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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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Rocket Lab is Set To Launch 10 NASA CubeSats

They will be placed in RailPODs aboard the Electron rocket that will ferry them to space

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Kepler, NASA, tissue
Rocket Lab to launch 10 NASA CubeSats on Sunday. Pixabay

In its first mission for NASA, the American aerospace manufacturer Rocket Lab is set to launch 10 small research satellites, or CubeSats, from New Zealand, the US space agency said.

Owing to bad weather, Rocket Lab was forced to postpone the earlier decided launch on December 12.

Rocket Lab is now targeting the ELaNa-19 launch on December 15 with a launch window opening at 11 p.m. EST from the company’s launch complex on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand, NASA said in a statement on Friday.

The CubeSats were built by three NASA centres, seven universities, and a middle school under the NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites, or (ELaNa-19) mission.

ElaNa-19 is NASA’s first to be completely dedicated to launching CubeSats under the agency’s Venture Class Launch Services program for small-satellite launches.

More than 250 students have been involved in the design, development and construction of the CubeSats scheduled to be flown as payloads on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket.

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Owing to bad weather, Rocket Lab was forced to postpone the earlier decided launch on December 12. Flickr

“The major difference between today’s launch and previous #ELaNa missions is that for the first time, NASA will have a launch completely dedicated to CubeSats rather than having the small satellites ride along with a much larger spacecraft that is the primary mission,” NASA Launch Services Program officials wrote on Twitter on December 12.

The 10 CubeSats are named as CubeSail, CeREs, NMTSat, CHOMPTT, ALBus, STF-1, ISX, RSat, Shields-1 and DaVinci, NASA said.

These are built to standard dimensions of one unit (1U), and can be 1U, 2U, 3U or 6U in size. They generally weigh less than 1.33 kg per U — 6U may be up to 12 kg.

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They will be placed in RailPODs aboard the Electron rocket that will ferry them to space.

After the main payload deploys, the CubeSats will separate from their RailPODs. After 45 minutes in orbit, the CubeSat transmitters will turn on and university ground stations will listen for their beacons, determine their small satellites’ functionality and announce operational status.

CubeSat mission durations and orbital life vary but are anticipated to last at least three years. Upon mission completion, the CubeSats fall to Earth, burning up in the atmosphere, NASA noted. (IANS)