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Blue Origin, the US aerospace company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has launched its suborbital New Shepard rocket and space capsule.
The mission on Sunday marked the company’s first test flight of the year and second flight of the New Shepard 2.0 spacecraft, Xinhua news agency reported.
Thunderstorms have delayed Sunday’s planned launch of Blue Origin’s New Shepard 2.0 spacecraft. The vehicle, named after the first American in space, Alan Shepard, lifted offfrom its West Texas test site.
“Another spectacular test mission,” Ariane Cornell of Blue Origin said during a launch webcast. “Today, we’re going to push the system a little bit harder.”
Blue Origin launched New Shepard to a target altitude of about 107 km, slightly higher than the company’s typical target of about 100 km, the altitude widely accepted as the boundary line for space.
“Apogee of 351,000 feet (66 miles, 107 km), and that’s the altitude we’ve been targeting for operations. One step closer,” billionaire Bezos tweeted.
New Shepard is a reusable vertical takeoff, vertical landing space vehicle, consisting of a pressurized capsule atop a booster.
Several minutes after lift-off, the booster made a successful vertical landing. The capsule fell back to Earth a few minutes later, descending on parachutes and cushioning its own landing with retrorockets.
“Touchdown of the New Shepard Booster and Crew Capsule! Congrats to Team Blue and our payload customers on board today!” the company tweeted.
This is Blue Origin’s eight spaceflight since the company began flight testing New Shepard vehicles. The first New Shepard 2.0 launch occurred in December 2017, with six other flights launching on a predecessor New Shepard, which Blue Origin has since retired.
Blue Origin tweeted that dummy astronaut, affectionately nicknamed “Mannequin Skywalker” was on board New Shepard for his 2nd mission. “He’s a little sensitive about being called a ‘dummy’, as he will be conducting astronaut telemetry and science studies – a very important job!”
Also Read: NASA Ready To Study Heart Of Mars
In addition to the test dummy astronaut, the mission also carried many commercial payloads on board New Shepard for in-space science and technology demonstrations. These payloads represent a range of users, from NASA’s Johnson Space Center to a small commercial communications firm, as well as the company’s first European customers, funded by the German national space agency, DLR.
“Earth is the best planet in our solar system. We go to space to save the Earth,” Bezos tweeted on Earth Day.
The company is working on a larger rocket called New Glenn that could directly compete with SpaceX for commercial launch contracts, but it isn’t expected to be ready until 2020.
New Shepard 2.0 space capsule is designed to fly commercial payloads and up to 6 passengers on suborbital space flights for science and tourism. The capsule features giant windows to give future passengers a stunning view of their launch into space. (IANS)
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday asked the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to prevent dumping of toxic wastes in India. Speaking at an event to celebrate DRI's 64th foundation day, Sitharaman lauded DRI's compact strength of about 800 officers for their relentless efforts despite the imminent risks. The Finance Minister stated that the officers may be keeping a low profile, but they are acting like the frontline defence forces, doing spectacular work in safeguarding the economic frontiers of the country. "The recent smuggling attempts of huge quantities of narcotics, gold, red sanders, ivory, cigarettes etc. unearthed by DRI were appreciated by the Finance Minister," the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
"Sitharaman said that the message through such enforcement actions should be such that these acts of brazen attempts at smuggling are nipped in the bud," the statement added. The Finance Minister also said that better coordination among the law enforcement and intelligence gathering agencies and sharing of actionable intelligence are the way forward in protecting the frontiers of the country more efficiently. "Sitharaman also asked the DRI to focus on interdicting dual use technology items as well as preventing the dumping of toxic wastes in our country," the statement said. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Nirmala Sitharaman, India, Toxic Wastes)
Tech giant Amazon has expanded the sound detection capabilities of Alexa along with more features. Alexa can now identify the sounds of running water and appliances beeping, reports Android Central. This means users can set up an Alexa routine to notify themselves when the washer beeps to indicate that laundry is finished, the report said.
When Alexa detects that the faucet has been left open, it will send users a notification as well so they can take appropriate action, it added. Amazon previously said at its event in September that it would add the ability to programme Alexa to recognise custom sounds, but that feature has yet to arrive. Having said that, the two new sound detection capabilities not only help users save energy, but they also make it easier to avoid paying for unnecessary charges on your home utilities, the report said.
The retail giant has also announced ultrasound motion detection, which will allow you to set up "Occupancy Routines" on additional Echo devices. This feature allows your smart speaker to detect nearby motion and initiate a routine, such as turning on the lights. It is compatible with many of the best Alexa speakers including the 4th-gen Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: laundry, appliances, beeping, running water, Sound, Alexa , Amazon)
By Olivia Sarkar
Comforting Christmas cocktails help you enjoy the celebrations and get into the festive spirit. The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts offer distinctive cocktails ranging from Hot Toddies to Decadent Egg Nogs. Sit back and enjoy one martini at a time to make the festive season a little brighter.
Dirty Chai Eggnog:
30 ml Bourbon
30 ml Baileys
90 ml Hot milk tea
Sweet cream foam to top up
Cinnamon powder and star anise.
1. In a heavy bottomed med sauce pot, prepare tea with milk. Strain and let it cool.
2. In a cocktail shaker add egg white, Bourbon, Baileys with whole spices. Shake well.
3. Pour the tea in the glass followed by ingredients from cocktail shaker.
4. Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon powder, whole star anise
Eggnog is a Christmas favourite that is accustomed to toasts for good health and prosperity.| Pikist
Inspired by the Christmas Spirits and holiday flavours is a wonderful concoction of warm whisky, sweet vanilla, and thick butter.
45 ml Butter fat washed Whiskey
20 ml Ginger bread syrup
15 ml Spiced Apple liquor
2 dashes of Bitters
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker
2. Shake well
3. Pour into an old-fashioned glass
4. Garnish with Gingerbread cookie
Inspired by the Christmas Spirits and holiday flavors is a wonderful concoction of warm whisky, sweet vanilla, and thick butter. | Flickr
(Keywords: Santa's Apple, Egg Nogs, December, Cocktail, Cocktail, Christmas, holiday, celebrations)