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NASA completes another test of Mars-bound craft Orion

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — NASA today completed another test of its Mars-bound spacecraft Orion, this time with the help of two crash-test dummies to simulate a return-to-Earth splashdown scenario. The test lasted all of about ten seconds and is ninth test of a ten-part water impact series NASA began conducting in April.

See the complete test in the video below. Fast forward to the 19:20 mark of the video to see the splashdown.

Thursday’s test was done by swinging Orion like a pendulum to simulate the scenario in which one of its parachutes might have failed. After a few seconds of swinging, Orion was dropped into the 20-foot deep Hydro Impact Basin, an outdoor pool facility, at NASA’s Langley Research Center.

Inside the mock-up were a number of sensors along with the crash-test dummies — one of the dummies represented a 105-pound woman, the other a 220-pound man. Both were equipped with spacesuits, and were covered in sensors themselves so engineers could analyze the impact of the landing would have on a human’s body.

Orion is the craft NASA plans to use as a vehicle to send humans on deep-space ventures, such as asteroids or Mars. Once returning to earth, the craft deploys parachutes to slow its descent toward the ocean, similarly to that of the astronauts who took part in the Apollo missions.

However, because Orion is an entirely new breed of spacecraft, NASA must conduct the tests in an effort to understand how the vehicle will behave upon landing under a large range of scenarios. The easiest way to describe the craft would be Apollo’s Saturn V rocket on steroids.

The Delta IV Heavy rocket with the Orion spacecraft lifts off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida December 5, 2014. REUTERS/Steve Nesius (UNITED STATES - Tags: TRANSPORT SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) - RTR4GUK3

The Delta IV Heavy rocket with the Orion spacecraft lifts off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida December 5, 2014. REUTERS/Steve Nesius

 

While the destination is the most name-catching part of the program, NASA wouldn’t consider a deep-space journey a success without returning its astronauts home safely. Making this task more difficult is the fact that astronauts’ bodies are already weakened by long-duration exposure to the weightless environment of space prior to landing.

Taking that into consideration, NASA are currently making preparations for a wide range of landing scenarios, including extreme weather conditions to failed parachute deployment before sending humans into space with Orion.

The first crewed Orion flight isn’t scheduled to take place until the year 2023, fittingly named Exploration Mission 2, but in the meantime, the craft will continue flights without its precious cargo. As seen in the image above, NASA completed a successful launching of the craft in 2014 (Exploration Flight Test 1), in which a uncrewed craft was launched atop a Delta IV-Heavy rocket to an altitude of 3,600 miles for two orbits around the planet.

Flying farther than a spacecraft designed to carry humans had flown in more than 40 years, EFT-1 marked a milestone for NASA and (modern) human space exploration.

These tests are all being done as NASA prepare for Exploration Mission 1, Orion’s next big flight, a heavily anticipated event because of the fact it will be the first time the craft flies with its rocket companion, the Space Launch System.

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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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