, Karen told journalists adding that “it will also provide much higher resolution data than other missions.”

TEMPO has the capability to carry out the mission for 20 months however, it can exceed the limit.

On the other hand, Intelsat-40E is solar powered consisting of two arrays which can operate for 15 years.

Aaron Abell, TEMPO project manager at Maxar said: “The TEMPO program really is a win-win-win for the major entities involved.”

“It allows unused capacity on Maxar’s heritage satellite design to be leveraged for government missions. This reduces the cost of access to space for the government as well as reduces the cost for Intelsat, as they’re compensated for their support of the TEMPO mission.”

Kevin Daugherty, TEMPO project manager at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia was of the view that “The total cost to NASA is approximately $210 million and of that, just over $90 million was for the instrument development itself. And the remainder has been for both paying our contractors for hosting TEMPO and then integration, but as well as some support engineering and management that’s been going on.”

NASA is working on a “lessons learned session” to look at how best to implement and approach such partnerships with commercial actors in the future, Daugherty added.


Zindagi Trust gets featured on Meta website for transforming Pakistan’s education system




KARACHI: In Pakistan, where a staggering number of over 28 million children are out of school and education infrastructure widely suffers, Zindagi Trust which is a non-profit organisation, is dedicated to revolutionising the education system.

Founded in 2003 by famous Pakistani singer Shehzad Roy, the trust works on the mission to provide quality education to underprivileged children and reform government schools in Pakistan, through pilot projects at model schools and advocacy with the government.

For its success in reaching and engaging supporters as an early adopter of WhatsApp Channels, Zindagi Trust has been featured on Meta’s website as a case study for government and charities.

The Trust is notably the first non-profit organisation from Pakistan to receive this recognition.

Capitalising on the popularity of Meta-owned messaging app, WhatsApp, Zindagi Trust set out with the objective of reaching new audiences, raising awareness, and facilitating fundraising.

It launched a WhatsApp Channel, through which emphasis was placed on initiatives extending beyond model schools, impacting government schools nationwide.

Zindagi Trust saw a significant surge in followers, a 7% increase in donations, and increased reach across its social ecosystem.

Speaking to, Zindagi Trust’s Senior Marketing & Resource Development Manager Faiq Ahmed said that WhatsApp channels have significantly contributed to the realisation of Zindagi Trust’s objectives by establishing a direct and interactive platform for communication with education and child protection enthusiasts.

Talking about collaboration with the government sector, Faiq said that their advocacy initiatives with the government’s help have left an indelible mark on Pakistan, catalysing groundbreaking changes nationwide.

“Through collaboration and perseverance, we continue to shape a brighter future for the children of Pakistan, not only in the education sector but also in areas vital to the well-being of our society,” he added. 

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Facebook and Instagram full of predators for children, alleges lawsuit




Meta’s social media platforms of Facebook and Instagram have become fertile grounds for child predators and paedophiles, revealed New Mexico’s Attorney General, Raul Torrez in a lawsuit.

Torrez’s office used fake accounts to conduct investigations and discovered that these fake accounts of minors were dispatched ‘solicitations’ and explicit content.

The lawsuit seeks court-ordered changes to protect minors, asserting that Meta has neglected voluntary actions to address these issues effectively.

In its response, Meta defended its initiatives in eradicating predators. However, New Mexico’s investigation disclosed a higher prevalence of exploitative material on Facebook and Instagram compared to adult content platforms.

Attorney General Torrez underscored the platforms’ unsafe nature for children, describing them as hotspots for predators to engage in illicit activities.

While US law shields platforms from content liability, the lawsuit argues that Meta’s algorithms actively promote sexually exploitative material, transforming the platforms into a marketplace for child predators.

The lawsuit accuses Meta of misleading users about platform safety, violating laws prohibiting deceptive practices, and creating an unsafe product.

Moreover, the lawsuit targets Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg personally, alleging contradictory actions in enhancing child safety while steering the company in the opposite direction.

In response, Meta reiterated its commitment to combating child exploitation, emphasizing its use of technology and collaborations with law enforcement to address these concerns.

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Meta finally launches end-to-end encryption on Messenger




Meta announced Thursday that it is finally implementing end-to-end encryption for one-on-one conversations and calls on Messenger, delivering on a long-standing commitment.

The company states that when end-to-end encryption is enabled, the only people who can view the contents of a message sent through Messenger are the sender and the recipient.

Messenger’s encrypted chat function was initially made available as an opt-in feature in 2016. However, following a protracted legal dispute, end-to-end encrypted messages and calls for two-person discussions will now be considered the norm.

“This has taken years to deliver because we’ve taken our time to get this right,” Loredana Crisan, vice president of Messenger, said in a statement shared with The Verge.

“Our engineers, cryptographers, designers, policy experts and product managers have worked tirelessly to rebuild Messenger features from the ground up.”

A representational picture of Messengers new feature. — Meta
A representational picture of Messenger’s new feature. — Meta

Crisan states that encrypted chats will not compromise Messenger features like themes and custom reactions. However, it may “take some time” for all chats to switch to default encryption.

The end-to-end encryption for group chats is still opt-in. Additionally, Instagram messages are still not encrypted by default, but Meta expects this to happen “shortly after” the rollout of default private Messenger chats.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in 2019 that the company planned to move toward encrypted ephemeral messages across its messaging apps, according to The Verge.

“I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “This is the future I hope we will help bring about.”

By enabling encryption by default, most Messenger chats should remain unseen by Meta, and it will also prevent the company from providing the data to law enforcement.

Last year, a 17-year-old from Nebraska and her mother faced criminal charges for illegal abortion after police obtained their Messenger chat history.

Anti-encryption advocates argue that encryption makes it harder to identify bad actors on encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp.

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