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NASA launches: MAVEN mission

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Just after India successfully launched its maiden Mars mission, America’s NASA also launched a new spacecraft to orbit the Red Planet to probe how it lost its atmosphere and abundant liquid water. MAVEN copy copy.tifThe spacecraft Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) was launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida through Atlas V Centaur rocket. The spacecraft separated from an Atlas V Centaur rocket’s second stage 53 minutes after launch. The solar arrays deployed approximately one hour after launch and currently power the spacecraft. The probe is equipped with several different instruments that will explore different parts of the Martian atmosphere. In addition, MAVEN’s sensors will also measure how fast the gasses in the Martian atmosphere are escaping into space. When those measurements are made, scientists hope to be able to extrapolate back in time what the Martian atmosphere looked like when water still flowed freely on the surface. That extrapolation will also provide one more piece of the puzzle as to how Mars became the way it is today. MAVEN is travelling to Mars to explore how the Red Planet may have lost its atmosphere over billions of years. The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission, or MAVEN, is bristling with instruments able to measure the effect of solar wind and analyse thin traces of gases, in order to help scientists model the process that left the planet so dry and barren. Its launch follows findings from NASA’S recent Mars rover mission which supports growing evidence in rock samples that there was once water on the surface of the Mars, protected by a thick atmosphere that could have supported primitive life. Among the eight instruments and nine sensors on board the spacecraft is a magnetometer that will help scientist’s measure changes in the magnetic field around Mars that would once have protected its atmosphere from solar wind. Maven will take nearly a year to reach the red planet and scientists estimate it should be sending back its first results by early 2015.

NASA hopes that its MAVEN mission will pay the way towards launching a manned mission to Mars by the 2030s. The launch of manned mission to Mars requires that NASA’s MAVEN mission provides valuable data that could be used to launch future human mission to the Red Planet. Being optimistic, NASA is hoping that MAVEN will provide key information about how to land a human occupied craft on the planet’s surface. MAVEN will also help scientists understand what kinds of resources are available in the Martian atmosphere and possibly how to utilize them during human exploration.

INSAT - 3D : Advanced weather satellite

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India has successfully launched its second exclusive advanced meteorological spacecraft INSAT-3D by a European rocket from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana. The satellite will enhance country's capability in weather forecasting and disaster warning fields. European space consortium Arianespace's Ariane 5 rocket in its 56th consecutive successful mission, the workhorse vehicle Ariane 5 also launched Alphasat, Europe's largest ever telecommunication satellite launched INSAT-3D and Alphasat satellites. Alphasat is Europe's largest telecommunication satellite ever manufactured and results from a large scale public-private partner- ship between the European Space Agency and Inmarsat.

INS Krishna

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After serving the seas for 44 years — first as the Royal Navy’s HMS Andromeda from 1968 to November 1994 and in its current avatar as one of Indian Navy’s First Training Squadron Ships, INS Krishna (F-46), from August 1995 — has retired. The last broad beam Leader-class frigate was built by the Portsmouth Dockyard, Andromeda (the eighth bearing pennant number F 57). The frigate had weathered many storms in the ‘Beira Patrol,’ a blockade in the Mozambique channel to prevent oil reaching Rhodesia (Zimbabwe); the last two ‘Cod wars’ with Iceland over fishing rights when the frigate suffered damage resulting from collisions; the Falklands action when it was deployed on escort duty; and the ‘Armilla Patrol’ in the Gulf for escort of oil tankers.

T-50 Stealth Fighter Jet

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Makes first public appearance

T-50 stealth fighter jointly developed by Russia and India has made its first international public appearance at the 2011 Moscow International Aviation and Space Salon. It should be noted that the new fighter is being jointly developed by India and Russia under the 2007 FGFA agreement. Under the agreement, India will get up to 200 T-50 fighters, while the Russians are planning to order 150. The T-50 jets are being developed at an estimated cost of USD 10 billion of which India would invest USD 600 million. The new stealth fighter will provide the backbone not only of the Russian air force but also of the Indian air force. The aircraft is envisioned as a mainstay in the air defence for both Russia and India, and it is intended to match the United States' F-22 Raptor. Like the F-22, the Russian T-50 is capable of cruising at speeds 2.4 times the speed of sound and will be more agile than current Russian fighter aircraft due to thrust-vectoring of the engine nozzles allowing for higher-G manoeuvres.

What is a Stealth Fighter: Stealth aircraft are aircraft that use stealth technology to avoid detection by employing a combination of features to interfere with radar as well as reduce visibility in the infrared, visual, audio, and radio frequency (RF) spectrum. Well-known modern examples of stealth aircraft include the United States' F-117 Nighthawk, the B-2 Spirit, F-22 Raptor. While no aircraft is totally invisible to radar, stealth aircraft prevent conventional radar from detecting or tracking the aircraft effectively, reducing the odds of a successful attack. Stealth is the combination of passive low observable (LO) features and active emitters such as Low Probability of Intercept Radars, radios and laser designators.

Injection of bacteria could stop dengue fever

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Australian scientists have discovered a cheap and effective method of preventing the transmission of dengue fever, which kills more than 12000 people a year. The researchers showed how female mosquitoes infected with the Wolbachia bacteria passed the bug easily to their offspring, making them all dengue-free. They believe that such infected mosquitoes should be released into the wild, so that the spread of dengue to people may be reduced. In their experiment, the scientists injected the bacteria into more than 2,500 embryos of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that can spread dengue fever. After they hatched, they were treated to blood meals laced with the dengue virus, and none picked up the virus.

Explosion at nuclear waste plant

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A fatal explosion took place at the Marcoule nuclear reprocessing plant in southern France. The explosion took place at the Centraco nuclear waste treatment centre, which belongs to Socodei, a subsidiary of the energy giant EDF. Marcoule, in the southern Gard region, is a major nuclear site. Its three reactors have been decommissioned. It is currently a base for reprocessing nuclear waste. The site is involved in the decommissioning of nuclear facilities, and operates a pressurized water reactor used to produce tritium. The site at which the explosion took place is partly used by French nuclear giant Areva to produce mixed oxide (MOX) fuel, which recycles plutonium from nuclear weapons.

About Mixed Oxide Fuel: Mixed oxide fuel (MOX) fuel, is nuclear fuel that contains more than one oxide of fissile material. MOX fuel contains plutonium blended with natural uranium, reprocessed uranium,

Progress M12-M crashed

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A Russian space freighter Progress M12-M, carrying cargo to the International Space Station has crashed in a remote area of Siberia. The unmanned Progress cargo craft was launched from the main Gagarin launch pad of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Russian Federal Space Agency, commonly called Roscosmos, said they received a breakdown report from the Progress M-12M before it left the radio coverage zone. The wreckage of the Progress M-12M space freighter fell in the Choya District of South Siberia's Altai Republic.

The spacecraft was to deliver more than 3.5 tons of cargo to the crew of the ISS now orbiting the Earth. The load included food supplies, medical equipment, personal hygiene items, as well as scientific equipment needed for experiments aboard the ISS. It should be noted that currently there are currently six astronauts

PSLV-C16 rocket launched

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India recently successfully launched its PSLV-C16 rocked that carried into orbit the latest remote pslv 16sensing satellite REsourcesat-2 that would study and help manage natural resources along with two Nano satellites, YOUTHSAT and XSAT. The PSLV has an impressive track record of 16 uninterrupted launches. This is the 18th launch and 17th successive flight of PSLV by ISRO.

SAGA-2203 is India’s fastest

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SAGA-2203 is India’s fastest
Indian Space Research Organization has built a new supercomputer with theoretical peak performance of 220 TeraFLOPS (220 Trillion Floating Point Operations per second). “SAGA-2203 (Supercomputer for Aerospace with GPU Architecture-220 TeraFLOPS) is housed at the supercomputing facility named as Satish Dhawan Supercomputing Facility located at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram. The new Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) based supercomputer “SAGA-2203 is being used by space scientists for solving complex aerospace problems. Scalable to many PetaFLOPS (1000 TeraFLOPS), the “SAGA-2203  Supercomputer is fully designed and built by VSSC using commercially available hardware, open source software components and in house developments. The system uses

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