Safer space travel for non-astronauts

Bengaluru startup NoPo Nanotechnologies has discovered how to produce carbon nanotubes, “the ideal material” to build lighter, safer rockets that can take non-astronauts to Mars.

Hello Reader,

Another year. Another Reliance AGM. And another Jio Phone.

On Monday, Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani took the stage at the conglomerate’s 45th annual general meeting (AGM) and announced his succession plan. 

While Akash Ambani, his older son, is already leading Reliance Jio, his daughter Isha Ambani will head the retail division of the group. And his younger son, Anant Ambani will head the energy division.

Jio is aiming for the “fastest-ever” rollout of 5G technology—to be delivered to “every town” by next December. It is also working with Google to launch an affordable 5G-enabled smartphone.

Meanwhile, NASA’s Moon mission has been postponed. The Artemis I launch, scheduled for Monday, hit a snag after a heating issue with one of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s main engines.

Lastly, this 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card became the most valuable sports collectible after selling for a whopping $12.6 million. Time to dig through your childhood treasures! 

Maybe one of your old sports memorabilia will be the jackpot you were looking for. 

As rapper Josylvio said, “Dolla bill, y'all, dolla bill, y'all.”

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Safer space travel for non-astronauts
  • The first AWS Hero from India 
  • Building the desi metaverse 

Here’s your trivia for today: Who is the only person to have won two unshared Nobel Prizes?


Safer space travel for non-astronauts

Ever since Star Trek opened our minds up to new possibilities, interplanetary space travel has been on top of everyone’s wishlist. Deep science startup NoPo Nanotechnologies has been working to make that a reality by developing carbon nanotubes.

After it received a $15 million grant from NASA to help design rockets targeting a human spaceflight mission to Mars, NoPo is now finding other use cases for carbon nanotubes, including in the paper and automotive industries.

Ideal material:

  • Carbon nanotubes have both high compressive strength and high tensile strength, a rare combination that makes them great for the rigours of rocketry.
  • NoPo sells carbon nanotubes at $300-500 per gram. CEO Gadhadar Reddy says spaceships made with carbon nanotubes reduce weight by 10X.
  • The startup is currently building fuses for small satellites to test the material in space.

Women in Tech

The first AWS Hero from India 

From growing up in an agricultural family in a small town to becoming the first woman AWS (Amazon Web Services) Hero from India, Bhuvaneshwari Subramani's tech journey has been a roller coaster ride.

"Project or deliverable-related challenges have always interested me and solving those challenges was not as difficult as solving personal dilemmas. The dual role as a mother and working professional, with two children, was a big challenge during the earlier years of my career," she says.

Career growth:

  • Bhuvaneshwari started with a later stage of B2B portal development and maintenance with Bannari Infotech in Coimbatore.
  • In her decade-long association with Infor, she upskilled on AWS Cloud Technology and led a Cloud Development team.
  • She delivered 60+ major releases for the Infor Nexus product suite.


Building the desi digital India  

The metaverse is just getting bigger. As per a Bloomberg report, the global metaverse revenue opportunity could approach $800 billion in 2024.

The global Web3 has engulfed India as well, with many startups building metaverse platforms not just for gaming or commerce, but also for self-expression and telling stories.

Metaverse in India:

  • Loka is building a metaverse multiplayer gaming platform where players can take tours of famous Indian landmarks.
  • Trace Network Labsis helping individuals project their lifestyle in the metaverse with human-like avatar NFTs. 
  • Plutoverse is building a "metaverse for misfits" for people to express themselves freely.

News & updates

  • New head: Initialised Capital founder Garry Tan will become president and CEO of Y Combinator next year, the two organisations announced today. Tan will be taking over the role from Geoff Ralston, who has been with YC since 2011.
  • Sustainability: Honda Motor Co. and South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution Ltd. will spend $4.4 billion to build a new battery plant in the US as the Japanese carmaker seeks to phase out fossil-fuel vehicles completely by 2040.
  • Open arms: Singapore has announced new work visa rules to woo foreign talent as the Asian financial hub looks to bolster its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. These new visa rules will be available from January.

What you should watch out for

  • The 2022 Japan Open badminton tournament starts today.
  • Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) will launch the ‘Save the Whale Shark Campaign’.

Who is the only person to have won two unshared Nobel Prizes?

Answer: American theoretical physical chemist Linus Pauling won for Chemistry in 1954 and Peace in 1962.

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