Tuesday May 22, 2018
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Blue Origin’s first space mission of 2018 launched

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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.
Blue Origin, wikimedia commons
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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.

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.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and owner of Blue Origin, wikimedia commons

“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)

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#BoycottAmazon: Doormats carrying Hindu Deity Images? Gods were put on sale by Jeff Bezos’ Amazon

Not just Hindu deity images but Jesus Christ and verses from the Quran were also present on inappropriate products on the Amazon's sale list

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Doormat on Amaon depicting a Hindu Deity Lakshmi. Angry Indians took to the social platform with tweets and Facebook posts asking Amazon to stop. Image source: deccanchronicle.com
  • Amazon was recently selling doormats visualizing Hindu Gods
  • People took to twitter, criticizing the E-commerce with #BoycottTwitter trends
  • Though the products have been removed, no apology has been received from founder Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, founder of the E-commerce giant Amazon, has managed to upset many Indian customers with the sale of doormats carrying images of Hindu deities on its website. Disappointed Hindus and social activists have taken up on twitter to notify the activity as highly inappropriate. Well…it’s not just the first time this company is found selling such anti-Hindu products. Amazon was also recently known to sell inner wear depicting Hindu Gods.

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In the Hindu religion, men and women are not even allowed to enter temples wearing footwear as a mark of respect so selling doormats depicting Hindu deities is far more unacceptable. Doormats are stepped upon with dirty feet and shoes which make them an unsuitable product picturing Hindu Gods. However, visualizing them on other products like T-shirts or hats is fine.

People out-lashing on Twitter with #BoycottAmazon Source: Twitter
People out-lashing on Twitter with #BoycottAmazon.Image Source: Twitter

Till now, no formal apology has been received by Jeff Bezos. Images of Hindu Gods including Shiva, Ganesha, Vishnu, Krishna, Venkateswara, Saraswati, Hanuman, Murugan and Padmanabha were portrayed on about 60 doormats being sold. These Gods are meant to be worshiped in homes and shrines not for absorbing dirt and water. According to Rajan Zed, American-Hindu community leader, inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.

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Jesus Christ doormat was also sold on Amazon Source: Twitter
Jesus Christ doormat was also sold on Amazon. Image Source: Twitter

Many people criticized this unexpected and depressing activity through twitter. They have tweeted screenshots of the product along with the hashtag #BoycottAmazon. Some have also posted pictures of doormats depicting the Indian flag that were being sold on Amazon. Not only Hindu deities, but Jesus Christ and some verses from the epic, Quran were also depicted on some insensitive products. These products were sold by an international retail brand, named Rock Bull. After the huge backlash, the website removed these products.

Amazon is an e-commerce company founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, headquartered in Seattle, Washington, USA.

-by Shubhi Mangla, an intern at Newsgram. Twitter: @shubhi_mangla

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