Japan’s Hayabusa 2 probe began the climactic phase of its mission overnight by sending out its first two rovers as it hovered less than 200 feet over an half-mile-wide asteroid, more than 180 million miles from Earth. During the drop-off, the 18-foot-wide spacecraft even took a picture of its own shadow, spread out on the asteroid Ryugu’s rocky surface like a black-and-white copy of the Canadian flag. The release of Hayabusa 2’s MINERVA-II-1 rovers occurred at 9:06 p.m. PT Thursday, mission controllers at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency reported in a tweet. Hayabusa 2 dipped as low as 55 meters (180 feet) for the release, then retreated back from the asteroid. Hayabusa 2 was launched nearly four years ago and made its rendezvous with Ryugu in June. The goal of the $150 million mission is to study the asteroid in depth, from space and from the surface, and bring samples back to Earth in late 2020. Such samples could shed additional light on the solar … [Read more...] about Japan’s Hayabusa 2 probe drops off rovers at an asteroid and snaps a shadowy selfie
Osiris new dawn
Late on this Thursday night in the heart of Mobile's downtown, in a rundown room where generations of men have transformed themselves for over 17 years, Aaron Meadows stares back at himself in the mirror as he carefully glues down the first eyelash. A solitary pink feather boa hangs in the corner of the room, contrasted against the crumbling plaster wall that exposes the original black and brown bricks behind it, symbolic of the metamorphosis about to happen over the next hour as Meadows evolves into Champagne Monroe. Monroe's two drag sisters appear in the doorway pulling large suitcases filled with corsets, shoes and dresses. Enormous afro wigs seemingly spring out of nowhere and music plays loudly from the dance floor just 30 feet away. Makeshift red velvet curtains are shoddily pinned over the windows in the small changing room while bright lights reveal the vast amounts of makeup and colorful garments that will soon see the trio transform from burly African-American men into the … [Read more...] about ‘We are about love’: Story hour thrusts Mobile’s drag queens into spotlight
Destiny 2 launched exactly six months ago today, though at times it feels more like six years. A bunch has changed since September, and the game has gone through some dramatic highs and lows. (Mostly lows.) Destiny 2’s long, slow crawl toward its possible (hopeful?) redemption is underway. Let’s step back and go over the events of the last six months. Destiny 2 came out on September 6, 2017. Activision notoriously refuses to release actual hard sales numbers for Destiny games, though the company did say in December that D2 generated the second-highest North American revenue of any game in 2017. It sounds like it sold well, though Activision’s CEO acknowledged in February that the game’s players have some issues with it. It also was solidly reviewed, and the base game is sitting in the 80s on all three platforms on Metacritic. The December Curse of Osiris expansion, however, is down in the 50s on console, with a 63 on PC. As flawed as Metacritic is, those two … [Read more...] about Destiny 2, Six Months Later
E3 fast approaches, and you know what that means: New game announcements and all the gaming news you can handle are headed our way. It also means it’s time to rewind to 2017, when the three console makers made a plethora of promises during last year’s E3 festivities. Did they keep them? Let’s find out. First up: Microsoft. As with previous years, E3 2017 had its share of expected announcements and surprises. Nintendo returned with its pre-recorded video Direct event. Microsoft and Sony kicked off their 2017 shows with traditional press conferences—with studio executives taking to their respective stages to deliver news, game trailers, and… even more trailers. So. Many. Trailers. Microsoft’s June 11th conference began with a reel of games highlighting Xbox’s history, from Halo through Gears of War and more. But beyond the nostalgia trip, the showcase demonstrated the increasing resolutions of these games, from 640 x 480 to 1920 x 1080. Why? … [Read more...] about One Year Later, Did Microsoft Keep Its E3 2017 Promises?