Tiny Bytes: Redefining kilogram, GSAT-29 launch, Stan Lee bids adieu and more

Tiny Bytes: Redefining kilogram, GSAT-29 launch, Stan lee bids adieu and more
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How much does a kilogram weigh?

It may not change how you buy bananas, but scientists have voted to redefine the value of a kilogram, in what they called a landmark decision that will boost the accuracy of scientific measurements.

Since 1889, a kilogram has been defined by a shiny lump of platinum-iridium kept in a special glass case and known as the international prototype of the kilogram. It is housed at the headquarters of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (whose French acronym is BIPM), just outside Paris.

Members of the BIPM, which groups some 60 nations, agreed on Friday after a week-long meeting at the nearby Palace of Versailles to redefine a kilogram in terms of a tiny but unchanging value called the 'Planck constant.

The "Planck constant", which derives from quantum physics, can be used along with a Kibble balance, an exquisitely accurate weighing machine, to calculate the mass of an object using a precisely measured electromagnetic force.

GSAT-29 launch successful; ISRO takes a crucial step towards country's first manned mission

India Wednesday successfully put into orbit its latest communication satellite with its heaviest rocket and the new space mission is expected to serve the communication needs of people in the remote areas of the country.

The textbook launch of the rocket GSLV-MkIII-D, which is dubbed by the ISRO as the 'Bahubali' or "fat boy" of Indian rockets, is also seen as crucial for the space agency as it would be used for the ambitious Chandrayaan-2(lunar mission) and the country's planned manned space mission. The 3,423 kg satellite GSAT-29 is also the heaviest Indian satellite to be put into orbit.

ISRO has set a 'target' of achieving the country's ambitious manned mission to space by 2021, with the first unmanned programme of 'Gaganyaan' planned for December 2020.

Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man, dies at 95

Stan Lee, who dreamed up Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, Black Panther and a cavalcade of other Marvel Comics superheroes that became mythic figures in pop culture with soaring success at the movie box office, died at the age of 95.

As a writer and editor, Lee was key to the ascension of Marvel into a comic book titan in the 1960s when, in collaboration with artists such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he created superheroes who would enthral generations of young readers.

Lee was widely credited with adding a new layer of complexity and humanity to superheroes. His characters were not made of stone - even if they appeared to have been chiselled from granite. They had love and money worries and endured tragic flaws or feelings of insecurity.

Google to use drones for deliveries in Australia

Australia is set to become "the most advanced country in the world" in drone delivery when the first commercial service starts operations in 2019.

Wing, a subsidiary of Google's parent company Alphabet, on Thursday announced that its commercial drone home-delivery service would launch in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) next year.

The drones will travel at speeds of up to 125 km per hour and will deliver small packages, including cups of coffee, to homes within 5 km of the company's base in Mitchell in the northern suburbs of Canberra.

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