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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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Hubble Returns To Normal Functioning Soon: NASA

After the engineering tests have been completed, Hubble is expected to soon return to normal science operations, NASA stated

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Hubble's backup gyro, which had been off for more than 7.5 years, was incorrectly returning extremely high rotation rates. Flcikr

NASA has brought Hubble Space Telescope’s seven-year old backup gyroscope (gyro) back to life, after the spacecraft entered safe mode due to a failed gyro earlier this month, the US space agency said on Tuesday.

A gyro is a device that measures the speed at which the spacecraft is turning and is needed to help Hubble turn and lock on to new targets.

Hubble’s backup gyro, which had been off for more than 7.5 years, was incorrectly returning extremely high rotation rates, NASA said in a statement.

Hubble
The Hubble Telescope hovering in space. Wikimedia Commons

This gyro was turned on after the spacecraft entered safe mode due to a failed gyro on October 5.

Additional tests will be performed to ensure Hubble can return to science operations with this gyro, NASA said.

To correct high rotation rates, the Hubble team executed a running restart of the gyro on October 16.

This procedure turned the gyro off for one second, and then restarted it before the wheel spun down.

However, the data showed no improvement in the gyro’s performance.

Hubble Telescope. red dwarf
This gyro was turned on after the spacecraft entered safe mode due to a failed gyro on October 5. Flickr

The team, then on October 18, commanded a series of spacecraft maneuvers, or turns, in opposite directions to attempt to clear any blockage that may have caused the float to be off-centre and produce the exceedingly high rates.

During each maneuver, the gyro was switched from high mode to low mode to dislodge any blockage that may have accumulated around the float.

They noticed a significant reduction in the high rates, allowing rates to be measured in low mode for brief periods of time.

On October 19, the team again commanded Hubble to perform additional maneuvers and gyro mode switches, which appear to have cleared the issue.

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The planet Mars is shown May 12, 2016 in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope view when it was 50 million miles from Earth. VOA

The rotation rates produced by the backup gyro have since reduced and are now within an expected range, NASA noted.

Also Read: New Gamma-Ray Collection Named After Hulk, Godzilla: NASA

The team plans to execute a series of tests to evaluate the performance of the gyro under conditions similar to those encountered during routine science observations, including moving to targets, locking on to a target, and performing precision pointing.

After these engineering tests have been completed, Hubble is expected to soon return to normal science operations, NASA stated. (IANS)