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How NASA found India’s Chandrayaan satellite after 8 years of silence

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India’s Chandrayaan-1 satellite before launch in 2008.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Since August 2009 there had been no successful contact with India’s Chandrayaan-1 moon-orbiting satellite, the first lunar probe ever launched by the Indian Space Research Organization.

The mission went abruptly silent 312 days into what was slated to be a two-year project.

Scientists at NASA’s Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California and at the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia worked together to detect the long-lost orbiter by sending out radio waves in its direction and listening for the echoes that bounced back. “To be declared lost and then found after eight years is a great accomplishment,” Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, former chair of the India Space Research Organization and one of the architects of the project, told Times of India. 

Exploiting the orbiting satellite’s habits — the probe glides over the Moon’s north pole — NASA scientists used Goldstone’s largest antenna to direct a powerful beam of microwaves toward the spot they expected the satellite, which is no larger than a household refrigerator. The antenna is usually used to communicate with spacecrafts much farther away it’s still in touch with, for example, the Voyager 1 satellite.

The researchers used the same technique to find NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter — an easier task because the LRO is still operational.

But this could be just the beginning of interplanetary radar investigations. The void between planets is filling up with human-made spacecraft, and it’s only going to get more crowded. If scientists want to prevent potentially devastating collisions, they’re going to need a powerful system to keep track of everything.

“Ground-based radars could possibly play a part in future robotic and human missions to the moon, both for a collisional hazard assessment tool and as a safety mechanism for spacecraft that encounter navigation or communication issues,” NASA said in a statement.

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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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