Scientists at NASA have named a new organism discovered by them after the much-loved Indian scientist and former President, APJ Abdul Kalam. Till date, the new organism, a bacteria, has been found only on the International Space Station (ISS) and has not been found on earth. Researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the foremost lab of NASA for work on inter-planetary travel, discovered the new bacteria on the filters of the International Space Station (ISS) and named it Solibacillus kalamii to honour the late president, who was a renowned aerospace scientist.Kalam had his early training at NASA in 1963 before he set up India’s first rocket-launching facility in the fishing village of Thumba in Kerala.The name of the bacterium is Solibacillus kalamii, the species name is after Dr Abdul Kalam and genus name is Solibacillus which is a spore forming bacteria. The filter on which the new bug was found remained on board the ISS for 40 months.Called a high-efficiency particulate arrestance filter or HEPA filter, this part is the routine housekeeping and cleaning system on board the international space station.This filter was later analysed at JPL and results recently published. Even as it orbits the earth some 400 kilometres above, the ISS is home to many types of bacteria and fungi which co-inhabit the station with the astronauts who live and work on the station. Even though Solibacillus kalamii has never been found on earth till date, it is really not an extra-terrestrial life form or ET.
Anshu Jamsenpa, a native of Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh has scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to scale Mount Everest for the fourth time. Anshu Jamsenpa who is a mother of two children had already had ascaled Mount Everest twice in a season that too taking only a gap of 10 days between the two climbs. She scaled the highest peak twice in May 2011. She again conquered the peak on May 18, 2013. Anshu began her summit expedition after 38 days of acclimatization and scaling several nearby peaks and passes. Anshu Jamsenpa also plans to scale Mount Everest again in this season to create a new record for becoming the first woman to do a “double” twice. She had sought the blessings of the Dalai Lama on 2nd April from Guwahati before embarking upon the journey to Nepal. Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal were the first climbers to conquer Mount Everest.They achieved this feat on May 29, 1953. Reinhold Messner, an Italian explorer became the first person to scale Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen in 1978. He is also first climber to ascend all fourteen peaks over 8,000 metres (26,000 ft) above sea level, including the Mount Everest.