Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Time to become a NASA astronaut and fly to Mars
Want to become an astronaut and fly to Red Planet? NASA is now accepting applications for future explorers and the final selection list will be announced in mid-2017.
 
Those chosen may fly on any of four different US spacecraft during their careers - the International Space Station (ISS), two commercial crew spacecraft currently in development by the US companies and NASA’s Orion deep-space exploration vehicle to Mars.
 
"NASA is on an ambitious journey to Mars and we’re looking for talented men and women from diverse backgrounds and every walk of life to help get us there,” said NASA administrator and former astronaut Charles Bolden in a statement.
 
"Today, we opened the application process for our next class of astronauts, extraordinary Americans who will take the next giant leap in exploration. This group will launch to space from US soil on American-made spacecraft and blaze the trail on our journey to the Red Planet,” he added.
 
NASA astronauts will again launch to the International Space Station (ISS) from Florida’s Space Coast on American-made commercial spacecraft -- Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and the SpaceX Crew Dragon.
 
These spacecraft will allow NASA to add a seventh crew member to each station mission, effectively doubling the amount of time astronauts will be able to devote to research in space, expanding scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies.
 
Astronauts also will lift off again from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard the Orion spacecraft, launched on the agency’s Space Launch System rocket, to unprecedented missions in lunar orbit.
 
There, the space agency will learn more about conducting complex operations in a deep space environment before moving on to longer duration missions as it progresses on its journey to Mars.
 
To help accomplish this work, NASA will select qualified astronaut candidates from a diverse pool of US citizens with a wide variety of backgrounds, including engineers, scientists and physicians.
 
Astronaut candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science or mathematics. An advanced degree is desirable.
 
Candidates also must have at least three years of related, progressively responsible professional experience, or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft.
 
Astronaut candidates must pass the NASA long-duration astronaut physical.
 
The astronaut candidate application website now is live and accepting submissions till February 18.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

Railway ticket cancellation, refund rules amended
Railway ticket cancellation and refund rules have been amended, parliament was told on Monday.
 
Granting refund of confirmed railway ticket up to four hours before departure, 50 percent cancellation charge for a confirmed ticket submitted between 12 and four hours before departure and 25 percent cancellation charge if submitted between 48 and 12 hours before departure are some of the amended rules since December 12, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
 
The minister said refund of fare after deducting clerkage charge for Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC), wait listed ticket and partially confirmed tickets have been introduced if the tickets were submitted for refund up to 30 minutes before the train's scheduled departure.
 
"Rules have been amended to check bogus claims, to facilitate provision of mobile ticketing as well as paperless ticketing, discourage last minute cancellation resulting in seats/berths going vacant etc. The amendment in refund rules became necessary to adapt to changes/developments in the ticketing systems," Sinha said.
 
"No cancellation charge or clerkage charges are levied and full fare is refunded to all passengers holding confirmed, RAC and wait-listed tickets if the journey is not undertaken due to late running of the train by more than three hours of scheduled departure."
 
The minister added that Railways are preparing reservation charts at least four hours in advance to facilitate ticket reservation till 30 minutes before a train departs.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

COMMENTS

Mr Jitendra

11 months ago

Confirmed tickets are still being sold by agents and tout by "operating inside the PRS (passenger reservation centre) while customers on window and internet continue to suffer due to no seats, server error, banking gateway error. Emails are not answered and feedback you give to Railways is not taken seriously or is not believed.

Overhaul of Congress leadership - an idea whose time has come

Time is running out fast for the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, which has been at the helm of the Congress for most of the last seven decades or so. Congress is on the verge of a collapse, and this time there is no saviour

 

What has become of our great organisation? Instead of a party that fired the imagination of the masses throughout the length and breadth of India, we have shrunk, losing touch with the toiling millions, said Rajiv Gandhi while addressing the Congress centenary session in Bombay (now Mumbai) on December 28, 1985.

History seems to be, like always, repeating itself. The "great organisation" India's prime minister was referring to needs an urgent leadership change to stem the rot. As one of the staunch Nehru-Gandhi family loyalists, M.L. Fotedar, has recently stated, the Congress is on the verge of a collapse. "However, this time there is no saviour," writes the former union minister and serving Congress Working Committee member in his soon to be released book, "The Chinar Leaves".

If one is to ask a devoted Congress worker, the scenario is really bleak. A political party which was guided by intellectual giants like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, and which has ruled India for around 50 years in the last seven decades or so, has been reduced to the ignominy of occupying just a handful of the opposition benches.

Time is running out fast for the dynasty which has been at the helm of the Indian National Congress for most of the last seven decades or so. With the electoral fortunes of the Congress hitting its nadir last May - winning just 44 of the Lok sabha's 543 elected seats - the delinking of the historic political organisation from the Nehru-Gandhi family is a historic necessity which the Congress leadership can ignore only at its peril.

Sonia Gandhi is rightly credited for her role in saving the oldest Indian political party from oblivion in 1998, but she is well beyond her prime. The Congress president needs to be shown the script of her inaugural speech on April 6, 1998.

"I have come to this office at a critical point in the history of the party. Our numbers in parliament have dwindled. Our support base among the electorate has been seriously eroded. Some segments, including Dalits and minorities, have drifted from us..."We are in danger of losing our central place in the polity of our country as a central party of governance," Sonia Gandhi had said.

Gandhi is credited with devising plans to revitalise the party by "reinforcing the role of ordinary workers and creating a representative and responsible organisational structure of the party" in 1998. But, in 2015, Rajiv Gandhi's widow can be accused of "losing touch with the toiling millions".

To make the scenario even more depressing for a brooding Congress worker, the only alternative being presented by an organisation in denial is Rahul Gandhi. It would be naïve to expect Rahul Gandhi of upping his leadership ante and provide effective leadership to one of the largest political organisations in the world.

It would be unkind to expect a "reluctant politician" to lead the second most populous country on the planet. It would be also unreasonable if that reluctant politician happens to be Rahul Gandhi - the same person who is accused of copying a simple condolence message to the victims of the Nepal earthquake from his mobile.

Why are Congress leaders so reluctant to look beyond Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi? How can one justify such a bankruptcy of leadership from a party which still has some credible intellectuals in its ranks? The 2014 parliamentary election results provided a wonderful opportunity to push for a leadership change but it has been wasted by those for whom the Congress starts and finishes with: Nehru-Gandhi family.

"The dilemma before Sonia Gandhi was that on the one hand she could not do without her coterie while on the other hand she had an overriding desire to see her son succeed in politics," Fotedar writes in his book.

Justifying the Pavlovian conditioning the Congress leadership is often accused of, Sonia Gandhi - and the unofficial heir-apparent Rahul Gandhi - have been completely absolved of the responsibility of bringing the Congress to such a pathetic status.

To again quote from Rajiv Gandhi's above-mentioned Bombay speech: The revitalisation of our organisation is a historical necessity.

The voices of those refusing to "go gentle into that good night" are beginning to be heard. "History is threatening to repeat itself. It is a matter of time before Soniaji's and Rahul's leadership is challenged from within the party. I will be observing closely how they stand up to this looming challenge, because Sonia is not Indira and Rahul is not Sanjay," Fotedar says.

It would be interesting to see who would challenge the mother-son duo and how many CWC stalwarts would stand behind the challenger. It would also be interesting to see whether the Congress would decide to go for the makeover at the top or disappear into the annals of history.

(Rekha Bhattacharjee is a veteran Indian journalist and commentator resident in Sydney. The views expressed are personal. She can be contacted at [email protected])

 

Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

User

COMMENTS

Anand Vaidya

12 months ago

Certainly, we the citizens, will not miss Congress Party's demise. Oh, actually, it will be a good thing for India.

Anyway Congress has already spawned many illicit heirs (AAP etc), so no worries.

manoharlalsharma

12 months ago

illiterates r the one who can do as in past "However, this time there is no Savior,"

Bapoo Malcolm

12 months ago

The Congress party is a cardboard box. A flat piece held together by glue. The glue is the Gandhis. The box is filled with the motley (and the not so motley) who are afraid to see the glue come unstuck. Rahul should announce his disinterest in high legislative posts, a la Sonia. Then stay away from day to day running of the government, if re-elected.

Let the glue become stronger. But it cannot move into the box. Or else all will come apart.

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)