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Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test

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SpaceX completed the last big test of its crew capsule before launching astronauts in the next few months, mimicking an emergency escape shortly after liftoff Sunday.

No one was aboard for the wild ride in the skies above Cape Canaveral, just two mannequins.

The nine-minute flight ended with the Dragon crew capsule parachuting safely into the Atlantic, after separating and speeding away from the exploding rocket.

“I’m super fired up,” Elon Musk, the company’s founder and chief executive, told reporters. “It’s just going to be wonderful to get astronauts back into orbit from American soil after almost a decade of not being able to do so. That’s just super exciting.”

NASA astronauts have not launched from the U.S. since the space shuttle program ended in 2011. Musk and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the next Crew Dragon could launch with a pair of NASA astronauts in the second quarter of this year — as early as April.

The Falcon 9 rocket blasted off as normal, but just over a minute into its supersonic flight, the Dragon crew capsule catapulted off the top 12 miles (20 kilometers) above the Atlantic. Powerful thrusters on the capsule propelled it up and out of harm’s way, as the rocket engines deliberately shut down and the booster tumbled out of control and exploded in a giant fireball.

The capsule reached an altitude of about 27 miles (44 kilometers) before parachuting into the ocean just offshore to bring the test flight to a close. Everything appeared to go well despite the choppy seas and overcast skies. Within minutes, a recovery ship was alongside the capsule.

Recycled from three previous launches, the SpaceX rocket was destroyed as it burst apart in flight and slammed in pieces into the sea. SpaceX normally tries to recover its boosters to drive down launch costs, landing them upright on a floating platform or back at the launch site.

NASA’s commercial crew program manager, Kathy Lueders, said the launch abort test was “our last open milestone” before allowing SpaceX to launch Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken to the International Space Station. Their launch date will depend, in part, on whether NASA decides to keep them for months at the orbiting lab, versus just a week or two. A longer mission will require more training before flight.

The astronauts monitored Sunday’s flight from the firing room. Hurley said it was “pretty neat to see” the capsule aboard the recovery ship within two hours. By all early accounts, the test was successful.

“We’ll see what the data show and go from there,” Hurley said. “But it certainly is a confidence builder from the standpoint if you ever got into that situation, that Dragon can get us away from the booster quickly.”

The astronauts also will have access to speed before liftoff. During a launch dress rehearsal Friday, Hurley and Behnken drove a white Tesla Model X from Kennedy Space Center’s crew quarters to the launch pad, their sleek white and black spacesuits matching the electric sports car with wing-like doors. Musk, who also runs Tesla, used the cars to get around the space center Sunday.

Delayed a day by bad weather, Sunday’s launch from Kennedy brought together hundreds of SpaceX, NASA and Air Force employees on land, at sea and in the air. Tourists and locals alike packed the adjoining visitor complex and nearby beaches to see the dramatic fiery spectacle of an out-of-control rocket. Musk brought along his own family, including his brother.

NASA hired SpaceX and Boeing a decade ago to transport astronauts to and from the space station for billions of dollars. Both companies struggled with technical problems, adding years of delay and forcing NASA to shell out hundreds of millions of dollars extra for Russian rocket rides.

After multiple cargo deliveries for NASA, SpaceX successfully flew an enhanced crew capsule to the space station last March without anyone on board, but it exploded a month later during ground testing. The emergency escape thrusters — the kind used in Sunday’s test — had to be retooled. In all, SpaceX has tested these powerful Super Draco thrusters some 700 times.

Last month, meanwhile, Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule ended up in the wrong orbit on its first test flight and had to skip the space station. The previous month, only two of the Starliner’s three parachutes deployed during a launch abort test.

Lueders said it’s too soon to know whether Boeing will need to send another Starliner to the space station without a crew or go straight to launching astronauts later this year. An investigation team is still looking into why the Starliner’s automated timer was off by 11 hours during the December test flight.

The importance of launch escape was demonstrated in 2017 when two astronauts, an American and a Russian, were pulled to safety during a failed launch from Kazakhstan. They experienced up to seven times the force of gravity during the abort, but walked away from the accident.

The SpaceX in-flight abort system, Musk pointed out, should be gentler for the crew and is good from the launch pad all the way to orbit.

Musk said the Dragon’s escape system should work — in principle — even if the capsule is still attached when the rocket erupts in a fireball. He said that could look like “something out of ‘Star Wars’” with the capsule flying right out of a fireball.

“Obviously we want to avoid doing that,” he quickly added, taking note of all the NASA personnel around him.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Who owns the Qutub Minar complex? The court will pronounce its verdict on December 12.

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Image Credits: pixahive.com

The matter of demanding the right of worship in the Qutub Minar complex is once again in discussion. In fact, the Saket court has reserved its decision on the reconsideration petition filed in the matter. Delhi’s Saket court will pronounce its verdict on December 12.

This reconsideration petition was filed by petitioner Kunwar Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad in Saket Court. In fact, the Saket court had rejected the petitioner Kunwar Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad’s petition in the matter of ownership of Qutub Minar. Kunwar Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad Singh had filed a petition claiming ownership over Qutub Minar.

By filing the first petition, Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad Singh had demanded to make himself a party in this matter. It was said in his petition that the government had taken over the entire property in 1947 without our permission. This petition was rejected by the court.

The last time in September, when the ASI’s lawyer opposed the petition of Kunwar Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad Singh, saying that Sultan Begum had claimed the ownership rights over the Red Fort, we had opposed that petition in the Delhi High Court. Even then the court had accepted that there is no basis for the demand made in the petition. ASI had requested to dismiss the petition of Kunwar Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad Singh.

Source: Aajtak

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Dry day, holiday in schools, metro timings also changed… know the changes before the MCD elections in Delhi

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The noise of campaigning for the Municipal Corporation elections in Delhi has come to an end. On Sunday i.e. December 4, votes will be cast to elect councilors in 250 wards. Before this, the Delhi government made three major changes so that the election arrangements can be implemented smoothly. In view of the elections, the Excise Department has declared a dry day for three days in Delhi. That is, there will be a ban on the sale of liquor in Delhi from Friday to Sunday. Liquor shops will remain closed on all three days. Apart from this, a holiday has been declared for all government schools on Saturday by the Delhi government. Due to the next day being Sunday, there will be a holiday in the schools. The third decision has been taken by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. Metro services will be available every half an hour from 4 am on Sunday, the day of voting. This process will continue till 6 in the morning.

On behalf of the Education Department of the Delhi government, it was told that due to the preparations for the voting to be held on Sunday, a holiday has been declared for all government schools on Saturday. In return, schools will remain open on 10 December i.e. on the second Saturday of the month.

Liquor shops will remain closed for three days in the capital

Similarly, Delhi will have a dry day for three days from Friday. Delhi Excise Commissioner Krishna Mohan Uppu told that under Rule 52 of Excise Rules 2010, December 2 to 4 and December 7 will be dry days. Dry days are those days when the government bans the sale of liquor in shops, clubs, bars. According to the notification, there will be a dry day in Delhi from 5.30 pm on Friday, 2 December to 5.30 pm on 4 December. Not only this, there will be a dry day on 7th December i.e. the whole day of the results. That means there will be a ban on the sale of liquor.

Metro service will start at 4 am on Sunday

At the same time, Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) has made changes in metro operations on the day of polling. Metro services will be started at 4 am on December 4 (Sunday), the day of voting in MCD elections. Metro will be available on all lines at an interval of every half an hour from 4 am to 6 am. After 6 am, the normal frequency will continue like normal days. Delhi Metro is currently providing services on a total of 10 lines, including Red Line, Yellow, Blue, Green, Violet, Pink, Magenta, Gray, and Airport Express Line.

Source: Aajtak

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Man kills live-in partner with cleaver in West Delhi

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Photo by Hassan Rafhaan on Unsplash | (Representational Image)

According to police, a 45-year-old man was arrested on Thursday for allegedly murdering his 35-year-old live-in partner at her rented house in Ganesh Nagar, West Delhi. According to police, the woman’s 16-year-old daughter was asleep in another room at the time of the incident.

According to the police, the victim, Rekha Rani, had lived in Ganesh Nagar with her daughter for more than 15 years, and the partner, Manpreet Singh, had stayed with them for the past 7-8 years.

According to police, Manpreet gave Rekha’s migraine patient daughter some pills and told her to go to sleep on December 1 at around 6 a.m.

“He informed her that her mother had gone to the market when she became suspicious and inquired about her mother. She called her cousin and went to his Paschim Vihar home. They then called the police when they discovered that their house in Ganesh Nagar was locked. Ravindra Singh Yadav, Special CP (Crime Branch), stated, “The victim’s daughter stated in her statement that she suspected that Manpreet had harmed her mother and that Manpreet and her mother had been fighting over money for some time.”

According to the police, the suspect allegedly stabbed Rekha in the neck and face while she resisted and mutilated a finger on her right hand.

Manpreet moved in with Rekha after meeting her in 2015. He claimed that Rekha stopped letting him visit and talk to his family because, over time, she started to feel insecure. A police officer stated, “He purchased a chopper (cleaver knife) recently to murder her and planned to kill her.”

According to the police, the accused is allegedly involved in six cases in Delhi, including kidnapping for a ransom, an attempt to kill, the arms act, and forgery.

According to the police, the suspect drove to his home village of Nabha in Punjab after killing the woman. Police said the car was found through toll barriers and he was caught using technical investigation.

Source: IndianExpress

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