Monday, July 11, 2005

Daily /NRI who guided Deep Impact to its success / Pak renovates Hindu temple / 1979: Skylab tumbles back to Earth / Indian arrested in Malaysia

NRI who guided Deep Impact to its success

S. Rajagopalan

Washington, July 5, 2005

When he watched Halley's Comet through binoculars many years ago, Shyam
Bhaskaran used to wonder if he would be able to pursue his cosmic passion.
Little did he realise then that the hand of destiny would lead him to the
centrestage of a comet mission.

On Monday, the second generation Indian American scientist led the
navigation team of NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft that flawlessly crashed
into comet Tempel 1 as part a grand project to gain insights into the
origins of the solar system.

Bhaskaran has now worked as a navigator on several NASA missions at the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) n Pasadena, California.

Even so, the Deep Impact was something very special, he said in a telephone
interview amid widespread relief and satisfaction that everything has worked
to clockwork precision.

Compared with sending a spacecraft to Jupiter, landing rovers on Mars and
even Stardust's technical feats, Deep Impact presented unprecedented
challenges, recalls Bhaskaran.

The kind of precision needed here was unimaginable, with the impactor having
to hit the comet at a speed of 23,000 miles per hour.


Pak renovates Hindu temple

Work has begun on a $20,000 project to renovate and expand the sole Hindu
temple in Lahore that was damaged in the wake of the Babri mosque demolition
in 1992.

The Evacuee Trust Property Board is overseeing the repair work on the
Krishna temple, which some believe is at least 80 years old.

"The lone temple had been in a dilapidated condition since the locals
attacked it in the wake of Babri mosque destruction. The mob not only
removed the idol of Lord Krishna but also damaged the main rooms after which
cracks appeared in the main walls," The News reported on Saturday.

The local Hindu community, led by Manohar Chand, had long been demanding the
renovation of the temple. However, the paucity of funds and the anger of the
locals over the Babri mosque razing had been holding up the project, the
newspaper added.

The restoration work involves refurbishing the main prayer room and two
adjacent rooms, the construction of two new halls, a community kitchen and a
four-room hostel.



* 1979: Skylab tumbles back to Earth *
The space laboratory¸ Skylab I¸ plunges to Earth scattering debris across
the southern Indian Ocean and the sparsely populated Australian desert.
Full story:

1979: Skylab tumbles back to Earth
The US space laboratory, Skylab I, plunged to Earth this evening scattering
debris across the southern Indian Ocean and sparsely populated Western
All week there has been mounting speculation over where the spacecraft would
come down. It has been in orbit six years - for the past five of those it
has been unoccupied.

Skylab's last signal was recorded at 1611 GMT. Less than an hour later a
tracking station at Ascension Island in the South Atlantic confirmed the
solar panels were beginning to peel off as the craft descended.

The 77.5 ton Skylab could break into as many as 500 pieces, including a
5,100lb (2,310kg) airlock shroud and a 3,900lb (1,767kg) lead safe to
protect film from radiation, which are expected to survive the heat of
re-entry into the earth's atmosphere.

Head of the Nasa task force monitoring Skylab, Richard Smith, said they had
already received reports of hot debris, which had lit up the night sky, from
several points in Western Australia.

'Edge of Cornwall'

Dozens of residents reported seeing debris falling near Kalgoolie, 370 miles
(595km) northeast of Perth.



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J. Murali

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Indian arrested in Malaysia
Monday, 11 July , 2005, 10:07
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian police have arrested an Indian in connection with
the theft of 8,000 documents from the country's Immigration Department in
Kuantan province, a media report said on Monday.

District police chief Kamal Pasha said the suspect had an Indian passport
with a pass sticker number which was believed to be stolen from the
Immigration Department in Kuantan last year.

"His passport number was found to be the same as that of the stolen
passport," the police official said at the end of a search operation against
special crimes in the capital here.

The man, who was not identified by the 'New Straits Times' daily, was stated
to be 42-year-old and detained in Kuala Lumpur's Jalan Masjid area.

Last May, some men broke into the Kuantan Immigration Department and fled
with 8,000 ringgit (Rs 90,000) as well as 8,000 documents belonging to the

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