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India launches Mini Space Shuttle

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NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India this week has launched an unmanned model spacecraft, joining in efforts to develop the world’s next reusable craft since NASA suspended the Space Shuttle program in 2011.

The 7m-scale model lifted off from Andhra Pradesh at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, and was expected to fly about 50 miles into the atmosphere before making its return at sea. There has been a strong international competition to develop the world’s next alternative reusable spacecraft, as such vehicles could significantly cut the cost of space exploration.

India has for some time been investing considerably into its space program, allocating substantial research and resources into the program. This vehicle, fittingly named Reusable Launch Vehicle, or RLV-TD, cost $14 million to develop.

“RLV-TD began its descent followed by atmospheric re-entry at around Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound),” the Indian Space Research Organization said in a statement.

It also said the vehicle’s thermal coating, navigation and guidance and control systems performed as planned and accurately steered the shuttle.

“After successfully surviving the high temperatures of re-entry, RLV-TD successfully glided down to the defined landing spot over Bay of Bengal, at a distance of about 450km from Sriharikota,” it said.

The craft was brought to land at sea since India does not currently have a runway long enough for land use. A soft sea landing was determined to be the safest option for the test.

“The wings are very small, so it’s still going to be a very huge challenge to land it on a runway and therefore we are landing it straight back on the ocean,” Rajeswari P Rajagopalan, the head of the independent think-tank Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation said.

As the program continues to evolve, India has future plans to develop a supersonic scramjet engine into the craft, which would give the vehicle a more effective range and the ability to manoeuvre in space. India does not expect its craft to come into use for at least 15 years, but ISRO hopes the reusable technology will reduce costs and make access to space more affordable.

“At the end of the day, the mission’s objective is to reduce the cost of space launches, for human space missions as well,” said Rajagopalan.

Business

Harvard to host 17th annual India Conference this February

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Diya TV) — For the 17th year in a row, the graduate students at Harvard University will host an India Conference. It will take place during the weekend of February 15-16, 2020. Two days of exciting discussions through panels, mixers and networking will fill the halls of the Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government.

The theme for this year’s conference is Foresight 20/20 – a look at what to expect from India in 2020 and beyond. As one of the largest student led conferences in the USA, the Harvard India conference attracts the biggest headliners from every field – from politics, business, entertainment & the arts. And this year is no different.

India Conference
India Conference at Harvard

With more than 100 speakers and 1000 attendees, the conference promises to have something for everyone. This year’s biggest draw from the entertainment genre is veteran Bollywood actor and self proclaimed ambassador to India, Anupam Kher. Kher has a long standing list of accolades within the film industry. In addition to his acting roles, he has been a producer, director and teacher at his own acting school. Most recently he played the role of Dr. Vijay Kapur on NBC’s primetime drama ‘New Amsterdam‘.

Some other notable speakers this year include founder of the India Today Group, Aroon Purie, Indian Olympic athelete Dutee Chand, comedian and actor, Vir Das, partner at Softbanks’ Vision Fund Lydia Jett & politician and India’s ruling party (BJP)’s sherpa to the G20, Suresh Prabhu.

The harsh winter in Harvard doesn’t seem slow down or dull these brilliant minds in any way. The India Conference at Harvard continues to retain its standing as the conference of choice for deliberating issues ranging from technology, media, politics and eduction to creating solutions for India’s path towards global leadership. The event features brainstorming sessions and sincere discussions on the very real and large scale problems that are uniquely Indian.

Diya TV is a media sponsor to the event and will be on-site covering conference. To receive a 20% discount use code RDAY20 here and to know more about the conference or speakers, head to the IndiaConference.com

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India loses contact with Moon Lander, outcome unclear

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Moon Lander

BENGALURU, India (Diya TV) — India’s attempt to land a rover on the moon may have fallen short. Moments before landing, scientists lost contact with the Chandrayaan-2. The goal was to land near the moon’s south pole, an area that has been largely unexplored. All was normal until the lander was roughly one mile away from the moon’s surface. ISRO is still analyzing data. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said afterwards “In life, there are ups and downs. The country is proud of you.” He later tweeted “we remain hopeful and will continue working hard on our space programme.”

The United States State Department is showing support for India’s new law that designates four men — Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed, its top leader Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi & notorious mobster Dawood Ibrahim — as terrorists. State Department Acting Assistant Secretary Alice Wells said the new law “expands possibilities for joint #USIndia efforts to combat the scourge of terrorism.” Under this bill, India can impose a travel ban on individuals who have been designated as “terrorists” and seize their properties.

And Detroit local news anchor Roop Raj took to social media to respond to a viewer wondering where he ‘came from.’ And as usual, he handled it with grace and aplomb.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Business

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi blasts Boris Johnson for ‘racist remarks’

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Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi

LONDON (Diya TV) —  In London, the first-ever Sikh Member of Parliament, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, received a round of applause from his colleagues after demanding an apology from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for making “derogatory and racist remarks” on Muslim women wearing burqas. Johnson rebuffed the claim and did not respond to the statement directly.

Mountain View Police arrested 50 year old Reenu Saini and her four friends for allegedly staging a home invasion to evict tenants from her investment property. When that didn’t work, police say the group shut off the home’s power and tried to open the door.Saini is charged with attempted robbery, burglary of an inhabited dwelling, conspiracy to commit a crime and unlawfully shutting off power to a home

Judge Raag Singhal was nominated to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. And Jones Day partner Shireen Matthews was nominated to serve as Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

And Silicon Valley AI analytics startup Thoughtspot, which is led by CEO Sudheesh Nair and founded by a group of Indian Americans, raised $248 million at a $1.95 billion valuation.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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