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Teen in India has developed world’s smallest satellite for NASA

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Rifath Sharook
Rifath Sharook

A NASA launch on June 21 will feature the world’s smallest satellite, developed by Indian teenager Rifath Sharook.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — When the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launches the world’s smallest satellite, named KalamSat, on June 21, it will be the first mission in history to pilot the experiment by an Indian student.

Eighteen-year-old Rifath Sharook from Tamil Nadu’s town of Pallapatti developed the satellite, which weighs a mere 64 grams.

Named after India’s former president and nuclear scientist APJ Abdul Kalam, the satellite will be launched from a NASA facility on Wallops Island in Virginia. Sharook’s project, the first to be manufactured via 3D printing, was selected by the U.S. space authority in its “Cubes in Space” competition program. The project aims to take the performance of new technology to space.

Sharook said the launch will send the satellite into a sub-orbital flight, the mission will last an estimated 240 minutes. KalamSat will operate for 12 minutes in a micro-gravity environment of space. “The main role of the satellite will be to demonstrate the performance of 3D-printed carbon fiber,” he told the Times of India.

“We designed it completely from scratch. It will have a new kind of on-board computer and eight indigenous built-in sensors to measure acceleration, rotation and the magnetosphere of the earth,” Sharook said. “The main challenge was to design an experiment to be flown to space which would fit into a four-meter cube weighing 64 grams.”

Sharook’s project received its funding from an Indian program named “Space Kidz India.” He said he became inspired and curious in outer space from an early age, and that he was a subscriber of Nasa’s Kids Club.

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Recall efforts against Kshama Sawant moves forward

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Recall efforts against Kshama Sawant moves forward | Diya TV News

SEATTLE (Diya TV) — The recall effort against Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant can move forward after a ruling by a King County judge. Superior Court Judge Jim Rogers said four of the six accusations against Sawant are legitimate. They include misuse of city resources, misuse of her position by letting protesters into City Hall, relinquishing her duties of office to an outside political organization and leading a protest to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s house despite her address being protected due to threats from her time as a U.S. Attorney. 

Now, the group of residents leading the recall must get about 11,000 valid signatures before the recall gets on the ballot. Sawant in response said this battle is just the latest attempt by corporate interests and Mayor Durkan to derail her efforts to reform the city and announced she will lead a grassroots campaign to fight the charges.

Meanwhile, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is facing heat as well from U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who suggested prosecutors consider filing charges against her over the mass protests this summer that led some protesters to establish a police-free zone in downtown Seattle. In a tweet, former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara offered his help to Durkan pro-bono.

Indian Prime Minister Modi turned 70 years old and received birthday wishes from around the globe, including from President Trump, who called Modi “a great leader and loyal friend.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indiaspora & AAPI data survey Indian American voters

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Indiaspora & AAPI data survey Indian American voters| Diya TV News

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — At a virtual event featuring the former CEO of the Democratic National Committee, Seema Nanda, Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Republican Ohio State Representative Niraj Antani, non-profit Indiaspora teamed up with AAPI Data to reveal the growing political power of the Indian American diaspora. The joint report says 66% of Indian Americans currently favor Vice President Biden, and 28% favor President Trump. The study shows an enormous rise in political engagement from the community. There are 1.8 million Indian Americans in the U.S. who are eligible voters and both sides of the aisle recognize the need to further engage Indian Americans, who AAPI Data notes is now the largest part of the Asian American community, surpassing Chinese Americans.

Eric Trump, President Trump’s son, took part in an Indian Voices for Trump event in suburban Atlanta. It was an indoor rally with appropriate social distancing measures in place. Trump was on hand to win support from the community in a vital state that will be tightly contested this fall. Georgia, like North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan and Texas are considered in play and have growing Indian American populations.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Eight South Asian candidates run for San Ramon office

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Eight South Asian candidates run for San Ramon office| Diya TV News

SAN RAMON, California (Diya TV) — We’ll introduce you to the eight candidates of South Asian descent running for San Ramon’s mayor and city council this year. Located in California’s East Bay and renowned for great public schools, San Ramon has seen an explosion in its Indian American population over the last decade. Now community members want to give back and help the city map out its future.

President Trump flew to California to meet with Governor Gavin Newsom and other state officials to discuss the wildfires that have engulfed the state for weeks. Newsom and his team of scientists made it a point to tell Trump climate change is “exacerbating” the wildfires. Toxic air lingers on from California to Washington and new projections indicate the smoke will spread from the Northwest and head to the Midwest.

President Trump announced Indian American Judge Amul Thapar is on shortlist to be named to the Supreme Court if a vacancy happens during his term, joining the likes of Senators Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton.

Silicon Valley venture capital fund Sequoia Capital has invested in the most Indian startups that have become unicorns. Sequoia’s Indian arm has invested in eight unicorns, including Byju’s and Unacademy. SoftBank and Steadview Capital are second with seven unicorns each.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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