India’s first indigenously developed stratospheric balloon penetrates into mesosphere

Screenshot_2For the first time in India, an indigenously developed stratospheric balloon penetrated into the Mesosphere. It is developed at the Balloon Facility, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Hyderabad under the High Altitude Balloon Development Project (HAA). Till yet, only balloons from US and Japan have accomplished this achievement.

About the stratospheric balloon
  • 61,000 cubic meter balloon
  • Weighs: 31.0 Kg
  • Manufactured at: Balloon Facility using the indigenously developed ultra-thin polyethylene film of thickness 3.8 micro meters (in comparison to the finest human hair i.e. around 17 micro meters in diameter).
  • The balloon carried a payload of 7.9 kg consists of Single Card Tele-Command with integrated Electronic Timer, Radio Trans receiver (Data Modem), Air traffic Control Transponder, Mobile telephony GSM-GPS for last leg tracking, upward looking video camera and two GPS-sondes for navigation and measurement of atmospheric parameters like pressure, temperature and humidity with a 4.3 meter diameter parachute weighing 3 kilograms for the safe recovery of instruments after the flight.
  • Launch from the Balloon Facility campus located near Moula-Ali (Maula-Ali is a suburb of Hyderabad, India located at about 10 km from Secunderabad.)
  • Objective: To provide an opportunity for our scientists working in the area of atmospheric dynamics to conduct experiments and collect data up to 50 km.

FM: Plan to open 10,000 bank branches a year from next fiscal

The Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram stated that in order to take the banking services to rural areas, the Centre has revised its target upwards to opening 10,000 new bank branches a year from the next financial year.

Thus, an additional 55,000 new jobs would be created. Originally, there was a target to open 7,000 bank branches a year. The country has witnessed huge growth in the banking industry in the last decade during the UPA regime.