Saturday March 17, 2018
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China launched its 1st unmanned Cargo Spacecraft on a mission to dock with the country’s space station

Long March-7 rocket carrying Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft lifts off from the launching pad in Wenchang, Hainan province, China, April 20, 2017. VOA

China on Thursday launched its first unmanned cargo spacecraft on a mission to dock with the country’s space station, marking further progress in the ambitious Chinese space program.

The Tianzhou 1 blasted off at 7:41 p.m. (1141 GMT) atop a latest-generation Long March 7 rocket from China’s newest spacecraft launch site, Wenchang, on the island province of Hainan.

Minutes later, as the spacecraft cleared the atmosphere, the mission was declared a success by administrators at ground control on the outskirts of Beijing.

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It is programmed to conduct scientific experiments after reaching the now-crewless Tiangong 2, China’s second space station. A pair of Chinese astronauts spent 30 days on board the station last year.

China launched the Tiangong 2 precursor facility in September and the station’s 20-ton core module will be launched next year. The completed 60-ton station is set to come into full service in 2022 and operate for at least a decade.

Communications with the earlier, disused Tiangong 1 experimental station were cut last year and it is expected to burn up on entering the atmosphere.

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China was excluded from the 420-ton International Space Station mainly due to U.S. legislation barring such cooperation and concerns over the Chinese space program’s strong military connections.

Chinese officials are now looking to internationalize their own program by offering to help finance other countries’ missions to Tiangong 2.

Since China conducted its first crewed space mission in 2003, it has staged a spacewalk and landed its Jade Rabbit rover on the moon. A mission to land another rover on Mars and bring back samples is set to launch in 2020, while China also plans to become the first country to soft-land a probe on the far side of the moon.

The two-stage, medium lift Long March 7 is expected to form the backbone of China’s rocket fleet, and burns a fuel combination that is safer and more environmentally friendly.

It is tasked with the launch of the Shenzhou capsules that have carried out six crewed missions and, along with the heavy lift Long March 5, is key to the assembly of the Tiangong 2. (VOA)

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itel Mobile to launch new budget smartphone lineup

The large display smartphones will sport a slim profile with an edge-to-edge display

itel to launch new smartphones in Indian Market. IANS
itel to launch new smartphones in Indian Market. IANS
  • itel to launch a new range of smartphones in India
  • it is a China-based company
  • The company first started selling its phones in India in 2016

China-based Transsion Holdings’ itel Mobile is set to launch a series of budget full-screen smartphones and a flagship device with 5.5-inch display in India on March 20.

Intelligent phones
New smartphones to be launched by itel soon. Flickr

The flagship device would come with 180-degree wide-angle viewing camera, industry sources told IANS on Monday. The flagship smartphone is expected to run Android 8 Oreo Operating System (OS) and pack a 3,000mAh battery.

Also Read: Nokia 2 with 4100mAh Battery hits Indian Markets

itel Mobile’s new portfolio could have five smartphones with ultra-thin bezels and priced between Rs 5,000-Rs 10,000 and sport fingerprint sensors.

The large display smartphones will sport a slim profile with an edge-to-edge display. Launched by its parent company Transsion Holdings, itel forayed into the Indian market in April 2016.

Nokia 2
The new phones will have a very slim display. Youtube

When it comes to India’s overall mobile handset leader board in January 2018, Itel was third with eight per cent market share, research firm CyberMedia Research (CMR) said. IANS