NASA to launch sounding rocket which releases artificial clouds on June 4

NASA, sounding rocket, artificial clouds, space studies, visually track particle motion, vapour tracers

These clouds or vapour tracers allow scientists on the ground to visually track particle motions in space. (Image for representation, Source : NASA)

NASA on Saturday scrubbed the launch of a sounding rocket which will release blue-green and red artificial clouds. “Launch scrubbed because of boats in the impact area for the second stage motor. We will try again Sunday, June 4,” NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility announced on its Facebook page. The launch window is 4:26 to 4:41 a.m.EDT (1:56-2.11 p.m India time).

The launch of the Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket testing a new deployment system to support space studies was originally scheduled for May 31, but it was subsequently delayed. “Clear skies are required at one of the ground stations to view blue-green and red artificial clouds that will be produced as part of the test. These artificial clouds may be seen from New York to North Carolina,” NASA earlier said.

The rocket will eject 10 canisters about the size of a soft drink can between 10 to 20 kms from the rocket’s main payload, and these containers will release the vapour between 4 and 5.5 minutes after launch.These clouds or vapour tracers allow scientists on the ground to visually track particle motions in space.

Also Read: Mongolia to send its first satellite to space on June 4

The development of the multi-canister or ampule ejection system will allow scientists to gather information over a much larger area than previously allowed when deploying the vapour just from the main payload.Ground cameras will be stationed at Wallops and in Duck, North Carolina, to view the vapour tracers. “The vapour tracers are formed through the interaction of barium, strontium and cupric-oxide. The tracers will be released at altitudes 96 to 124 miles high and pose absolutely no hazard to residents along the mid-Atlantic coast,” NASA said

Sounding rockets take their name from the nautical term “to sound,” which means to take measurements. The flight of a sounding rocket is short-lived, and has a parabolic trajectory — the shape of a frown. The total flight time for the current mission is expected to be about eight minutes. The payload will land in the Atlantic Ocean about 90 miles from Wallops Island and will not be recovered.

[“Source-ndtv”]

To Educate IAS Daughter, Kashmiri Family Ate Less, Sold Jewellery

To Educate IAS Daughter, Kashmiri Family Ate Less, Sold Jewellery

Bisma Qazi is one of the 14 candidates from Jammu and Kashmir to have cleared the IAS exam.
SRINAGAR: Last August was a difficult time in the Kashmir valley. Street protests had broken out in mid-July after Hizbul commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter. And every time the security forces controlled mobs throwing stones with pellet guns, they left people on Kashmir’s streets angrier. Thousands had been injured in the protests and much of the valley had been under curfew for days at end.

But in the midst of the turbulence, there were many who didn’t let the conflict around them get to them and stayed focus at the task at hand; cracking the civil services examination to join the IAS, or the Indian Administrative Service.

“I tried to keep calm at my heart and mind. That was need of the hour,” recalls Bisma Qazi. The 25-year-old engineer from Srinagar’s uptown area is one of the 14 candidates from Jammu and Kashmir to have cleared the examination, a record for a state.

That includes a police head constable’s son Suhail Qasim Mir from Bijbehara in south Kashmir, who cleared the examination in his first attempt. Or Bilal Mohi Ud Din Bhat, who had set his eyes on joining the civil services early in his life, and made it to the 10th rank in his fourth attempt.
A key inspiration for many of them was the Shah Faesal, the 2009 batch IAS officer who hit national headlines when he topped the exam. Bisma said Mr Faesal, who many say opened a window of hope for Kashmiri youth, was her inspiration too.

“Only inspiration for all us is Shah Faesal – he is the one who made the path easier for us” she told NDTV.

But it was her parents who made it possible that she has come this far. Mother Haleema had sold her jewellery to get a decent education for her three children. “When my two kids got admission in engineering, I told them you don’t have to worry, I have jewellery which I sold,” said Haleema. Father Mohammad Shafi talks how they cut corners, on food and clothing to save money for Bisma’s education.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Mystical Creatures Become A Part Of Delhi Metro In These Creative Doodles

Mystical Creatures Become A Part Of Delhi Metro In These Creative Doodles

Samar Khan’s Delhi Metro doodles are creative and funny.

NEW DELHI:  If you live in the capital, chances are at some point or the other, you have travelled by the Delhi Metro. It’s not for nothing that it’s called the lifeline of Delhi. However, those who travel regularly by the metro know that it comes with its own share of drawbacks – a major one being the lack of anything to do while travelling. So how do you pass time when you’re in the metro? Well, if you’re anything like Samar Khan, you doodle!

Through his Instagram page MetroDoodle, Mr Khan regularly shares Delhi Metro chronicles with a twist. Using pictures of the trains and the platforms, he gives them an interesting take by adding doodles. “It’s been 3 – 4 months. I started this to kill time and boredom in metro travelling to work every day. Soon I started enjoying it,” said Mr Khan to NDTV.

Sometimes it’s a giant pink snake, sometimes a green extra-terrestrial, but it’s always unexpected and brilliant.

A full-time software developer by profession, Mr Khan has now started freelancing as a graphic designer taking up art projects on weekends. His passion for art is clearly reflected in his doodles. Take a look:

“Sometimes, It literally feels like this,” he says. We couldn’t agree more

Image result for "Amazing doodling! Really creative," writes a commenter
“Amazing doodling! Really creative,” writes a commenter
When asked about the inspiration behind his doodles, Mr Khan says, “Instagram is my favourite! All my inspiration comes from it. There are so many, such talented and amazing artists all around. I am constantly inspired by their work. It just keeps you going!”

Which of these doodles is your favourite? Let us know using the comments section below.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Seven Must Have Apps for Your Amazon Fire TV Stick

Seven Must Have Apps for Your Amazon Fire TV Stick

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Amazon Fire TV Stick is available in India for Rs. 3,999
  • All apps below are free to download, though many require subscriptions
  • Apart from streaming apps, VLC is great for local content

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick launched in India last month, and in that time, we’ve seen a number of companies get on the bandwagon to provide their services through the platform. At Rs. 3,999, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is priced similarly to the Google Chromecast, though the two products are actually very different, as we noted in our review.

Getting the Amazon Fire TV Stick without subscribing to Amazon Prime doesn’t make a lot of sense. Not only is the device cheaper if you’re a Prime member – you get a Rs. 499 cash back as Amazon Pay balance after purchase – but only Prime members get access to Amazon Prime Video, which is a very good video service that’s reasonably priced. It’s also got its share of exclusives, including, most the latest one, American Gods.

The Fire TV Stick is well suited for people who want to browse around to find something they would watch, a little like you would on a regular television. If you’ve bought a Fire TV Stick, or are planning to do so, getting the right apps will certainly help. Here are seven apps that your Fire TV Stick should have, apart from Amazon Prime Video, obviously.

ALSO SEESeven Must-Have Apple TV Apps for Cord Cutters in India

1. YouTube
The YouTube app is basically just its TV website, but that doesn’t mean it’s not one of the most used apps on our Fire TV Stick. It’s easy to find the content you want, or browse your subs, and the world’s biggest video destination really needs no introduction.

youtube fire TV app youtube

Many publishers upload shows directly to YouTube, and it’s still home to a plethora of viral content. Once you’ve signed in, you can even control YouTube via your phone, so it’s really convenient.

Get YouTube for the Amazon Fire TV Stick

2. Netflix
Another obvious pick is Netflix, though the Netflix app doesn’t seem to be available in the India store as of now – hopefully it will be restored soon. While a Netflix subscription costs a lot more than Amazon Prime membership, the service has its share of much-loved exclusives.

netflix fire TV app Netflix

If you’re a fan of shows such as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, or Iron Fist, or if you follow other originals like Master of None, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Orange is the New Black, or House of Cards, then Netflix is the best way to stay up to date with the latest episodes.

It helps that the Netflix interface translates really well to the big screen, loading smoothly and allowing you to quickly start browsing on the Fire TV Stick.

Get Netflix for the Amazon Fire TV Stick

3. Hotstar
If you think a Netflix subscription is too expensive, Star’s Hotstar is worth considering. It will give you access to HBO’s catalogue, with shows like Game of Thrones, Westworld, and Silicon Valley, along with the Disney and Marvel movies. On top of that, you can watch popular shows such as Modern Family, and Homeland. On top of this, for cricket fans, Hotstar is also where you can stream IPL, all international games played in India, and a whole lot more sporting action, including the likes of Premier League.

ALSO SEEAmazon Fire TV Stick vs Google Chromecast: Which One Is Right for You?

hotstar fire TV app hotstar

Between the two apps, Netflix definitely has a much better interface. But if you’re a cost-conscious streamer, then going with Hotstar is the obvious choice, because of its far more reasonably priced library of content.

Beyond that we should add that the app has been steadily improving since it first launched, and there’s every hope that it will get better on the Fire TV Stick as well.

Get Hotstar for the Amazon Fire TV Stick

4. Gaana
With the first three apps, you’ve got video-on-demand sorted out, but if you’re using YouTube to listen to music, you’re doing it wrong. Music discovery on YouTube is not great, and you’re also wasting a lot of bandwidth on the videos if you just want it for the songs.

gaana fire TV app gaana

We tried a number of different options for music streaming, but eventually we settled on the Gaana app. These are a few quirks about how search works, and the radio function, but the collection is good, the whole experience is free, and once you’re streaming, it works reliably. If you like a mix of Indian and international music, then Gaana is your best bet – on many days, we just planted ourselves in front of the TV, and let an automated playlist take over while getting work done on our laptop.

Get Gaana for the Amazon Fire TV Stick

5. DittoTV
DittoTV is an app that you stream live TV that’s otherwise broadcast to your televisions, and you can choose from a wide variety of content at just Rs. 20 a month, making it the most affordable ‘premium’ offering.

dittoTV fire TV app dittotv

With DittoTV, you get all the Zee channels, along with a number of additional channels. If you’re thinking of cord-cutting but haven’t made the leap yet because your favourite shows aren’t available online, DittoTV could help you to bridge the gap, at a fairly affordable rate – just be sure the channel(s) you want to see are part of the package.

Get DittoTV for the Amazon Fire TV Stick

6. VLC for Fire
You can get a number of different free media players for the FireTV, but our pick is VLC for Fire, a name that should be familiar from the PC world. The app lets you play locally stored videos, which you could have downloaded to the Fire TV Stick itself, or videos stored on the network.

vlc for fire fire TV app vlc

VLC plays a plethora of formats, and handles just about every kind of video smoothly, with options for subtitles and various playback controls. It’s smooth and reliable, and if you have a lot of offline content, getting VLC is an obvious decision.

Get VLC for Fire for the Amazon Fire TV Stick

7. Kodi
Formerly known as XBMC, the Kodi media centre is one of the most advanced ways to manage your library of content, and comes with a host of plugins that make it easy to enhance its capabilities.

The app was officially removed from the Amazon Appstore because it can be used for piracy, but it’s really easy to side-load apps onto the Fire TV Stick. All you need is the APK file, and a file management app. If you need a step by step guide, check out this detailed explainer.

kodi tv app kodi

Kodi allows you to manage your local library, and has a number of add-ons that really boost its functionality, turning it into a homepage where you can get all kinds of information such as your Twitter and RSS feeds, or weather updates, if you want the app to do all that. You can also get music and video plugins to automatically fetch lyrics and subtitles, and there are also a number of plugins that enable piracy for users so inclined.

Get Kodi from the Amazon Fire TV Stick

Bonus picks Although we’ve kept our main list to just media apps, there are a couple of other things we would strongly recommend you install on your Fire TV Stick. The first is ES File Explorer – this is one of our favourite file managers, and it’s really easy to use. It works well on the Fire TV Stick too, and is very useful if you’re storing videos on the Fire TV Stick, or if you’re trying to side-load apps like Kodi.

Second, we’d recommend getting the Firefox browser. You’ll need to side-load it similar to installing Kodi, but once you are up and running, Firefox a convenient way of finding new files for the Fire TV Stick using the device itself. Yes, it’s hard to navigate to a website if you are typing URLs using the TV remote, but you can connect a Bluetooth keyboard to the Fire TV Stick or use the companion app on your smartphone to make your life simpler.

Before we go, it’s also worth reminding that the Amazon Fire TV Stick supports a number of casual games. These go largely ignored since it’s pretty low-end and the remote isn’t well suited to gaming. However, if we had to recommend just one game for you to try, it would be Crossy Road, which is still free and fun.

These are our top picks, though there are a lot more apps you can and should install on your Fire TV Stick. Indian news channels have a presence – the apps could be better, but you should get your favourite channel anyway to stay up to date – and there are also some great DLNA apps you can install to easily get video content from your phone to your TV.

There’s a lot to choose from today, and it’s more feasible to ditch linear television than ever before. Have you taken the step yet, and if so, which of these apps are your favourites? Tell us via the comments.

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[“Source-ndtv”]