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Assam school to send 20 students to visit NASA

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Guwahati: Days after the Assam government withdrew the scheme for sending meritorious students on an educational tour to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the US, a private school in Assam has announced that it will send 20 students, including one meritorious student from the rural area – the latter free of cost.

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The Assam government had in 2012 announced the ‘Deba Kumar Bora Memorial NASA Visit’ enabling 10 meritorious students to go on a 12-day educational visit to NASA. The scheme, which was in force for three years helped students to interact with NASA scientists and astronauts and understand various aspects of space travel and astronomy.

The government had recently discontinued the scheme saying it had failed to include all the meritorious students of the state. Instead, it announced that students would be taken to institutes like ISRO in Bangalore, JNU, IIT and IIM in New Delhi and other places. The Guwahati based NPS International School has, however, decided to send 20 students to NASA in the second week of September. This group is also expected to undergo astronaut training experience at NASA.

“Every year we send students to NASA. This year, we have decided to send a student with rural background, who is among the top five rank holders in the recently declared HSLC examination. The selection criteria will be totally on merit basis,” said Jitendra Nath Das, director, NPS International School.
“Our prime objective is to provide international exposure to students of the region. We want to contribute to the betterment of students in the rural areas of the state as well. We will keep on increasing the number of such meritorious Assam students with rural background to NASA in years to come,” Das said.

NPS International is the first school from the northeast to send students to NASA. So far, 37 students have visited the US under the scheme.

(IANS)

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Spacecraft Test Runs into Serious Problems, Smoke All Over SpaceX in Florida

"Ensuring that our systems meet rigorous safety standards and detecting (issues) like this prior to flight are the main reasons why we test"

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Federal oversight authorities warned NASA last year that more delays could leave US astronauts stranded if the new capsules were not ready to fly in 2019. Pixabay

Thick plumes of smoke rose over a SpaceX facility in Florida during a test fire of a Crew Dragon spacecraft and the issue was serious, it could derail plans to fly astronauts aboard the capsule later this year, the media reported.

SpaceX, which was founded by billionaire businessman Elon Musk in 2002, said the craft was undergoing a “series of engine tests” at a facility in Cape Canaveral on Saturday, and something went wrong during the final stretch, CNN reported.

SpaceX will work with NASA to determine what caused the issue. No injuries were reported.

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The US has not had the technology to fly humans to orbit since the space shuttle programme ended in 2011. Meanwhile, NASA has paid Russia about $80 million per seat to send astronauts to the International Space Station aboard Soyuz capsules. Pixabay

“Ensuring that our systems meet rigorous safety standards and detecting (issues) like this prior to flight are the main reasons why we test,” SpaceX said in a statement.

Crew Dragon is already overdue and more delays could make things tricky for NASA.

It was scheduled to conduct a key test of its emergency abort system in June. And its first crewed mission, which will carry astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, was slated for July, though NASA recently said that timeline was under review.

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Federal oversight authorities warned NASA last year that more delays could leave US astronauts stranded if the new capsules were not ready to fly in 2019. Pixabay

The US has not had the technology to fly humans to orbit since the space shuttle programme ended in 2011. Meanwhile, NASA has paid Russia about $80 million per seat to send astronauts to the International Space Station aboard Soyuz capsules.

NASA has also decided to ask the private sector to design and build a new generation of spacecrafts.

Also Read: Avoid Smoking During Pregnancy To Prevent Premature Births

SpaceX and Boeing, which is building a vehicle called Starliner, were awarded contracts worth up to $2.6 billion and $4.2 billion, respectively, in 2014. Both capsules were supposed to start flying in 2017, but they have been hampered with delays.

Federal oversight authorities warned NASA last year that more delays could leave US astronauts stranded if the new capsules were not ready to fly in 2019. (IANS)