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WATCH: SpaceX launches Intelsat-40E mission with NASA

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SpaceX’s commercial communications satellite Falcon 9 blasted off on Friday into the orbit with a NASA Earth science instrument aboard, reported space.com.

The rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Florida that carried Intelsat 40e satellite toward geostationary transfer orbit.

The Falcon 9 first-stage booster supporting this mission previously launched CRS-26, said SpaceX.

The launch occurred Friday is SpaceX’s 23rd of the year, and the Falcon 9’s touchdown was the company’s 184th orbital rocket landing overall, according to SpaceX.

The booster successfully landed on the “A Shortfall of Gravitas” drone ship within nine minutes.

Intelsat was deployed on the upper stage of the rocket after 32.5 minutes after the launch.

Intelsat-40E is a modern geostationary satellite which aims to give access to the company and its customers all across North and Central America.

The geostationary satellite — carried by rocket — is developed by Maxar Technologies which also hosts NASA’s Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) as a payload.

The satellite will be stationed in a geostationary orbit — 22,000 miles above the Earth — performing its tasks as other geostationary satellites do.

Additionally, it will also be capturing aerial photos on an hourly basis of air pollution over North America.

Those spacecrafts positioned in geostationary orbit over Earth appear in a fixed position while low Earth orbiting objects see the completion of 16 rounds every 24 hours.

In a press briefing on April 5, Karen St Germain, Earth Science Division director at NASA’s headquarters said: “We have several other missions that make observations of atmospheric constituents and atmospheric composition.”

“The real unique difference here with TEMPO is going to be that geostationary look”, Karen told journalists adding that “it will also provide much higher resolution data than other missions.”

TEMPO has the capability to carry out the mission for 20 months however, it can exceed the limit.

On the other hand, Intelsat-40E is solar powered consisting of two arrays which can operate for 15 years.

Aaron Abell, TEMPO project manager at Maxar said: “The TEMPO program really is a win-win-win for the major entities involved.”

“It allows unused capacity on Maxar’s heritage satellite design to be leveraged for government missions. This reduces the cost of access to space for the government as well as reduces the cost for Intelsat, as they’re compensated for their support of the TEMPO mission.”

Kevin Daugherty, TEMPO project manager at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia was of the view that “The total cost to NASA is approximately $210 million and of that, just over $90 million was for the instrument development itself. And the remainder has been for both paying our contractors for hosting TEMPO and then integration, but as well as some support engineering and management that’s been going on.”

NASA is working on a “lessons learned session” to look at how best to implement and approach such partnerships with commercial actors in the future, Daugherty added.

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Google uses AI to telecast the Paris Olympics in the US

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As announced in a statement by the three organizations, Google will be Team USA’s official search AI partner, becoming the first digital business to work with the sports NGO.

In an effort to draw in people who don’t watch live television and younger viewers who are used to seeing clips online, NBCUniversal, the company that broadcasts the Games in the United States, is updating its programming at the same time as the announcement.

Earlier, the media firm controlled by Comcast announced that it would introduce daily recaps of the competition that are tailored by artificial intelligence (AI) and narrated by AI versions of real people, such sports commentator Al Michaels.

NBCUniversal’s anchors will use Google Search’s AI summaries to respond to queries regarding specific sports, including how crucial pool-lane assignments are in swimming competitions, during daytime and primetime coverage of the Olympics.

Without requiring the user to click through to a website, Google’s AI summaries offer written answers to search inquiries.

Google’s Gemini AI model will be utilized by comedian Leslie Jones, who will be a pundit in Paris, to engage viewers and acquire knowledge about new sports.

The Paris Olympics get underway on July 26.

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‘e-procurement system should be implemented throughout the country’

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The e-procurement system was implemented, according to a news release from the PPRA managing director, in order to decrease public spending by increasing transparency.

Hasnat Ahmed Qureshi stated that the system would soon be adopted nationwide, including in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, following its installation in 27 ministries and 280 governmental departments.

In cooperation with the Federal Board of Revenue, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, Accountant General Pakistan Revenues, and State Bank of Pakistan, he said, a system was planned to facilitate procurement agencies and suppliers. One-window operation and e-payment options will be provided by the system.

The PPRA managing director also noted that the Finance Ministry and the Cabinet Division, which are acting in accordance with the Prime Minister’s instruction, have made significant contributions to the implementation of the e-procurement system.

8,500 government workers and vendors have received specialized training for the “E-Pak Acquisition and Disposal System” initiative, which was started with support from the World Bank in March 2023.

The Procurement Rules 2004 have undergone 25 revisions by the federal PPRA in order to provide an easy and uncomplicated procurement process.

For the convenience of procurement engineers and suppliers, the PPRA has released high-quality bidding documents and procurement regulations. Additionally, help desks that offer daily technical support to departments and suppliers have been set up.

After successfully registering for free on the e-procurement system, about 13,000 suppliers and commercial entities are now qualified to participate in federal government procurement processes.

The e-procurement system, which would assist the provinces in ensuring efficient and transparent procurement procedures, has been given to Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by the federal PPRA. Since July 1, the Punjabi government has successfully brought the e-procurement system into the province in an effort to guarantee openness.

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The China-Pakistan alliance aims to introduce environmentally friendly solar-powered electric bicycles.

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Recently, a preliminary cooperation deal was made to bring eco-friendly solar e-bikes to Pakistan by Road King, a well-known electric scooter company in Pakistan, and AGAO Solar Mobility, a China-based startup that specialises in solar-powered scooters.

With solar panels installed, solar scooters are environmentally friendly electric scooters. Instead of using conventional charging methods, these panels use solar energy to recharge the scooter’s battery. The Chinese company said that the short-distance, carbon-emission-free scooter and solar energy combination is dedicated to this goal.

The demand for products in Pakistan’s local transportation industry, trends in product development, and particular cooperative methods were all extensively discussed by the parties at the conference, according to CEN.

The Chinese firm promised to help Road King with product optimisation, marketing support, and technical support for solar-powered e-bikes. Developing superior transport products in tandem with the needs of the regional market is the aim.

As the delegation from Road King pointed out, we will aggressively pursue collaboration with the Chinese side and bring solar e-bikes to the Pakistani market. The high efficiency and eco-friendliness of solar e-bikes perfectly match Pakistan’s present need for environmentally friendly transportation.

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