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Top 5 Iconic Space Missions that everyone should Know About

The sky has always been a subject of intrigue and curiosity. Time and again mankind has strived to leave its mark on this immense universe, and after a lot of failures and attempts, we were eventually successful. The history of humans exploring the space around our planet is pretty nebulous, but here are some of the most iconic, breakthrough space missions that paved the way for humanity to excel further, beyond the comfort of our planet.

1. Sputnik 1

On October 4, 1957, Sputnik 1 became the first man-made artificial satellite that orbited Earth and marked humankind’s first step into cosmic space. Sputnik burst into flames on 4 January 1958 while reentering Earth’s atmosphere, after completing 1440 orbits of the Earth, which is roughly 70
million kms. It transmitted signals for 21 days before burning up. Many newspapers and magazines heralded the arrival of the Space Age, which it was.
FUN FACT: Anyone possessing a short wave receiver could have heard

2. Apollo 11 Mission

President John F. Kennedy once set an ambitious goal of “Landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth within a decade” and on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to step on the moon, as he climbed down the ladder and proclaimed: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” He was accompanied by Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. The Apollo 11 mission was one of its kind. Armstrong quoted the mission as “a beginning of a new age,” and he was true. Over the next three and a half years, 10 astronauts stepped on the moon after Apollo 11 mission. Gene Cernan, commander of the last Apollo mission said: “We leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace, and hope for all mankind.”

FUN FACT: During an interview, the astronauts remarked about the opaqueness of stars in outer space, and that the space didn’t looked black at all, but looked more like a screen littered with the sharp glow of the distant
stars and galaxy.

3. International Space Station

The international space station is a one of kind, habitable, artificial satellite currently on a low orbit around Earth. It was a collaborative project between NASA (US), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada). Launched in 1998, ISS serves as a space environment research laboratory for the primary fields of research include human research, space medicine, life sciences, physical sciences, astronomy and meteorology.
FUN FACT: ISS is visible by a naked eye from the surface of Earth.

3. The Voyager Mission

The Voyager remains the one mission that is yet to be duplicated. Two space- crafts, named Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, were sent out in outer space to explore the farther planets of our solar system, namely Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus. The Voyagers brought in information and imagery that were never seen before, which helped scientists discover and observe the planets under
a new light. The Voyagers cost a whopping USD $1 billion, and one can easily say that was money well-spent. Voyager 1 entered interstellar space in 2012, while Voyager 2 followed suite in 2018.
FUN FACT: It takes about 18 hours for data from the Voyagers to reach our satellites on Earth.

5. Photographing Black Hole

Black Holes are the giants of the universe that holds galaxy together, possessing gravity so strong that nothing, no particles or even electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from it. Although the black hole, earlier known as the Black Star, had been a subject of debacle for centuries, it was only recently that its concrete, photographic evidence was procured. Using a string of coordinated telescopes known as the Event Horizon Telescope, which made imaging of far-away objects possible, on April 10, 2019, scientists obtained the first ever image of the black hole M87, at the center of galaxy Messier 87, outlined by emission from hot gas swirling around it under the influence of strong gravity near its event horizon. The team is also working on generating an image of Sagittarius A* from additional observations made by the Event Horizon Telescope.
FUN FACT: M87* contains 6.5 billion solar masses (1 solar mass = the mass of our Sun, approximately 2×10^30 kilograms.)
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5 not so known facts about Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal The monument of Love which was commissioned by the mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his lady love Mumtaz mahal. Ever since its inception in 1632 it has been a topic of interest for many and many stories have been doing the rounds ever since. Some are true and some are well! Not so true. Here are some not so well known facts about this beautiful monument that you might want to know:

1: The original venue for Taj Mahal was not Agra

Yes, it is true. Agra is famously known & celebrated as the home of the famous monument Taj mahal, but
did you know that wasn’t really the original place that it was supposed to be built? The history says that
Shah Jahan’s lady love Mumtaz Mahal died during the childbirth in the city named Burhanpur located in
Madhya Pradesh. Back then Shah Jahan marked out a site along the Tapti River to construct his iconic
symbol of love, but as Burhanpur could not supply enough white marble for its construction Taj Mahal
transported to Agra along with the mughal court & Mumtaz Mahal’s remaining. It is said that the original
site in Burhanpur is still vacant.

2: Heard of Black Taj mahal? Well! Turns out it’s not a true story

The story that has been doing the rounds is that Shah Jahan had plans of constructing a replica across the banks of yamuna in black marbles. This theory started making the rounds when remains of black marble stone were found in Mahtab Bagh, the garden across the river. But excavations carried out in the 1990s revealed that the marble stones were just the white stones that turned black over time. Whereas, the Archeological Society of India (or ASI) has a different take on this matter, since they constructed a part of the pool in Mahtab Bagh & saw the dark reflection of the white monument in the pool, which means that the black Taj Mahal was infact just merely a reflection.

3: The widely famous claim of dismembering the artisans by Shah Jahan himself is most likely not true.

Someone who went such lengths to build a monument in the name of love, dismembering the artisans thereafter sound’s not so right isn’t? And most likely it’s not true. There is no evidence in the history of Taj Mahal that Shah Jahan committed such brutality upon the artisan’s that we have grown up listening to.

4: The British never really had any plans of destroying the Taj Mahal

It is said that one of the former governor general of India named Lord William Bentinck, in the 30’s planned to break Taj Mahal down & auction off the marbles. But again there is no evidence to prove the authenticity of this story as well. However, his biographer Jhon Rosseli did mention that Bentinck had auctioned the discarded marble from another monument famously known as the Agra fort.

5: A hanging lamp shade inside the Taj Mahal has Lord Curzon’s name inscribed on it.

So the story goes like this. Lord Curzon, the viceroy of India had at the time dedicated his time & money to the Taj Mahal. And the bronze lamp that we can see hanging over the false mausoleums of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal was one of Curzon’s gifts to the Taj Mahal. The lamp in the picture as you can see took nearly 2 years to be made. And inside it is inscribed in Persian which says: “Presented to the Tomb of Mumtaz Mahal by Lord Curzon, Viceroy 1906.”
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5 Facts about America’s presidents

01. Is George Bush really America’s first Governor?

Bush started his presidential term in 1789 whereas the War of Independence ended in 1774. During this gap of six years, there were ‘15 presidential candidates’ who ‘collectively’ governed America, voted by a committee and not through public’s vote.


02. Inhabitation by Mole People: John Quincy

Known as one of the most stern, stubborn and senile Presidents in American History, one could might as well add ‘strange’ to his list of traits.
Habitating a ‘pet’ alligator and drilling a hole on the Arctic Circle are just a few of his Eccentric Ideas. The one’s which blew up quoted his motive to discover ‘the mole people who inhabited the Interior of the Earth.’

03. An Assisnation-to-be: Andrew Jackson

Referred to as ‘Old Hickory’, Jackson encountered Richard Lawerence, whose failed attempt at Assassinating the former (not once but twice), led him to receiving a beating from the former’s said ‘Hickory Stick’. 

04. A Vice-president imprisoned: Aaron Burr

Having served at the warfield, law court and engaging with flirtations of Politics, Burr’s skills were complemented with his hot-head. Though, this landed him straight from the comforts of Ruling Office to the Chambers of Prison for murdering Alexander Hamiliton (America’s Founding Fathers), in cold blood. what a scandal!


05. Honest Liar? Here’s how Grover Cleveland pulled of the Title


Cleveland was one of those masochists who’d like to suffer alone. Or at least that’s how his health stunt was perceived afterwards.

A man with great reigns, Cleveland was diagnosed with Cancer, but in secret! (Not even his own Vice President knew!) His cover story involved a 4-day fishing trip which was the time that took him to get his tumor removed.

To this day, this is perceived as nothing short of ‘An Act of God.’ You may also find these American presidential affairs and their scandalous facts interesting. 

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American Revolution

As appealing it might be, to hear the lullabies, to envisage the perfect settings drifted away from the world, the more unrealistic it seemed, back in time. Yes, even in the free land spaces of America, where free will and liberty today, echoes its loudest shrill, darkness did spread its expanse, there.

Dating back to the 18th century, unfolding the pages of the history, one was not simply seen stretched back, enjoying the sunbaths.  Big ideals with their even bigger ideas, did roll out the carpets for such new opening to unravel the beautiful beginnings. 13 colonies altogether, did defeat British, all allied with the French, to pave way for the supreme power, to which we today call, the United States of America.

What wasn’t so fancy as the lavish robes of King George III, were his unjustified imposition of Stamp Taxes. Vocally prominent and yet so logistical were the demands of the American colonials , who proclaimed, to abolish the taxes, substantiating it by the fact that  they didn’t even have a representation in the parliament, which was as easy as to say, ‘Why pay for bread, when not consuming it?”

This wasn’t just it, pouncing over the grounds of past, we find stained patches hovering over the battlefields. After the Stamp Tax, there was much more to come. And one could have sensed the chilling silence, before the rise of the massive storm. Protests steadily escalated to the Boston Massacre in 1770 and the burning of the Gaspee in Rhode Island in 1772, followed by the Boston Tea Party in December 1773.

The unfailing attempts of the patriots were bound to churn in frivolous results, that turned the sky colourful, symbolizing the remarkable win. The Americans then withheld its population under the protective umbrella by adopting the United States constitution, thereby establishing a strong national government.

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5 Incredible Facts about The Louvre Museum You Should Know

The Louvre Museum, home to the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and 35,000 other priceless works of art, is the biggest and most well-known workmanship historical center on the planet. This is one of the most famous attractions in Paris that nearly everybody needs to visit. The exhibition hall is always stuffed with sightseers and craftsmanship sweethearts.

01. The Mona Lisa is one of the Louvre’s most acclaimed masterpieces and is significant to such an extent that it is even ensured by bulletproof glass and has its own guardians. However, it was stolen in 1911 before being returned to the museum 2 years later!

02. If you believe in ghosts! There’s a mummy called Belphegor who is said to haunt the museum. The nearby Tuileries Gardens are also said to be haunted by a man dressed in red.

03.It would really take you a hundred days to ascertain each piece of art within the Louvre if you spent thirty seconds at every piece all day daily for a hundred

04. Under Napoleon’s reign, the museum was renamed Musée Napoleon and he expanded the collection before over 5,000 pieces were returned to their original owners once he was defeated.

05. During the 2nd World War, the Nazis attacked homes and businesses across the country and removed works of art at their discretion. This taken art required housing, and therefore the Louvre was empty and used as a depository for everything they stole.

 

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5 Facts about Graffiti

Graffiti stems from the Italian word graffio which means a little scratch, referencing the drawings and scratches on walls, columns and other spaces. By its very nature, graffiti is not a “sanctioned” act, but something created by an individual over a surface without permission. It represents the personal thoughts and artistic sensibilities of the artists, rather than being state-sanctioned and an aesthetically regimented form. While it seems like a modern phenomenon, it has been around for centuries- etched in the caves and villages of ancient Greece and Rome, conveying precious archaeological information of the day to day lives of the local inhabitants, outside of the sanctioned, state-created sources such as scrolls and books.

Here are some interesting facts demonstrating the evolution of graffiti:

01. “Cueva de las Manos” (The Cave of Hands), located in Santa Cruz, Argentina, offers one of the first fascinating ancient graffiti. The painting dates from 13,000 to 9,000 BCE, and was created prior to the written language.

02. The range of fascinating graffiti uncovered throughout parts of Ancient Rome and Greece feature not only routine information, funny jokes, jibes, sexual innuendos, sentences like “Halvdan was here” but also advertisements for prostitution( which interestingly includes the drawing of a foot, a hand, a heart, and a number in modern-day Turkey).

03. Modern graffiti as we come to know it first appeared in the 1960s in Philadephia with the advent of “taggers”- who were part of street gangs concerned with marking their territory.

04. Who’s now considered as the world’s first modern graffiti artist was a 12-year-old boy called Darryl “cornbread” McCray. Cornbread was followed by Taki 183, a teenager from Washington Heights, Harlem, who created his now-iconic tag in 1969 by combining “Taki,” a diminutive form of his Greek name, Demetrius, and “183,” his street number.

05. In the case of a few, graffiti has been a springboard to international fame. Jean-Michel Basquiat began spraying on the street in the 1970s before becoming a respected artist in the ’80s. The Frenchman Blek le Rat and the British artist Banksy have achieved international fame by producing complex works with stencils, often making political or humorous points

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5 Facts about Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler is known to have orchestrated the World War II and also the deadly holocaust that killed
millions of Jews in Germany.
1. He was almost called Adolf Schicklgruber. Adolf’s father Alois was an illegitimate child of Maria Anna Schicklgruber. Alois initially had taken up his mother’s surname Schicklgruber. But later on he became legitimate after his stepfather Johan Georg Hiedler legally adopted him. Hieldler is also spelled as “Hitler”, “Hüttler”, “Huettler”. Hence Alois assumed the name Alois Hitler for an unknown
reason.
2. Hitler had been rejected twice from his dream college which was the Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts even though he had once passed the initial exam in 1907. The admissions committee decided that his drawing skills were unsatisfactory.
3. A major plan of Hitler was to completely eliminate Christianity in Germany. He believed that Islam or Japanese religious beliefs would have been more suitable for Germans.
4. A social democratic member of the Swedish parliament Erik Gottfrid Christian Brandt nominated Adolf Hitler for the Nobel Peace Prize but the nominations were cancelled and nobody won the award.
5. It is said that some spies who were always in close distance of Hitler had planned to add female hormones i.e. estrogen to his food as many thought that he would become less agressive if a feminine side of him were to come forth.
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5 less known interesting facts about Tipu Sultan: The great Indian legend

The legends of the Indian heroic rulers are popular and appreciated globally. Among all the great figures, Tipu Sultan is celebrated as India’s one of the most fearless and mighty rulers whom even the strong and powerful British officers feared. Tipu holds a true place in the hearts of all the history lovers.

A lot has been known about this great legend but still, there are some little known facts about his bravery that need to be highlighted and brought in front of his admirers. These facts are:

01. Toy tiger: Tipu owned a giant robotic structure that showed a fierce tiger attacking an agitated European fighter. The functioning of this structure was such that when its handle was manipulated, the fighter yelled in great anguish upon the tiger’s angry roar. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London presently enjoys the privilege of preserving this foreign possession within its

 

02. Encounter with the real tiger: While on a hunting journey in the woods, a ferocious tiger unexpectedly stood in Tipu’s Due to the dysfunction of his gun and the falling down of his dagger, Tipu was left with no option other than to save himself all unarmed. In the wild combat that followed, Tipu managed to pick up his dagger and successfully tear the tiger apart. Since then, he has been designated as the “Tiger of Mysore”. He said “It is far better to live like a lion for a day than to live like a jackal for hundred years” which truly justifies his designation of a human tiger.

 

03. Banning the export trade: Even the most powerful British officers feared Tipu because of his enormous might. In 1785, Tipu demolished all the export practices of pepper, cardamom and sandalwood from his local ports to the foreign boundaries. He was a great threat to the British trade and was immensely committed to protect his state,

 

04. Signing a treaty with the British: In 1792, Tipu was collectively forced by the Maratha warriors, the Nizam of Hyderabad and the British officers to sign the “Definitive Treaty” that stated the custody of his sons as hostages under the British Lord Cornwallis, the then British commander-in-chief, took away Tipu’s sons as per the agreement.

 

05. Death: Tipu died on May 4, 1799 in the Battle of Seringapatam while protecting his capital of the same name. Earlier, three battles were fought between Tipu and the Britishers, but it was only in the fourth battle that Tipu was

Tipu Sultan was a true hero who never feared death. Every time he fought, he did it with great valour with the aim to protect the welfare of his subjects without using any corrupt means.

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5 super interesting facts about the Watergate Scandal

1- The tape that started off the Scandal was used by burglars to try to open the latches of the door. The scandal would’ve not come out if Frank Wills had not noticed the tape and notified the cops.

2- The Washington Post played a huge part in revealing the scandal but there were other publications that gave significant scoops about the scandal. The Newsday, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times help majorly in breaking the scandal.

3- Alexander Butterfield had already disclosed the details of the Watergate Scandal to private investigators before he televised the hearings of Watergate in 1973.

4- The Supreme Court ordered Nixon to surrender the ‘smoking gun’ tape along with 64 other recordings, finally brought the investigation to an end. The tape consisted of Nixon ordering to find a cover up for the break-in.

5-There was a debate going on in the Justice Department about whether or not there should be Nixon Indictment after Nixon resigned. The debate was put to rest after a month following the pardon of Nixon.

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7 REASONS OPERATION MARKET GARDEN WAS AN ALLIED MILITARY CATASTROPHE IN WWII.

7 REASONS OPERATION MARKET GARDEN WAS AN ALLIED MILITARY CATASTROPHE IN WWII.

01. The Allied Airborne Divisions failed to capitalise on their strengths of surprise and speed to overpower German units in the Netherlands.

2. Operation Market Garden had a very optimistic timetable with the allies hoping that the Airborne Divisions could hold out German reinforcements long enough for the 30th Allied Armour Division to reach them in Arnhem.

3. The Dutch lowlands’ soft soil hampered the movement of mechanised and heavy armour. It slowed mechanised advance and forced the 30th Allied Armoured Division to follow a narrow single paved highway to Arnhem. The narrow road left the armoured division vulnerable to German anti-tank fire from all sides.

4. The British disregarded a Dutch Resistance reconnaissance report of a German SS Panzer division near Arnhem undergoing maintenance but still capable of defensive deployment.

You may also like these posters from WWII propaganda posters

5. Bad weather hampered visibility and resulted in paratroopers landing miles away from their designated landing zones, sometimes straight into enemy infantry resulting in several allied losses without firing a single shot.

6. The Allied troops failed to take advantage of their large numbers due to a shortage of military transport aircraft, which resulted in the airborne divisions deploying on the Dutch countryside over three days.

7. Several British divisions experienced technical malfunctions with their radios, which led to a breakdown in military communications. This communication collapse made it difficult for the 1st Allied Airborne Division commander, Major-General Robert “Roy” Urquhart, to organise an attack on Arnhem.