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Soon, space programmes will use indigenously made titanium sponge

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4.Soon, space programmes will use indigenously made titanium sponge

Titanium sponge is a porous form of titanium that is created during the first stage of processing. In its natural form, titanium is widely available within the earth’s crust. After being extracted, it is processed to remove excess materials and convert it into a usable, although costly, product.

The national Space programme can now fully bank on made-in-India titanium sponge that goes into making its satellite and launch vehicle parts.

The titanium sponge plant initiated and sponsored by the Indian Space Research Organisation nine years back became operational at Chavara in Kerala last month.

Only six other countries produce titanium sponge commercially.

This will mean a big saving on foreign exchange considering that the Indian Space Research Organisation alone has been importing a significant 200-300 tonnes of titanium sponge each year from Russia, Japan or China, the space agency said on Monday.

The precious commodity was being imported because of the absence of a plant to make high-quality sponge although “the country has the third largest reserve of minerals bearing titanium,” ISRO said.

Nationally important sectors of aerospace and Defence extensively use alloys of titanium, (scientifically shortened to Ti) because of the high strength and non-corrosive quality of these materials.

5.Suhasini Haidar wins Prem Bhatia Award

The Prem Bhatia Memorial Award for the Best Political Reporting-2015 was awarded to Suhasini Haidar, Diplomatic and Strategic Affairs Editor with The Hindu, at a ceremony on Tuesday.

Ms. Haidar was awarded for her 21-year-long career reporting on and analysing the bewildering variety of conflicts and surges around the world. Reversing worldwide trends, she switched from reporting on television to writing in print. Ms. Haidar has reported on conflicts in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Lebanon, Libya and Tibet. In her endeavour to report from the heart of conflict zones, she was injured while reporting from Kashmir in 2000 when a car, booby-trapped with a gas cylinder packed with explosives in its boot, exploded.

The prestigious award, instituted by the Prem Bhatia Memorial Trust, carries a cash prize of Rs. 2,00,000 and a citation. Prem Bhatia, former Chief Editor of The Tribune, was one of India’s eminent and influential journalists, whose career spanned six decades.


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