BANGALORE: India on Wednesday unveiled a spacecraft which is expected to take off for the moon next month, making the country only the fourth to achieve the feat.
The mission is India’s second to the moon, and if successful it will put the nation in the league of the US, the former Soviet Union and China.
Named Chandrayaan-2, the craft is made up of an orbiter, a lander and a rover developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
It will be launched from Sriharikota space centre on July 15 and is expected to land near the lunar South Pole on September 6.
Once it touches down, the rover will carry out experiments while being controlled remotely by ISRO scientists.
“It is going to be the most complex mission ever undertaken by ISRO,” chairman K. Sivan was quoted as saying by local media.
“The aim is to use space technology for the benefit of the common man.”
India has made giant strides in its space journey in recent years.
It launched a record 104 satellites in a single mission in 2017, and has also built a reputation for low-cost space exploration and science missions.
In March, the country said it had destroyed a low-orbiting satellite in a missile test to prove the nation was among the world’s most advanced space powers.
Lt Gen Faiz Hameed is new DG ISI
RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Army has appointed Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed as new Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), ISPR said.
Gen. Hameed will be replacing Lt-Gen Asim Munir, who has now been posted as the Corps Commander Gujranwala, according to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), media wing of the army.
Gen. Hameed is from the Baloch Regiment. He was in-charge of the internal security wing at the ISI. He has commanded a division in Pano Aqil.
Lieutenant General Sahir Shamshad Mirza has been appointed as Adjutant General of Pakistan Army at the General Headquarters (GHQ) while Lieutenant General Aamir Abbasi has been named as Quarter Master at GHQ.
Lieutenant General Moazzam Abbas has been named Engineer-In-Chief at GHQ, said ISPR.
Earlier in April, the Pakistan Army had announced a number of high-level appointments and transfers in its ranks.
Kartarpur Corridor to be completed on time: Khusro
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar Friday said the government would timely complete the Kartapur Corridor to provide easy access to Sikh devotees besides promoting religious tourism.
He was chairing a meeting on development of Gurdwara Kartarpur Corridor here. Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, Secretary Religious Affairs, Director General FWO Maj Gen Inam Haider Malik, Members Planning Commission, Commissioner Gujranwala, representatives from NESPAK and high level officials of the ministry were present during the occasion.
The minister said the prime minister had performed ground breaking of the Corridor on November 28, 2018 and will inaugurate the Corridor in the same month this year.
He said the incumbent government took a major initiative last year by announcing opening of Kartarpur Corridor to provide access to Sikh devotees to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib on the request of Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Turkey hits out at Moody’s after credit rating cut
ANKARA: Turkey on Saturday lambasted Moody’s ratings agency after it cut Ankara’s credit rating further into junk territory, saying the downgrade raised concerns over the institution’s “objectivity and impartiality”.
The agency downgraded the long-term debt rating to B1 from Ba3 and said it maintained the negative outlook for Turkey, in a statement late Friday.
Although the country had a “large, diverse economy” and government debt was low, Moody’s said this was outweighed increasingly by “continued erosion in institutional strength and policy effectiveness on investor confidence”.
But the Turkish treasury and finance ministry said the move was “incompatible with the Turkish economy’s fundamental indicators”.
“As a result, this raises questions over the objectivity and impartiality of the body’s analyses,” the ministry added in a statement.
It pointed to rising tourism revenues, falling inflation, and a new judicial reform package as examples of “very positive developments that we sadly see are being ignored”.
The Turkish economy entered into recession for the first time in a decade last year following a currency crisis in the summer amid tensions with the United States.
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