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Chandrayan – 2 Moon Mission Launch Countdown is on –track: ISRO

Photo Credit: Twitter/ ISRO

The GSLV-Mk III rocket is scheduled to lift off at 2:43 pm later today.

The countdown for Monday’s Chandrayaan-2 mission launch that started at 6:43 pm on Sunday is advancing steadily, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.

The rocket and spacecraft systems are anticipated to undergo checks and fuelling during the countdown. The rocket is scheduled to lift off at 2:43 pm later.

The fuelling of the second stage/engine with unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) and nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) has ended.

The GSLV-Mk III rocket with Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was initially scheduled for flight at 2:51 am on July 15. However, a technical snag was detected an hour before the rocket lift-off, resulting in the postponement of the flight.

The ISRO rectified the technical error in its 44-meter Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III). The GSLV-Mk III rocket is nicknamed ‘Bahubali’ after the protagonist of a blockbuster film of the same name, as it weighs about 640-tonne,

The rocket will carry the 3.8-tonne Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, just like the protagonist of the film hauled a weighty Lingam in one of its scenes,

About 16-minutes into its flight, the Rs. 375-crore GSLV-Mk III rocket is supposed to sling the Rs. 603-crore Chandrayaan-2 into its 170×39, 120-km orbit.

ISRO has sent three GSLV-Mk III rockets so far in the space. The first took Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment in December 2014. The second and third GSLV-Mk III carried communication satellites GSAT-19 and GSAT-29 in February 2017 and November 2018 respectively.

In India’s manned space mission in 2022, GSLV-Mk III will also be used.

Designing spaceships with Legos says designer and collaborating with NASA


Designing spaceships is not a piece of cake and it’s functioning is even more complex. It has been reported recently that a Lego designer and his team are going to design a spaceship for NASA. Before diving into the details let’s understand what is Lego.

The Lego Group is a well-established company that produces construction toys and other figures. LEGO Digital Designer (LDD) is a freeware computer program that helps them achieve the established goals.

In 1978, it launched the first batch of space toys. Ever since then, the firm is constantly a part of building products that are based on spaceships, astronauts and lunar.

Lego designer Simon Kent recently disclosed in an interview with The Verge about their recent collaboration with NASA. He further explained his and his colleagues visit with NASA officials to compare their toys with NASA machines and devices. He also talked about how there are multiple ways to approach this project, whether its a plaything like Lego City or a display model that features the design of the spacecraft. Lego offers it all.

Space is such an interesting theme that it interests everyone, kids or grown-ups. Space themed toys not only attracts them but it also educates them. Lego in the past four decades has introduced many attractive and different toys but space toys have always been a show stopper. He further stated that in 2019, they are going to bring something new, “with a more and more realistic picture of actually what space agencies like NASA are thinking of doing in the near future.

All in all this collaboration will bring new and exciting things for kids and expand their knowledge regarding the space world.

NASA’s Orion crew capsule ready for the journey to the moon mission

Photo Credits: NASA

The Orion Crew Capsule is one of the European Spacecraft which is intended to carry four astronauts to different destinations. Currently, it is under development by the NASA and the ESA for launch on the Spacecraft System.

The 50th anniversary of NASA was not only limited to celebrate past achievements but was also marked the day by confirming the Orion Crew Capsule. This will once again bring back Astronauts back to the Moon after the Apollo Programme. It is said that approximately in June 2020 the Orion Crew Capsule will get ready for its first lunar trip.

At the same time, it is also mentioned that Orion won’t be carrying any astronauts in its first Moon Mission, except for Artemis 1. That too will fly uncrewed propelled by the SLS. It will also spend 3 weeks in space which will include 6 days orbiting Moon and returning to the Earth. Once it will return there will be various crucial tests to be performed to demonstrate the efficacy of the Orion Capsule’s Thermal Shielding. It will help to send the actual crew to the Moon with the help of Artemis 2 in 2022 and will also deliver Astronauts back from the Lunar surface in the year 2024.

This isn’t that the first time Orion is going to Space, initially Orion went to space with Exploration Flight Test 1. It was an Unscrewed Mission where the Astronauts spent 4 hours in space revolving twice around the Earth and then returning to Earth. This mission acquired the rocket name Delta IV instead of SLS for the key test of Artemis.

Lockheed Martin the Manufacturer of the Orion Spacecraft has also notified that crew module and the service module is recently under integrated construction to be prepared for the series of test. It will come back to Kennedy Space Center in Florida once it succeeds in a series of test.

Rocket Duel: Coming together in Texas and Florida

Elon Musk

STARSHIP prototype is the crewed and reusable spacecraft designed by Elon Musk in the United States. It is being designed so as to be capable of re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere from orbital velocity and landing vertically, with the major goal of rapid reusing. This starship will eventually be built in at least three operational versions i.e a) spaceship, b) tanker and c) satellite delivery spacecraft. Both the teams at Texas and Florida are working on it independently as a sense of internal competition. This will also show the potential of combined progress that wouldn’t have been possible without coordination and teamwork.

The CEO ELON MUSK of SPACE X also believes that both the Starship Prototype Rockets being developed by Private Company will fly in 2 to 3 months. It will be a very short and aggressive time period when one the star hopper just missed its target demonstration last week. Initially this month after all research, Musk posted on Twitter that the incident was happened due to “posttest fuel leak” which resulted in a large fireball but luckily no major damage has been caused to sub-scale star hopper itself. Later on, the CEO of SPACE X also updated new dates for the untethered test, which can happen any day in the upcoming week. This starship is intended to become the mainline SPACE X of orbital vehicle.

Musk also said that there is some orbital test left to be done. Exactly after “2 to 3 months” of those orbital tests, the starship would launch. That means from now after 4 to 6 months the Starship Prototype might get ready to launch. Musk also shared the details of laughing Starship by saying it is built off-site in steel subsection that will be attached to the other side from the tower which is currently under construction to another site.

China insight: White Star starts a business in Hong Kong

Photo Credits: GettyImages

There has been a steady and organic rise in the number of foreign startups that have emerged in the Asian market. This steady rise could be maybe accredited to their need to outsource the indigenous solutions.  The involvement of White Star Capitals just makes it more interesting. A company which was the idea of Eric Martineau-Fortin, who’s years of experience in handling and managing mergers, has served them well to ramp up their operations.

Their Eight investors’ lineups allow them to have a great hold in New York, Paris, and London. Investing in three companies in each of the aforementioned cities. In early 2017 they started to seek out the promises from the east. China is one of the most crowded countries in terms of its market made Martineau-Fortin drop them initially. They initially went to Europe before finally getting into the Asian markets.

The unique dynamics and the uniquely diverse working populace struck a chord with them. The number of great schools, staggering amounts of engineers and their uncanny sense of attachment to the product gave them an inspiration to finally build some connections which inevitably led to the opening of their base in Tokyo. They a fairly straightforward policy of the allocation of funds, keeping a meager 10-15% for each fund outside the state of North America and allotting 75-80% which totals approximately $180 million in the year of 2018.

With keeping the three basic questions in mind they ventured into Hong Kong. Its closeness towards mainland China filled with innovative ideas piqued their interests for their North American and European ventures. The trade tensions between their parent countries with China could also not be ignored. Stating Canada’s example, White Star is pretty optimistic about the USA and China being able to solve out their differences.

Google Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL suffer online leak of screen protector images, followed by online speculations

Google Pixel 4
Photo Credit: OnLeaks/ iGeeksBlog

Google Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL suffer online leak of screen protector images, followed by online speculations.

The screen protectors of Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL have been leaked online. This online authenticates earlier reports. It mentions thick bezels on the top and bottom of both Pixel 4-series phones. The leaked screen protectors also indicated the presence of new sensors for gesture recognition. Project Soli has been there for quite some time now and Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL could mark its debut.

Some CAD-based renders also surfaced online, indicating Project Soli technology in Pixel 4-series phones.

The leaked screen protectors appeared on Twitter by a tipster who leaks unannounced developments on social media using the pseudonym Ice Universe.

According to the leak, the forehead and chin of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are supposed to be thicker than in the OnePlus 7 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S10. This indicates a lack of pop-up selfie camera module or a hole-punch design in the new Pixel series.

Moreover, the images show a capsule-shaped sensor area on both Pixel phones, right next to the earpiece. They can be motion sensors and gesture recognition.

Project Soli was announced as a radar-based gesture-recognition technology by Google in 2015. The new technology is likely to find a way among the masses with the new Pixel series.

The leaked images also suggested a dual selfie camera module at the front along with a usual array of sensors, including ambient light and proximity sensor.

Furthermore, @OnLeaks in association with iGeeksBlog released some renders about the Pixel new duo on Twitter. The design has a usual square camera bump at the back with a notch-less front display.

Photo Credit: OnLeaks/ iGeeksBlog

Last month, Google confirmed the development of Pixel 4 by releasing its official image.

China’s Nasdaq-style trading begins with 25 listed companies


Trading as per China’s Nasdaq inspired stock market has begun with 25 organizations listed by the Shanghai Stock Market run Science and Technology Innovation Board. Widely known as STAR Market, this is a measure by the Chinese government to motivate more Chinese tech companies to list locally by addressing their issues regarding governance.

Traders have warned that the primary tradings will be unpredictable because of investors buying and trading stocks. This caution was borne with trade when multiple companies halted post a surge of buying affected their circuit breakers or initiatives to temporarily pause selling and purchasing to avoid a stock crash.

The STAR Market was announced as early as last November, as a measure to reform the capital market and making a listing in China more attractive to tech companies. This was to be done by making profitability requirements more convenient. Plethoras of high profile tech IPOs like Xiaomi, Pinduoduo, and Alibaba, among others, have happened in Hong Kong or New York and the STAR market could encourage debuts of local stocks and investments. This is a high-stake subject for China, while its trade conflict with the United States exists.

Reports, however, note that the success of STAR markets is far from a surety owing to China’s recent launches of equity markets, namely the ChiNext and New Third Board, in the year 2009 and 2013 respectively.  These two launches garner far less heed and recognition as compared to their primary stock exchanges located in Shenzhen and Shanghai.

Vivo iQoo Neo 4GB RAM Variant Spotted on TENAA, Expected to Launch Soon


The new Vivo iQoo Neo 4GB RAM version was recently spotted on TENAA. The phone currently comes in a 6GB RAM and 8GB RAM variant.

The TENAA listing shows that an affordable 4GB RAM option may be coming soon. Vivo, however, has not made any announcement regarding a 4GB RAM variant so far. Now that it has been spotted on TENAA, the new variant should be coming soon.

Vivo will launch an iQoo Neo 4GB RAM option soon in the future. The storage information still remains unclear about the 4 GB variant.

The Vivo iQoo Neo is currently available in 6GB + 64GB, 6GB + 128GB, 8GB + 64GB, and 8GB + 128GB storage variants. The prices are CNY 1,798, CNY 1,998, CNY 2098, and CNY 2,298, respectively. There are two color options for the phone in China, Carbon Black, and Violet. It is expected that the 4GB RAM variant will cost less than the 6GB + 64GB variant. It should be less than CNY 1,798.

Vivo iQoo Neo specifications

Apart from the RAM, the new 4GB variant is expected to have specs identical to the currently available phones.

The dual-SIM (Nano) Vivo iQoo Neo has Android 9 Pie with Funtouch OS 9. It offers a 6.38-inch full-HD+ (1080×2340 pixels) Super AMOLED display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 90 percent screen-to-body ratio, and in-display fingerprint sensor. Powered by octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, paired with Adreno 630 GPU.

It has a 12-mp primary camera with dual-pixel tech and an f/1.79 lens along with an 8-mp wide-angle camera with f/2.2 aperture. A 2-mp camera is supported on the back with an f/2.4 aperture. It has a selfie camera of 12-mp and f/2.0 lens. The front camera supports AI beautification and face unlock.

It has 128GB of onboard storage, 4,500mAh battery with 22.5W fast charge support, USB Type-C, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth, GPS, and 4G VoLTE support. The phone is about 159.53×75.23×8.13mm high and weighs 198.5 grams.

YouTube to Pay For Violating Kids Data Privacy Laws in the US

Youtube Music

FTC has consummated a settlement with Google in the YouTube kid’s privacy breach case.

Three Republicans of the agency support the settlement. But apparently, two Democrats are in opposition. It was found that Google lacked in protecting kids who use its video streaming service. As a consequence, it collected their data and breaching the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The COPPA proscribes the targeting and tracking of users under the age of 13.

YouTube will have to pay a hefty multi-million dollar fine. But the fine money and any other outlines of the FTC settlement are not clear. The Justice Department will handle the matter now, which seldom turns down any FTC’s settlements.

There are no comments so far from the agency spokeswoman Cathy MacFarlane and Google spokesman Chris Dale on the matter.

Privacy advocates did file complaints to FTC about YouTube. They alleged that some popular channels of YouTube feature nursery rhymes, videos of people opening kid’s toys and other cartoons even though they are not meant for kids.

For Google, however, the fine is small as compared to its annual revenue. Nevertheless, there is a large dynamics of legal risks involved for both Google and the industry. Some social media sites like Instagram and Snap Chat also shared the complaints filed by the privacy advocates.

FTC has started to rethink about how to enforce COPPA after this settlement. Joe Simons, the chairman of the agency said that the updates on the process will come within a week. The rules must be rechecked based on the rapid changes in technology. Websites, video games, and other services that are not meant for children but still influence them are under FTC’s consideration.

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