Japan Launches 'Space Junk' Collector
- TOKYO: Japan launched a cargo ship on Friday bound for the International Space Station (ISS), carrying a 'space junk' collector that was made with the help of a fishnet company. The cargo ship is also carrying other materials for the ISS including batteries and drinking water for the astronauts living there. "Have a safe flight," French astronaut Thomas Pesquet said in a tweet from the space station. "Looking forward to your arrival!" The capsule — called Kounotori, or white stork — contains nearly 5 tons of food, water and other supplies, including six new lithium-ion batteries for the station's solar power system. Astronauts will conduct spacewalks next month to replace the old nickel-hydrogen batteries that store energy generated by the station's big solar panels.
- This is Japan's sixth shipment to the 250-mile-high outpost, currently home to Pesquet, two Americans and three Russians. It launched from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. Scientists at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are experimenting with a tether to pull junk out of orbit around Earth, clearing up tonnes of space clutter including cast-off equipment from old satellites and pieces of rocket. The launch was successful as "the satellite was removed from the rocket" and put into the planned orbit about 15 minutes after the liftoff, JAXA spokesman Nobuyoshi Fujimoto on Tanegashima said. More than 50 years of human space exploration since the Soviet-launched Sputnik satellite in 1957 has produced this hazardous belt of orbiting debris.
- There are estimated to be more than 100 million pieces in orbit, posing a growing threat to future space exploration, scientists say. Researchers are using a so-called electrodynamic tether made from thin wires of stainless steel and aluminium. The idea is that one end of the strip will be attached to debris which can damage working equipment — there are hundreds of collisions every year. The electricity generated by the tether as it swings through the Earth's magnetic field is expected to have a slowing effect on the space junk, which should, scientists say, pull it into a lower and lower orbit. Eventually the detritus will enter the Earth's atmosphere, burning up harmlessly long before it has a chance to crash to the planet's surface. JAXA worked on the project with Japanese fishnet manufacturer Nitto Seimo to develop the cord, which has been about 10 years in the making. "The tether uses our fishnet plaiting technology, but it was really tough to intertwine the very thin materials," company engineer Katsuya Suzuki said.
524 Little ‘Einsteins’ Eye Guinness Record
- NEW DELHI: Over 500 Einstein enthusiasts gathered at India International Science Festival (IISF) on Friday, sporting his trademark wig and moustache. The aim of these 524 students of classes VIII and IX was to beat last year's record of 304 made by Black Pine Circle School in Berkeley, California in the US, as "the largest gathering of people dressed as Albert Einstein". While the Guinness World Records may take up to a month to decide, the participants were confident that they had set a record. The students were allotted numbered wristbands and videographed at the entry in the presence of Guinness observers and National Physical Laboratory (NPL) officials.
- "The final count — the number of students who are with their wigs and moustache in place during the competition —will be sent to the India office and then to the global headquarters in London," said an official. Oblivious of all technicalities, the students were all charged up — some are already well read about the achievements of the 1921 Nobel laureate in physics while many others are eager to know more about the father of the theory of relativity. "We are here to be a part of history. Einstein has been the greatest of his kind," said Class IX student Gavi Ahuja of Manav Sthali School, New Rajendra Nagar.
- Asked about his greatest achievement, around 50 students jumped up with Gavi and chorused, "Theory of relativity". Sahej Patil of Class VIII even quoted Einstein as saying, "the important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing", while another came up with, "imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited; imagination encircles the world". A few were even unaware about the competition. "I was excited as we were told that we would discuss the theory of relativity and photo electric effect, and learn about Einstein," said a student. The event at NPL, Pusa Road was coordinated by the science and technology ministry and Union minister Harsh Vardhan wished the students before the event.
India And Vietnam Likely To Sign Civil Nuclear Pact This Week
- NEW DELHI: India is likely to seal a landmark civil nuclear pact with Vietnam this week during the visit of the President of Vietnam’s National Assembly, Ngyun Thi Kim Ngan, the first such partnership with a neighbour of China. The Indo-Vietnam Inter-Gover nmental Framework Agreement in the field of civil nuclear cooperation will entail capacity building and training of Vietnamese nuclear scientists by India besides assistance to improve safeguard measures of nuclear installations in the Southeast Asian country, according to persons familiar with the development. Sri Lanka is the only other developing country with which India has signed a civil nuclear pact.
- During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Hanoi in early September the two sides also agreed to “expedite the negotiation” for a new Inter-Governmental Framework Agreement on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, “which will set a strong foundation for further cooperation in civil nuclear energy”. India has been helping Vietnam’s civil nuclear sector since signing the first agreement in 1986, besides supplying a research reactor and training a few scientists under the International Atomic Energy Agency programme. Vietnam currently has bilateral civil nuclear pacts with Russia and Japan, a fact that will complement Indo-Vietnamese partnership.
- While Russia has wide-ranging presence in India’s civil nuclear sector, India and Japan concluded a civil nuclear pact last month. The visit of Ngyun Thi Kim Ngan, third highest ranking leader of Vietnam, will push comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, coming close on the heels of Vietnam’s defence minister visit to India. The National Assembly President will be accompanied by a big business delegation to push economic and investment ties. The visit will also provide a fillip to parliamentary cooperation through exchanges between leaders of parliaments, committees, parliamentary friendship groups and parliamentarians of two countries.
Aditi Ashok Moves To Third In Dubai, In Line For Hat-Trick Of Titles
- DUBAI: Indian golfer Aditi Ashok continued with her magnificent run with a second successive round of two-under 70 that lifted her to Tied-third in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, the final event of the Ladies European Tour for 2016 on Friday. Aditi, winner of the last two events on LET, is chasing an incredible hat-trick of wins after winning the Hero Women's Indian Open and Qatar Ladies in her last two starts. In between, she flew to United States to earn a membership into the LPGA, where she missed a full card but will have limited status. The 18-year-old Aditi, who shot 70 in the first round, began the second round at the 10th and immediately bogeyed it. But three birdies between the 15th and 18th saw her turn in red figures at two-under.
- On the front nine of the Emirates Golf Club, she birdied the first to get to three-under, but gave back that gain on the sixth with a bogey to finish at two-under. At four-under 140, Aditi, who is leading the Rookie of the Year race, is Tied-third with Emily Pedersen, the Rookie of the Year in 2015. "I think I played pretty well, especially in the middle. I started from the back nine. I did really well from like 15 to like the middle nine holes, it was really good," said Aditi. "I made four or five birdies, so that was good, but obviously I did not play as well on the par 5s as I thought I would. I made only one birdie and I bogeyed the 10th, as well. It's not great, but it was still 2-under, so it's not bad. I'm happy," she added.
- The leader was England's Felicity Johnson who fired a second round of eight-under-par 64 in perfect conditions on 'Pink Friday' and with one-over on first day she is now leading at seven-under. Everyone wore pink today and the course was covered in pink pin flags, pin cups and pink tees, as the tournament is once again helping to raise awareness of breast cancer to support the Al Jalila Foundation. Overnight leader Florentyna Parker played a round of even par to lie at five-under 139 and two strokes behind Johnson. Defending champion Shanshan Feng from China had a second round of 70 to sit on two-under-par and five strokes behind Johnson. Finland's Minea Blomqvist made a hole in one the 147-yard seventh using a 7-iron to win a fabulous Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M ladies' watch. This was the second ace of the tournament week, following Whitney Hillier's at the fourth in the first round.