Skyroot’s Vikram-S, India’s first private space launch vehicle, set to launch soon; Meta lays off 11,000 employees
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India’s first privately developed rocket (Vikram-S) is undergoing final preparations at the ISRO’s launchpad in Sriharikota, ahead of a launch likely as early as this weekend. The mission named ‘Prarambh’ (beginning) was unveiled by ISRO Chairman, S. Somanath in Bengaluru on Nov. 7, after the technical launch clearance from the Space regulator IN-SPACe. The rocket is set to carry two payloads from India, and one from an overseas customer. And Facebook parent Meta Platforms is laying off 13 percent of its staff worldwide. Notes: Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg yesterday announced the company is laying off 11,000 employees, accounting for about 13 percent of its workforce, in a cost-cutting measure. This “last-resort” measure has become necessary because the prediction, at the beginning of Covid, that the accelerated shift to online would be permanent, has turned out to be wrong, Zuckerberg said in a blog post. “Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that,” he said. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has announced the launch of the BHIM App open-source license model under which the source code of BHIM App will be licensed to regulated entities participating in the UPI ecosystem, who do not have a UPI app of their own, to help them launch their own UPI app, according to a press release. India’s first privately developed rocket, Vikram-S, is poised to create history as it undergoes final launch preparations at the ISRO’s launchpad in Sriharikota, ahead of a launch likely as early as this weekend. The mission named ‘Prarambh’, meaning ‘the beginning’, signifying a new era for the private space sector in India and the first mission for Skyroot Aerospace, was unveiled by ISRO Chairman, S. Somanath in Bangalore on November 7, 2022, after the technical launch clearance from the Space regulator IN-SPACe. A launch window between November 12 and 16 has been notified by authorities, the final date will be confirmed based on weather conditions, Skyroot said in a press release. “We could build and get our Vikram-S rocket mission-ready in such a short time only because of the invaluable support we received from ISRO and IN-SPACe,” and the technology talent the space tech venture has developed, co-founder and CEO, Pawan Kumar Chandana, said in the release. Skyroot’s launch vehicles are named ‘Vikram’ as a tribute to the founder of the Indian Space programme and renowned scientist Vikram Sarabhai. Naga Bharath Daka, COO and Co-Founder of Skyroot Aerospace said “The Vikram-S rocket getting launched is a single-stage sub-orbital launch vehicle which would carry three customer payloads and help test and validate the majority of the technologies in the Vikram series of space launch vehicles.” The rocket is carrying two Indian and one foreign payload, Press Trust of India reports. Spacekidz, a Chennai-based aerospace startup, will fly Fun-Sat, a 2.5 kg satellite developed by students from India, the US, Singapore and Indonesia on the sub-orbital flight onboard Vikram-S, according to PTI. Theme music courtesy Free Music & Sounds: https://soundcloud.com/freemusicandsounds
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