ISRO to inject Chandrayaan 2 into lunar orbit

Agencies
August 19, 2019

New Delhi, Aug 19: In a significant milestone for India's Moon mission, ISRO will fire Chandrayaan2's liquid engine on Tuesday to insert the spacecraft into a lunar orbit.

"It's tomorrow morning (tentatively between 8.30 am and 9.30 am). It's challenging," Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation K Sivan told PTI on Monday on the operation to put the spacecraft in an orbit around the Moon.

Following this, there will be further four orbit manoeuvres to make the spacecraft enter into its final orbit passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from Moon's surface, ISRO has said.

Subsequently, the Vikram lander will separate from the orbiter on September 2, according to the Bengaluru-headquartered space agency.

Two orbit manoeuvres will be performed on the lander before the initiation of powered descent to make a soft landing on the lunar surface on September 7, ISRO said.

Chandrayaan2, launched on July 22 by GSLV MkIII-M1 vehicle, had entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory on August 14 after final orbit raising manoeuvre of the spacecraft was successfully carried out.

The health of the spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Byalalu, near Bengaluru.

All systems on board Chandrayaan2 spacecraft are performing normal, ISRO said on August 14.

According to ISRO, Chandrayaan2 — India's second lunar expedition — will shed light on a completely unexplored region of the Moon, its South Pole.

"This mission will help us gain a better understanding of the origin and evolution of the Moon by conducting detailed topographical studies, comprehensive mineralogical analyses, and a host of other experiments on the lunar surface," the space agency has said.

"While there, we will also explore discoveries made by Chandrayaan1, such as the presence of water molecules on the Moon and new rock types with unique chemical composition," it said.

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News Network
September 21,2020

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Noida, Sept 21: Financial services app Paytm has accused Google of making policies that are over and above the laws of India after it was briefly delisted from the Playstore last week.

"As a startup, we are running law-abiding businesses and building for India. Google and its employees are making policies which are over and above the laws of our country, and are arbitrarily implementing them," it said in a blogpost.

Paytm said Google owns Android which is the operating system on which over 95 per cent of smartphones in India run. Google, as a result, has enormous control over which apps you download through its Playstore policies.

"It also makes billions of dollars in advertising revenues from the Indian startups that make these apps. In many cases like maps, email, payments, shopping and cloud storage, Google also has apps that compete with other apps, including, of course, the apps that are made by Indian startups."

Paytm said it had launched a campaign where users could collect cricket stickers and scratch cards to earn UPI cashback. The offer was applicable on recharges, utility payments, UPI money transfers and adding money to Paytm wallet.

On September 18, it got an email from Google Play Support informing that the Paytm Android app had been delisted.

This was the first time that Google was sending it a notification regarding its UPI cashback and scratch cards campaign.

"Contrary to accepted practise, we were not given any opportunity to respond to their concerns or put forth our views. We maintain that our cashback campaign was within guidelines, as well as all laws of the land. We did not break any rules and there was no violation. It is not related to gambling in any manner whatsoever," said Paytm.

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Agencies
September 14,2020

Bytedance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, has reportedly chosen Cloud major Oracle over Microsoft to run its US operations as a ‘trusted tech partner’, multiple media reports revealed on Monday while an official announcement was still awaited.

According to The New York Times, ByteDance rejected the acquisition offer from Microsoft. However, it was unclear whether TikTok's choice of Oracle as a technology partner would mean that "Oracle would also take a majority ownership stake of the social media app".

This is different from an outright sale and appears to suggest Oracle will help run TikTok's US operations with its Cloud technologies.

In an official statement, Microsoft said its bid for TikTok operations in the US was rejected.

"ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok's US operations to Microsoft. We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok's users, while protecting national security interests," Microsoft said.

"To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combating disinformation, and we made these principles clear in our August statement. We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas," the tech giant added.

ByteDance has reportedly decided not to sell or transfer the algorithm that is behind TikTok to any other company. This was reported by South China Morning Post quoting sources as saying that while ByteDance will not give its source code to any bidder in the US, its tech team can develop a new algorithm in the US. The company has reportedly informed the same to authorities and potential bidders in the US.

After TikTok was banned in India in June, along with 58 other Chinese apps, the Donald Trump administration in the US increased pressure on the ByteDance-owned platform to sell its US operations by mid-September or face a ban.

According to NYT, Oracle has cultivated close ties with the Trump administration.

"Its founder, Larry Ellison, hosted a fund-raiser for Trump this year, and its chief executive, Safra Catz, served on the president's transition team and has frequently visited the White House".

Trump said last month that he would support Oracle buying TikTok.

"I think that Oracle would be certainly somebody that could handle it," he told reporters. Trump maintained there will be "no extension of the TikTok deadline".

Riding on new customer wins in both Cloud applications and infrastructure businesses, Oracle posted better than expected results for its FY21 first quarter results last week, generating $9.4 billion in revenue which was up 2 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, China said the Trump administration's deadline for TikTok sale is tantamount to "coercive robbery".

"The tricks of economic bullying and political manipulation that the US played on non-American companies are tantamount to coercive robbery," said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson over the weekend.

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Agencies
September 17,2020

Mumbai, Sept 17: Equity indices snapped a two-session rising streak to close with sharp losses on Thursday, in lockstep with global markets which recoiled after sobering economic assessment by the US Federal Reserve.

A weakening rupee and lack of fresh buying triggers further weighed on market mood, traders said.

The 30-share BSE Sensex opened lower and stayed in the negative zone throughout the session. It finally finished at 38,979.85, down by 323 points or 0.82 per cent.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty shed 88.45 points or 0.76 per cent to close at 11,516.10.

Bajaj Finserv was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, slipping 2.23 per cent, followed by PowerGrid, L&T, TCS, ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank, Tata Steel and Bajaj Finance.

On the other hand, HCL Tech, Infosys and Maruti finished with gains of up to 2.36 per cent.

Global equities swooned after the US Federal Reserve did not unveil any additional stimulus measures at its policy meet, even though it hinted at the key interest rate staying close to zero at least through 2023.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell also said the economic outlook is "highly uncertain", stoking fears of more pain in store for businesses.

"Indian markets reacted in sync with global markets, after the US Fed reserve failed to keep up with the expectations of the investors. In spite of pledging to keep interest rates low, markets were disappointed on the lack of further inputs or immediate stimulus measures.

"Continued border tensions with China also worried Indian markets. Markets are expected to remain uncertain and investors advised to remain cautious," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

BSE realty, metal, bankex, capital goods, finance, power and utilities indices dropped as much as 1.87 per cent, while healthcare, IT and teck closed in the green.

Broader BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices fell up to 0.53 per cent.

Shares of Happiest Minds Technologies made a stellar debut on the bourses, listing with a premium of over 111 per cent against its issue price of Rs 166. The stock finally finished at Rs 371, up 123.49 per cent over the issue price.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended with significant losses.

Stock exchanges in Europe too opened on a negative note. M

Meanwhile, global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.26 per cent lower at USD 42.11 per barrel.

The rupee depreciated 14 paise to close at 73.66 against the US dollar.

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