1. China’s rocket takes an uncontrolled plunge into Earth, largest in 3 decades
A Chinese rocket on Monday fell back on Earth, uncontrolled and became the largest piece of space junk in decades to fall in the Earth’s atmosphere. The rocket named Long March 5B, a prototype crew capsule resembling a SpaceX Crew Dragon to orbit for a test, was launched on May 5. After a whole week of orbiting the Earth the core part of the rocket plunged into the Earth’s atmosphere and fell down into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of West Africa. Till now there have been no reports of the rocket breaking up in the sky or of debris on the ground. “It is the most massive object to make an uncontrolled reentry since the 39-tonne Salyut-7 in 1991,” tweeted Jonathan McDowell, a prominent Harvard astrophysicist.
2. Sania 1st Indian to win Fed Cup Heart Award, donates prize to COVID-19 relief fund
Tennis player Sania Mirza has become the first Indian to win the Fed Cup Heart Award for successfully returning to the court post motherhood. The Fed Cup Heart Award winners were announced based on the online voting procedure that was followed by the fans which went on for a week starting from May 1. In a statement issued by the All India Tennis Association (AITA), Mirza said “It’s an honour to win the Fed Cup Heart Award as the first Indian. I dedicate this award to the entire country and to all my fans and thank everyone for voting for me. I hope to bring more laurels to the country in the future.” She further added. “”I want to donate the money that I get from this award to the Telangana Chief Minister’s Relief Fund as the world is going through very difficult times with the virus,”
3. Researchers at Intel, UPenn create AI model to detect brain tumors
Researchers of the Intel and University of Pennsylvania have joined hands to create an AI model using the machine learning technique that will be able to detect brain tumors. This technique is called federated learning, a distributed machine learning approach that allows various organizations present across the globe to collaborate on deep learning projects without sharing patient data. Other organizations who have joined this project belong to countries that include US, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, and India.
4. Astronomers discover rare ‘super-Earth’, a “one in a million” discovery
Astronomers have discovered a new planet and have named it ‘Super-Earth’ as it is very much similar to the one we live on. Astronomers of the University of Canterbury who have discovered this new planet say that the Super-Earth has similar size and mass as Earth. It has a host star which is about 10% the mass of the Sun and its years are longer each consisting of 617 days. The Super-Earth is 124 light-years away from our planet and is 2.6 times the radius of Earth. Its atmosphere is hydrogen-rich with a significant amount of water vapour. However, its layer of hydrogen is not too thick, which would have made the temperature and the pressure of the water underneath perfect to support life.
5. Fire in Spain’s park leaves grass and trees unburnt
A bewildering video has gone viral on social media that shows how a fire sweeping through a park in Spain has left the grass and trees unburnt and unharmed. Only a white film on the ground is seen burning. According to a local news service, the video was captured at a park in Calahorra, and the white ‘film’ that is seen burning, is actually seeds from the poplar tree spread over the entire ground. What is even more surprising is that this fire, along with leaving the treens and grass unburnt also left a bench unharmed.
6. PM asks CMs to submit plan to handle lockdown correctly by 15th May
Indian Prime Minister’s official twitter handle has announced that Narendra Modi will be addressing the nation tonight at 8 pm. This will the PM’s third address to the nation and comes after the virtual meeting he recently held with Indian states’ chief ministers to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the country. The first part of the lockdown was announced by him on 24th March and is going to be continued till 17th May. Will the lockdown be further extended remains a topic of attention for the whole country. The PM has also asked the states’ chief minister to submit a blueprint for tackling the lockdown situation well in each state before the 15th of May. He further went on to say that the greatest weapon at our disposal till the time a vaccine is found is that of ‘social distancing’ and the nation must follow it. Currently, India is in its third phase of the lockdown.
7. Govt brings back around 4000 Indians stranded abroad in 23 flights
Union Home Ministry Joint Secretary Punya Salila Srivastava has said that India has brought back about 4000 stranded Indians from abroad in 23 special flights. In addition to this, approximately 15,000 more Indians are expected to return on special Air India flights from 12 countries in the coming days. Those that have returned are kept under institutional quarantine as per the guidelines for coronavirus.
8. Elon Musk working on tech that’ll make human language obsolete in 5 years
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is working on developing technology that could make human language obsolete in the next 5 years. He plans to launch this technology through his neurotechnology firm Neuralink. In a podcast, Musk said that he hoped the company would succeed in connecting a Neuralink device to the human brain for the very first time within the next coming year. A battery-powered chip will be inserted into the skull and its electrodes carefully inserted into the brain. While the initially produced devices will focus on helping treat brain injuries and disorders, the later produced devices will be capable of ‘much more’. The device will dismiss the need to talk although humans will be able to talk if they wish to for emotional reasons, Musk said.
9. India risking economic ‘hara-kiri’ by extending lockdown: Anand Mahindra
Industrialist and Mahindra Group chairman, Anand Mahindra said that if the lockdown gets extended for a much longer duration then the country will be “risking economic hara-kiri, i.e economic suicide. He said that though undoubtedly the nationwide lockdown has helped India avoid lakhs of deaths, further extended of the lockdown can severely affect the weaker sections of the society thus impacting the national economy. Through his twitter handle, Mahindra said, “”A functioning & growing economy is like an immune system for livelihoods. A lockdown weakens that immune system and most hurts the impoverished in our society.”
10. Virat Kohli close to the “genius” Brian Lara: Former captain Alastair Cook
Former England captain Alastair Cook after playing with some of the greatest cricketers of all times considers that West Indian Brian Lara is the best followed Indian skipper Virat Kohli. “The ones who came close to Lara when I was playing for England were Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis and Kumar Sangakkara. Now you’d have to put Kohli in that group.” Cook is England’s highest run-scorer in Test cricket with 12472 runs in 161 Tests in his basket.
11. Mithali Raj says, “Want to try one last time to bring the WC trophy to India”
India batter Mithali Raj has revealed she wants to give one final try at achieving World Cup glory before signing off from T20 cricket. The ODI captain has been playing international cricket for close to 21 years and has witnessed the best and worst day for women’s cricket in India. During a candid chat with Sanjay Manjrekar on the ESPNcricinfo Videocast, Raj said, “I am looking forward to 2021 World Cup (50 over). Want to try one last time to bring the World Cup trophy to India in 2021. I need to keep myself motivated for 2021.”