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SpaceX Launched ‘Falcon Heavy’ Carrying Tesla Roadster Car

World’s most powerful rocket ‘Falcon Heavy’ carrying a special payload: a red coloured Tesla Roadster and a mannequin named ‘Starman’ – the spacesuit-wearing driver, was successfully launched in its maiden test flight at 8.45PM GMT on Tuesday February 6, 2018 by SpaceX of which Elon Musk is CEO and founder. The launch took place from the same landing pads where NASA’s Apollo moon missions began, the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and have captured the attention of people all over the world. The Tesla Roadster was supposed to head to Mars orbit but its space journey has turned out differently than expected as the rocket had exceeded Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid belt, which is between Mars and the planet Jupiter.

SpaceX or Space Exploration Technologies Corp is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk to revolutionise space technology, with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonisation of Mars and with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets. SpaceX has since designed and developed advanced rockets and spacecraft such as the Falcon launch vehicle family and the Dragon spacecraft family, which both currently deliver payloads into Earth orbit.

  • Falcon 9 which is composed of nine-engine cores with 27 Merlin engines altogether can generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at lift-off.
  • The rocket is capable of carrying around 64 metric tons (141,000 lb) – a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel; into the orbit.
  • SpaceX has used the technology from its Falcon 9 rockets to build this bigger Falcon Heavy.
  • The advantage with SpaceX is that its Falcon Heavy can do this at one-third the cost as other rockets with such capabilities.
  • Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster is expected to reach a distance of about 160 million miles away from the Sun.
  • It is estimated the car “will be in that orbit for several million years, may be in excess of a billion years, and at times it will come extremely close to Mars and there is a tiny, tiny chance it will hit Mars”.

Elon Musk after the launch told reporters ecstatically, “The mission went as well as one could have hoped;” calling it “probably the most exciting thing I have seen literally ever”. “I had this image of a giant explosion on the pad with a wheel bouncing down the road with the Tesla logo landing somewhere”. “Fortunately that is not what happened.” “May be discovered by some alien race that’ll be like ‘What were they doing? Did they worship this car?’ Why did they have a little car in the car?’”

Barack Obama former U. S. President and SpaceX founder Elon Musk had declared humans would walk on the Red Planet in a few decades and the successful launch of SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket has put us in a completely different realm of what we can put into deep space, what we can send to Mars.

New challengers like China are joining the U.S. and Russia in space with an ambitious, if vague, Mars program. Aerospace corporations like BlueOrigin have published schematics of future bases, ships and suits.

Soumitra Chatterjee Receives French Legion of Honour

Legion of Honour or Legion d’Honneur, the highest civilian award in France, was received by the Veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee, arguably, the most prominent face of Ray’s films, at the Investiture Ceremony in Kolkatta on Tuesday 30 January, 2018 from the French Ambassador in India Alexandre Ziegler. The Order of the Legion of Honour had been conferred on legendary Indian film-maker Satyajit Ray on the 2nd of February, 1989 by the President of the French Republic François Mitterrand during his visit to Calcutta now Kolkata. Sandip Ray, a film-maker and son of Satyajit Ray was in the audience when his father received the award 29 years ago, and was also present on this very day.

Legion of Honour, officially National Order of the Legion of Honour, French Ordre National de la Légion d’honneur, premier order of the French republic, was created by Napoleon Bonaparte, then first consul, on May 19, 1802, as a general military and civil order of merit conferred without regard to birth or religion provided that anyone admitted swears to uphold liberty and equality.

Soumitra Chatterjee or Soumitra Chattopadhyay is a famous Bengali Actor who was born on 19 January 1935 in Calcutta, West Bengal, India. He is also a Theatre Actor, Poet & Painter. He is well known for his association with Oscar-winning film director Satyajit Ray, doing fourteen successful films with him. He was a leading actor of 1960s and 1970s of Bengali Cinema. His debut film was Apur Sansar (The World of Apu) in 1959. His notable roles include roles in Abhijan (The Expedition, 1962), Charulata (The Lonely Wife, 1964), Sonar Kella (The Fortress, 1974) as Feluda and Joi Baba Felunath (The Elephant God, 1978).

Soumitra Chatterjee was honoured with the Padma Bhushan award by the Indian Government in 2004. He received in 2012 Dadasaheb Phalke Award for lifetime achievement, two National Film Awards as the best actor, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1998 as a Bengali film actor. In 2013 IBN LIVE named him as one of “The men who changed the face of the Indian Cinema”. In 2014 he received the introductory Filmfare Awards East for Best Male Actor (Critics) for his role in Rupkatha Noy. He won 6 Filmfare Awards.

Prime Minister’s Tour of Arab Countries includes Historic Visit to Palestine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s four nation tour of Arab countries was the visit to an extended maritime neighbourhood and the key priority in external relations in terms of engagement with the Gulf countries. This was his 5th visit to the Gulf and the West Asian region since 2015. PM arrived at Amman on the 9th of February 2018 and this visit to Jordan was the first by an Indian Prime Minister in 30 years since Rajeev Gandhi made a visit in 1988. He then flew on the 10th to Palestine, escorted by Israeli and Royal Jordanian choppers to Ramallah. Modi arrived Abu Dhabi on the 10th itself on his two days’, second visit to the United Arab Emirates, his first was in August 2015. On the last day PM arrived in Muscat on the 11th where he attended a special dinner hosted by the Sultan Sayyid Qaboos Bin Said Al Said of Oman.

Narendra Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the State of Palestine on the 10th of February, 2018 and this visit to Palestine was a historic visit in every sense. Prime Minister was very warmly received by President Mahmoud Abbas and his government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on the 10th of February, 2018 conferred the ‘Grand Collar of the State of Palestine’, the highest civilian award that the State of Palestine gives, by President Mahmoud Abbas, recognising his key contribution to promote relations between India and Palestine. The talks with President Abbas were very fruitful. They spoke about a number of issues that include the peace process, latest developments in that regard and the Prime Minister assured President Mahmoud Abbas that India stood by Palestine and that India was ready to assist in whatever way it could in the development of Palestine, in building up Palestine and he spoke the need for optimism and hope for the Palestinian people.

  • During the term of this government the President of India has made first ever visit to Palestine in 2015.
  • President Mahmoud Abbas made an official visit to India in May 2017.
  • The three visits taken together reflect the government of India’s commitment to the cause of Palestine.
  • PM paid his respects at the memorial of the Mausoleum of the late President Yasser Arafat and toured the museum.
  • Six MoUs with cumulative value of approximately $40 million on infrastructure, national security and defence were signed.

Palestinian has thanked India for on-going projects that include the Technology Park which is in the process of being built. India also earlier supported the construction of a Diplomatic Academy; and this time too especially new projects that include a Specialty 100 bed hospital that India would be building in Palestine and a Women’s Empowerment Centre where women from various parts of Palestine can come and learn skills. India is also constructing or renovating some schools and going to supply machinery to the national printing press of Palestine.

The Importance of Reading Books

Books are the building blocks of a civilized society and nation. They contain the ideas which morally enlighten and intellectually strengthen us. The intellectuals and thinkers are not born; they are made in this world through their devotion to imbibing great thoughts and ideas from wherever they are found. Good Books are the sources of good and great ideas and should never be missed. According to Francis Bacon “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested” – the knowledge, idea and thought it contains, should be thoroughly enjoyed, learnt and assimilated. The books are not to be put on the shelves but to embellish the minds of the readers. Bacon starts his essay, “Of Studies,” with: “Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability”. The delight that an avid reader experiences while studying a book is indescribable. Words can never be sufficient to describe the joy of reading a thought-provoking book which is purely soulful.

Reading a quote or a paragraph on any subject, say love, family or society may also delight or enlighten us but it is difficult to cherish and preserve the idea learnt or memorized through such casual and short reading for long. Most of the time, such casual reading is of no help and, howsoever, the idea may be precious, it is likely to slip down from the memory in the hurly-burly of life. When we set a target to read a book within a set deadline, say a month or year, depending upon the size and content of the book we steadily internalise something enlightening and valuable that we are regularly connected with on routine basis. A good book has a lasting impact  on its reader. The more he reads it, the more he reflects on it and based on continuous process of reflection, he builds his philosophy, vision and thinking about life. It has been seen that voracious readers end up becoming very wise advisors for society and their relatives. Equipped with knowledge and ideas they are in a better position to discern and comprehend the crux of a particular problem and accordingly offer the piece of advice.

Not surprisingly, a voracious reader may turn out to be a rebel against the established rotten customs and traditions. The scholar, thinker and philosopher is awakened in him as  learns about new idea and things which convince him about the futility of the old regressive practices that he has assiduously followed all along due to lack of enlightenment. It is true that reading book is like an awakening process which jolts the conscience and the mind of the reader and thus makes a strong demand from him/her to think and initiate. Book reading should and does not make us lethargic and dull but actionable, and crusader for good causes. It should awaken us from inside and push us to take firm action against the social evils and superstitions.

 One of the most unique aspects of reading is that a voracious reader is also transformed into prolific writer. The vast reading opens new vistas for him triggering a chain of new thoughts which intellectually inspire him to express what he has felt during his absorption in the books.  History is replete with instances of great social reformers who were scholars and lovers of books, turning out to be great writer and the books which they penned became the major weapons in their fight against social evils. Mahtama Gandhi, Ishwar Chandra Vidhyasagar, Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Swami Vivekanand are some of the great philosophers who were guided by their readings and became torch bearers for the masses in our contemporary society.

India & Iran to Co-Operate on Energy & Connectivity

India and Iran have agreed to move beyond traditional buyer-seller relationship on energy cooperation and develop it into a long term strategic partnership, during the first State visit of Dr. Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran to India from 15-17 February 2018. While welcoming him, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, described, Chabahar as the “Golden gateway to Afghanistan and the Central Asian region”, and urged for closer cooperation in the fields of energy, banking and countering terrorism.

President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, while hosting banquet in honour of the President of Iran, said that India-Iran relationship is growing in all spheres, bilateral trade has expanded, and energy partnership is growing; Iran’s abundant hydrocarbon resources and India’s rapidly growing energy demand provide new opportunities. As developing nations facing similar challenges, India and Iran have much to share and gain from each other, he added.

Iran has expressed willingness to share its vast oil and natural gas resources with India for the prosperity of its people and offered to simplify visa norms to strengthen the relations between the two countries. India and Iran are currently engaged in trying to reach an agreement over India developing Iran’s Farzad-B gas field. Rouhani said Iran was “fully ready” to intensify cooperation in the energy, petroleum and gas sectors.

On Connectivity, India is to invest up to $100 million in the Chabahar Port Development project. Chabahar agreement signed in May 2016, during Modi’s trip to Iran to develop two terminals and five berths at Port of Chabahar and to build a new railway line between Chabahar and Zahedan, as part of North–South Transport Corridor, by Indian Railway’s public sector unit Ircon International, marks a new level in India’s overseas ambitions, establishing a genuinely strategic presence not just in one of the world’s great energy markets, but potentially giving Indian business access to some of the fastest-growing economies of the future. Iranian port of Chabahar will be India’s primary gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asia. The first phase of Shahid Beheshti Port- Chabahar – stands completed. Iran and India reiterated their commitment for early and full operationalization of Shahid Beheshti Port at Chabahar. Iran has welcomed Indian investment in setting up plants in sectors such as fertilizers, petrochemicals and metallurgy in Chabahar FTZ on mutually beneficial terms.

Prime Minister Modi and President Rouhani witnessed the exchange of the following documents:

  • Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income
  • MoU on Exemption from Visa requirement for holders of Diplomatic Passports
  • Instrument of Ratification of Extradition Treaty
  • MoU on Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine
  • MoU on the establishment of an Expert Group on Trade Remedy Measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest
  • MoU on Cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sectors
  • MoU on Cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine
  • MoU on Postal Cooperation
  • Lease Contract for Shahid Beheshti Port-Phase 1 of Chabahar during Interim Period between Port and Maritime Organization (PMO), Iran and India Ports Global Limited (IPGL).

How to prepare for Government Job Exams

Despite the lucrative packages and ample growth opportunities in the private sector there has been a consistent rise in the demand for careers in the Public or Government sector. Considering the job security, satisfaction, social status and authority that follow a Government job, every year thousands of aspirants make a beeline for various qualifying exams for a handful of government jobs.

With this surge in competition, it is quite obvious that applicants need to work hard to crack these exams. Government job aspirants must follow a well-planned and organized strategy to prepare well for such qualifying exams. There are a number of competitive exam magazines that help you stay updated with the various government job qualifying exams.

Though nothing can beat hard work and dedication, there are a few tips to guide you to plan a thorough strategy to tackle every aspect related to the examination.

  • Stay updated with the syllabus – A thorough understanding of the syllabus is imperative as it offers you a clear insight into the examination pattern and to devise a preparation strategy. A good grip on the syllabus also helps you evaluate the type of questions that can be asked and prepare for them accordingly.
  • Define a suitable preparation strategy – Cracking any competitive exam is not a piece of cake. You need to work relentlessly and stay focused throughout the preparation time. A comprehensive and practical preparation strategy must be designed so as to prepare in the best possible way. Do the necessary research and come up with a goal-based timeline that enables you to cover the entire syllabus and prepare for all important topics within a defined time limit. A well defined time line will surely increase the probability of your success in any exam.
  • Prioritize the topics – When it comes to the intensive preparation of any of the various topics, it is advisable to prepare for the tough topics first. An in-depth preparation and understanding of these difficult portions of the syllabus will give you the required confidence to ace any such exam. Though you may be enticed to go for the easier topics first, it’s better to shift your focus to them gradually once you are through with the tough topics.
  • Devote ample time for revision – Set aside some quality time every day to revise what you have studied. Preparation of revision notes is also a great strategy as you can sum up the entire topics within a few bullet points. These notes will prove to be extremely helpful during the final phase of preparation.
  • Practice is the key – Practice makes you perfect! Get your hands on any practice material that is accessible through competitive exam magazines. Solve the previous year’s papers and take mock tests as they help you evaluate your preparation. They are also good in the sense that they give you a taste of the real thing and prepare you to finish your paper within the stipulated time.

Last but not the least, you must stay positive, calm and motivated. Believe in your efforts and stay away from any kind of stress. Remember, at the end of the day, it is just one exam.

How to prepare for Bank PO Exams in India

Are you aspiring to be a banker and join the league of elite bank officers? Well, the very first thing you must learn is that bank exams, as opposed to the general perception, are not very difficult. Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) conducts Exams for Probationary Officers (POs) or Assistant Managers in public sector banks in India. However, it is important to understand the severity of competition as a fairly large number of people compete to qualify for very a few vacancies in various prestigious public sector banks of India.

Therefore, what matters the most is your level of preparation, practice and time management rather than the difficult level of the exam. You must work on the basics, strengthen your foundation and subsequently gain expertise in the advanced sections of every subject. You can also refer to various magazines for competitive exams.

The banking examination has undergone some major changes in the level and type of questions. But that isn’t an excuse and you must start practicing according to the exam’s pattern along with the previous year’s memory papers.

Understand the pattern – the IBPS PO Exam comprises of two levels, Preliminary, the Common Written Exam (CWE) and Interview. The CWE is divided into Prelims and Main exams and the candidates who qualify the prelims appear in the main exam. The IBPS Exam includes the subjects like Reasoning, General Awareness, English/Hindi language, Quantitative Aptitude and Computer Knowledge. All the sections carry equal weightage thus making it important to lay equal emphasis on each section. We will briefly discuss the various subjects for IBPS Bank PO Exam and how to prepare for them.

  1. Reasoning – This section is extremely important as it can help you attain a really high score, even a 100 percent. You just need to manage your time and give in full concentration.
  2. General Awareness – This is another fundamental subject and anyone who is aware of the everyday happenings can easily score well. Focus mainly on current affairs related to Banking & Finance Sector. You should start reading daily newspapers and magazines for boosting your general knowledge.
  3. English/Hindi Language – You need to choose either of these languages as per your background. It is important to note that participants having a good command on English score better as English is an important part of the banking exam as well as the banking process.
  4. Quantitative Aptitude – It is required to put in enough practice to score well in the quant section as it involves swift calculations. A major percentage of questions are from data interpretation, so that is where you must concentrate. You must learn various tips and shortcuts to solve these questions from magazines for competitive exams.
  5. Computer Knowledge – Computers are an integral part of the banking process thus basic computer knowledge is a must for all the aspirants. Your computer skills and basic knowledge about computers is checked in this section. It’s easier to score in this section as the syllabus is quite limited and less time-consuming.

If you are planning to appear for the IBPS PO Exam, it’s best not to just make it a plan but devise a strategy and work for your career.

How to Crack Bank Interview

To crack a bank interview is a not as difficult it is perceived. The candidates should master the art of cracking interview as it is the final push to achieve success in their banking career. There are practical suggestions with regard to physical appearance, skills and knowledge for them to follow while preparing for the interview.

Dressing up in immaculate manner does help in portraying yourself in sincere decent image before the interviewers. So, always be neat and clean including being clean-shaven, with hairs well-trimmed and nails well-pared. In choice of dress, it is recommended to wear a well-ironed formal shirt (a coat and tie, if possible), trousers and polished shoes; strong perfume/deodorant should be avoided.

You should possess clarity of thoughts and confidence in your knowledge on current affairs; you should be honest in your communication with the board suggesting that you are good at work ethics and serious about the job you are supposed to take up. It is noteworthy that anything is expected to be asked on current affairs, so, you should be punctual in reading monthly competition magazine with care and attention on regular basis.

As soon as you enter the interview room, never forget to follow small but significant behavioral etiquettes: take permission to sit down and if desired, offer them a copy of your bio-data and your certificates in pleasant and civil manner. Normally, the Bio-data is already available with the interviewers and certificates or the testimonials are verified before your interview starts. Your body language may make or mar your chances of being selected in the interview. Your posturing and gesturing should reveal dignity. While interacting with the members of the interview board always have gentle eye contacts and never forget to occasionally share a mild smile. Besides, a little use of hands-raising or gentle finger-indication in explaining certain important things may send a good impression on the minds of the members, apply it wisely.

Questions like “tell me about yourself”, put up by the interviewers is very important. The more effectively and impressively you respond to this question, the more you strengthen your position in winning the favour of the interview board.  It depends upon the reply to the first question that the interviewers are encouraged to pose to you more questions and their interest in you is gradually and steadily established. However, always make an internal analysis of what most interests the interviewer; so always focus on the areas, in your measured response, which are relevant, and in your wise view, can convince the board about the suitability of yours for the offered position. The interviewer may pose such questions as “how will you perform the job” and “how you will be able to fit in the position, you are offered” and “how will your selection help the organization to grow further” and they expect from you highly convincing and satisfactory response.

The toppers’ interview published in a prestigious monthly magazine should be regularly read with a view to keep abreast of the trends in current competition environment. Successful candidates’ interviews published in competition magazines help the new interviewees a lot in cracking the interview and emerge successful.

Healthy States, Progressive India

“Healthy States, Progressive India”, a comprehensive Health Index report released by NITI Aayog on February 9, 2018; ranks states and Union territories innovatively on their year-on-year incremental change in health outcomes, as well as, their overall performance with respect to each other. It is the first attempt to establish an annual systematic tool to measure and understand the heterogeneity and complexity of nation’s performance in Health. Health Index is expected to nudge States towards further achieving a rapid transformation of their health systems and population health outcomes. Linking this Index to incentives under the National Health Mission by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare underlines the importance of such an exercise.

  • “Healthy States, Progressive India” report was released jointly by the CEO, NITI Aayog; Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare; Preeti Sudan and World Bank India Country Director, Junaid Ahmad
  • Health Index is a weighted composite Index, which for the larger States, is based on indicators in three domains, with each domain assigned a weight based on its importance:
    • Health Outcomes (70%);
    • Governance and Information (12%); and
    • Key Inputs and Processes (18%),
  • Among Larger State Kerala, Punjab & Tamil Nadu ranked on top in terms of overall performance, and
  • Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, and Uttar Pradesh ranked top three States in terms of annual incremental performance showing maximum gains in improvement of health outcomes from base to reference year in indicators such as:
    • Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR),
    • Under-five Mortality Rate (U5MR),
    • Full immunization coverage,
    • Institutional deliveries, and
    • People Living with HIV (PLHIV) on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART).
  • Among Smaller States, Mizoram ranked first followed by Manipur on overall performance, while
  • Manipur followed by Goa were the top ranked States in terms of annual incremental performance
  • Manipur registered maximum incremental progress on indicators such as PLHIV on ART, first trimester antenatal care (ANC) registration, grading quality parameters of Community Health Centres (CHCs), average occupancy of key State-level officers and good reporting on the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP).
  • Among UTs, Lakshadweep showed both the best overall performance as well as the highest annual incremental performance
  • Lakshadweep showed the highest improvement in indicators such as institutional deliveries, tuberculosis (TB) treatment success rate, and transfer of National Health Mission (NHM) funds from State Treasury to implementation agency.

Common challenges for most States and UTs include:

  • Need to focus on addressing vacancies in key staff,
  • Establishment of functional district Cardiac Care Units (CCUs),
  • Quality accreditation of public health facilities and
  • Institutionalization of Human Resources Management Information System (HRMIS).
  • Almost all Larger States need to focus on improving the Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB).

Health-care delivery is the responsibility of States; the Centre provides financial and policy support. Being able to meet the Sustainable Development Goals over the coming decade depends crucially on the States’ performance.

GOES-S the Most Advanced Weather Satellites Launched

Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S)  lifted off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V Rocket at 5:02 p.m. EST (2202 GMT) i.e. 17:02 Eastern Time (22:02 UTC) on Thursday,  March 1, 2018 and deployed an advanced weather satellite for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA).

GOES-S is the newest and most advanced weather satellites ever built. It is the second in a series of four advanced weather satellites that will reside in geostationary orbit – hanging in place over one spot on Earth as they orbit and the world turns. Its companion, GOES-R, now known as GOES-16, was launched on November 19, 2016. GOES-S is the fifth generation of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) program, a series of spacecraft that NOOA uses to provide continuous monitoring of weather conditions in the United States and across the western hemisphere. At any time, the GOES constellation consists of two (a pair) operational satellites in geostationary orbit, plus a number of spares.

GOES-S will be renamed GOES-17 when it reaches geostationary orbit and is expected to replace the eight-year-old GOES-15. Once the satellite is declared operational, late this year, it will occupy NOAA’s GOES-West position and provide faster, more accurate data for tracking wildfires, tropical cyclones, fog and other storm systems and hazards that threaten the western United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, Mexico, Central America and the Pacific Ocean, all the way to New Zealand.

GOES complements NOAA’s polar orbit satellites – such as the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) since renamed NOAA-20 that was launched on November 18, 2017. The Polar orbit satellites make brief passes over much of the Earth’s surface, while from their geostationary orbits high above the equator; GOES spacecraft constantly observe the same disc of the planet. The two operational satellites are stationed at 75 and 137 degrees West – slots designated GOES-East and GOES-West respectively.

The satellite occupying GOES-East is responsible for monitoring the eastern United States, the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will operate GOES-S in partnership with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Lockheed Martin-built satellite will join GOES-East, currently in orbit, to provide a broad, high-definition view of weather on Earth.

GOES-R-class satellites are being built by Lockheed Martin. They are based on the A2100A satellite bus and each has a mass at launch of 5,192 kilograms with dimensions of 6.1 by 5.6 by 3.9 meters. The satellites are designed to operate in orbit for fifteen years: consisting of five years’ on-orbit storage and ten years of weather monitoring.

Two further satellites of the GOES-R class – GOES-T and GOES-U – are expected to be launched in 2020 and 2022.

Before beginning the GOES program, NOAA operated a pair of experimental geostationary weather satellites – named Synchronous Meteorological Satellites (SMS). SMS-1 was launched by a Delta 2914 rocket in May 1974, with SMS-2 following in February 1975. Following their success, three operational GOES spacecraft were built based on the same design. These were launched between October 1975 and June 1978. A second generation of satellites – consisting of five satellites – were launched between 1980 and 1987. The fourth second-generation satellite, GOES-G, was lost in a May 1986 launch failure.


UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) is the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time. It is within about 1 second of mean solar time at 0° longitude; it does not observe daylight saving time.

UTC is the time standard commonly used across the world. The world’s timing centres have agreed to keep their time scales closely synchronized – or coordinated – therefore the name Coordinated Universal Tim

Although GMT and UTC share the same current time in practice, there is a basic difference between the two:

  • GMT is a time zone officially used in some European and African countries. The time can be displayed using both the 24-hour format (0 – 24) or the 12-hour format (1 – 12 am/pm).
  • UTC is not a time zone, but a time standard that is the basis for civil time and time zones worldwide. This means that no country or territory officially uses UTC as a local time.
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