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Giant Metre-wave Radio Telescope in Maharashtra tracks landing of European Space Agency’s Spacecraft on Mars mission

It followed a trajectory that brought it to the point of entering the Martian atmosphere for a landing yesterday evening said by GMRT Dean Yashwant Gupta

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Telescope.Representational image. Pixabay

Pune, October 20, 2016: In a major achievement, the Giant Metre-wave Radio Telescope (GMRT) at Khodad in Pune tracked the landing of a European Space Agency’s spacecraft on a Mars mission, an official said on Thursday.

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“On Wednesday evening from 7.04 p.m., the GMRT clearly detected and tracked the weak signal emanating from Schiaparelli EDM, all the way into the last phases of the descent of the module through the Martian atmosphere till 8.37 p.m.,” said GMRT Dean Yashwant Gupta.

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To monitor the health of Schiaparelli’s Entry and Descent Module (EDM) during this crucial phase, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration had assigned the GMRT at Khodad, around 60 km from Pune, to act as a receiver station for this mission on behalf of the ExoMars Project, he added.

The EDM of the ExoMarch Project separated from the parent spacecraft, the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), on Octobr 16 after a six-month journey from Earth.

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It followed a trajectory that brought it to the point of entering the Martian atmosphere for a landing yesterday (October 19) evening, Gupta said.

“The six-minute journey through the (Martian) atmosphere is the most hazardous part of the project and many previous Mars lander missions have failed at this critical juncture,” Gupta explained. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google comes up with a new feature

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?