It's been a week of many interesting developments in the world of science and technology. On the morning of 7 August, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) launched its maiden Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) from the spaceport in Sriharikota. But, according to the space agency, the SSLV suffered “data loss” at the terminal stage, although three stages “performed and separated” as planned and the scientists were "currently analysing" the data to ascertain the cause behind it. There has been no official word on whether the mission was successful, a Press Trust of India report on 7 August said.
Later on Sunday, Isro said the satellites onboard its maiden Small Satellite Launch Vehicle were “no longer usable” after the SSLV-D1 placed them in an elliptical orbit instead of a circular one.
No more passwords? Apple thinks so
We have been hearing about a password-less future for a while. But Apple could actually be making some headway with its Passkeys feature, which relies purely on biometrics—logging in using your face or fingerprint. This feature will use the iCloud Keychain to keep log-in information in sync across multiple devices. The company first demonstrated this new biometric sign-in standard at its developers’ conference, WWDC 2022, in June. Earlier this week, in an interview with the technology website Tom’s Guide, Apple executives explained how Passkeys will be integrated into iOS 16, iPadOS16 and MacOS Ventura. The company is also working with developers to include Passkeys in third-party apps.
OnePlus 10T goes live
Pre-bookings for the new OnePlus flagship device, the OnePlus 10T, went live this week. Available in two striking colours, the OnePlus 10T is powered by the next-gen Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform and runs the OxygenOS based on Android 12. This beautifully designed phone comes with a big 4,800 mAh battery and a 150W SUPERVOOC charger. Other highlights include a smart charging system, an impressive gaming engine and a new cooling system for the phone. The OnePlus 10T also features a triple camera setup with a 50MP main camera. It will be available in two variants—8GB RAM (128GB storage), 16GB RAM (256GB)—starting at ₹49,999. The phone is available in India from today.
James Webb Space Telescope spots a fascinating galaxy
Stunning images of the universe from the recently deployed James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) keep coming in thick and fast. Earlier this week, the JWST captured a new image of the “Cartwheel Galaxy”, located 500 million light-years from Earth in the Sculptor constellation. According to an AFP report, the Cartwheel got its shape from a spectacular head-on collision between two galaxies. The impact sent two rings expanding from the galaxy’s centre, “like ripples in a pond after a stone is tossed into it”, US space agency Nasa and the European Space Agency explained in a joint statement. The observations show the Cartwheel Galaxy is still in a “very transitory stage”, the space agencies said.
—Compiled by Nitin Sreedhar
(This copy was updated with further details on Isro's SSLV launch)