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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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Puneet Talwar named US Ambassador to Morocco

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – The US State Department announced that diplomat Puneet Talwar is its new ambassador to Morocco. President Biden proposed Talwar as the new nominee last March. The new ambassador to Morocco has a rich portfolio in diplomacy. The diplomat is currently a senior adviser to the State Department.

Six men have been arrested for the gang rape and murder of two girls. Police say one of them is a neighbor and the remaining five are Muslims from a nearby village – although it’s not believed to be a religious crime.

As Pakistan continues to deal with historic flooding a new report published in Vice says the country collected $40 million for a mega dam on the Indus river, but spent $63 million on advertising it. The crowdsourced campaign was  launched by a Supreme Court judge and endorsed by former Prime Minister Imran Khan. It’s now at the center of a massive controversy. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian & Hindu American groups hold DC summit

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WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) – A group of Indian American and Hindu American organizations joined forces to celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day and advocate for the diaspora on Capitol Hill, in what is being called an inaugural summit for political engagement. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, the Hindu American Foundation, the Coalition of Hindus of North America and Americans4Hindus, were among the more than one dozen organizations, hosting legislators from both sides of the aisle in a non-partisan effort to discuss issues of concern in the community. 
 
Indian American economist Aaron “Ronnie” Chatterji has been named White House Coordinator for the implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act’s historic $50 billion investment in the semiconductor industry at the National Economic Council. 
 
Fans of Indian comedian and actor Raju Srivastava are mourning his death. He passed away at the age of 58 after suffering a heart attack last month while running on a treadmill. He had a history of heart problems. 
 
Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.
 
 

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Sukhpal Singh arrested in Tusli Mandir hate crime case

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NEW YORK (Diya TV) – New York police arrested a man for allegedly sledgehammering a statue of Gandhi outside a Queens Hindu Shri Tusli Mandir. Twenty seven year old Sukhpal Singh is charged with criminal mischief and a hate crime for allegedly destroying the statue and defacing it with spray paint outside Tulsi Mandir in Richmond Hill last month. 

India and France agreed to set up an Indo-Pacific partnership to roll out development projects, expand strategic cooperation, and work closer to deal with pressing global challenges such as a food crisis triggered by the Ukraine invasion. 

More than a million customers in Puerto Rico are waiting for electricity to come back on after Hurricane Fiona hammers the region. The Dominican Republic is under a hurricane warning as well. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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