Bengaluru: Boosting telecommunication services, India's latest communication satellite GSAT-18 was on Thursday launched successfully by a heavy duty rocket of Arianespace from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana. Television, telecommunication, VSAT and digital satellite news gathering are a few of the services that GSAT 18 will support in the coming days. After a day's delay of the launch, the European launcher Ariane-5 VA-231 blasted off around 2 AM (IST) and lofted the high power GSAT-18 into space shortly after orbiting its riding mate Sky Muster II satellite for Australian operator nbn (National Broadband Network) in a little more than 32 minute flawless flight. The launch was originally scheduled for yesterday, but deferred by 24 hours owing to unfavourable weather conditions at Kourou, a French territory located in northeastern coast of South America. GSAT-18 that strengthens ISRO's current fleet of 14 operational telecom satellites, was launched into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit with the Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka taking over the command and control of the spacecraft immediately after it separated from the launch vehicle. Preliminary health checks of the satellite revealed its "normal" health, Bengaluru headquartered Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said. "After a flight of 32 minutes and 28 seconds, GSAT-18 separated from the Ariane 5 upper stage in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 251.7 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 35,888 km, inclined at an angle of six degree to the equator," ISRO said. Complimenting Arianespace for the "textbook" launch, ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar said, "GSAT 18 is an important satellite for us that will enable the continuity of the vital communication services in our country by replacing the currently ageing satellites. GSAT-18 is the 20th satellite from ISRO to be launched by the European space agency and the mission is the 280th for Arianespace launcher family. ISRO, which has been dependent on Ariane-5 rocket for carrying its heavier satellites, is developing GSLV Mk III for this purpose. Weighing 3,404 kg at lift-off, GSAT-18 carries 48 communication transponders to provide services in Normal C-band, Upper Extended C-band and Ku-bands of the frequency spectrum. Designed to provide continuity of services on operational satellites in C-band, Extended C-band and Ku-bands, GSAT-18 with a mission life of about 15 years, carries Ku-band beacon as well to help in accurately pointing ground antennas towards the satellite. ISRO said in the coming days, orbit raising manoeuvres will be performed to place GSAT-18 satellite in the Geostationary Orbit (36,000 km above the equator) by using the satellite's propulsion system in steps. Two solar arrays and both the antenna reflectors of GSAT-18 will be deployed after the orbit raising, it said, adding, the satellite will be positioned at 74 deg East longitude in the geostationary orbit and will be co-located with the Indian operational geostationary satellites. Post this, ISRO will experimentally turn on the communication payloads of GSAT-18, and after the successful completion of all the in-orbit tests, the satellite will be ready for operational use. ISRO has been entrusting Arianespace with its satellites for over 35 years, starting with the launch by Ariane 1 of the APPLE (Ariane Passenger Payload Experiment) experimental satellite in 1981.
Stockholm: Yoshinori Ohsumi of Japan on Monday won the Nobel Medicine Prize for his work on autophagy -- a process whereby cells "eat themselves" -- which when disrupted can cause Parkinson's and diabetes. Autophagy is a fundamental process in cell physiology with major implications for human health and disease. The process is essential for the orderly degradation and recycling of damaged cell parts and its failure is believed to be responsible for ageing and cell damage. Researchers first observed during the 1960s that the cell could destroy its own contents by wrapping them up in membranes and transporting them to a recycling compartment called the lysosome. "Difficulties in studying the phenomenon meant that little was known until, in a series of brilliant experiments in the early 1990s, Yoshinori Ohsumi used baker's yeast to identify genes essential for autophagy. He then went on to explain the underlying mechanisms for autophagy in yeast and showed that similar sophisticated machinery is used in human cells. Ohsumi's discoveries have led to a new paradigm in the understanding of how the cell recycles its contents," the jury said. "Mutations in autophagy genes can cause disease, and the autophagic process is involved in several conditions including cancer and neurological disease," it added. Ohsumi, 71, received a PhD from the University of Tokyo in 1974. He is currently a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. The prize comes with eight million Swedish kronor (around $936,000 or 834,000 euros). Last year, Irish-born William Campbell of the US, Satoshi Omura of Japan and China's Tu Youyou won the prestigious award for their discoveries of treatments against parasites.
Washington: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is leading Republican rival Donald Trump by 3 points nationwide, according to a latest poll. In a four-way matchup, Clinton bests Trump, 43 per cent to 40 per cent, the Fox News poll released on Friday said. The poll represents a slight increase in support for the Democratic nominee, who led her Republican counterpart by just 1 percentage point in the previous Fox News poll, conducted September 11-14, prior to Monday's first presidential debate. Clinton even did better in a head-to-head matchup with Trump among likely voters, 49 per cent to 44 per cent. Trump had led Clinton by 1 percentage point in a two-way race in the previous poll. Friday's poll was conducted live via cell phone and landline from Tuesday to Thursday among a random sample of 1,009 registered voters nationwide. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Sriharikota: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday launched SCATSAT-1, a satellite for weather studies into the space. It also would launch seven other satellites into the orbit. About 17 minutes after it lifted off from the First Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre here at 9.10 am, PSLV C-35 ejected SCATSAT-1 satellite in the polar sun synchronous orbit at an altitude of 730 km. Besides the 371 kg-weighing SCATSAT-1, a satellite for weather-related studies, the national space agency would also launch two satellites designed by Indian educational institutions (PISAT and PRATHAM), three commercial payloads from Algeria (ALSAT-1B, 2B and 1N) and one each for Canada (NLS-19) and the United States (Pathfinder-1). Though ISRO has launched several PSLV rockets in the past, the launch on Monday would be "the first mission of PSLV in which it will be launching its payloads into two different orbits," ISRO said. SCATSAT-1 with a life of five years, would provide weather forecasting services through the generation of wind vector products. The 10 kg-weighing PRATHAM by IIT Bombay intends to estimate the total electron count with a resolution of 1km x 1km location grid and PISAT (5.25 kg) from PES University in Bengaluru intends to explore remote sensing applications. ALSAT-1B is an Earth observation satellite (103 kg), ALSAT-2B is a remote sensing satellite (117 kg) and ALSAT-1N (7 kg) is a technology demonstrator. NLS-19 is a technology demonstration micro satellite (8 kg) and Pathfinder-1 is a commercial high resolution imaging micro satellite (44 kg).
Balasore: In a bid to galvanise its air defence capabilities, India on Wednesday successfully test fired a new, long range surface-to-air missile jointly developed with Israel from a defence base off Odisha coast. The long range missile, a product of a joint venture between India and Israel, was test launched from a mobile launcher at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur near here at around 10.13 hours, a DRDO official said. The trial was successful and some more rounds of test are expected to be conducted shortly, the DRDO scientist said. "Apart from the missile, the system includes a Multi Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF STAR) for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile," the official said, adding the missile along with MF-STAR would provide the users the capability to neutralise any aerial threats. Earlier, between June 30 and July 1, 2016 three consecutive test firing of the medium range surface to air missile, jointly developed by India and Israel were conducted from the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) base at Chandipur. The missile guided by armoured seeker had successfully hit the last minute manoeuvring target. Indian Navy had also successfully test launched the long range surface to air missile (LR-SAM). The test was undertaken on the Western Seaboard by INS Kolkata on December 30, 2015. These missiles would be inducted in all the three services after trials were completed. Many Indian industries like BEL, L&T, BDL, and TATA group of companies besides other private industries have contributed to the development of a number of subsystems which have been put into use in this flight test, the official said. As a safety measure, Balasore district administration in consultation with the defence officials had temporarily shifted 3,652 persons residing within 2.5 km radius of the launch pad No.3 of the ITR at Chandipur to nearby temporary shelter centres this morning to ensure a safe launch of the missile, a district revenue official said.
Srinagar: Heavily armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the Army in North Kashmir's Uri town in the wee hours on Sunday, killing 17 jawans and injuring 19 other personnel in the terror strike in which four ultras were neutralised. Explosions and gunfire erupted as the militants attacked the camp, which is located barely few metres away from the Army's Brigade Headquarters in Uri town, 102 kms from here, around 4 AM, official sources said. The jawans of the Dogra Regiment were sleeping in a tent which caught fire due the explosion. The fire also engulfed the nearby barracks, the sources said. 17 jawans were killed in the terror attack, the Northern Command of the Army said. Nineteen other personnel were injured in the strike in which four militants were killed. "A group of heavily armed terrorists targeted the rear administrative base of a unit at Uri, Kashmir. In the counter action, four terrorists have been eliminated and combing operations are in progress," the Army said in a statement. "The administrative base had large strength of troops of units turning over after their tour of duty who were stationed in tents/temporary shelters which caught fire, and resulted in heavy casualties. We salute the sacrifice of 17 soldiers who were martyred in the operation," the statement said. Helicopters from the Army's 19 divisional headquarters in Baramulla have been pressed into service and the injured Army personnel have been evacuated from the encounter site, the sources said. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag are rushing to Kashmir in the wake of terror attack in Uri. The Home Minister has also called an emergency meeting to review the situation arising out of the terror attack.
Gandhinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited his mother Hiraba here and took her blessings on his 66th birthday. Modi reached the residence of his brother Pankaj Modi in Raysan area of state capital here, where his 97-year-old mother is staying. The Prime Minister sought her blessings and spend around 25 minutes with her. He later drove off to Raj Bhavan where he is put up during his visit. Born on September 17, 1950, Modi turned 66 on Saturday. He is here to spend his birthday between tribal and Divyangs (differently abled). He will travel to Limkheda of Dahod and inaugurate many schemes for development of this tribal district later in the day. Later in the afternoon he would go to Navsari where he is scheduled to take part in a function where aid would be distributed to the differently-abled persons.
New Delhi: Petrol price was hiked by 58 paisa a litre while diesel rate was cut by 31 paisa per litre in line with international trends. Petrol will cost Rs 64.05 a litre from midnight tonight as against Rs 63.47. Similarly, diesel will cost Rs 52.63 a litre as compared to Rs 52.94 a litre. This is the second increase in rates of petrol this month while in case of diesel it wipes away a part of the hike effected earlier this month. Petrol price was last hiked on September 1 by a steep Rs 3.38 per litre and diesel by Rs 2.67 a litre. "The current level of international product prices of petrol and diesel and rupee-US dollar exchange rate warrant increase in selling price of petrol and decrease in selling price of diesel, the impact of which is being passed on to the consumers with this price revision," Indian Oil Corp, the nation's largest fuel retailer, said. The movement of prices in the international oil market and rupee-USD exchange rate shall continue to be monitored closely and developing trends of the market will be reflected in future price changes, it said in a statement.
Dubai: An Indian mechanic-turned-businessman owns an incredible 22 apartments in the popular Burj Khalifa, a media report said. George V Nereaparambil says he is not stopping at 22 and will continue to buy more if he gets a "good deal". "If I get a good deal, I'll buy more. I am a dreamer and I never stop dreaming," he told Khaleej Times. The Kerala-born is believed to be one of the largest private owners within the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest structure. His stake in the property came about when a relative teased him about the 828-metre building. "A relative of mine jokingly told me: See this Burj Khalifa, you cannot enter it," he said. After seeing an advertisement in a newspaper about an apartment for rent in the building in 2010, Nereaparambil rented the apartment the same day and started living in it from the next day. Now, six years on with 22 of the 900 apartments at perhaps the Gulf's poshest address under his belt, he said five are rented, and as for the rest, he's "waiting for the right tenant", the report quoted him as saying. In an incredible sounding rags-to-riches story, Nereaparambil realised there was huge scope for an air conditioning business in the hot climate of the desert after first touched down in Sharjah back in 1976. Nereaparambil, who helped his father trade cash crops and made money from waste at the age of 11, then went about setting up the beginnings of his now mini empire, GEO Group of Companies. "People in my hometown used to trade cotton, but they'd throw away the cotton seeds. Not many people knew at that time that you could make gum from those seeds," he said. Sifting through the dirt and sand to gather up the disregarded seeds, he said he would often make a "90 percent profit selling them on". "I'd do the same with tamarind seeds too. I'd sell the empty shells on as cattle feed," he added.
New Delhi: Liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Friday informed a Delhi court that he wants to come to India but is unable to travel back as his passport has been suspended by Indian authorities. Mallya made the submission through his counsel before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass in a case lodged for allegedly evading summons in connection with a FERA violation matter. On July 9, the court had cancelled the exemption from personal appearance granted to him and had directed him to appear before it. In his application moved through senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, Mallya requested the court that some time be given so that his appearance can be secured. The counsel submitted the copy of an email sent by Mallya, stating that his passport was suspended on April 23, 2016 without giving him any opportunity of being heard. Enforcement Directorate (ED), however, told the court that Mallya is already evading proceedings in several other cases and sought time to reply to the plea moved by him today. The court has now put up the matter for further hearing on October 4. The exemption from personal appearance to Mallya was granted in December 2000 on ED's complaint for evading summons issued to him by it. The agency had issued summons to the businessman in connection with alleged payment of 200,000 dollars to a British firm for displaying Kingfisher logo in Formula One World Championships in London and some European countries in 1996, 1997 and 1998. It had claimed that the money was allegedly paid without prior approval from RBI in violation of FERA norms. In its plea against Mallya filed through prosecutor N K Matta, ED had also sought issuance of non-bailable warrant against the Chairman of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines to secure his presence in the ongoing trial of the case, which is at its final stage. The agency's plea had said Mallya was reported to be in the United Kingdom and his presence in the trial was essential and had sought court's direction to him to remain personally present in every hearing. Matta had argued that the court should recall its December 2000 exemption order as a PMLA court in Mumbai has recently issued an open-ended warrant against him in connection with a money laundering case. According to ED, Mallya was summoned on four occasions for questioning in connection with a contract signed in December 1995 with London-based firm Benetton Formula Ltd for promotion of the Kingfisher brand abroad. When Mallya failed to appear before ED in response to the summons, a complaint was filed on March 8, 2000 before a court here and later on charges were framed against him under FERA.