US FDA Gave Clean-Chit to Moderna And J&J Covid-19 Booster Shots

On Wednesday, the United States Food and Drug Administration authorized the COVID-19 vaccine for booster doses of the Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson. They also said that Americans can choose a shot of their own choice for their original inoculation as a booster.

FDA CommissionerJanet Woodcock said in a statement, “The availability of these authorized boosters is important for continued protection against COVID-19 disease”. According to her, the data suggests the effectiveness of the vaccine may wane over time among some fully vaccinated people. This gives all three vaccines the liberty to give boosters to some groups in the United States.

This decision gave freedom to millions of people in the United States to get additional protection against the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus. An advisory panel of the FDA voted in favor of the third round of shots of the Moderna vaccine for the same groups last week. The one-shot J&J vaccine recipients are also recommended by the panel to get a second shot of the one-dose inoculation after two months of receiving their first.

In August, the FDA and U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were under pressure to sanction the extra shots after the White House announced a booster campaign.

Three Scientists Won Nobel Prize in Physics for Climate Discoveries

On Tuesday, the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics was won by the scientists for their work that helps understand complex physical systems like Earth’s changing climate. The three scientists to grab the award are, Japanese-born American Syukuro Manabe, German Klaus Hasselmann, and Italian Giorgio Parisi.

The decision was hailed by the U.N. Manabe, 90, and Hasselmann, 89, are jointly awarded half of the prize of 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.15 million), a sign of consensus surrounding human-caused global warming. Parisi is credited with the other half for discovering the “hidden rules” behind seemingly random movements and swirls in liquids and gases that can be applied to aspects of neuroscience, machine learning, and the flight pattern of starlings in the early 1980s.

According to the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, “Giorgio Parisi is rewarded for his revolutionary contribution to the theory of disordered materials and random processes. Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselman laid the foundation of our knowledge of the Earth’s climate and how humans influence it”.

Scientist Hasselmann described this reward as a beautiful dream and does not wish to wake up from it.

Americans Julius and Patapoutian win 2021 the Nobel Prize in Medicine

On Monday, American scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian won the 2021 Nobel Prize of Medicine for the discovery of receptors in the skin that sense temperature and touch. It can touch and could pave the way for new painkillers.

The Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute said that both of them individually carried out their work, which has helped them show how humans convert the physical impact from heat to touch into nerve impulses that allow us to “perceive and adapt to the world around us”. The journal further explained that this knowledge is being applied to create treatments for chronic pain and many other diseases.

Patapoutian who was born in 1967 to American parents said on his winning that in science many times it is the things they take for granted that are of high interest. He won more than the century-old prize that is worth 10 million Swedish crowns (1.12 million).

New York-born Julius is a professor at the University of California, San Francisco has previously worked at the Columbia University in New York. He said, “I think the work that we’re doing… will help to have a rational approach to developing those kinds of drugs”.

DRDO Successfully Tests flight Akash Prime Missile

On Monday, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully tested a new version of Akash Surface to Air missile Akash Prime that intercepted and destroyed an unnamed ariel target, mimicking an enemy aircraft in Odisha Chandipur.

Ashan Prime is equipped with an indigenous active RF (radio frequency) seeker for improved accuracy as compared to the existing Akash System. The new one also has few other improvements like more reliable performance under low-temperature environments at higher altitudes. For the current flight test, the modified ground system of the existing Akash weapon was used. Several range stations of the ITR monitored the missile trajectory and flight parameters, including radars, electro-optical tracking systems (EOTS), and telemetry stations.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stated that the success of the mission proves that the competence of DRDO’s design and development is world-class in the Missile system. Secretary of the Department of Defence R&D and Chairman of DRDO, G Sathessh Reddy congratulated the team on its success for the flight trial of the Akash Prime Missile. According to him the system will further boost the confidence of the Indian Army and Indian Air Force as the Akash System is already inducted and now being improved with more lethal missiles.

The US Announced alliance with Australia and Britain To Upgrade Nuclear-Powered Submarines

On Wednesday, in the face of growing rivalry with China, the United States announced a new alliance with Australia and Britain. To strengthen military capabilities the alliance will include a new Australian nuclear submarine fleet and cruise missiles.

The announcement of the alliance was made by US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and his British counterpart Boris Johnson in a video meeting. France, which is negotiating a multibillion-dollar deal for conventional submarines with Australia is also pushed back. Biden and other leaders stressed that the submarines will be powered with nuclear reactors and will not be nuclear-armed. According to Biden, allowing Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines, will lead to the most modern capabilities they need to maneuver and defend against rapidly evolving threats.

The official said that despite not carrying the nuclear weapon, the new submarine will allow the nation to “play at a much higher level”. At the time of signing the contract for the submarine with France, it was worth around Aus$50 billion. The overall deal is estimated to be AUS$90 billion after taking into account currency fluctuation and cost overruns. The contract got tangled in Australian domestic politics due to over budget and the company agreed to build 12 conventional Attack Class subs after the order was years behind schedule.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket took to Earth’s Orbit with All-Civilian Crew

After Elon Musk visits space from SpaceX, the company sends its first all-civilian crew into Earth’s orbit. From Kennedy Space Center in Florida, SpaceX Flacon 9 rocket carrying four space tourists blasted off on Wednesday night.

The launch was followed by a huge fireball illuminating the sky as the nine rocket engines began to pull away from the Earth at 8:02 pm (0002 GMT Thursday). Soon after the 11th minute the Dragon capsule separated from the rocket and sent stage as the crew entered orbit. In a vertical landing on a sea barge, the re-usable first stage made its way back to the Earth. For the first time, the Dragon capsule is equipped with a cupola observation dome, the largest space window ever for a better view. It was replaced by the usual mechanism used on Dragons to dock with the ISS.

The crew of four people, all Americans on a three-day trip will spin around Earth after which they will splash down off the Florida coast. The cost of the trip hasn’t been disclosed by the billionaire Elon Musk but the price tag runs into the tens of millions of dollars.

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Successfully Collects First Rock From Mars

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s newest Mars rover has successfully collected its first rock as the sample. The sample will be brought to Earth after its failed attempt the previous month.

Adam Stelzner, who is the chief engineer of the Perseverance rover tweeted on Thursday, said it was a perfect core sample and he had never been happier to see a hole in a rock. The rover had drilled into much softer rock a month ago but the sample crumbled and didn’t get inside the titanium tube. However, the rover tried again and drove more than a half mile to search for a better sampling spot. Meanwhile, the team members analyzed the data and pictures ahead of declaring it as a success.

In February, the Perseverance rover arrived at Mars Jezero carter in search of rocks that might hold the evidence of ancient life. It is believed to be the home of a lush lakebed and the river delta billions of years ago.

More spacecraft are being planned to launch by NASA to retrieve the samples collected by the Perseverance. The engineers of NASA are hoping to return more than three dozen samples in about a decade.

US Lab Stands In Threshold Of Key Fusion Goal

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced a key achievement in fusion research. Fusion is the lesser-known opposite reaction to nuclear fission that happens when the two atoms slam together to form a heavier atom and release energy. This is the way the sun makes energy.

The lab announced that they produced 1.3 megajoules of energy at its National Ignition Facility. The experiment was carried out on August 8, which has around 70% of the laser energy delivered to the fuel capsule. The institute is on the verge of achieving its longstanding goal in nuclear fusion research. It’s the experiment to suggest the goal of “ignition” where the energy released by fusion exceeds that delivered by the laser, is now within touching distance. The process that powers the Sun can provide a limitless clean energy course.

The inertial confinement fusion involves 192 beams from NIF’s laser which is the highest energy example in the world directed towards a peppercorn sized capsule that contains deuterium and tritium. They are the different forms of the element hydrogen.

The facilities that can provide energy to the grid and will require another giant leap to build it commercially.

ISRO fails to put Gisat-1 in orbit as the cryogenic stage fails to ignite

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) mission failed early on Thursday morning. The state-of-the-art Geo Imaging Satellite (Gisat-1) faced a setback.

As per the AsiaOne report, at 5:43 am the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-F10 (GSLV-F10) took off on schedule and the core stage burnt out according to the plan propelling the rocket in its intended path. The second stage of the ignition also happened as planned with a two minutes curvet into the launch, and payload fairing was confirmed by the mission control. The tense moment for ISRO started soon after the second stage shut off. The cryogenic stage was not able to ignite which led to the mission failure. ISRO chairman Mr. K Sivan addressed the team of scientists and engineers at the Sriharikota that the failure was due to the technical anomaly in the cryogenic stage because of which the mission could not be accomplished.

A failure analysis committee (FAC) will be formed by the ISRO which will analyze the reason behind the failure for the anomaly. According to AsiaOne magazine, this was the third attempt by the space agency at launching the satellite. The satellite is to be the advanced “eye in the sky” which is designed to provide near real-time images of large “areas of the region of interest” at frequent intervals.

India’s first-ever Made-In-India Aircraft carrier Vikrant sails for maiden trails

The very first aircraft carrier Made-In-India Vikrant sets sail for Maiden Trials. Vikrant is the largest and most complex warship which India has ever designed and built. Vikrant is 262 meters long, a maximum of 62m wide, and 59m high which includes the superstructure. It has 14 decks out of which 5 are in the superstructure. It is designed to billet around 1700 people which has more than 2,300 compartments including cabins for accommodating women officers, as reported to Asia News.

On Wednesday, the warship Vikrant set off for its sea trial 50 years after its namesake’s key role in the 1971 war. The aircraft is expected to be commissioned into service next year. According to AsiaOne Magazine reports, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Navy will be added with a superior combat capability range and versatility. Indian registered its name in the list of nations having niche capability to indigenously design, build and integrate. It’s a state-of-the-art aircraft carrier. Amid the pandemic achieving this milestone was made possible by the dedicated efforts of all stakeholders. Indian navy marks this day as an extremely proud and historic day for reincarnating its warship Vikrant.

Mr. Rajnath Singh calls it a true testimony to their unwavering commitment towards “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” in defense.