Expedition 49 Soyuz Spacecraft Landing | NASA

The Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 49 crew members NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos, and astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016(Kazakh time). Rubins, Ivanishin, and Onishi are returning after 115 days in space where they served as members of the Expedition 48 and 49 crews onboard the International Space Station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 49 crew members NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos, and astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016(Kazakh time). Rubins, Ivanishin, and Onishi are returning after 115 days in space where they served as members of the Expedition 48 and 49 crews onboard the International Space Station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 49 crew members NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos, and astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016 (Kazakh time). Rubins, Ivanishin, and Onishi are returning after 115 days in space where they served as members of the Expedition 48 and 49 crews onboard the International Space Station.

Source: Expedition 49 Soyuz Spacecraft Landing | NASA

Final Chasing The Dream – Xtra Features Never Before Seen Footage From Dungey’s Championship | SUPERCROSSLIVE.COM

Chasing the Dream – Xtra: Webisode 14 is now exclusively available on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, YouTube Channel.  

Chasing the Dream – Xtra is a web based series culled from the acclaimed Chasing the Dream television program and the fourteenth and final webisode of the series features Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey as he claims his third Monster Energy Supercross Championship at MetLife Stadium.

As the anticipation builds throughout the day and Dungey’s team prepares for the Main Event, it is the emotion displayed by Dungey’s family that makes this webisode so special.

Supercross is a family-centric sport as most of the athletes that compete at this level have a dedicated team surrounding them, including spouses and parents. Share in the emotion as intimate moments are captured with Dungey’s wife Lindsay and his parents Michele and Troy, then watch as the story unfolds and Dungey and the Red Bull KTM team celebrate at the team rig.

Source: Final Chasing The Dream – Xtra Features Never Before Seen Footage From Dungey’s Championship | SUPERCROSSLIVE.COM

Astronaut Kate Rubins, Crewmates Safely Return From the Space Station | NASA

NASA astronaut and Expedition 49 crew member Kate Rubins, who became the first person to sequence DNA in space, returned to Earth Saturday after a successful mission aboard the International Space Station.

Rubins and her crewmates Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, touched down in their Soyuz MS-01 at 11:58 p.m. EDT (9:58 a.m. Oct. 30, Kazakhstan time) southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.

Rubins, who has a degree in molecular biology, contributed to several new studies taking place for the first time aboard the space station, including the Biomolecule Sequencer experiment. The ability to sequence the DNA of living organisms in space could enable astronauts to diagnose an illness, or identify microbes growing in the space station and determine whether they represent a health threat.

During her time on the orbiting complex, Rubins ventured outside the confines of the station for two spacewalks. During the first one on Aug. 19, she and NASA astronaut Jeff Williams installed the first international docking adapter. Outfitted with a host of sensors and systems, the adapter’s main purpose is to provide a port for spacecraft bringing astronauts to the station in the future. Its first users are expected to be the Boeing Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft now in development in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. During her second spacewalk Sept. 1, Rubins and Williams retracted a spare thermal control radiator and installed two new high-definition cameras.

Together, the Expedition 49 crew members contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the world-class orbiting laboratory during their 115 days in space.

The trio also welcomed three cargo spacecraft delivering several tons of supplies and research experiments. Rubins was involved in the grapple of Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft to the station in October, the company’s sixth contracted commercial resupply mission, and SpaceX’s Dragon ninth contracted mission in July. One Russian ISS Progress cargo spacecraft also docked to the station in July.

Rubins and Onishi have each spent a total of 115 days in space during their first mission. Ivanishin now has 280 days in space from two flights.

Expedition 50, with Shane Kimbrough of NASA in command and his crewmates Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos, will operate the station for three weeks until the arrival of three new crew members.

Peggy Whitson of NASA, Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) and Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos are scheduled to launch Nov. 17 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Source: Astronaut Kate Rubins, Crewmates Safely Return From the Space Station | NASA

Expedition 49 Lands After 115 Day Mission

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins of NASA, Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency safely landed their Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft in Kazakhstan southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan at 11:58 p.m. EDT on Saturday, Oct. 29. Russian recovery teams are helping the crew exit the Soyuz spacecraft and adjust to gravity after their stay in space. The trio will be transported by helicopter to Karaganda, Kazakhstan where they will split up, with Rubins and Onishi returning to Houston in a NASA jet, while Ivanishin will be flown back to his training base at Star City, Russia.

During her time on the orbiting complex, Rubins ventured outside the confines of the station for two spacewalks. During the first one Aug. 19, she and NASA astronaut Jeff Williams installed the first international docking adapter. Outfitted with a host of sensors and systems, the adapter’s main purpose is to provide a port for commercial spacecraft to bring astronauts to the station in the future. Its first users are expected to be the Boeing Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft now in development in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. During her second spacewalk Sept. 1, Rubins and Williams retracted a spare thermal control radiator and installed two new high-definition cameras.

Together, the Expedition 49 crew members contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the world-class orbiting laboratory during their 115 days in space.

The trio also welcomed three cargo spacecraft delivering several tons of supplies and research experiments. Rubins was involved in the grapple of Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft to the station in October, the company’s sixth contracted commercial resupply mission, and SpaceX’s Dragon ninth contracted mission in July. One Russian ISS Progress cargo spacecraft also docked to the station in July.

Rubins and Onishi spent a total of 115 days in space during their first mission. Ivanishin now has 280 days in space during two flights.

Expedition 50, with Shane Kimbrough of NASA in command and his crewmates Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos, will operate the station for three weeks until the arrival of three new crew members.

Peggy Whitson of NASA, Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) and Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos are scheduled to launch Nov. 17 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Source: Space Station

Immagini dettagliate di Schiaparelli e delle parti impiegate per la discesa su Marte / ESA

Un’immagine in alta risoluzione acquisita questa settimana dal modulo orbitante della NASA, svela ulteriori dettagli sull’area dove il modulo Schiaparelli di ExoMars è atterrato a seguito della sua discesa sul pianeta rosso il 19 ottobre.

L’ultima immagine è stata presa il 25 ottobre dalla fotocamera ad alta risoluzione a bordo del Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter della NASA e fornisce primi piani di nuovi segni sulla superficie del pianeta trovati per la prima volta la scorsa settimana dalla ‘context camera’ montata a bordo della sonda.

Entrambe le fotocamere erano già state programmate per osservare il centro dell’ellissi di atterraggio dopo che le coordinate erano state aggiornate a seguito della separazione di Schiaparelli dal Trace Gas Orbiter dell’ESA, il 16 ottobre. La manovra di separazione, l’ingresso in atmosfera a regime ipersonico e le fasi del paracadute durante la discesa di Schiaparelli si sono svolte come da programma, il modulo ha finito la sua corsa entro l’inquadratura della fotocamera principale, nonostante i problemi incontrati nella fase finale.

Le nuove immagini forniscono una visione più dettagliata dei componenti principali dell’hardware di Schiaparelli utilizzato durante la sequenza di discesa.

La caratteristica principale delle immagini di contesto era una macchia scura e confusa di circa 15 x 40 metri, associata all’impatto stesso di Schiaparelli. Le immagini in alta risoluzione mostrano una macchia scura centrale, compatibile con il cratere formato da impatto con un oggetto di 300 Kg che viaggi a poche centinaia di km/h.

Si presume che il cratere sia profondo circa 50 cm e che maggiori dettagli possano essere visibili in future immagini.

Gli asimmetrici segni scuri circostanti sono più difficili da interpretare. Nel caso di un meteorite che colpisce la superfice a 40.000-80.000 km/h, i detriti asimmetrici intorno al cratere punterebbero, tipicamente, ad un basso angolo di entrata, con detriti sparsi nella direzione di marcia.

Ma Schiaparelli viaggiava notevolmente più piano e, stando alla normale tabella di marcia, dovrebbe essere sceso quasi verticalmente dopo aver rallentato durante il suo ingresso in atmosfera da ovest.

È possibile che i serbatoi di propellente a idrazina del modulo siano esplosi preferibilmente in un’unica direzione a causa dell’impatto, gettando i detriti dalla superficie del pianeta in direzione dell’esplosione, ma ulteriori analisi sono necessarie per esplorare a fondo questa supposizione.

Un ulteriore lungo arco scuro è visibile nella parte alta destra della macchia scura, ma non è ancora stata data una spiegazione per questo. Potrebbe essere anche collegato all’impatto ed alla possibile esplosione.

Infine, ci sono alcuni puntini bianchi nell’immagine vicino al sito di impatto, troppo piccoli per essere propriamente spiegati in questa immagine. Potrebbero o non potrebbero essere correlati con l’impatto – potrebbero essere solamente “rumore”. Ulteriori immagini potrebbero aiutare ad identificarne l’origine.

Circa 0.9 km a sud di Schiaparelli, una caratteristica bianca vista in un’immagine di contesto la scorsa settimana è ora stata rilevata più in dettaglio. È stato confermato che si tratta del paracadute del diametro di 12 metri utilizzato durante la seconda fase della discesa di Schiaparelli, dopo l’iniziale ingresso dello scudo termico nell’atmosfera. Ancora attaccato, come previsto, è lo schermo termico posteriore, ora chiaramente visibile.

Il paracadute e lo schermo termico posteriore sono stati rilasciati da Schiaparelli ancora prima di quanto anticipato. Si presume che Schiaparelli abbia acceso i propulsori solo per qualche secondo prima di cadere al suolo da un’altitudine di 2-4 km, raggiungendo la superficie ad oltre 300 km/h.

Oltre al sito di impatto ed al paracadute di Schiaparelli, un terzo dettaglio è stato confermato come lo scudo termico frontale, che è stato espulso a circa quattro minuti durante la discesa di sei minuti, come pianificato.

I team ExoMars ed MRO hanno identificato una macchia scura nell’immagine della scorsa settimana, circa 1.4 Km ad est del luogo di impatto e sembrava il plausibile sito per lo scudo termico frontale, considerati i tempi e la direzione di marcia dopo l’entrata del modulo.

L’aspetto chiazzato brillante e scuro di questa macchia è interpretato come riflessi dall’isolamento termico multistrato che copre l’interno dello scudo termico frontale. Ulteriori immagini da diverse angolazioni dovrebbero confermare tale interpretazione.

Le caratteristiche scure intorno allo scudo termico frontale sono probabilmente polvere dalla superficie, sollevata durante l’impatto.

Ulteriori immagini da MRO sono pianificate per le prossime settimane. Basate sui dati correnti e sulle osservazioni fatte dopo il 19 ottobre, queste dovrebbero includere immagini prese in diverse condizioni visive e di luce, che a loro volta utilizzeranno delle ombre per aiutare a determinare le altezze locali delle caratteristiche e pertanto fornire un’analisi più conclusiva di che cosa essere rappresentino.

Un’indagine completa che coinvolge l’ESA e l’Industria è attualmente in corso per identificare la causa dei problemi incontrati da Schiaparelli nella sua fase finale. L’indagine è cominciata non appena la telemetria dettagliata è stata trasmessa da Schiaparelli durante la sua discesa e rimandata a Terra attraverso il Trace Gas Orbiter.

La serie completa di telemetria deve essere elaborata, correlata ed analizzata in dettaglio per fornire un quadro conclusivo della discesa di Schiaparelli e delle cause dell’anomalia.

Finchè questa analisi completa non sarà conclusa, si rischia di trarre conclusioni troppo semplici o addirittura errate. Per esempio, il team inizialmente era sorpreso di vedere un ‘intervallo’ più lungo del previsto di due minuti nella telemetria durante il momento di maggior riscaldamento del modulo mentre entrava in atmosfera: ciò era previsto durare soltanto un minuto al massimo. Tuttavia, ulteriori elaborazioni hanno da allora permesso al team di recuperare metà dei dati ‘mancanti’, escludendo qualsiasi problema con questa parte della sequenza.

Le ultime fasi della sequenza di discesa, dall’espulsione dello schermo posteriore e del paracadute, all’attivazione ed arresto anticipato dei propulsori, devono ancora essere esplorate in dettaglio. Un rapporto delle conclusioni del team di indagine è atteso non oltre metà novembre 2016.

La stessa telemetria inoltre, è un risultato estremamente prezioso della dimostrazione di entrata, discesa ed atterraggio di Schiaparelli, che era l’obiettivo principale di questo elemento della missione ExoMars 2016. Misurazioni sono state effettuate su entrambi gli scudi anteriore e posteriore durante l’entrata – la prima volta che tali dati vengono acquisiti dallo schermo termico posteriore di un veicolo in entrata nell’atmosfera marziana.

Il team può inoltre puntare al successo nell’individuazione del modulo alla sua separazione dall’orbiter, nella fase di entrata ipersonica in atmosfera, e nel dispiegamento del paracadute a velocità supersoniche, e conseguente rallentamento del modulo.

Questi ed altri dati saranno contributi preziosi per future missioni di moduli di atterraggio, compreso il rover russo-europeo ExoMars 2020 e la piattaforma di superficie.

Infine, il modulo orbitante sta funzionando bene e si sta preparando per eseguire la sua prima serie di misurazioni il 20 novembre per calibrare i propri strumenti scientifici.

Source: Immagini dettagliate di Schiaparelli e delle parti impiegate per la discesa su Marte / Italy / ESA in your country / ESA

2017 Honda CRF450R: FIRST RIDE – Cycle News

We get our first taste of the all-new Honda CRF450R

It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since the first Honda CRF450R hit showroom floors, nestled among numerous two-strokes MX bikes. At the time, four-strokes were the redheaded stepchild, not the norm. The early 2000’s saw the beginning of major change in the world of motocross and that change has continued to shape motocross as we know it. Many thought the four-stroke was a fad, a niche market that only some would embrace. Two-stroke motocross bikes? In 2016 that is the oddity.

All-New Means All-New

All-new is an overused and worn out term, but there really is no better way to describe the 2017 Honda CRF450R—it is 99% new, enough to easily and freely call it that tired and often times inaccurately used term. At the center of this truly all-new CRF450R is the engine, which is now more compact and lighter while retaining the basic previous design. An all-new Unicam design is more compact and uses a finger rocker arm on the intake valves. All valves now use an oval-coil cross-section valve reducing the overall engine height. Narrower valve angles help to improve combustion, while the intake valve size increased 2mm to 38mm. Honda claims the head changes increase intake efficiency by 19% and exhaust flow by 10%. With a revised squish band and new combustion chamber the compression ratio jumped from 12.5 to 13.5:1.

In the never-ending quest for more durability, a four-hole-piston oil jet replaces last year’s two-hole oil jet. Gone are the days of separate oil compartments for engine and transmission on the Honda CRF450R, it is now one chamber for both. A new dual-stage scavenge pump system reduces the oil volume from 1490cc to 1250cc. This helps reduce weight and simplify maintenance. The clutch is more compact and uses one less friction and one less drive plate. The drive-plate thickness has increased from 0.4mm to 2.0mm. The transmission ratios have changed for 2017 to go along with the primary-gear change. Final gearing is 13/49, one tooth larger on the rear than in 2016.

An advantage to a completely new bike is that starting from virtually scratch lets designers toss what they don’t want out the window. The 2017 intake tract no longer passes around the shock; it is now a downdraft system running above a now lower-mounted shock. As proven with other manufacturers, a downdraft system improves power and response.

Throttle pull is also lighter, helping to improve response feel. With the engine and chassis changed, the exhaust system is—ready for it? All-new as well. It still retains the dual mufflers, but they are now 78mm closer to the center of the bike while the header and shape are revised to increase flow.

Frame Work

This is the sixth generation aluminum twin-spar frame from Honda and is lighter with revised geometry and is narrower through the cross-section. While the numbers aren’t exact, the overall changes to both the frame and swingarm closely resemble the geometry of the 2008 Honda CRF450R, which many consider to be the best version of the CRF450R to date. This new frame has reduced torsional stiffness by 6.8% while lateral stiffness is unchanged. The subframe now has extruded gussets rather than forged, helping to drop the weight by 20%. The swingarm is shorter and 0.49 pounds lighter. Thanks to changes with the intake tract, the shock is now centered in the swingarm. It was previously offset to one side by 5mm.

The big news is the addition of 49mm Showa spring forks featuring A-Kit spec internals. The disappearance of the air fork isn’t going to have any riders lying on the couch of their psychologist. Good riddance, most will agree. The only real benefit to the air fork was that it saved weight over conventional spring fork (not to mention eliminating expensive springs). Honda kept the weight of the 2017 Honda CRF450R identical to the 2016 CRF450R by shaving weight in the engine, frame, subframe, swingarm and gas tank. The shock is now mounted 39mm lower in the chassis to allow the downdraft air tract to pass above the shock rather than around it. To accomplish this the shock clevis is shorter, the shock overall is shorter and it mounts 5mm lower on the swingarm.

The new titanium gas tank saves weight and helps to centralize mass. It holds the same amount of fuel (1.6 gallons) as last year. You can’t see a lot of the trick titanium tank because there is a plastic protective piece mostly covering it, but having a titanium gas tank is a first on a production bike. The plastic is, yes, all new; the radiator shrouds are longer to help draw more air over the radiators, and the graphics are in-molded for durability.

Dunlop Geomax M3S tires are standard for 2017.

Two Days Of Seeing Red

All the changes to the new chassis were aimed at increasing rear-wheel traction, lowering center of gravity and better centralizing concentration of mass. Honda also worked to retain strong cornering characteristics while improving straight-line stability. They accomplished all of the above with flying colors.

The great thing about the 2017 Honda CRF450R is that it doesn’t do anything weird, which we discovered at Alabama’s Thunder Mountain MX track, where Honda introduced the ’17 CRF450R to the media for riding. It is easy to jump on and feel comfortable and confident right away. Cornering is easy and it lays over effortlessly into ruts and holds a line nicely. We played around with fork height a bit, finding we could slide the forks down a few millimeters to increase consistency through long sweeping corners and long ruts while still retaining the ability to hug an inside line.

The Showa spring fork offers a ton of feedback and works well to keep the front wheel connected to the ground, another key to good cornering. The overall stability and balance of the CRF450R is great, letting us pick any line we wanted. The weight distribution contributes to the light overall feel on the track.

Honda lovers who wanted more from the engine will be happy. Torque is improved throughout the rpm range and peak horsepower numbers are up, all while revving higher. The improved power gets to the ground in a controlled and predictable way. Forward drive is excellent. Like last year the Honda offers three maps, changeable on the handlebars. We switched between stock and mellow depending on track conditions. As the track dried up we went to the mellow map for softer hit off idle, improving traction and consistency through the corners. The clutch changes improve the feel and improve engagement. We didn’t have any issue with fade or a mushy feel at the lever, a common problem with previous CRF450Rs.

If you want to add electric start to the CRF450R it will set you back about $650, not including a battery. Some riders at the intro struggled with starting the 2017 on the first or second kick. We learned early that pushing the kickstarter down until you feel top dead center and then coming up for a nice, smooth, full kick fires the bike up easily.

Our two days riding Monster Mountain in Alabama gave us a solid first impression of the new CRF450R. We know this for a fact: The 2017 is much improved over the 2016 and going back to a quality spring fork was a wise decision. Monster Mountain’s dirt consistency is all about traction, something we don’t see a lot of in Southern California, so we are excited to put a lot more time on the Honda and ride it at familiar tracks to learn more about how it performs and, more importantly, how it stacks up head-to-head against other 450s.

Source: 2017 Honda CRF450R: FIRST RIDE – Cycle News

Mafia III

official web site

It’s 1968

and the rules have changed.

After years of combat in Vietnam, Lincoln Clay knows this truth: family isn’t who you’re born with, it’s who you die for. Now back home in New Bordeaux, Lincoln is set on escaping a criminal past. But when his surrogate family, the black mob, is betrayed and wiped out by the Italian Mafia, Lincoln builds a new family on the ashes of the old and blazes a path of military-grade revenge through those responsible. Intense gun fights, visceral hand-to-hand combat, white knuckle driving and street smarts will all be needed. But with the right crew, tough decisions and some dirty hands, it’s possible to make it to the top of the city’s underworld.

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New Bordeaux

A Reimagined 1968 New Orleans

A vast, diverse and seedy open world ruled by the mob and corrupt officials and richly detailed with the sights, sounds and emotionally-charged social atmosphere of the era.

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An Unintended and Lethal Anti-Hero

Be Lincoln Clay, an orphan and Vietnam veteran hell bent on revenge against the Italian Mafia for the brutal slaughter of the black mob, the closest thing to family he’s ever had.

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Revenge Your Way

Choose your own personal play-style, from brute force and blazing guns to stalk-and-kill tactics as you use Lincoln’s military training and gathered intel to tear down the Italian Mafia.

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A New Family on the Ashes of the Old

Build a new criminal empire in your own unique way by deciding which of your lieutenants you reward and which you betray…

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1968

A Most Turbulent Year

 
January 13

Johnny Cash performs at Folsom State Prison in California.

January 22

Gris-Gris, the debut album of famed New Orleans recording artist Dr. John, is released.

January 31
Tet Offensive

In late January, Vietnamese Revolutionary Forces mount a concerted attack on South Vietnamese cities and towns.

March 8

Bill Graham opens the Fillmore East in New York City.

March 16

RFK Announces Candidacy for President of the US.

April 4
MLK Assassination

Martin Luther King, Jr. is fatally shot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

April 4
 

James Brown appears on national televison in effort to calm tensions in the US following the assassination of Martin Lurther King, Jr.

April 11
Civil Rights Act

The Civil Rights Act of 1968 is signed by Lyndon B. Johnson.

June 6
RFK Assassination

Robert F Kennedy is shot and killed at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, CA.

September 7

Led Zeppelin perform for the first time billed as The New Yardbirds.

October 16

U.S. Athlete silent demonstration for Civil Rights during Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

November 5
’68 Presidential Elections’

Nixon wins with 43.4% of the popular vote.

November 15

500,000 people march on Washington, DC for peace, becoming the largest anti-war rally ever in US history.

December 24
Apollo 8

The first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon.

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