kin of mumbai attack victims welcome

Relatives of victims of the 2008 Mumbai attack victims on Wednesday welcomed the execution of the lone surviving attacker, Ajmal Kasab, saying justice has been finally delivered. In Varanasi, Sunita Yadav, wife of victim Upendra Yadav, expressed her gratitude to the authorities for carrying out the execution.

Daily Bollywood News:Bipasha Basu - Bollywood will remain a hero-centric business

Women are active in show business like never before, but will they surpass the status Bollywood heroes enjoy? Never, says Bipasha Basu, who feels there is minimum opportunity for female actors in the Hindi film industry

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Engineers Excited by EuTEF's Return on Discovery


The European Technology Exposure Facility, known as EuTEF, was bolted to the outside of the Columbus module on the International Space Station during STS-122 in early 2008. The robust EuTEF was equipped with power connections and other fittings that allowed experiments to work properly without attention from astronauts. Photo credit: NASA

Astronauts John "Danny" Olivas, left, and Nicole Stott remove the EuTEF science platform from the outside of the Columbus laboratory on the International Space Station during the first spacewalk of the STS-128 mission. The astronauts moved EuTEF into space shuttle Discovery's cargo bay so the experiments could be returned to Earth for evaluation. Photo credit: NASA

Fabio Tominetti, left, and Marco Grilli helped design and build the EuTEF as a poweful platform for experiments that are exposed to the vacuum and other rigors of space. Photo credit: NASA

When Fabio Tominetti and Marco Grilli last saw the EuTEF research platform in early 2008, it was carefully packed inside the payload bay of space shuttle Atlantis. It had been built and handled with the utmost care, and its white and thermal insulation and golden reflective sheets and experiments were pristine.

EuTEF didn’t look much different as it hung upside down in a work stand a few days after coming back to Earth aboard Discovery following about a year and a half attached to the orbiting International Space Station.

"It’s almost brand new," said Tominetti, the EuTEF program manager for the Milan-based Carlo Gavazzi Space. "It could probably fly again tomorrow. I expected to see something to tell you that it had been exposed to 18 months in space."

EuTEF is short for European Technology Exposure Facility, a remote-controlled base complete with power and communications networks built to host nine experiments from Europe’s scientific community, including prestigious universities and foundations. The research largely focused on the effects of space on materials, including window materials that could be used on future spacecraft.

Tominetti and Grilli, a systems engineer with Carlo Gavazzi, recently traveled to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to pack the research platform and its experiments for their return to Europe.

The EuTEF went into space with the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory module as part of the STS-122 mission in February 2008. After Columbus was connected to the space station, spacewalking astronauts attached EuTEF to one of its platforms on the outside.

From there, the experiments would be exposed to the harshness of a constant vacuum, a round-the-clock dose of radiation, and heat and cold extremes that vary 200 degrees during each 90-minute orbit of the planet.

Despite the conditions, EuTEF returned exciting early results, Tominetti said. For example, a study of atomic oxygen around the space station revealed that two computer models of the chemical’s distribution were not as accurate as they should be, but a third model was correct. Knowing where corrosive atomic oxygen molecules are and how they behave in orbit helps future spacecraft designers.

Although EuTEF delivered some results while still in space, researchers will get the chance to look at the materials samples and other experiment results firsthand once EuTEF is taken back to Europe and shipped to their sponsors.

"There are a lot of small samples to see the exposure to atomic oxygen and to radiation, so they will be quite busy analyzing the chemical reactions of the samples," Tominetti said.

The mission also proved that the design for the research facility was sound.

"Starting with nothing in your hands but some scrap paper and then building it up was the first big achievement," Tominetti said.

"What was a little bit scary to me was the amount of paperwork you have to do before you have the real hardware working, to be tested, designed and flown," Grilli said.

The team had worked for years to design and build the research station, including extensive discussions and review sessions with agencies such as ESA and NASA, plus many conversations about the experiments that designers planned for orbit.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t a couple glitches along the way, though.

"We fixed a couple problems by remote," Grilli said.

High radiation in orbit is suspected of causing trouble for the electronics on EuTEF, but the issue was quickly fixed with a simple reboot, Tominetti said.

Another glitch developed because of the success of an experiment studying static electricity on the station. The device on EuTEF designed to discharge static electricity from the station did what it was supposed to, but that caused some concern when controllers on Earth saw an electric discharge around the station. Once the experiment was tracked down as the cause -- and then proven to be working correctly – the research was turned back on.

Tominetti and Grilli watched over the experiments package from the European Space Agency’s Erasmus Command and Control Center in the Netherlands.

"Having switched it on was great," Tominetti said. "We see it alive, like a little mechanical baby. So we followed this growth for one year and half, but it was sad to arrive at the end, even though it was a successful mission."

As Discovery headed into space in August to equip the station and recover EuTEF, the Earth-bound controllers switched off the experiments and set up the platform so astronauts could safely detach it from the Columbus lab and bring it back aboard the shuttle without damaging the valuable results.

The return trip called for a whole new set of procedures for the spacewalkers because the platform Discovery carried to retrieve the experiment set was different from the kind EuTEF was bolted to when it rode into space.

"It was like designing a whole new mission," Grilli explained.

The return capped seven years of work on the project by the two engineers – work they would happily repeat if called on for another EuTEF mission.

"It was very exciting, but also a little bit sad, because the mission being over, the story ends," Tominetti said.

Steven Siceloff
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center

Cassini Data Help Redraw Shape of Solar System

October 15, 2009

Images from the Ion and Neutral Camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft suggest that the heliosphere, the region of the sun's influence, may not have the comet-like shape predicted by existing models. In a paper published Oct. 15 in Science Express, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory present a new view of the heliosphere, and the forces that shape it.

"These images have revolutionized what we thought we knew for the past 50 years; the sun travels through the galaxy not like a comet but more like a big, round bubble," said Stamatios Krimigis of the Applied Physics Lab, in Laurel, Md., principal investigator for Cassini's Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument which carries the Ion and Neutral Camera. "It's amazing how a single new observation can change an entire concept that most scientists had taken as true for nearly fifty years."

As the solar wind flows from the sun, it carves out a bubble in the interstellar medium. Models of the boundary region between the heliosphere and interstellar medium have been based on the assumption that the relative flow of the interstellar medium and its collision with the solar wind dominate the interaction. This would create a foreshortened "nose" in the direction of the solar system's motion, and an elongated "tail" in the opposite direction.

The Ion and Neutral Camera images suggest that the solar wind's interaction with the interstellar medium is instead more significantly controlled by particle pressure and magnetic field energy density.

"The map we've created from the images suggests that pressure from a hot population of charged particles and interaction with the interstellar medium's magnetic field strongly influence the shape of the heliosphere," says Don Mitchell, Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument/Ion and Neutral Camera co-investigator at the Applied Physics Lab.

Since entering into orbit around Saturn in July of 2004, the Ion and Neutral Camera has been mapping energetic neutral atoms near the planet, as well as their dispersal across the entire sky. The energetic neutral atoms are produced by energetic protons, which are responsible for the outward pressure of the heliosphere beyond the interface where the solar wind collides with the interstellar medium, and which interact with the magnetic field of the interstellar medium.

"Energetic neutral atom imaging has demonstrated its power to reveal the distribution of energetic ions, first in Earth's own magnetosphere, next in the giant magnetosphere of Saturn and now throughout vast structures in space-out to the very edge of our sun's interaction with the interstellar medium," says Edmond C. Roelof, Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument co-investigator at the Applied Physics Lab.

The results from Cassini complement and extend findings from NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, spacecraft. Data from IBEX and Cassini have made it possible for scientists to construct the first comprehensive sky map of our solar system and its location in the Milky Way galaxy.

Researchers from University of Arizona, Tucson; Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio; and University of Texas at San Antonio contributed to the article. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument was developed by the Applied Physics Laboratory.

More information on the Cassini mission is available at:, and on the Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument Web site at .

More information on the Interstellar Boundary Explorer is available at:

Bjorn set to quit Tour post

Dane ready to resign as players committee chairman

Thomas Bjorn has revealed he is poised to resign his position as chairman of the European Tour's players committee.

The news emerged on the day before the committee are scheduled to meet to discuss the possibility of tightening European Tour membership rules.

Bjorn recently launched a withering attack on Padraig Harrington after the three-time major winner's assertion that he would be against such a move.

However, the Dame insists that dispute was not a factor his seemingly-imminent decision to step down.

"I've been thinking about this for a while," said Bjorn on the eve of the Portugal Masters where both he and Harrington will compete.

"I've not officially resigned yet, but I am 90% there and it will take some convincing for me to continue.

"It's absolutely not to do with Padraig. To be fair to myself and my golf I have too much to deal with.

"It took its toll on Mark James, it certainly did on Jamie Spence and it's taking a toll on me."

Bjorn went on to acknowledge that he is unlikely to stay on the committee unless a new structure is put in place whereby it is not an active player who acts as chairman.
Harrington, not on the committee, is amongst those to have been invited to Thursday's meeting to offer his views on how the European Tour should proceed in the current difficult economic climate.


The Dubliner was forthright in his belief that players should not be expected to make an increased commitment on the number of European Tour events they play next season and when asked about the suggestion, stated: "I don't believe in protectionism - I wonder if there may be a case for the European Union."

That prompted a fierce rebuke from Bjorn, who responded: "I don't know where Padraig is coming from and he always uses the press.

"He would need to play only one more event here if this proposal goes through. That's not asking a lot and for him to threaten going to the European Union is out of order.
"It's his committee - he does not seem to understand that. He seems to think that he is above it.

"I don't want to have a war of words with him, but we are a committee of 15 and that includes people like Monty, (Darren) Clarke, (Henrik) Stenson, (Robert) Karlsson, (Miguel Angel) Jimenez and (Paul) McGinley.

"They have all been out here a long time, so whose opinion are we going to give more weight to? He may have won three majors, but Monty has won eight Order of Merits and knows all there is to know about the Tour."

However, Bjorn and Harrington met on Tuesday ahead of the Portual Masters at Vilamoura and insisted their long-time friendship would not be jeopardised by the issue.
Good decisions

Harrington said of Thursday's meeting: "I'm happy to throw my tuppence into any argument. Life would be no fun if we didn't have dissension. That's how good decisions get made."
However, he was categorical when asked whether he might consider serving on the committee, declaring: "I'm playing golf - I don't have time to be on a committee."

He also insisted the European Tour had to look to expand if they were prosper and challenge America's PGA Tour.

"We've got to embrace the world - in my eyes we have to go global," he added. "The US tour is number one, Europe is number two and the only way a number two can compete with a number one is to merge with three, four and five - Asia, South Africa and Japan.

"Where is our greatest growth area going forward? It's got to be Asia."

Becks - Milan deal nearly done

England's Man of the Match reveals Rossoneri deal

England midfielder David Beckham admits his loan move to AC Milan is 95 per cent done.
The Los Angeles Galaxy star is due to finish his current season in the MLS and is keen to keep up his fitness, with one eye on Fabio Capello's World Cup squad for South Africa next year.
Having spent a spell on loan at the San Siro last season, Beckham hopes another successful period in Milan will keep him match sharp.

Speaking after England's final qualification win against Belarus, which ended 3-0 at Wembley, Beckham revealed that the deal with the Rossoneri is almost complete.

"It's close. I've always said I want to go back there if they want me," he said.

"AC have said they wanted me back since I left to go back to the United States and they're saying the same now.

"It's 95% done so I don't know why it wouldn't happen now."

Beckham was awarded Man of the Match after making an impact when brought on as a substitute in the second half against Belarus, where two goals from Peter Crouch and a strike from Shaun Wright-Phillips earned the Three Lions a win.

"This was important for getting over the loss (against Ukraine on Saturday)," he added.
"We needed to end on a high. We didn't deserve to lose last time and we wanted to end the campaign well.

"We all have to prove with every game and every training session that we want to be in the squad for every game. Not just the World Cup, but every qualifier and every time we meet up."


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mirza reaches quarter-finals

Indian Sania Mirza defeated Viktoriya Kutuzova in straight sets 6-4 6-3 to become the first player to reach the quarter-finals of the HP Open in Japan.

The 22-year-old, ranked 61st in the world, took advantage of a series of double faults from Ukrainian Kutuzova to secure her place in the last eight in Osaka.

Mirza, who won the Australian Open mixed doubles with Mahesh Bhupathi this year, will now face the 2006 champion and world number 12 Marion Bartoli of France.

Second seed Bartoli, who is fighting for a place in the season-ending championships in Doha, pummelled Japanese wild card entry Kurumi Nara 6-1 6-1 in only 61 minutes.

In other second round action, fourth seed Francesca Schiavone of Italy claimed an unconvincing 6-3 0-6 6-3 win over Taiwan's Chan Yung-jan.

Seventh seed Hungarian Melinda Czink hit seven aces and seven double faults during her clash against American Vania King before coming out on top 6-4 6-2.


Simon Roberts returns to McLaren from Force India

Racing series F1
Date 2009-10-15


McLaren's Simon Roberts will next month return to the British team after a one-year appointment with Force India, it was announced late on Wednesday.

Roberts acted this year as Force India's chief operating officer, as the Silverstone based team got up to speed with its McLaren partnership, including a supply of Mercedes engines.

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh was present at Force India's factory for the confirmation, where it was announced that former BAR and Honda official Otmar Szafnauer will take over the role from Roberts.

Both Romanian-born American Szafnauer and Roberts will attend the last two races of 2009 to "ensure a smooth transition", Force India said in a statement.

"Otmar was selected by myself in full consultation with McLaren to replace Simon, who has now completed his secondment with Force India," said team boss and co-owner Vijay Mallya.

The Indian added that he was "sad" to see Roberts go but "he was always on secondment and we knew we would have to let him return to the McLaren fold".

Meanwhile, it was announced last week that Toyota's departed engine boss Luca Marmorini is rejoining Ferrari, to replace Gilles Simon as the Italian team's engine and electronics chief.

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Aviation Pioneer Richard T. Whitcomb


Aviation pioneer Richard Whitcomb has died in Newport News at the age of 89. The NASA Langley Research Center engineer has been called the most significant aerodynamic contributor of the second half of the 20th century.

Richard Whitcomb looks over a model that incorporates his supercritical wing concept. Credit: NASA

If you look at almost any large airplane today -- especially those that fly at supersonic speeds -- you can see the genius of Dick Whitcomb.

"Dick Whitcomb's intellectual fingerprints are on virtually every commercial aircraft flying today," said Tom Crouch, noted aviation historian at the Smithsonian Institution. "It's fair to say he was the most important aerodynamic contributor in the second half of the century of flight."

Born in Illinois in 1921, Richard Travis Whitcomb was the son and grandson of engineers. He grew up in Worcester, Mass., building model airplanes, in an era when aviation pioneers such as Charles Lindbergh were household names.

His interest in aeronautics continued into college at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he joined the aeronautics club and spent a lot of time in the school's wind tunnel.

Whitcomb came to what is now NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., in 1943, during World War II, right after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and highest honors.

It was a busy time for aeronautical engineers working to improve America's military air superiority and Whitcomb dived right in. In less than a decade he tackled and solved one of the biggest challenges of the day -- how to achieve practical, efficient transonic and supersonic flight.

A review of the highlights of Dick Whitcomb's career, including clips from a recent interview.

In interviews over the years Whitcomb told how he was sitting one day with his feet up on his desk when he had a "Eureka!" moment and came up with what is known as the Whitcomb area rule. He theorized the shape of the fuselage could be changed to reduce the aircraft shock wave drag that occurs near the speed of sound. The basic idea was to ensure a smooth cross sectional area distribution between the front and back of the plane. "We built airplane models with Coke bottle-shaped fuselages and lo and behold the drag of the wing just disappeared," said Whitcomb. "The wind tunnel showed it worked perfectly."

For that innovation the Langley engineer won the 1954 Collier Trophy for the year's greatest achievement in aviation in the U.S.

Whitcomb examines a model designed in accordance with his transonic area rule in April 1954. Credit: NASA

Whitcomb came up with three important aeronautical innovations while working at NASA Langley, one in each decade of his career. If the area rule was Whitcomb's major accomplishment of the 1950s, his supercritical wing revolutionized the design of jet liners after the 1960s. The key was the development of an airfoil that was flatter on the top and rounder on the bottom with a downward curve on the trailing edge. That shape delayed the onset of drag, increasing the fuel efficiency of aircraft flying close to the speed of sound.

In the 1970s it was an article on birds that led Whitcomb to develop his third significant innovation -- winglets -- refining an idea that had been around for decades. Other engineers had suspected that end plates added to the wing tips could reduce drag. But the Langley engineer proved a simple vertical plate wasn't enough. "It is a little wing. That's why I called them winglets," said Whitcomb. "It's designed with all the care that a wing was designed." Winglets reduce yet another type of drag and further improve aerodynamic efficiency. Many airliners and private jets sport wingtips that are angled up for better fuel performance.

Those who worked with Whitcomb remember him as brilliant, driven and single-minded with aerodynamics dominating his thoughts at work and at home. "I was extremely fortunate to work with Dick Whitcomb from 1974 to 1980, when I was an engineer fresh out of college," said Pete Jacobs, chief engineer for the Ground Facilities and Testing Directorate at NASA Langley. "It was truly an amazing experience to learn from the man who had been referenced in my textbooks. He had an uncanny sense of aerodynamics, unbelievable concentration, and the most phenomenal memory of anyone I've ever met."

The famed aerodynamicist retired from NASA Langley in 1980, but his contributions remain some of the research center's greatest accomplishments. "Dick Whitcomb's three biggest innovations have been judged to be some 30 percent of the most significant innovations produced by NASA Langley through its entire history," said Langley chief scientist Dennis Bushnell, who worked with Whitcomb. "That's from its founding in 1917 to the present. He is without the doubt the most distinguished alumnus of the Langley Research Center."

Whitcomb earned many honors in his life. Besides the Collier Trophy, he received the National Medal of Science (personally conferred by President Richard Nixon) in 1973, the U.S. Air Force Exceptional Service medal in 1955, the first NACA Distinguished Service Medal in 1956, the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal in 1959 and the National Aeronautics Association's Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy in 1974. The engineer was also was inducted into the National Inventors' Hall of Fame in 2003, the National Academy of Engineering in 1976 for his pioneering research in the aerodynamic design of high performance aircraft and the Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Whitcomb's alma mater, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, also awarded him an honorary doctorate and its presidential medal.

Whitcomb requested there be no funeral. Instead his ashes will be spread by plane over the Chesapeake Bay.

LCROSS Shepherding Spacecraft Observations of Centaur Impact


LCROSS impact crater as viewed with near-infrared (NIR) and ultra violet/visible (UV/Vis) spectrometers. Credit NASA Ames.

At approximately 4:31 a.m. PDT on Oct. 9, 2009, the LCROSS Centaur impacted the surface of the Cabeus crater. From approximately 373 miles (600 km), the LCROSS Shepherding Spacecraft captured the impact flash with its instruments. The faint but distinct flash was only a few pixels wide in the LCROSS cameras and lasted only a brief moment but will yield valuable information about the composition of the material at the impact site.

The LCROSS mid-infrared (MIR) Camera detected a sodium flash at Centaur Impact. Credit NASA Ames.

NASA Celebrates Earth Science Week

This year's Earth Science Week is organized around the theme of "Understanding Climate."

October 14, 2009

NASA joins in the world celebration of Earth Science Week 2009 (October 11-17) with a release of a series of new multimedia products and educational resources designed to improve understanding of global climate change. The theme of this year's event is "Understanding Climate."

As a leader in climate studies, NASA's contribution to Earth Science Week this year focuses on the connection between climate change and Earth's ocean. Highlights include a new video series entitled "Tides of Change" focusing on the ocean-climate connection, and a live educational webcast on Oct. 14 at 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m.EDT).

Feature story:
and educational resources page:
and webcast link:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wwe Monday night raw: John Cena vs cody Rhodes legacy