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NASA recently funded two new rapid-turnaround projects focused on COVID-19 -- one is examining the pandemic's impact on air quality related to reduced airport traffic and the other is focused on creating maps and images that show how COVID-19 has reduced air pollution across the world. Pixabay

NASA has lent its support to new projects to determine what, if any, natural environmental phenomena might impact the spread of COVID-19.

The projects will also examine how the shutdowns in response to the pandemic are changing the environment, especially the atmosphere, the US space agency said on Wednesday.


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In addition, scientists are using information from NASA’s Earth-observing satellites, on-the-ground sensors and computer-based datasets to study the environmental and economic and societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. “NASA has a unique role to play in response to this crisis,” said John Haynes, NASA’s program manager for Health and Air Quality Applications.


NASA has lent its support to new projects to determine what, if any, natural environmental phenomena might impact the spread of COVID-19. Pixabay

“As we continue to collect Earth-observing satellite data on a global scale, we can aid in the understanding of global changes resulting from the pandemic, as well as investigate potential environmental signals that may influence the spread of COVID-19,” Haynes said.

NASA recently funded two new rapid-turnaround projects focused on COVID-19 — one is examining the pandemic’s impact on air quality related to reduced airport traffic and the other is focused on creating maps and images that show how COVID-19 has reduced air pollution across the world.

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“The world’s response to the pandemic is an unintended experiment that is giving us a chance to test our understanding of various air pollution emission sources,” said Barry Lefer, NASA’s program scientist for tropospheric composition. (IANS)


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

(IANS/HP)