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NASA’s small nuclear reactor ‘Kilopower’ to power a habitat on Mars

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To provide safe and plentiful energy for future robotic and human missions for Mars and beyond, NASA is conducting experiments on Kilopower – a small nuclear reactor that can generate a reliable power supply. This pioneering space fission power system could provide up to 10 kilowatts of electrical power – enough to run two average households – continuously for at least 10 years, the US space agency said in a statement on Friday.

Four Kilopower units would provide enough power to establish an outpost. “We want a power source that can handle extreme environments. Kilopower opens up the full surface of Mars, including the northern latitudes where water may reside,” said Lee Mason, NASA’s Principal Technologist for power and energy storage. On the Moon, Kilopower could be deployed to help search for resources in permanently shadowed craters, Mason added.

When astronauts someday venture to the Moon, Mars and other destinations, one of the first and most important resources they will need is power. A reliable and efficient power system will be essential for day-to-day necessities, such as lighting, water and oxygen, and for mission objectives, like running experiments and producing fuel for the long journey home. Fission power can provide abundant energy anywhere.

On Mars, the Sun’s power varies widely throughout the seasons, and periodic dust storms can last for months. On the Moon, the cold lunar night lingers for 14 days. The prototype power system was designed and developed by NASA’s Glenn Research Center in collaboration with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

NASA Glenn shipped the prototype power system from Cleveland to the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) in late September. The team at the NNSS recently began tests on the reactor core. According to Marc Gibson, the Kilopower lead engineer, the team will connect the power system to the core and begin end-to-end checkouts this month. The experiments should conclude with a full-power test lasting approximately 28 hours in late March, NASA said.

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TECHNOLOGY

Soon you may have 13-digit mobile number

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New Delhi: The Department of Telecom (DoT) had reportedly issued a directive to all the telecom operators in India, asking them to start issuing 13-digit mobile numbers to customers. The news was confirmed by a senior BSNL official who told CNN-News 18 that the directive from DoT had come on January 8, 2018, post which the company has started working on it. The decision has been taken to provide better security features to users.

Under this latest development, the existing mobile users’ numbers will be ported to 13-digits starting from October 1, 2018. The last date to complete the process would be December 31, 2018. “It is decided that 13-digit M2M (Machine-to-machine) numbering plan will be implemented from July 1, 2018. From this date onwards, all new M2M mobile connections will be allocated 13-digit numbers only… Migration of existing 10-digit M2M numbers will start latest by 1 October 2018 and shall be completed by 31 December 2018,” the official was quoted saying in the report.

If the decision is implemented, India will become the country with the longest mobile numbers, with China the only country at scale with 11 digit mobile numbers, not counting the area code. Apart from this, only French ‘regions’ of Gaudeloupe, Martinique and Reunion have longer numbers.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Communication in a letter written to TRAI has reportedly said that ’13-digit numbering scheme has been approved for SIM-based M2M devices’. A M2M sim is actually the technology which enables devices and sensors or things to communicate with each other and with other Internet-enabled devices and systems. These sims can be used in any mobile phone.

The problem, however, with a 13-digit number is that it would be virtually impossible for a person to remember it, possibly leading to massive dislocations across business processes like banks where provisioning has been made to capture only 10 digit mobile numbers.

Moreover, there are about a billion active mobile users in India and given that they had recently completed the process of linking their Aadhaar card, this might lead to some confusion and chaos.

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TECHNOLOGY

Reliance JioPhone will get its own Facebook app tomorrow

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Facebook will be available on Reliance JioPhone from tomorrow through app store available on the handset, a company statement said today.
“JioPhone is the world’s most affordable smartphone built with transformational technology especially for Indians to migrate from a feature phone to smartphone. As promised, JioPhone will be home to the world’s leading applications, starting with Facebook,” Jio Director Akash Ambani said in the statement.
The new version of the Facebook app is built specially for Jio KaiOS, a web-based operating system designed for JioPhone.
This will open up Facebook for potential 50 crore feature phone users in India.
The new Facebook app for JioPhone will support push notifications, video, and links to external content.
“We are excited about our partnership with Jio and the opportunity to provide the best possible Facebook experience for millions of people using JioPhone,” Facebook Vice President of Mobile Partnerships Francisco Varela said.
The app is also optimised to accommodate the cursor function on JioPhone.

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Republic Day offer| Jio hikes per day data limit by 500 MB on popular plans

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Reliance Jio has announced a new recharge offer as part of the ‘Republic Day 2018’ for its customers, under which its existing 1GB and 1.5GB daily data packs have been upgraded to offer 1.5GB and 2GB daily data respectively, without any change in the price-point. The validity for the plans also remain the same as Jio Happy New Year 2018 offer.

Reliance Jio’s recharge offers have been unveiled in response to Airtel’s prepaid plans, which were recently revamped to give users 1.4GB data per day, instead of 1GB daily previously. Reliance Jio’s Republic Day 2018 plans will go live starting January 26. Reliance Jio’s cheapest prepaid plan comes at Rs 98 and it offers a total of 2GB data for 28 days. The plan originally offers 2.1GB data for 14 days. Notably, all Jio users get free unlimited voice calls, SMS and access to Jio’s suite of apps.

Under Jio’s Republic Day 2018 offer, the Rs 149 plan will give users 1.5GB daily data for 28 days, which means 42GB in total. The plan currently offers 28GB data in total for a period of 28 days with 1GB as the daily FUP. Additionally, Jio’s Rs 349 plan will now provide a total of 105GB data at 1.5GB per day, instead of 70GB earlier (1GB per day). Validity is 70 days.

Reliance Jio’s Rs 399 and Rs 449 plans will now offer a total of 126GB and 136GB data respectively, at 1.5GB per day. The validity for Rs 399 plan is 84 days, while that for Rs 449 plan is 91 days. Jio’s Rs 399 plan currently gives users 84GB total data at 1GB per day, while Rs 449 offers 91GB data in all.

Coming to Reliance Jio’s 2GB daily data packs, the Rs 198 and Rs 398 prepaid packs have been revamped to offer a total of 56GB amd 140GB data respectively. Validity is 28 days and 70 days respectively. Under Jio’s Happy New Year offer, the Rs 198 plan currently gives users a total of 42GB data at 1.5GB per day, for 28 days. Meanwhile, the Rs 398 recharge offer gives users 105GB data (1.5GB daily) for 70 days

Reliance Jio users who recharge with Rs 448 will get a total of 168GB data, compared to 126GB currently. The validity is 84 days. Under the new plan, users get 2GB daily data, instead of 1.5GB per day. Finally, Jio’s 498 pack offers 182GB data at 2GB per day, for 91 days. The existing plan offers 136GB data in all with daily FUP (Fair Usage Policy) of 1.5GB per day. Validity is 91 days.

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