Tuesday, December 3, 2013

(SAD) Fast & Furious actor Paul Walker dies in California car crash

US actor Paul Walker, who starred in the Fast & Furious series of action films, has been killed in a car crash in California.
Walker, 40, was a passenger in a Porsche sports car driven by a friend - who also died - when it crashed north of Los Angeles.
Walker was said to be attending a charity event at the time.
He starred in all but one of the films in the Fast & Furious franchise, the sixth of which opened in May.
Walker also starred in the suspense drama Hours, a movie that is set for release this month.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's department said the crash happened in the community of Valencia.
The red Porsche crashed into a lamp post in Valencia, north of Los Angeles
The sports car burst into flames after the crash

It said deputies found a car engulfed in flames when they responded to a report of a collision. Two people found in the car were pronounced dead at the scene.
Images showed the burned-out wreckage of a red Porsche by the side of the road.
"It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organisation Reach Out Worldwide," the statement on the actor's Facebook page said.
Heaven has gained a new Angel. Rest in Peace
Vin Diesel, Fast & Furious co-star
"He was a passenger in a friend's car, in which both lost their lives. We... are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news.''
Universal Pictures also issued a statement, saying studio staff were "heartbroken" by Walker's death.
"Paul was truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years, and this loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the Fast & Furious films, and to countless fans.
"We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul's family."
Walker played undercover agent Brian O'Conner in the Fast & Furious movies.
The first film of the franchise was released in 2001 and the seventh is in development.
Walker was one of the leading protagonists, along with Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez.
Diesel said in a post on Instagram: "Brother I will miss you very much. I am absolutely speechless. Heaven has gained a new Angel. Rest in Peace."
Walker's co-star Vin Diesel (left) said the actor's death had left him 'speechless'
Another Fast & Furious star, the rapper Ludacris, wrote: "Your humble spirit was felt from the start, wherever you blessed your presence you always left a mark, we were like brothers."
Walker began acting as a young boy when his mother, a model, took him to auditions for commercials.
After drifting away from acting, he got his big break when a casting director remembered him from years before, tracked him down and gave him a role in the TV series Touched by an Angel.
Walker later won a recurring part in the soap The Young and the Restless before moving on to supporting roles in teen films in the late 1990s with Varsity Blues, She's All That and The Skulls.
After the success of the first Fast & Furious film, Walker became the leading man for the second instalment when Vin Diesel dropped out.
The sixth instalment of the Fast & Furious franchise topped the US box office

Saturday, November 30, 2013

China Will Launch Its 1st Moon Rover, 'Jade Rabbit,' On Sunday (IMPRESSIVE)

China is counting down to the launch of its first moon landing mission, a mission poised to blast off Sunday (Dec. 1) to send the country's first lunar lander and rover to Earth's nearest neighbor.
China's first moon roveris called YUTU, which means "Jade Rabbit" in Chinese, according to state media reports. It will launch with the Chang'e 3 moon lander on Sunday 12:30 p.m. EST (1730 GMT), though it will be 1:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 2 at China's Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
If all goes well, the Chang'e 3 mission will land on the moon on Dec. 14, according the European Space Agency, which is providing mission tracking of the lander and rover for China's space agency. [ See Photos of China's Yutu Moon Rover and Chang'e 3 Lander]
China's first moon rover and lander
China's Yutu rover is a six-wheel robot that weighs nearly 310 lbs (140 kilograms) and is equipped with two solar panels for power. A global online poll was used to come up with suggested names for the robot. In the final round of voting, about 650,000 people out of more than 3.4 million chose Yutu.
"Yutu is a symbol of kindness, purity and agility, and is identical to the moon rover in both outlook and connotation. Yutu also reflects China's peaceful use of space," said Li Benzheng, deputy commander-in-chief of China's lunar program. Li announced the name at a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday (Nov. 26).
Yutu is a pet rabbit that travels with the goddess Chang’e to the moon in Chinese legends. China has named each of its three moon missions so far after Chang'e.
If all goes well, the Chang'e 3 mission will mark the first time a Chinese spacecraft has soft-landed on the surface of an extraterrestrial body. The spacecraft's landing, if successful, would also mark the first soft lunar landing since the former Soviet Union's Luna 24 sample return mission in 1976.
A new moon exploration phase
China's Yutu rover onboard the Chang'e 3 lunar landeris scheduled to land on the moon in mid-December. Once deployed, the robot can explore the surface for three months, according to mission descriptions.
The moon robot reflects a shift into the second phase of China's lunar exploration program, a step-by-step agenda that entails orbiting and landing probes, followed by the return to Earth of lunar samples.
China's Chang'e 1 and Chang'e 2 moon orbiter missions launched in 2007 and 2010, respectively. The country expects to have a robotic spacecraft return lunar samples to Earth by 2020.
As the countdown draws closer for liftoff of Chang'e 3 atop a Long March 3B rocket— reportedly modified with new technologies and improved reliability — there is caution being added by Chinese space officials: the voyage to the moon is risky business.
"More than 80 percent of the technology adopted in the mission is new, and with new technology and products carrying out new tasks, there are certainly great risks," said Li, as reported in China Daily. "It could be a trying process for the rover to move down the lander," he said.
Li said that to ensure the success of this mission, tracking and control networks have been set up in areas including China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and northeastern Heilongjiang province. Their capabilities, he said, are close to the current world standard.
Target: Bay of Rainbows?
It is believed that the Chang'e 3 lander will set down on the moon's Sinus Iridum, known as the Bay of Rainbows, a plain of basaltic lava on the moon

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