Apr 2019
Apr 2019

UK drinks export to India, including scotch whiskey, jumps 50%

Scotch whiskey, gin and other UK drinks exports to India registered a spike of almost 50% during the year ending February 2019, the UK Department of International Trade said April 14, describing the demand in India as “a massive increase.”

India and other non-EU countries accounted for 63.4 percent of all exports, it said, adding that the increase in drinks exports to India grew by 49.2 percent to £179 million ($235 million), the department, which has renewed focus on exports to India in the context of Brexit, said.

October and November saw a spike in beverage exports approximately 23% above the 12-monthly average for drinks exports, as people across the world stocked up on Scotch whiskey and gin ahead of the festive period, the figures show.

Overall, UK exports of beverages, which include British gin, vodka and Scotch whiskey, reached a high of £8.3 billion ($10.9 billion) in the year to February 2019, increasing by 7 percent on the previous year. The US remains the top destination for UK drinks, growing by 3.9 percent to £1.8 billion ($2.3 billion)

Liam Fox, International Trade secretary, said: “Today’s figures show that despite the challenging global economic environment, people across the world are continuing to demand high-quality British exports”.

Sarah Dickson of the Scotch Whisky Association added: “Last year, 41 bottles of Scotch whiskey were shipped from Scotland every second to around 180 global markets, with an export value of £4.7 billion ($6.2 billion).

Apr 2019

NASA to launch cube-shaped satellite designed by Yale team, led by Keshav Raghavan

A team led by 21-year-old Keshav Raghavan of Yale University has been chosen by NASA to have their CubeSat — a mini research satellite that detects cosmic rays — flown into space on future missions. The researchers from the Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association (YUAA), are only among the 16 teams across the country whose CubeSats will be flown into space on missions planned to launch in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Students designed the satellite over the course of four years and received the launch grant through NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative competition. According to NASA, BLAST is a scientific investigation mission to map the distribution of galactic cosmic radiation across the night sky. The satellite will identify and count alpha particles and beta particles in the rays, and measure the radiation energy around Earth.

BLAST will contribute to the ongoing search for the origins and nature of these rays, which will provide insight into the origins of the universe. Typical CubeSat projects cost about $30,000, while the one developed by the team will cost around $13,000 to $20,000, according to Andrew Krzywosz, co-president of YUAA.

Once BLAST, a cosmic ray detector, goes into orbit, it will collect data about particles traveling to earth from distant supernovae, Raghavan said. "Building a CubeSat and launching it into space is an ambition YUAA has had for quite a while. The founding members in 2011 had it as a goal in the back of their minds, but at that time, it was totally beyond our capabilities as a club," said Jonathan Li, co-president of YUAA. The team said that as the satellite is 'smaller than a loaf of bread,' it costs orders of magnitude less than large-scale satellites.

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