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Sunita Williams leads successful testing of new spacecraft

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International Space Station (ISS) crew member U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams waves as she boards the Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft at Baikonur cosmodrome July 15, 2012. REUTERS/Vyacheslav Oseledko/Pool  (KAZAKHSTAN - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

International Space Station (ISS) crew member U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams waves as she boards the Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft at Baikonur cosmodrome July 15, 2012. REUTERS/Vyacheslav Oseledko/Pool (KAZAKHSTAN – Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams, and her crew of colleagues, have successfully tested a new generation of NASA simulators that will help prepare future star dwellers for launch, flight and return aboard Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.

The Starliner is a joint-collaboration between Boeing and Bigelow Aerospace, and will be submitted as the two’s entry into NASA’s Commercial Crew Development program.

The craft’s primary use will be for transporting crew to and from the International Space Station, as well as other private space stations, such as Bigelow’s own commercial space station.

“These simulators have touchscreen displays, which means they are more versatile than previous spacecraft trainers,” Williams said in a statement.

“We can run multiple simulations by just changing software and then put that same software into a bigger crew simulator, which we will use to train the whole crew for a spaceflight,” she added.

The official simulators are still in development, but once completed, they will be wired into Boeing and NASA’s networks. From there, mission simulations will include contact with launch and mission controllers, running critical rehearsals to prepare crew for successful flight.

NASA selected four astronauts — Williams, Eric Boe, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley — to train for test flights and simulations aboard the Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecrafts. The four will ship out to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston later this year to begin daily training in large simulators.

For a sense of how extensive the training is, astronauts typically spend hours in simulators for each minute they are in space in an effort to familiarize themselves with planned and unplanned events which can occur during flight.

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Indian Americans jump into congressional races

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Indian Americans jump into congressional races | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The latest numbers show more Indian Americans than ever are running for Congress. In the last six years, nearly 80 candidates made it on the ballot, soaring far beyond numbers seen in past elections. Leading the wave are successful candidates from California, like Kamala Harris, who rose from a Senate seat to become vice president. Helping those numbers, Indians Americans are also one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the country.  

Nisha Ramachandran is the new Executive Director of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the first Indian American to serve in this role.  Ramachandran most recently managed her own consulting business focused on AAPI advocacy. She’ll be working closely with Congresswoman Judy Chu who chairs the group to further Asian American causes and initiatives. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the people of Telangana after the Kakatiya Rudreshwara Ramappa Temple was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The PM also urged citizens to visit the temple which was built during the rule of the Kakatiya dynasty.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Blinken begins India visit, Afghanistan top issue

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Blinken begins India visit, Afghanistan top issue | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — US secretary of state Antony Blinken begins his two-day India visit on Tuesday hoping to engage the nation on issues such as the Covid-19 response, human rights, and democracy. The American troop pullout in Afghanistan will also be a key issue. India is concerned about the implications of the withdrawal and the need for sustained pressure on Pakistan over issues like terror financing.

And India’s first medal at the Tokyo Olympics goes to Mirabai Chanu. She won silver in Women’s weight lifting. Chanu’s Olympic preparations were hindered by injuries and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic but she still beat the odds and is being praised back home.

Tesla may open a factory in India. But CEO Elon Musk says only if the cars receive a good response in that marketplace. The company has already been hiring talent in the country. But Musk also hinted at some downsides to opening overseas, citing India’s import duty tax is the highest in the world for a large country.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign | Diya TV News

SACRAMENTO (Diya TV) — Indian American Democrat Shrina Kurani is running for Congress in California’s 42nd district and is preparing to take on 15-year Republican incumbent Ken Calvert. Kurani is a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur and says she’s running to create more sustainable jobs in her community and to take on the status quo in Washington DC.

More than 30 interfaith organizations in the U.S. are urging the State Department to sanction India and designate it as a country of “particular concern”. Their resolution claims that the Indian government is promoting policies that lead to the persecution of religious minorities, especially Muslims.
Despite growing concern over rising Covid-19 cases in Japan, the 2021 Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony got underway. India is sending its largest ever contingent to the Olympics with120 athletes competing across 85 events.  The country hopes to win medals for shooting, wrestling, boxing, archery and badminton.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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