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In an interplanetary first, NASA to fly a helicopter on Mars as part of 2020 mission

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California :NASA said it will send a small helicopter to Mars as part of the US space agency’s 2020 mission to place a next-generation rover on the Martian surface, marking the first time such an aircraft will be used on another world.

The remote-controlled Mars Helicopter, designed to take flight in the thin Martian atmosphere with twin counter-rotating blades, weighs about four pounds (1.8 kilograms), with a fuselage the size of a softball, NASA said. Its blades will spin at almost 3,000 rpm, roughly 10 times the rate employed by helicopters on Earth.

“The altitude record for a helicopter flying here on Earth is about 40,000 feet (12,200 meters). The atmosphere of Mars is only one percent that of Earth, so when our helicopter is on the Martian surface, it’s already at the Earth equivalent of 100,000 feet (30,480 meters) up,” Mimi Aung, the Mars Helicopter project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement.

 

NASA officials said the rotorcraft will reach the Red Planet’s surface attached to the car-sized rover. After placing the helicopter on the ground, the rover will be directed to drive to a safe distance to relay commands. Controllers on Earth will command the helicopter to take its first autonomous flight after its batteries are charged and tests are conducted, NASA said.

“The idea of a helicopter flying the skies of another planet is thrilling,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement.

The helicopter is intended to demonstrate the viability and usefulness of such aircraft on Mars, NASA said, with potential roles as a low-flying scout or to reach locations inaccessible from the ground.

NASA said it plans a 30-day flight test period that will include up to five flights, starting with a short vertical jaunt to hover for about 30 seconds at an altitude of 10 feet (3 meters) and progressing to flight distances up to a few hundred yards and durations up to 90 seconds.

The helicopter contains solar cells to charge its lithium-ion batteries and a heating mechanism to keep it warm during frigid nights.

The Mars 2020 rover mission is scheduled to launch in July 2020 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and reach Mars in February 2021. The rover is designed to carry out geological studies and ascertain the habitability of the Martian environment, NASA said.


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Fielding Sadhvi Pragya a reply to those who linked Hindu with terror: PM

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the recent Income Tax raids on certain politicians were not part of “political vendetta” and things were happening as per the law.

PM Modi also defended the decision to field Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, saying she is a “symbol” for those who described Hindus as terrorists. She will give a tough fight to the Congress there, he said.

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur is pitted against senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh from the seat in Madhya Pradesh.

 

“The decision (to field Thakur) is a befitting reply to individuals who linked a whole religion and culture to terror,” the prime minister said taking a jibe at the Congress over saffron terror remarks.

PM Modi said the Income Tax raids were happening as per the law and were not part of any “political vendetta”.

He said the raids have all yielded proof of corruption, including siphoning of money from schemes meant for the most vulnerable sections of the society like children and expectant mothers.

Responding to a question on loan defaulters Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi escaping the country, PM Modi said when they realised that under the present government, they will have to return the loan; they escaped taking benefit of the system.

In 2019, they have been brought to the steps of jails, after 2019, they will be in jail, PM Modi said.

“Why aren’t the critics talking about the fact that some have lost their cases on extradition while others are rotting in jail,” he said.

He asserted that the BJP will return to power with greater numbers and said even the NDA allies would do better than 2014 polls. It will be a complete majority, PM Modi said.

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If Indiraji is credited for 1971 Bangladesh war, why not PM Modi for Pakistan air-strike : Rajnath

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New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi deserves the credit for the country’s air strike inside Pakistan just as Indira Gandhi was honoured for the success in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.

Singh hit out at the Congress for seeking evidence of the outcome of the Balakot air strike by Indian Air Force and said the BJP-led government has been able to effectively isolate Pakistan for sheltering “terror elements.:

He recounted that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was a leader of the Jan Sangh, the former avtar of BJP, had complimented Indira Gandhi for the success in the Bangladesh Liberation war and had said the party would not hesitate to accord its fullest cooperation to Indira Gandhi.

 

“Now, what is wrong in praising Modiji if he gave a fitting reply to Pakistan after the Pulwama attack ?” Singh asked while slamming the opposition parties for raising questions when there was nation-wide “euphoria” following the air strike on terror camps inside Pakistan territory.

Singh was addressing a series of election meetings in Keonjhar, Cuttack and Puri parliamentary constituencies in Odisha which are going to polls in the third phase on April 23 to bolster the prospcts of BJP candidates.

“The opposition has been seeking to know the number of terrorists killed in the air strike. How can the jawans count the number when the target is a huge gathering of terrorists? … Jawans do not count bodies, it is the work of vultures.”

Claiming that the BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been able to isolate Pakistan in the international community, Singh said “None other than Narendra Modi can give a befiting reply to Pakistan.”

Stating that India is no more weak, the senior BJP leader said “We do not attack anyone but if someone attacks us, we do not spare him.

“Our policy is very clear. We do not attack any one, never try to acquire anyone’s territory. But if anyone dares to hit us we will not sit idle,” Singh said,
Apart from strengthening the country’s security, Modi has ensured that country’s economy improved. “When BJP came to power in 2014, India’s position in terms of economy was 9th. Now within four and half years, India’s place is 6th in the world. We will be among the top three by 2030,” he said.

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Chaiwala vs doodhwala: Akhilesh’s battlecry in Azamgarh

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AZAMGARH: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav coined a new battle slogan to counter Prime Minister Narendra’s chaiwala (tea seller) catchphrase.
“If PM Modi is chaiwala, then we are doodhwala. Without good milk, good tea cannot be made,” said the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister while addressing a rally at Baitholi bypass after filing his nomination from Azamgarh parliamentary constituency for the Lok Sabha election 2019 .
Targetting PM Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the SP chief said, “BJP is calling the alliance of SP, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal as Mahamilawat. And what will be the coalition of 38 parties be called?”
Ahead of the general election, SP, BSP and RLD announced their alliance on March 6. BSP is contesting on 38 seats, SP on 37 and RLD on three seats in Uttar Pradesh.
In a subtle reference to UP CM Yogi Adityanath while urging voters to remove the “dictatorial” BJP government in the state, Yadav said, “BSP, RLD and SP will hold a new history. First the chowkidar will go away from the country and then the thekedar too.”
“The BJP showed just dreams to everyone, but did not even complete the work. BJP’s talk starts with the toilet and ends there. In any case, there is no special difference between the Congress and BJP in the matter of toilets. If one digs a pit for the toilet then the other has two crates,” said the 45-year-old SP chief.
The SP chief said Azamgarh is the ‘karmabhoomi’ of ‘samajwadis’ and that the SP-BSP-RLD coaliton is an alliance of ‘mahaparivartan’ (grand change) and not ‘mahamilawat’ (adulteration) as alleged by the BJP.
Thousands of BSP supporters joined SP chief and raised slogans like Kaam bolta hai (work speaks).
Akhilesh Yadav is seeking election Azamgarh, a seat won by his father Mulayam Singh Yadav in the 2014 general elections. The BJP has pitted Bhojpuri superstar Nirahua or Dinesh Lal Yadav against him.
Uttar Pradesh is witnessing polling during all seven phases of the election. The first and second phases were held on April 11 and April 18. The next phases are scheduled to be held on April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. The votes will be counted on May 23.

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