Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 American science fiction film written and directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Richard Dreyfuss, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, Bob Balaban, Cary Guffey, François Truffaut. It tells the story of Roy Neary, an everyday blue-collar worker in Indiana, whose life changes after an encounter with an unidentified flying object. Close Encounters was a long-cherished project for Spielberg. In late 1973, he developed a deal with Columbia Pictures for a science fiction film. Though Spielberg received sole credit for the script, he was assisted by Paul Schrader, John Hill, David Giler, Hal Barwood, Matthew Robbins, Jerry Belson, all of whom contributed to the screenplay in varying degrees; the title is derived from Ufologist J. Allen Hynek's classification of close encounters with aliens, in which the third kind denotes human observations of aliens or "animate beings". Douglas Trumbull served as the visual effects supervisor. Made on a production budget of $20 million, Close Encounters was released in a limited number of cities on November 16, 1977 and November 23, 1977 before expanding into wide release the following month.
It was a critical and financial success grossing over $300 million worldwide. The film received numerous awards and nominations at the 50th Academy Awards, 32nd British Academy Film Awards, the 35th Golden Globe Awards, the 5th Saturn Awards, has been acclaimed by the American Film Institute. In December 2007, it was deemed "culturally or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. A Special Edition of the film, featuring both shortened and newly added scenes, was released theatrically in 1980. Spielberg agreed to do the special edition to add more scenes that they were unable to include in the original release, with the studio demanding a controversial scene depicting the interior of the alien mothership. Spielberg's dissatisfaction with the altered ending scene led to a third version of the film, referred to as the Director's Cut, issued on VHS and LaserDisc in 1998; the director's cut is the longest version of the film, combining Spielberg's favorite elements from both previous editions but removing the scenes inside the alien mothership.
The film was remastered in 4K and re-released in theatres on September 1, 2017 for its 40th anniversary. In the Sonoran Desert, French scientist, speaker at the Montsoreau conference, Claude Lacombe and his American interpreter, cartographer David Laughlin, along with other government scientific researchers, discover Flight 19, a squadron of Grumman TBM Avengers that disappeared more than 30 years earlier in the Bermuda Triangle; the planes are intact and operational. An old man who witnessed the event claimed that "the sun came out at night, sang to him". At an air traffic control center in Indianapolis, controllers listen as two airline flights narrowly avoid a mid-air collision with an unidentified flying object, which neither pilot chooses to report when invited to do so. In Muncie, Indiana, 3-year-old Barry Guiler is awakened in the night when his toys start operating on their own. Fascinated, he discovers something or someone in the kitchen, he runs outside, forcing Jillian, to chase after him.
Investigating one of a series of large-scale power outages, Indiana electrical lineman Roy Neary experiences a close encounter with a UFO, when it flies over his truck and burns the side of his face with its bright lights. Chasing it, he hits Barry and Jillian, they encounter the UFO with three other UFOs. Neary joins three police cars pursuing them. Roy becomes fascinated by UFOs, much to the dismay of Ronnie, he becomes obsessed with subliminal, mental images of a mountain-like shape and begins to make models of it. Jillian becomes obsessed with sketching a unique-looking mountain. Soon after, she is terrorized in her home by a UFO; the presence of the UFO energy field makes every appliance in Jillian's house malfunction and Barry is abducted by unseen beings. Lacombe and Laughlin — along with a group of United Nations experts — continue to investigate increasing UFO activity and strange, related occurrences, such as finding the SS Cotopaxi in the Gobi Desert. Witnesses in Dharamshala, India report that the UFOs emit a particular sequence of five musical tones.
Scientists broadcast the sequence to outer space and receive, in response, a meaningless string of six numbers repeated over and over. Using his background in cartography, Laughlin recognizes the numbers as a set of geographical coordinates that point to Devils Tower, Wyoming. Lacombe and the U. S. military converge on Wyoming. The United States Army evacuates the entire area around Devils Tower by planting false reports in the media that a train wreck has spilled a toxic nerve gas, all the while preparing a secret landing zone for the UFOs and their occupants. Meanwhile, Roy's erratic behavior causes Ronnie to become upset and leave him, taking their three children with her; when a despairing Roy inadvertently sees a television news program about the train wreck near Devils Tower, he realizes the mental image of a mountain plaguing him is real. Jillian sees the same broadcast, she and Roy, as well as others with similar visions and experiences, travel to the site in spite of the public warnings about nerve gas.
While most of the civilians who are drawn to the site are apprehended by the Army and Jillian persist and make it to their se
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. referred to as Warner Bros. and abbreviated as WB, is an American entertainment company headquartered in Burbank, California and a subsidiary of AT&T's WarnerMedia. Founded in 1923, it has operations in film and video games and is one of the "Big Five" major American film studios, as well as a member of the Motion Picture Association of America; the company's name originated from the four founding Warner brothers: Harry, Albert and Jack Warner. Harry and Sam emigrated as young children with their parents to Canada from Krasnosielc, Poland. Jack, the youngest brother, was born in Ontario; the three elder brothers began in the movie theater business, having acquired a movie projector with which they showed films in the mining towns of Pennsylvania and Ohio. In the beginning and Albert Warner invested $150 to present Life of an American Fireman and The Great Train Robbery, they opened their first theater, the Cascade, in New Castle, Pennsylvania, in 1903. When the original building was in danger of being demolished, the modern Warner Bros. called the current building owners, arranged to save it.
The owners noted people across the country had asked them to protect it for its historical significance. In 1904, the Warners founded the Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Amusement & Supply Company, to distribute films. In 1912, Harry Warner hired. By the time of World War I they had begun producing films. In 1918 they opened the first Warner Brothers Studio on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Sam and Jack produced the pictures, while Harry and Albert, along with their auditor and now controller Chase, handled finance and distribution in New York City. During World War I their first nationally syndicated film, My Four Years in Germany, based on a popular book by former ambassador James W. Gerard, was released. On April 4, 1923, with help from money loaned to Harry by his banker Motley Flint, they formally incorporated as Warner Bros. Pictures, Incorporated; the first important deal was the acquisition of the rights to Avery Hopwood's 1919 Broadway play, The Gold Diggers, from theatrical impresario David Belasco.
However, Rin Tin Tin, a dog brought from France after World War I by an American soldier, established their reputation. Rin Tin Tin debuted in the feature; the movie was so successful. Rin Tin Tin became the studio's top star. Jack nicknamed him "The Mortgage Lifter" and the success boosted Darryl F. Zanuck's career. Zanuck became a top producer and between 1928 and 1933 served as Jack's right-hand man and executive producer, with responsibilities including day-to-day film production. More success came. Lubitsch's film The Marriage Circle was the studio's most successful film of 1924, was on The New York Times best list for that year. Despite the success of Rin Tin Tin and Lubitsch, Warner's remained a lesser studio. Sam and Jack decided to offer Broadway actor John Barrymore the lead role in Beau Brummel; the film was so successful. By the end of 1924, Warner Bros. was arguably Hollywood's most successful independent studio, where it competed with "The Big Three" Studios. As a result, Harry Warner—while speaking at a convention of 1,500 independent exhibitors in Milwaukee, Wisconsin—was able to convince the filmmakers to spend $500,000 in newspaper advertising, Harry saw this as an opportunity to establish theaters in cities such as New York and Los Angeles.
As the studio prospered, it gained backing from Wall Street, in 1924 Goldman Sachs arranged a major loan. With this new money, the Warners bought the pioneer Vitagraph Company which had a nationwide distribution system. In 1925, Warners' experimented in radio, establishing a successful radio station, KFWB, in Los Angeles. Warner Bros. was a pioneer of films with synchronized sound. In 1925, at Sam's urging, Warner's agreed to add this feature to their productions. By February 1926, the studio reported a net loss of $333,413. After a long period denying Sam's request for sound, Harry agreed to change, as long as the studio's use of synchronized sound was for background music purposes only; the Warners signed a contract with the sound engineer company Western Electric and established Vitaphone. In 1926, Vitaphone began making films with music and effects tracks, most notably, in the feature Don Juan starring John Barrymore; the film was silent. To hype Don Juan's release, Harry acquired the large Piccadilly Theater in Manhattan, New York City, renamed it Warners' Theatre.
Don Juan premiered at the Warners' Theatre in New York on August 6, 1926. Throughout the early history of film distribution, theater owners hired orchestras to attend film showings, where they provided soundtracks. Through Vitaphone, Warner Bros. produced eight shorts in 1926. Many film production companies questioned the necessity. Don Juan did not recoup its production cost and Lubitsch left for MGM. By April 1927, the Big Five studios had ruined Warner's, Western Electric renewed Warner's Vit
Gold Coast, Queensland
The Gold Coast is a coastal city in the Australian state of Queensland 66 kilometres south-southeast of the state capital Brisbane and north of the border with New South Wales. With a census-estimated 2016 population of 638,090, the Gold Coast is the sixth-largest city in Australia, making it the largest non-capital city, Queensland's second-largest city; the Gold Coast region remained uninhabited by Europeans until 1823 when explorer John Oxley landed at Mermaid Beach. The hinterland's red cedar supply attracted people to the area in the mid-19th century. In 1875, Southport was surveyed and established and grew a reputation as a secluded holiday destination for wealthy Brisbane residents. After the establishment of the Surfers Paradise Hotel in the late 1920s, the Gold Coast region grew significantly; the area boomed in the 1980s as a leading tourist destination and in 1994, the City of Gold Coast local government area was expanded to encompass the majority of the Gold Coast's metropolitan area, becoming the second most populous local government area in Australia after the City of Brisbane.
Today, the Gold Coast is a major tourist destination with its sunny subtropical climate and has become known for its surfing beaches, high-rise dominated skyline, theme parks and rainforest hinterland. The city is part of the nation's entertainment industry with television productions and a major film industry; the city hosted the 21st Commonwealth Games which ran from 4 to 15 April 2018. The Gold Coast is the ancestral home of a number of Indigenous clans of the Yugambeh people, including the Kombumerri and Tulgi-gi-gin clans. Lieutenant James Cook became the first European to note the region when he sailed along the coast on 16 May 1770 in HMS Endeavour. Captain Matthew Flinders, an explorer charting the continent north from the colony of New South Wales, sailed past in 1802. Escaped convicts from the Moreton Bay penal settlement hid in the region; the region remained uninhabited by Europeans until 1823 when explorer John Oxley landed at Mermaid Beach, named after seeing a cutter named Mermaid.
The hinterland's red cedar supply attracted people to the area in the mid-19th century. A number of small townships developed in the hinterland; the western suburb of Nerang was surveyed and established as a base for the industry and by 1870 a town reserve had been set aside. By 1873, the town reserve of Burleigh Heads had been surveyed and successful land sales had taken place. In 1875, the small settlement opposite the boat passage at the head of the Nerang River, known as Nerang Heads or Nerang Creek Heads, was surveyed, renamed Southport with the first land sales scheduled to take place in Beenleigh. Southport grew a reputation as a secluded holiday destination for wealthy Brisbane residents; the Gold Coast was known as the South Coast. However, inflated prices for real estate and other goods and services led to the nickname of "Gold Coast" from 1950. South Coast locals considered the name "Gold Coast" derogatory. However, soon the "Gold Coast" became a convenient way to refer to the holiday strip from Southport to Coolangatta.
The Town of South Coast was formed through the amalgamation of Town of Coolangatta and Town of Southport along with the coastal areas from the Shire of Nerang on 17 June 1949 with the effect of having the present-day Gold Coast coastal strip as a single local government area. As the tourism industry grew into the 1950s, local businesses began to adopt the term Gold Coast in their names, on 23 October 1958 the Town of South Coast was renamed Town of Gold Coast; the area was proclaimed a city less than one year on 16 May 1959. In 1995, the Albert Shire was amalgamated into the City of Gold Coast. In 2007, the Gold Coast overtook the population of Newcastle, New South Wales, to become the sixth largest city in Australia and the largest non-capital city. Today the Gold Coast is known for its golden sanded surf beaches, theme parks and rainforest hinterlands; the Gold Coast hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The Gold Coast is half covered by forests of various types; this includes small patches of near-pristine ancient rainforest, mangrove-covered islands, patches of coastal heathlands and farmland with areas of uncleared eucalypt forest.
Of the plantation pine forests that were planted in the 1950s and 1960s, when commercial forest planting for tax minimisation was encouraged by the Commonwealth government, tiny remnants remain. Gold Coast City lies in the southeast corner of Queensland, to the south of Brisbane, the state capital; the Albert River separates the Gold Coast from a suburban area of Brisbane. Gold Coast City stretches from Beenleigh and Russell Island to the border with New South Wales 56 km south, extends from the coast west to the foothills of the Great Dividing Range in World Heritage listed Lamington National Park; the southernmost town of Gold Coast City, includes Point Danger and its lighthouse. Coolangatta is a twin city with Tweed Heads located directly across the NSW border. At 28.1667°S 153.55°E / -28.1667. From Coolangatta forty kilometres of holiday resorts and surfing beaches stretch north to the suburb of Main Beach, further on Stradbroke Island; the suburbs of Southport and Surfers Paradise form the Gold Coast's commercial centre.
The major river in the area is the Nerang River. Much of the land between the coastal strip and the hinterland were once wetlands drained by this river, but th
The Nintendo 64, stylized as NINTENDO64 and abbreviated as N64, is Nintendo's third home video game console for the international market. Named for its 64-bit central processing unit, it was released in June 1996 in Japan, September 1996 in North America and Brazil, March 1997 in Europe and Australia, September 1997 in France, it is the last major home console to use the cartridge as its primary storage format until Nintendo's seventh console, the Nintendo Switch, released in 2017. The console was discontinued in mid-2002 following the launch of its successor, the GameCube, in 2001, it is the first Nintendo console to feature true 3D effects. Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64 were made to show this off. Codenamed "Project Reality", the Nintendo 64 design was complete by mid-1995, but its launch was delayed until 1996, when Time named it Machine of the Year, it was launched with Pilotwings 64 and Saikyō Habu Shōgi. As part of the fifth generation of gaming, the system competed with the Sony PlayStation and the Sega Saturn.
The suggested retail price at its United States launch was US$199.99, 32.93 million units were sold worldwide. The console was released in a range of designs over its lifetime. In 2015, IGN named it the 9th greatest video game console of all time. Around the end of the 1980s, Nintendo led the video game industry with its Nintendo Entertainment System. Although the NES follow-up console, the Super NES, was successful, sales took a hit from the Japanese recession. Competition from long-time rival Sega, relative newcomer Sony, emphasized Nintendo's need to develop a successor for the SNES, or risk losing market dominance to its competitors. Further complicating matters, Nintendo faced a backlash from third-party developers unhappy with Nintendo's strict licensing policies. Silicon Graphics, Inc. a long-time leader in graphics visualization and supercomputing, was interested in expanding its business by adapting its technology into the higher volume realm of consumer products, starting with the video game market.
Based upon its MIPS R4000 family of supercomputing and workstation CPUs, SGI developed a CPU requiring a fraction of the resources—consuming only 0.5 watts of power instead of 1.5 to 2 watts, with an estimated target price of US$40 instead of US$80–200. The company created a design proposal for a video game system, seeking an well established partner in that market. Jim Clark, founder of SGI offered the proposal to Tom Kalinske, the CEO of Sega of America; the next candidate would be Nintendo. The historical details of these preliminary negotiations were controversial between the two competing suitors. Tom Kalinske said that he and Joe Miller of Sega of America were "quite impressed" with SGI's prototype, inviting their hardware team to travel from Japan to meet with SGI; the engineers from Sega Enterprises claimed that their evaluation of the early prototype had uncovered several unresolved hardware issues and deficiencies. Those were subsequently resolved, but Sega had decided against SGI's design.
Nintendo resisted that summary conclusion, arguing that the real reason for SGI's ultimate choice of partner is that Nintendo was a more appealing business partner than Sega. While Sega demanded exclusive rights to the chip, Nintendo was willing to license the technology on a non-exclusive basis. Michael Slater, publisher of Microprocessor Report said, "The mere fact of a business relationship there is significant because of Nintendo's phenomenal ability to drive volume. If it works at all, it could bring MIPS to levels of volume never dreamed of". Jim Clark met with Nintendo CEO Hiroshi Yamauchi in early 1993. On August 23, 1993, the two companies announced a global joint development and licensing agreement surrounding Project Reality, projecting that the yet unnamed eventual product would be "developed for Nintendo, will be unveiled in arcades in 1994, will be available for home use by late 1995... below $250". This announcement coincided with Nintendo's August 1993 Shoshinkai trade show."Reality Immersion Technology" is the name SGI had given the set of core componentry, which would be first utilized in Project Reality: the MIPS R4300i CPU, the MIPS Reality Coprocessor, the embedded software.
Some chip technology and manufacturing was provided by NEC, Sharp. SGI had acquired MIPS Computer Systems, the two worked together to be responsible for the design of the Reality Immersion Technology chips under engineering director Jim Foran and chief hardware architect Tim Van Hook; the initial Project Reality game development platform was developed and sold by SGI in the form of its US$100,000–US$250,000 Onyx supercomputer loaded with the namesake US$50,000 RealityEngine2 graphics boards and four 150 MHz R4400 CPUs, with early Project Reality application and emulation APIs based upon Performer and OpenGL. This graphics supercomputing platform had served as the source design which SGI had reduced down to become the Reality Immersion Technology for Project Reality; the system's game controller was a Super NES controller modified to have a primitive analog joystick and Z trigger. Under maximal secrecy from the rest of the company, a LucasArts developer said his team would "furtively hide the prototype controller in a cardboard box while we used it.
In answer to the inevitable questions about what we were doing, we replied jokingly that it was a new type of controller—a bowl of liquid that absorbed your thoughts through your fingertips. Of course, you had to think in Japanese..."On June 23, 1994, Nintendo announced the new official name of the st
Opportunity known as MER-B or MER-1, nicknamed "Oppy", is a robotic rover, active on Mars from 2004 to late 2018. Launched on July 7, 2003, as part of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover program, it landed in Meridiani Planum on January 25, 2004, three weeks after its twin Spirit touched down on the other side of the planet. With a planned 90-sol duration of activity, Spirit functioned until it got stuck in 2009 and ceased communications in 2010, while Opportunity was able to stay operational for 5111 sols after landing, maintaining its power and key systems through continual recharging of its batteries using solar power, hibernating during events such as dust storms to save power; this careful operation allowed Opportunity to exceed its operating plan by 14 years, 46 days, 55 times its designed lifespan. By June 10, 2018, when it last contacted NASA, the rover had traveled a distance of 45.16 kilometers. Mission highlights included the initial 90-sol mission, finding extramartian meteorites such as Heat Shield Rock, over two years of exploring and studying Victoria crater.
The rover survived moderate dust storms and in 2011 reached Endeavour crater, described as a "second landing site". The Opportunity mission is considered one of NASA's most successful ventures. Due to the planetary 2018 dust storm on Mars, Opportunity ceased communications on June 10 and entered hibernation on June 12, 2018, it was hoped it would reboot once the weather cleared, but it did not, suggesting either a catastrophic failure or that a layer of dust had covered its solar panels. NASA hoped to re-establish contact with the rover, citing a windy period that could clean off its solar panels. On February 13, 2019, NASA officials declared that the Opportunity mission was complete, after the spacecraft had failed to respond to over 1,000 signals sent since August 2018. Collectively, the Opportunity and Spirit rovers were part of the Mars Exploration Rover program in the long-term Mars Exploration Program; the Mars Exploration Program's four principal goals were to determine if the potential for life exists on Mars, to characterize the Mars climate and its geology, to prepare for a potential human mission to Mars.
The Mars Exploration Rovers were to travel across the Martian surface and perform periodic geologic analyses to determine if water existed on Mars as well as the types of minerals available, as well as to corroborate data taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Spirit and Opportunity were launched a month apart, on June 10 and July 7, 2003, both reached the Martian surface by January 2004. Both rovers were designed with an expected 90 sols lifetime, but each lasted much longer than expected. Spirit's mission lasted 20 times longer than its expected lifetime, its mission was declared ended on May 25, 2011, after it got stuck in soft soil and expended its power reserves trying to free itself. Opportunity lasted 55 times longer than its 90 sol planned lifetime, operating for 5498 days from landing to mission end. An archive of weekly updates on the rover's status can be found at the Opportunity Update Archive. From its initial landing, by chance, into an impact crater amidst an otherwise flat plain, Opportunity investigated soil and rock samples and took panoramic photos of its landing site.
Its sampling allowed NASA scientists to make hypotheses concerning the presence of hematite and past presence of water on the surface of Mars. Following this, it was directed to travel across the surface of Mars to investigate another crater site, Endurance crater, which it investigated from June to December 2004. Subsequently, Opportunity examined the impact site of its own heat shield and discovered an intact meteorite, now known as Heat Shield Rock, on the surface of Mars. From late April to early June 2005, Opportunity was perilously lodged in a sand dune, with several wheels buried in the sand. Over a six-week period, Earth-based physical simulations were performed to decide how best to extract the rover from its position without risking its permanent immobilization. Successful maneuvering a few centimeters at a time freed the rover, which resumed its travels. Opportunity was directed to proceed in a southerly direction to Erebus crater, a large, shallow buried crater and a stopover on the way south towards Victoria crater, between October 2005 and March 2006.
It experienced some mechanical problems with its robotic arm. In late September 2006, Opportunity reached Victoria crater and explored along the rim in a clockwise direction. In June 2007 it returned to its original arrival point. In August 2008, Opportunity left Victoria crater for Endeavour crater, which it reached on August 9, 2011. Here at the rim of the Endeavour crater, the rover moved around a geographic feature named Cape York; the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter had detected phyllosilicates there, the rover analyzed the rocks with its instruments to check this sighting on the ground. This structure was analyzed in depth until summer 2013. In May 2013 the rover was heading south to a hill named Solander Point. Opportunity's total odometry by June 10, 2018, was 45.16 km, while the dust factor was 10.8. Since January 2013, the solar array dust factor varied from a dusty 0.467 on December 5, 2013, to a clean 0.964 on May 13, 2014. In December 2014, NASA reported that Opportunity was suffering from "amnesia" events in which the rover failed to write
Mars Exploration Rover
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission was a robotic space mission involving two Mars rovers and Opportunity, exploring the planet Mars. It began in 2003 with the launch of the two rovers: MER-A Spirit and MER-B Opportunity—to explore the Martian surface and geology. Both rovers far outlived their planned missions of 90 Martian solar days: MER-A Spirit was active until March 22, 2010, while MER-B Opportunity was active until June 10, 2018 and holds the record for the longest distance driven by any off-Earth wheeled vehicle; the mission's scientific objective was to search for and characterize a wide range of rocks and soils that hold clues to past water activity on Mars. The mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, which includes three previous successful landers: the two Viking program landers in 1976 and Mars Pathfinder probe in 1997; the total cost of building, launching and operating the rovers on the surface for the initial 90-sol primary mission was US$820 million. Since the rovers have continued to function beyond their initial 90 sol primary mission, they have each received five mission extensions.
The fifth mission extension was granted in October 2007, ran to the end of 2009. The total cost of the first four mission extensions was $104 million, the fifth mission extension is expected to cost at least $20 million. In July 2007, during the fourth mission extension, Martian dust storms blocked sunlight to the rovers and threatened the ability of the craft to gather energy through their solar panels, causing engineers to fear that one or both of them might be permanently disabled. However, the dust storms lifted. On May 1, 2009, during its fifth mission extension, Spirit became stuck in soft soil on Mars. After nearly nine months of attempts to get the rover back on track, including using test rovers on Earth, NASA announced on January 26, 2010 that Spirit was being retasked as a stationary science platform; this mode would enable Spirit to assist scientists in ways that a mobile platform could not, such as detecting "wobbles" in the planet's rotation that would indicate a liquid core. Jet Propulsion Laboratory lost contact with Spirit after last hearing from the rover on March 22, 2010 and continued attempts to regain communications lasted until May 25, 2011, bringing the elapsed mission time to 6 years 2 months 19 days, or over 25 times the original planned mission duration.
In recognition of the vast amount of scientific information amassed by both rovers, two asteroids have been named in their honor: 37452 Spirit and 39382 Opportunity. The mission is managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which designed, is operating the rovers. On January 24, 2014, NASA reported that current studies by the remaining rover Opportunity as well as by the newer Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity will now be searching for evidence of ancient life, including a biosphere based on autotrophic, chemotrophic and/or chemolithoautotrophic microorganisms, as well as ancient water, including fluvio-lacustrine environments that may have been habitable; the search for evidence of habitability and organic carbon on the planet Mars is now a primary NASA objective. The scientific objectives of the Mars Exploration Rover mission are to: Search for and characterize a variety of rocks and soils that hold clues to past water activity. In particular, samples sought include those that have minerals deposited by water-related processes such as precipitation, sedimentary cementation, or hydrothermal activity.
Determine the distribution and composition of minerals and soils surrounding the landing sites. Determine what geologic processes have shaped the local terrain and influenced the chemistry; such processes could include water or wind erosion, hydrothermal mechanisms and cratering. Perform calibration and validation of surface observations made by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter instruments; this will help determine the accuracy and effectiveness of various instruments that survey Martian geology from orbit. Search for iron-containing minerals, to identify and quantify relative amounts of specific mineral types that contain water or were formed in water, such as iron-bearing carbonates. Characterize the mineralogy and textures of rocks and soils to determine the processes that created them. Search for geological clues to the environmental conditions that existed when liquid water was present. Assess whether those environments were conducive to life; the MER-A and MER-B probes were launched on July 7, 2003, respectively.
Though both probes launched on Boeing Delta II 7925-9.5 rockets from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17, MER-B was on the heavy version of that launch vehicle, needing the extra energy for Trans-Mars injection. The launch vehicles were integrated onto pads right next to each other, with MER-A on CCAFS SLC-17A and MER-B on CCAFS SLC-17B; the dual pads allowed for working the 15- and 21-day planetary launch periods close together. NASA's Launch Services Program managed the launch of both spacecraft; the probes landed in January 2004 in separated equatorial locations on Mars. On January 21, 2004, the Deep Space Network lost contact with Spirit, for reasons thought to be related to a thunderstorm over Australia; the rover transmitted a message with no data, but that day missed another communications session with the Mars Global Surveyor. The next day, JPL received a beep from the rover. On January 23
DVD is a digital optical disc storage format invented and developed in 1995. The medium can store any kind of digital data and is used for software and other computer files as well as video programs watched using DVD players. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than compact discs. Prerecorded DVDs are mass-produced using molding machines that physically stamp data onto the DVD; such discs are a form of DVD-ROM because data can only be not written or erased. Blank recordable DVD discs can be recorded once using a DVD recorder and function as a DVD-ROM. Rewritable DVDs can be erased many times. DVDs are used in DVD-Video consumer digital video format and in DVD-Audio consumer digital audio format as well as for authoring DVD discs written in a special AVCHD format to hold high definition material. DVDs containing other types of information may be referred to as DVD data discs; the Oxford English Dictionary comments that, "In 1995 rival manufacturers of the product named digital video disc agreed that, in order to emphasize the flexibility of the format for multimedia applications, the preferred abbreviation DVD would be understood to denote digital versatile disc."
The OED states that in 1995, "The companies said the official name of the format will be DVD. Toshiba had been using the name ‘digital video disc’, but, switched to ‘digital versatile disc’ after computer companies complained that it left out their applications.""Digital versatile disc" is the explanation provided in a DVD Forum Primer from 2000 and in the DVD Forum's mission statement. There were several formats developed for recording video on optical discs before the DVD. Optical recording technology was invented by David Paul Gregg and James Russell in 1958 and first patented in 1961. A consumer optical disc data format known as LaserDisc was developed in the United States, first came to market in Atlanta, Georgia in 1978, it used much larger discs than the formats. Due to the high cost of players and discs, consumer adoption of LaserDisc was low in both North America and Europe, was not used anywhere outside Japan and the more affluent areas of Southeast Asia, such as Hong-Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.
CD Video released in 1987 used analog video encoding on optical discs matching the established standard 120 mm size of audio CDs. Video CD became one of the first formats for distributing digitally encoded films in this format, in 1993. In the same year, two new optical disc storage formats were being developed. One was the Multimedia Compact Disc, backed by Philips and Sony, the other was the Super Density disc, supported by Toshiba, Time Warner, Matsushita Electric, Mitsubishi Electric, Thomson, JVC. By the time of the press launches for both formats in January 1995, the MMCD nomenclature had been dropped, Philips and Sony were referring to their format as Digital Video Disc. Representatives from the SD camp asked IBM for advice on the file system to use for their disc, sought support for their format for storing computer data. Alan E. Bell, a researcher from IBM's Almaden Research Center, got that request, learned of the MMCD development project. Wary of being caught in a repeat of the costly videotape format war between VHS and Betamax in the 1980s, he convened a group of computer industry experts, including representatives from Apple, Sun Microsystems and many others.
This group was referred to as the Technical Working Group, or TWG. On August 14, 1995, an ad hoc group formed from five computer companies issued a press release stating that they would only accept a single format; the TWG voted to boycott both formats unless the two camps agreed on a converged standard. They recruited president of IBM, to pressure the executives of the warring factions. In one significant compromise, the MMCD and SD groups agreed to adopt proposal SD 9, which specified that both layers of the dual-layered disc be read from the same side—instead of proposal SD 10, which would have created a two-sided disc that users would have to turn over; as a result, the DVD specification provided a storage capacity of 4.7 GB for a single-layered, single-sided disc and 8.5 GB for a dual-layered, single-sided disc. The DVD specification ended up similar to Toshiba and Matsushita's Super Density Disc, except for the dual-layer option and EFMPlus modulation designed by Kees Schouhamer Immink.
Philips and Sony decided that it was in their best interests to end the format war, agreed to unify with companies backing the Super Density Disc to release a single format, with technologies from both. After other compromises between MMCD and SD, the computer companies through TWG won the day, a single format was agreed upon; the TWG collaborated with the Optical Storage Technology Association on the use of their implementation of the ISO-13346 file system for use on the new DVDs. Movie and home entertainment distributors adopted the DVD format to replace the ubiquitous VHS tape as the primary consumer digital video distribution format, they embraced DVD as it produced higher quality video and sound, provided superior data lifespan, could be interactive. Interactivity on LaserDiscs had proven desirable to consumers collectors; when LaserDisc prices dropped from $100 per