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Project Mercury

Project Mercury was the first human spaceflight program of the United States, running from 1958 through 1963. An early highlight of the Space Race, its goal was to put a man into Earth orbit and return him safely, ideally before the Soviet Union. Taken over from the US Air Force by the newly created civilian space agency NASA, it conducted twenty uncrewed developmental flights, six successful flights by astronauts; the program, which took its name from Roman mythology, cost $2.25 billion adjusted for inflation. The astronauts were collectively known as the "Mercury Seven", each spacecraft was given a name ending with a "7" by its pilot; the Space Race began with the 1957 launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik 1. This came as a shock to the American public, led to the creation of NASA to expedite existing US space exploration efforts, place most of them under civilian control. After the successful launch of the Explorer 1 satellite in 1958, crewed spaceflight became the next goal; the Soviet Union put the first human, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, into a single orbit aboard Vostok 1 on April 12, 1961.

Shortly after this, on May 5, the US launched its first astronaut, Alan Shepard, on a suborbital flight. Soviet Gherman Titov followed with a day-long orbital flight in August 1961; the US reached its orbital goal on February 20, 1962, when John Glenn made three orbits around the Earth. When Mercury ended in May 1963, both nations had sent six people into space, but the Soviets led the US in total time spent in space; the Mercury space capsule was produced by McDonnell Aircraft, carried supplies of water and oxygen for about one day in a pressurized cabin. Mercury flights were launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, on launch vehicles modified from the Redstone and Atlas D missiles; the capsule was fitted with a launch escape rocket to carry it safely away from the launch vehicle in case of a failure. The flight was designed to be controlled from the ground via the Manned Space Flight Network, a system of tracking and communications stations. Small retrorockets were used to bring the spacecraft out of its orbit, after which an ablative heat shield protected it from the heat of atmospheric reentry.

A parachute slowed the craft for a water landing. Both astronaut and capsule were recovered by helicopters deployed from a US Navy ship; the Mercury project gained popularity, its missions were followed by millions on radio and TV around the world. Its success laid the groundwork for Project Gemini, which carried two astronauts in each capsule and perfected space docking maneuvers essential for crewed lunar landings in the subsequent Apollo program announced a few weeks after the first crewed Mercury flight. Project Mercury was approved on October 7, 1958 and publicly announced on December 17. Called Project Astronaut, President Dwight Eisenhower felt that gave too much attention to the pilot. Instead, the name Mercury was chosen from classical mythology, which had lent names to rockets like the Greek Atlas and Roman Jupiter for the SM-65 and PGM-19 missiles, it absorbed military projects with the same aim, such as the Air Force Man in Space Soonest. Following the end of World War II, a nuclear arms race evolved between the Soviet Union.

Since the USSR did not have bases in the western hemisphere from which to deploy bomber planes, Joseph Stalin decided to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles, which drove a missile race. The rocket technology in turn enabled both sides to develop Earth-orbiting satellites for communications, gathering weather data and intelligence. Americans were shocked when the Soviet Union placed the first satellite into orbit in October 1957, leading to a growing fear that the US was falling into a "missile gap". A month the Soviets launched Sputnik 2, carrying a dog into orbit. Though the animal was not recovered alive, it was obvious. Unable to disclose details of military space projects, President Eisenhower ordered the creation of a civilian space agency in charge of civilian and scientific space exploration. Based on the federal research agency National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, it was named the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, it achieved its first goal, an American satellite in space, in 1958.

The next goal was to put a man there. The limit of space was defined at the time as a minimum altitude of 62 mi, the only way to reach it was by using rocket-powered boosters; this created risks for the pilot, including explosion, high g-forces and vibrations during lift off through a dense atmosphere, temperatures of more than 10,000 °F from air compression during reentry. In space, pilots would require pressurized chambers or space suits to supply fresh air. While there, they would experience weightlessness, which could cause disorientation. Further potential risks included radiation and micrometeoroid strikes, both of which would be absorbed in the atmosphere. All seemed possible to overcome: experience from satellites suggested micrometeoroid risk was negligible, experiments in the early 1950s with simulated weightlessness, high g-forces on humans, sending animals to the limit of space, all suggested potential problems could be overcome by known technologies. Reentry was studied using the nuclear warheads of ballistic missiles, which demonstrated a blunt, forward-facing heat shield could solve the problem of heating.

T. Keith Glennan had been appointed the first Administrator of NASA, with Hugh L. Dryden as his Deputy, at the creation of the agency on October 1, 1958. Glennan would report to the preside

Steart Peninsula

The Steart Peninsula is a peninsula in Somerset, England. At its outermost tip is Fenning Island, at the tip of, Stert Point, the eastern end of the West Somerset Coast Path. North of Stert Point lies Stert Island, joined to the peninsula until about 1798; the peninsula consists of low-lying flat farmland, projects northwards on the west side of Stockland Reach, the lower stretches of the estuary of the River Parrett. The main settlement on the peninsula is the village of Steart, but two other villages, Stockland Bristol and Otterhampton sit at the peninsula's base. A single minor road links the village of Steart to these other villages; the River Parrett Trail runs along the peninsula. West of the peninsula are the village of Stolford and Hinkley Point, to the south is the village of Combwich. From 1927 to the 1950s Stert Flats, the mudflats north-west of the peninsula, were used as a RAF range, the Stert Flats Air Gunnery and Bombing Range. A few structures from this time remain. There are two nature reserves on the peninsula.

A third reserve is being developed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Bridgwater Bay, a National Nature Reserve, lies on the northern side of the peninsula; the reserve includes the largest area of salt marsh in Somerset, large expanses of mudflats exposed at low tide, important feeding and roosting sites for waterfowl and wading birds. There are four bird hides in the north of the reserve, near the tip of the peninsula. Adjoining the reserve are three coastal commons — from west to east these are Catsford Common, Wall Common and Steart Common; the Steart Marshes are a major wetland reserve on the south side of the peninsula, completed in 2014 and managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. The reserve is the result of a flood management project, which involved a breach in the sea wall to permit seawater to enter the salt marsh from the tidal River Parrett; the Steart peninsula has flooded many times during the last millennium. The most severe recent floods occurred in 1981. By 1997, a combination of coastal erosion, current sea level rise and wave action had made some of the defences distinctly fragile and at risk from failure.

As a result in 2002 The Environment Agency produced the Stolford to Combwich Coastal Defence Strategy Study to examine options for the future. In July 2010, the Environment Agency presented a plan to convert the peninsula into wetland habitat, costing £17–20 million, which included land purchase costs of £5–7 million, it was the largest wetland habitat creation scheme in England. Work began on the programme in May 2012 and was completed in September 2014. An Environment Agency spokesman said "The Steart project will directly protect homes and the surrounding infrastructure. Salt marsh is a natural flood risk management scheme. Like coral reefs or mangroves in the tropics, salt marsh takes energy out of the tide and reduces wave height."

Riaz Ahmed (volleyball)

Riaz Ahmed is a former volleyball player from India. He represented the India national team as a senior player at the 1966 Asian Games. Riaz Ahmed was born in the infamous suburb of Hyderabad known as Mallepally - Which has produced renowned sportsmen who represented India in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, he was the eldest son of Syed Mohammed Afsar Jahan. He was encouraged to play volleyball from his Soccer coach in high school, because he noticed how Riaz was a one of a kind Athlete. In 1958, Riaz became a member of the Andhra Pradesh Police Academy volleyball team. In 1960, he joined the India men's national volleyball team camp with Tilakam Gopal, Abdul Basith, Balwant Singh Sagwal and many other Police cadets. Riaz represented the National Team several times from 1961 to 1973; the Riaz played for India's national volleyball team in the Asian Games in Bangkok and Jakarta, where India took the 4th Seat and won a Silver Medal. He was one of the Indian team's most Senior players that influenced great players such as Jimmy George who played in the Asian Games in Tehran, Bangkok and in Seoul where India won the bronze medal.

He was captain of the Indian team that played at Saudi Arabia in 1985, led the Indian team to victory in India Gold Cup International Volleyball Tournament at Hyderabad in 1986. Ahmed competed in the following international competitions: Represented the Indian volleyball team in the Inter-National Matches. 1961 – Represented India in the test match against the visiting Japanese team held at Calcutta. 1962 – Was a member of the Indian volleyball team which participated in the Asian Games at Jakarta and received a silver medal. 1964 – Was a member of the Indian volleyball team which participated in the Olympics at Delhi in which all the Asian countries participated and won the bronze medal. 1965 – Was a captain of the Indian volleyball team which played five test matches against the visiting USSR team. The tests were played at Delhi, Rowa and Cuttack. 1965 – The Indian team played two unofficial matches against the Russian team at Balaghat and Allahabad. Ahmed was a captain of the team in these matches.

1966 – Was a Captain of the Indian volleyball team which participated in the Asian Games at Bangkok. 1967 – Was a Captain of the Indian team against the visiting Ceylonese volleyball team. The test matches were held at Dalmianagar. 1970 – Member of the Indian team which played five test matches against the visiting Paris University team. The tests were played at Hyderabad, Jamshedpur and Bombay. Ahmed was one of the captains of the Indian team at Hyderabad. In the Inter-Civil Services All India Tournaments, Ahmed alongside Tilakam Gopal represented the Andhra Pradesh Civil Service volleyball team At the All India Inter Departmental Nationals, he represented the Andhra Pradesh Police Team: At the All India Inter-Police Meets, he represented the Andhra Pradesh Police Team and helped the team to the following results: "Volleyball shows the way" Sportstar 27 Sept 2003 - 3 Oct 2003 Retrieved 21 March 2019

Middle Georgia Technical College

Middle Georgia Technical College was a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and provided education services for a four-county service area in middle Georgia. The school's service area included Houston, Peach and Dooly counties. MGTC is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees and Technical Certificates of Credit. Many of the school's individual technical programs were accredited by their respective accreditation organizations. On September 26, 2012, the State Board of the TCSG voted to merge Middle Georgia Technical College with the Macon-based Central Georgia Technical College in order to cut costs; the new college retained the name Central Georgia Technical College and will cover 11 counties in the Central Georgia region with multiple campuses, a region larger than the U. S. state of Delaware. Classes under the new college commenced July 1, 2013. MGTC was established in 1973 as Houston Vocational Center, though the first classes were not held until January, 1974.

At that time, its mission was to provide vocational educational programs to both secondary and post-secondary students. The school transitioned to an all-post-secondary curriculum in 1985, at which time its name was changed to Houston Area Vocational Center and its service area was expanded to the four-county area that it serves. Oversight of the school was transferred from local authorities to the Technical College System of Georgia in January, 1986, a year the school was renamed to Middle Georgia Technical Institute; the school was named the official service provider for Adult Literacy programs in its four-county service area in 1990, which led to the opening of Adult Literacy Centers in all four counties. In 1993, the Georgia General Assembly approved funding to build a new main campus for the school on an 83-acre site in Houston County, completed and occupied by March, 1998. MGTC's primary campus was located at 80 Cohen Walker Dr. in Warner Robins, extended classroom facilities are located at the Robins AFB Museum of Aviation.

From the main and extended campuses, the school offered associate degree and technical certificate of credit programs, adult education services, continuing education, customized business and industry workforce training. Additional training was provided at four auxiliary locations in Warner Robins and Vienna; the Adult Education Programs utilized multiple locations throughout the four counties served by the school. MGTC sponsored women's basketball teams; the school's teams were nicknamed the Titans, participated in Division III of the National Junior College Athletic Association and the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association conference

Bardolino DOC

Bardolino and Bardolino Superiore are Italian red wines produced along the chain of morainic hills in the province of Verona to the east of Lake Garda. Bardolino takes its name from the town Bardolino on the shores of Lake Garda and was awarded Denominazione di origine controllata status in 1968; the Superiore is a stronger aged wine, was promoted to Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita status in 2001. The blend of grapes used to produce the wine includes Corvina and Molinara. Up to 15% of the blend is allowed to include Rossignola, Sangiovese, or Garganega, in any combination. Located on the south eastern shores of Lake Garda, the classico zone surrounds the towns of Bardolino, Cavaion, Costermano and Lazise. Beyond the classico zone to the south are flat, fertile plains where Bardolino wine is produced from high grape yields. About 45% of the production comes from the Bardolino Classico region, but unlike its neighboring Veneto DOCs - Soave and Valpolicella - any terroir driven quality difference seems to be minimal between the wine produced in the classico region and that from the greater DOC zone.

Although the three main grapes used to produce Bardolino are used to produce Valpolicella, the two wines are quite different. This is because Bardolino contains less Corvina which adds body and structure and more Rondinella which has a neutral flavor profile. Yields in Bardolino tend to be higher than the 13 tonnes per hectare prescribed in DOC regulations. Minor blending grapes, such as Rossignola, Barbera and the white grape variety Garganega, are permitted up to 15% total. Other versions of Bardolino include a Superiore, which has at least 1 extra percent of alcohol and must be aged at least a year before being released, a rosé, known as Bardolino Chiaretto, a sparkling frizzante, a novello; the Bardolino novello was first produced in the late 1980s in a style that mimics the French wine Beaujolais nouveau

Taneatua Express

The Taneatua Express was an express passenger train operated by the New Zealand Railways Department that ran between Auckland and Taneatua in the Bay of Plenty, serving centres such as Tauranga and Te Puke. It commenced in 1929 and operated until 1959; the immediate precursor to the Taneatua Express, a victim of its introduction, was the Thames Express, which operated from Auckland to Thames. The East Coast Main Trunk Railway, in its first incarnation, diverged from the Thames Branch in Paeroa, when it opened in 1928, Thames swiftly declined in status as a railway terminus as services began operating through to the Bay of Plenty. A direct passenger service between Auckland and the Bay of Plenty terminus in Taneatua commenced upon the East Coast Main Trunk's opening, rendering the Thames Express superfluous as the Taneatua service ran all of the Thames Express's route except the final leg between Paeroa and Thames. Accordingly, the Thames Express ceased to operate and the Taneatua train was upgraded to the Taneatua Express.

When the East Coast Main Trunk opened in 1928, track conditions were not optimal and the train took 12 hours to complete its journey from Auckland to Taneatua. Over the next year, the trackage was upgraded and the Taneatua Express commenced operating, it took 10.5 hours to run between Auckland via a circuitous route. It was nonetheless one of the quicker forms of transport for its era, although the rise of the private car began to impact upon traffic; the proposed direct Paeroa–Pokeno Line from Paeroa to Pokeno on the North Island Main Trunk Railway would have facilitated a faster service. The Taneatua Express operated daily, but the economic impacts of the Great Depression and World War II as well as post-war coal shortages meant that its services were cut back to operate just twice or thrice weekly in each direction. Motive power was first provided by steam locomotives of the AB class, but during the 1940s, J class engines took over. By the 1950s, the lack of frequent, daily operation began to prove a significant discouragement to prospective travellers.

Nonetheless, the Taneatua Express survived to be the second-last steam-hauled provincial express in New Zealand. The final service operated from Taneatua to Auckland on 7 February 1959 and consisted of three passenger carriages and a guard's van hauled by J 1217. A wreath was placed on the front of the locomotive to signify the occasion; the next day, New Zealand's final steam-hauled provincial express, the Rotorua Express, ceased operating. Both expresses were replaced by railcar services operated by RM class 88 seaters, but the Taneatua Express's replacement terminated in Te Puke, permanently ending regular passenger service to destinations beyond that town; the railcar itself did not last long. Passenger services to the Bay of Plenty were not reinstated until the 1991 introduction of the Kaimai Express from Auckland to Tauranga which used Silver Fern railcars until the service was discontinued in 2001