News on April 1

News from the President

Confidential sources have revealed that on April 1 the President of Kazakhstan will name his successor. However, sources are at odds as to who this may be. They mention three candidates: Sahart Habaraliev, Transtimur Oilibayev and Meish Kuevich. Each candidate has significant influence on the President, according to experts. Whoever the successor, THE GLOBE be there.

News from the government

Prime Minister Tokaev today took an important political decision. On April 1 the development of Astana will be put on hold for one day.

News from Parliament

According to ifREUTERS, the Kazakhstan Parliament has announced self-dissolution and the introduction of the direct khan rule. The Republic of Kazakhstan is therefore to be renamed the Khanate of Kazakhstan. Only two members of parliament voted against this decision, Kerekbolsyn Abdildin and Isakhan ALSImzhanov, and they announced an indefinite sit-in protest. However, it is still unclear where these members intend to sit.

News of Akims

Daniyal Zhakiyanov invited Zeinulla Akhmetov to a debate. The topic: �Whose house is cooler?� Galymzhan Kakimzhanov, with his in-depth understanding of real estate, was chosen to arbitrate.

Opposition News

On April 1 the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair will announce the initiation of the famous Kazakhstan pro-democracy fighter S. Kuttykadam into the Bani Order, according to the Monsha Tsusin agency. The colour of the garter is being specified.

On the same day in the fighter's motherland the Akimat will vote to rename Bath lane into Kuttykadam Ave.

On April 1 the party Alash will hold a meeting demanding a return to the history, renaming Abylai-khan Ave. to Starokladbischenskaya St.

Cultural news

Shooting of the film �How to steal millions� (whose author, a famous Kazakhstan civil servant, remains anonymous) is to be conducted in the suburbs of Astana on April 1. Nursultan Nazarbayev had no part in the film, the press service stated.

The well-known businessman Alexander Mashkevich has already expressed his interest in the film's production.

A new series of 007 Bond films are to begin on April 1 at the Hollywood studio Zailyisky-mount. Akezhan Kazhegeldin, who graduated from the well-known KNB college, is auditioning for the role of the secret agent. The film's creator is a Kazakhstan political scientist, Professor Gap-Toothed. Its Producer is Boris Giller, with Wit Voron as the dummy agent. It is said that the film is being financed by Nursultan Nazarbayev. The film will be shot in Kazakhstan, Belgium and Switzerland at natural sites.

On April 1 the new Honduras Ambassador, 72-year Horhe Amorales will call his first-born son Nursultan.

The famous lawyer, Vitaly Voronov, and the Minister of Internal Affairsm, Kairbek Suleimenov, have published a new book in co-authorship. The name of the book is to be announced on April 1.

Rupert Murdock, a famous media-nabob will unofficially visit Almaty on April 1. His goal is to negotiate with Dariga Nazarbayeva on purchasing of a share THE GLOBE newspaper. Alexander Mashkevich has indicated his interest in the deal.

President Nazarbayev will not come back from Saudi Arabia on April 1, as was earlier planned. �Holy places won't let him go�, a local agency quoted one of the President's attendants as saying.

News from Russia

On April 1 Vladimir Putin issued a Decree, which interpreted all anecdotes �about Vovochka� as political and prohibited them, claiming that they threatened Russia's security.

Mars failures "down to cash"

MPL on Mars: The scene that never was

March 28 (BBC)

A software problem prematurely shut down braking engines on the Mars Polar Lander (MPL) and sent the craft smashing into the Red Planet at 80 km/h (50 mph), a team of independent experts has found.

Thomas Young, who was called in to investigate the failure for the US space agency Nasa, said his group was �almost certain� this is what happened to $165m craft on 3 December last year.

Young presented his team's findings at a news conference as Nasa announced it was cancelling a Mars lander mission scheduled for next year and was reassessing its entire Mars exploration programme.

The retired aerospace executive said the engine shutdown was probably caused by a spurious signal from one of the spacecraft's three landing legs. It is thought that the on-board computer interpreted this signal to mean the craft had landed and it then commanded the engines to stop.

�We're almost certain that if the lander got to this point (above the Martian surface), then this was the cause of the failure,� said Young.

Inadequate funding

However, the former Nasa employee pinned the underlying cause of the failure on �inadequate funding and inadequate margins� in the planning and execution of Nasa's Mars exploration programme at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

The Mars programme, he said, �was underfunded by at least 30%�.

He questioned the way some in Nasa had interpreted the agency's core philosophy that space missions should be made �faster, cheaper and better�. This did not mean taking unacceptable risks and cutting corners on such basic items as adequate testing.

�The thing that struck us about "faster, cheaper, better" (was that) ... we found that people were interpreting this more broadly ... with risks in testing, analyses, deviating from engineering and management principles, and that's not acceptable,� Young said.

The Mars Program Independent Assessment Team (MPIAT) had a wide remit. It examined both the MPL project, and the earlier Mars Climate Orbiter which burnt up in the Martian atmosphere last September after engineers mixed up their English and metric measurements. It also looked into the failure of Deep Space 2, a pair of Mars probes that were supposed to have been deployed by MPL during its descent. The report, however, gave no explanation for their loss.

Future missions

Overall, the MPIAT report detailed 80 findings and 40 lessons learned. It said Mars exploration was an important goal that should continue. It said that although significant flaws in the formulation and execution of the Mars Programme had been uncovered, all of the problems were correctable.

And it said the �faster, cheaper, better� approach, properly applied, should be continued as an effective means of guiding programme implementation.

Ed Weiler, Nasa associate director in charge of science, said the space agency would �fully respond� to the MPIAT recommendations.

He also said plans to launch a new Mars lander next year would be cancelled, although a Mars orbital mission would proceed. That mission calls for a spacecraft to map the minerals and water on the Red Planet.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory director Ed Stone said better management procedures were already being implemented. He said no heads would roll at JPL because of the Mars failures: �This is not about who's to blame. This is about how to ensure success. We have to put in place a system of checks and balances to ensure success.�

All Over the Globe is published by IPA House.
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