Roles assumed by women have undergone a profound evolution. Transitioning from traditional nurturing responsibilities, they have emerged as indispensable contributors across diverse domains, including science and technology. Chandrayaan-3 hailed the women scientists who led India’s moon landing. This article serves as a tribute to the female engineers who orchestrated the expedition, making groundbreaking history. Groundbreaking Chandrayaan-3 mission ISRO, or the Indian Space Research Organisation, is India's national space agency. Chandrayaan-3 marks the third chapter in its lunar exploration saga through the Chandrayaan program. Its purpose is to explore the moon's surface, study lunar composition, and demonstrate soft landing capabilities. Embarking on a transformative lunar exploration journey, Chandrayaan-3 stands as a testament to India's space ambitions. Launched on July 14, 2023, from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, this mission is an extension of ISRO's lunar program, aiming to explore the moon's mysteries with precision. Read more: 3 Bangladeshi women make it to list of top 100 Asian scientists The mission comprises the Vikram lander and the Pragyan rover, symbolising technological innovation. The propulsion module facilitated the lunar orbit insertion, a crucial step, achieved on August 5, 2023. This propelled the spacecraft into an orbit around the moon, preparing for a historic lunar landing. Vikram, equipped with four landing legs and thrusters, carries both Pragyan and scientific instruments for lunar analysis. Pragyan, the six-wheeled rover, embarked on an odyssey across the lunar surface. Chandrayaan-3's triumphant lunar descent on August 23, 2023 showcased India's prowess in soft landings. With meticulous calculations, Vikram achieved a controlled touchdown, setting the stage for Pragyan's mission. Read more: New crew for the space station launches with 4 astronauts from 4 countries Pioneering Women Scientists behind Chandrayaan-3 Mission Within Chandrayaan-3's celestial voyage, a constellation of remarkable women scientists emerges. This assembly of 54 adept female engineers and scientists exemplifies the culmination of scientific excellence intertwined with relentless determination. Here are the nine leading women scientists who were part of India’s Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission. Ritu Karidhal Srivastava This accomplished Indian scientist and aerospace engineer started on her ISRO journey in 1997. As the Deputy Operations Director of India's Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan), she played a pivotal role in orchestrating the spacecraft's autonomy system. It enables the spaceship to navigate space autonomously and respond to anomalies with precision. Fondly referred to as one of India's "Rocket Women," Ritu's contributions were undeniable in propelling India into the exclusive league of space explorers. Her expertise resonates in conceptualizing and executing the craft's onward autonomy system. It was a cornerstone of the mission's success. Read more: 10 Greatest Female Scientists of All Time Kalpana Kalahasti Kalpana, armed with an aeronautical engineering degree from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, entered ISRO in 2003 as a scientist. Her illustrious career includes diverse satellite projects, including communication and remote sensing satellites. This expertise has transformed India's capabilities in data collection and communication. The significant milestones of her career include Mars Orbiter Mission and Chandrayaan-2. Her ingenious design of propulsion systems and imaging equipment exemplified her engineering prowess. Notably, her integral role in the Chandrayaan-2 and Mangalyaan missions underscores her versatility and indelible contributions. Dr. V. R. Lalithambika Dr. V. R. Lalithambika, a stalwart since 1988, carved her niche in the realm of Advanced Launcher Technologies. Her journey with ISRO commenced at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), where she joined as a young engineer. Over the years, she led a team that designed rocket control and guidance systems, an integral aspect of mission success. Her expertise spans over a hundred space missions, reflecting her adeptness in engineering and leadership. Read more: Jute Sanitary Napkins: Bangladeshi scientist Farhana Sultana got awarded for eco-friendly innovation
North Korea fired three short-range ballistic missiles toward its eastern waters in its latest weapons display on Saturday, a day after rival South Korea launched a solid-fueled rocket as part of its efforts to build a space-based surveillance capability to better monitor the North. Tensions between the rival Koreas rose earlier this week when South Korea accused North Korea of flying five drones across the rivals’ tense border for the first time in five years and responded by sending its own drones toward the North. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement it detected the three launches from an inland area south of Pyongyang, the North’s capital, on Saturday morning. It said the three missiles traveled about 350 kilometers (220 miles) before landing in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. The estimated range suggests the missiles tested target South Korea. The Joint Chiefs of Staff called the launches “a grave provocation” that undermines international peace. It said South Korea closely monitors North Korean moves in coordination with the United States and maintains a readiness to “overwhelmingly” deter any provocation by North Korea. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said the launches highlight “the destabilizing impact” of North Korea's unlawful weapons programs and that the U.S. commitments to the defense of South Korea and Japan “remain ironclad.” Earlier Saturday, Japan's Defense Ministry also reported suspected ballistic missile firings by North Korea. It was North Korea’s first missile launch in eight days and came five days after South Korea said it detected the North Korean drones, all presumed to be small surveillance drones, south of the border. South Korea’s military on Monday scrambled warplanes and helicopters, but they failed to shoot down any of the North Korean drones before they flew back home or vanished from South Korean radar. One of the North Korean drones traveled as far as northern Seoul. That caused security jitters among many people in the South, for which the military offered a rare public apology Tuesday. South Korea still flew three of its surveillance drones across the border on Monday in an unusual tit-for-tat step against a North Korean provocation. South Korea on Thursday staged large-scale military drills to simulate shooting down drones. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has called for boosting his country’s air defense network and vowed to sternly deal with provocations by North Korea. Since taking office in May, Yoon’s government has expanded regular military drills with the U.S. in the face of increasing North Korean nuclear threats. North Korea has called such drills between its rivals an invasion rehearsal and argued its recent missile tests were a response to them. But some experts say North Korea is using the South Korea-U.S. training as a pretext to modernize its arsenal and increase its leverage in future dealings with the U.S. Before Saturday’s launches, North Korea had already test-fired more than 70 missiles this year. Many of them were nuclear-capable weapons designed to attack the U.S. mainland and its allies South Korea and Japan. On Friday, South Korea launched a solid-fueled rocket, a type of a space launch vehicle that it plans to use to put its first spy satellite into orbit in coming years. In March, South Korea conducted its first successful launch of a solid-fuel rocket, and defense officials said Friday’s launch was a follow-up test to the earlier launch. Friday’s unannounced launch triggered a brief public scare of a UFO appearance or a North Korean missile firing in South Korea. South Korea currently has no military reconnaissance satellites of its own and depends on U.S. spy satellites to monitor strategic facilities in North Korea. North Korea is also pushing to acquire its first military surveillance satellite. Earlier this month, North Korea said it used two old missiles as space launch vehicles to test a camera and other systems needed for a spy satellite and later released low-resolution satellite photos showing South Korean cities. Some South Korean experts said the North Korean satellite imagery was too crude for military reconnaissance purposes and that they are likely a disguised test of North Korea’s missile technology. Infuriated over such an assessment, Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, issued crude insults against unidentified South Korean experts. She also dismissed some outside doubts over North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile technology and threatened to conduct a full-range, standard-trajectory ICBM test. This week, North Korea is under a major ruling party meeting in Pyongyang to review past policies and new policy goals for 2023. It's highly unusual for North Korea to test-launch a missile when it holds a key meeting. In an indication that the plenary meeting of the Workers’ Party was being wrapped up, the North's state media reported Saturday that its powerful Politburo decided to complete the draft resolution of the plenary meeting. Some observers said North Korea will likely publish details of the meeting on Sunday, which would carry Kim Jong Un's vows to expand his nuclear arsenal and introduce sophisticated weapons in the name of dealing with what he calls U.S. hostility. ___ Associated Press writer Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo contributed to this report.
North Korea said Monday it fired a test satellite in an important final-stage test for the development of its first spy satellite, a key military capability coveted by its leader Kim Jong Un along with other high-tech weapons systems. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency also released black-and-white photos showing a space view of the South Korean capital and Incheon, a city just west of Seoul, in an apparent attempt to show the North is pushing to monitor its rival with its advancing technologies. The rocket carrying the test satellite was launched Sunday to assess the satellite's photography and data transmission systems, KCNA said. Read more: North Korea calls UN's Guterres 'puppet of US' after launch The country’s National Aerospace Development Administration called the test results “an important success which has gone through the final gateway process of the launch of reconnaissance satellite." It said it would complete the preparations for its first military reconnaissance satellite by April next year, according to KCNA. “From the images released, the resolution does not appear to be so impressive for military reconnaissance,” Soo Kim, a security analyst at the California-based RAND Corporation, said. “I’d note, however, that this is probably an ongoing development, so we may see more improvements to North Korea’s military reconnaissance capabilities over time.” South Korea, Japan and U.S. authorities had said Sunday they had detected a pair of ballistic missile launches by North Korea from its northwestern Tongchang-ri area, where the North's satellite launch pad is located. They said the two missiles flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles) at a maximum altitude of 550 kilometers (340 miles) before landing in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. This could mean North Korea might have fired a missile or two to send the test-piece satellite into space. Read more: Missile tests practiced to attack South, US: North Korea A spy satellite was on a wish list of sophisticated military assets Kim announced during a ruling party meeting early last year, together with multi-warhead missiles, solid-fueled long-range missiles, underwater-launched nuclear missiles and nuclear-powered submarines. Kim has called for such high-tech weapons systems and an expanded nuclear arsenal to pressure the United States to abandon its hostile polices on North Korea, an apparent reference to U.S.-led sanctions and the U.S.-South Korean military drills that North Korea views as an invasion rehearsal. North Korea has since taken steps to develop such weapons systems. In February and March, North Korea said it conducted tests to check a camera and data transmission systems to be used on a spy satellite. In November, it test-launched its developmental, longest-range Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile, a weapon believed to be designed to carry multiple warheads. Last week, North Korea said it performed a “high-thrust solid-fuel motor” to be used for a new strategic weapon, an apparent reference to a solid-fueled ICBM. Ankit Panda, an expert with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that North Korea will likely make a proper orbital launch for a reconnaissance satellite next April — probably around April 15, the birthday of Kim’s late grandfather and state founder Kim Il Sung. The day is one of the most important state anniversaries in North Korea. Earlier this year, North Korea test-launched a record number of missiles, many of them nuclear-capable missiles with varying ranges to reach the U.S. mainland and its allies South Korea and Japan. It also legislated a law authorizing the preemptive use of nuclear weapons on a broad range of scenarios, causing security jitters in South Korea and elsewhere. North Korea has avoided fresh U.N. sanctions for those moves, however, because U.N. Security Council permanent members Russia and China won't support U.S. attempts to impose them. “Having codified his country’s nuclear law earlier this year, tested missiles of varying capabilities, and made it very clear he has no interest in diplomacy with the U.S. and South Korea, Kim has essentially paved the way for nuclearization,” Soo Kim, the analyst, said. “He’s lent the appearance that the only possible way out of this quagmire is for the international community to fold the conditions set forth by the regime." She said a handful of other high-priority geopolitical concerns involving China and Russia “has allowed Kim to buy time and the grace of the international community to push forward with his plan.”
Russian forces have installed multiple rocket launchers at Ukraine's shut-down Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ukrainian officials claimed Thursday, raising fears Europe's largest atomic power station could be used as a base to fire on Ukrainian territory and heightening radiation dangers. Ukraine's nuclear company Energoatom said in a statement that Russian forces occupying the plant have placed several Grad multiple rocket launchers near one of its six nuclear reactors. It said the offensive systems are located at new “protective structures” the Russians secretly built, "violating all conditions for nuclear and radiation safety.” The claim could not be independently verified. The Soviet-built multiple rocket launchers are capable of firing rockets at ranges of up to 40 kilometers (25 miles), and Energoatom said they could enable Russian forces to hit the opposite bank of the Dnieper River, where each side blames the other for almost daily shelling in the cities of Nikopol and Marhanets. The plant is in a southern Ukrainian region the Kremlin has illegally annexed. The Zaporizhzhia station has been under Russian control since the war’s early days. Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of shelling the plant and risking a radiation release. Although the risk of a nuclear meltdown is greatly reduced because all six reactors have been shut down, experts have said a dangerous radiation release is still possible. The reactors were shut down because the fighting kept knocking out external power supplies needed to run the reactors' cooling systems and other safety systems. Read more: Ukraine leader defiant as drone strikes hit Russia again The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has stationed inspectors at the plant and has been trying to persuade both sides in the conflict to agree to a demilitarized zone around it. The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the reported Grad installation. Ukraine has accused the Russians before of having heavy weapons at the plant. The Kremlin has said it needs to maintain control of the plant to defend it from alleged Ukrainian attacks. With renewed focus on the dangers at Zaporizhzhia in the war, dragging on past nine months, the Kremlin is sending new signals about how to end it. It said Thursday it’s up to Ukraine’s president to end the military conflict, suggesting terms that Kyiv has repeatedly rejected, while Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to press on with the fighting despite Western criticism. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that "(Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelenskyy knows when it may end. It may end tomorrow if he wishes so.” The Ukraine war has deteriorated relations between Russia and much of the rest of the world, but limited cooperation continues in some areas, such as exchanges of prisoners. On Thursday, in a dramatic swap that had been in the making for months, Russia freed American basketball star Brittney Griner while the United States released a jailed Russian arms dealer. The Kremlin has long said that Ukraine must accept Russian conditions to end the fighting. It has demanded that Kyiv recognize Crimea — a Ukrainian peninsula that Moscow illegally annexed in 2014 — as part of Russia and also accept Moscow’s other land gains in Ukraine. Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian officials have repeatedly rejected those conditions, saying the war will end when the occupied territories are retaken or Russian forces leave them. In an acknowledgement that it’s taking longer than he expected to achieve his goals in the conflict, Putin said Wednesday that the fighting in Ukraine “could be a lengthy process” while describing Moscow's land gains as “a significant result for Russia." During a conference call with reporters, Peskov said Moscow wasn’t aiming to grab new land but will try to regain control of areas in Ukraine from which it withdrew just weeks after incorporating them into Russia in hastily called referendums — which Ukraine and the West reject as illegal shams. After earlier retreats from the Kyiv and Kharkiv areas, Russian troops last month left the city of Kherson and parts of the Kherson region, one of the four illegally annexed Ukrainian regions. Read more: Russian airfield hit, a day after drone strikes on bases Putin vowed Thursday to achieve the declared goals in Ukraine regardless of the Western reaction. “All we have to do is make a move and there is a lot of noise, chatter and outcry all across the universe. It will not stop us fulfilling combat tasks,” Putin said. He described Russian strikes on Ukraine’s energy facilities and other key infrastructure as a legitimate response to an Oct. 8 truck bombing of a key bridge linking Crimea with Russia’s mainland, and other attacks the Kremlin claimed Ukraine carried out. Putin also cited Ukraine’s move to halt water supplies to the areas in eastern Ukraine that Russia controlled. “There is a lot of noise now about our strikes on the energy infrastructure,” Putin said at a meeting with soldiers whom he decorated with the country’s top medals. “Yes, we are doing it. But who started it? Who struck the Crimean bridge? Who blew up power lines from the Kursk nuclear power station? Who is not supplying water to Donetsk?” While stopping short of publicly claiming credit for the attacks, Ukrainian officials welcome their results and hint at Ukrainian involvement. Heavy fighting continues, mostly in regions Russia annexed. Zelenskyy's office said 11 civilians were killed in Ukraine Wednesday. The Donetsk region has been the epicenter of the recent fighting. Russian artillery struck the town of Yampil during distribution of humanitarian aid to civilians, Ukrainian officials said. Buildings were damaged in Kurakhove, 35 kilometers (22 miles) west of the regional capital, Donetsk, officials said. More than ten cities and villages in the region were shelled, including the town of Bakhmut, which has remained in Ukrainian hands despite Moscow’s goal of capturing the entire annexed Donbas region bordering Russia.
Muggers took away Tk 5 lakhs from an agent of mobile banking platform Rocket after stabbing him in Kashimpur Baganbari area of the district on Tuesday. The injured, identified as Rocket agent of Dutch Bangla Bank’s digital mobile banking Sahed Hossain, is undergoing treatment at a clinic in Konabari area of the district. Mohammad Jahid Hossain, Officer-in-charge (OC) of Kashimpur Police Station, said Sahed went to the Baganbari area to collect money from agents around noon on the day. Read: 2 killed by muggers in Nawabganj A group of five muggers riding two motorbikes interrupted him and snatched away his collected money after stabbing him, said he, adding that the victim suffered serious injury in the incident. Hearing screams, locals rushed to the spot and took him to the clinic, the OC said adding that the victim lodged a complaint in this connection. “We visited the scene and collected CCTV footage to identify the criminals and drives are on to nab them,” added the police officer.
After a lifetime of yearning to fly in space, Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson was poised to blast off aboard his own rocket ship Sunday in his boldest, grandest adventure yet. The thrill-seeking billionaire joined five company employees also assigned to the test flight to the edge of space high above the southern desert of New Mexico. Ever the showman, Branson dramatically counted down the days to liftoff via Twitter. He viewed the brief up-and-down trip as a confidence builder — not only for the 600-plus people already holding reservations and waiting in the wings, but potential space tourists willing to plunk down a few hundred-thousand dollars for a shot at space. Also read: Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit reaches space on 2nd try The London-born founder of the Virgin Group, who turns 71 in a week, wasn’t supposed to fly until later this summer. But he assigned himself to an earlier flight after Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos announced plans to ride his own rocket into space from West Texas on July 20. Virgin Galactic doesn’t expect to start flying customers before next year. Blue Origin has yet to open ticket sales or even announce prices, but late last week boasted via Twitter that it would take clients higher and offer bigger windows. Unlike Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which launch capsules atop reusable booster rockets, Virgin Galactic uses a twin-fuselage aircraft to get its rocket ship aloft. The space plane is released from the mothership about 44,000 feet (13,400 meters) up, then fires its rocket motor to streak straight to space. Maximum altitude is roughly 55 miles (70 kilometers), with three to four minutes of weightlessness provided. Also read: Richard Branson announces trip to space, ahead of Jeff Bezos The rocket plane — which requires two pilots — glides to a runway landing at its Spaceport America base. Virgin Galactic reached space for the first time in 2018, repeating the feat in 2019 and again this past May, each time with a minimal crew. It received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration last month to start launching customers.
The emphasis on inclusiveness in finance means that not only are the days gone when you had to go to the bank for certain transactions like paying bills, withdrawals, etc. The advent of digital innovations in the field heralded a new era of paperless money transactions in the world during the Nineties. Appearing on the scene as the handmaiden of Fintech (Financial Technology) is the innovative approach to managing money called Mobile Financial Services (MFS).