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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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Biden & Trump hold separate town halls on debate night

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Biden & Trump hold separate town halls on debate night | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — It was supposed to be debate night, a second battle between former Vice President Biden and President Trump. But after the President’s COViD-19 diagnosis, an in person battle wasn’t in the cards. The President did not want to do a virtual debate, so both men held separate town halls at the exact same time to try and win over voters with less than three weeks before the election and millions of people already casting their ballots early.

Many of the biggest Desi names in entertainment got together for a virtual ‘South Asian Block Party’ to support the Biden-Harris campaign. In just a couple hours, $250,000 was raised, with a number of the prominent figures sharing their personal stories on why they are supporting the Biden ticket.

Pakistan’s government has banned TikTok, citing complaints alleging the popular video app carried immoral and indecent content.

Simran Sethi, ABC TV’s Executive Vice President of Development and Content Strategy, is putting in place a new set of inclusion standards to ensure the television network accurately reflects society.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian American professor missing near Mt. Rainier

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Indian American professor missing near Mt. Rainier | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Sam Dubal, an Indian American anthropology professor at the University of Washington, has been missing for days, according to his sister, UC Hastings law professor Veena Dubal. Sam is said to have gone on an overnight hike and backpacking trip near Mount Rainier in Washington state. Park rangers have found his car, but there is still no sign of him. If you hear about his whereabouts, you are asked to call 360-569-6684.

https://youtu.be/ddvPz0NkcFs

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee began a week of confirmation hearings for US Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Judge Barrett praised the legacies of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia. Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham set the agenda and defended his decision to move Barrett’s nomination forward. Barrett could become the first justice placed on the court right before a Presidential election.

Actress Mindy Kaling took the occasion of being on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to announce she just gave birth to a baby boy named Spencer in September. It’s the second child for Kaling, who told Colbert her daughter Katherine reconnected her to Hinduism after her birth.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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President Trump & First Lady contract COVID-19

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President Trump & First Lady contract COVID-19 | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — The world’s attention is focused on the health of President Trump and the first lady after they disclosed they both have the coronavirus. The President is 74 years old and is considered in a high risk category. White House spokespeople say the President was flown to Walter Reed Medical Center for observation and will be there for a few days out of “an abundance of caution.” Sources close to the situation say the President is experiencing a low-grade fever and that he took an experimental drug cocktail to boost his immune system. The First Lady, Melania Trump, remains at the White House. Trump confidants Hope Hicks, Kellyanne Conway and Bill Stepien also contracted the virus.

Well wishes for the President are coming in from around the globe, with one of the first messages of support coming from Indian Prime Minister Modi.

There are tributes around the U.S. to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 151st birth anniversary. Political leaders sent their well wishes and there was a ceremony at the Indian Embassy in Washington to commemorate the occasion.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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