Current Affairs, News & Facts of 09 Mar 2015

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  • NASA's Dawn has become the first spacecraft to reach the orbit of a dwarf planet called Ceres
    • It was approximately 61000 km from Ceres when the spacecraft began to feel the gravitational pull of the dwarf planet.
    • Since its discovery in 1801, Ceres has undergone multiple identities from being discovered as a planet - then called an asteroid and finally settling down as a dwarf planet.
    • Dawn also has the distinction of being the first mission to orbit two extraterrestrial targets namely Ceres and Vesta.
    • Earlier, from 2011 to 2012, the spacecraft explored the giant asteroid Vesta.
    • Ceres and Vesta are the two most massive residents of our solar system's main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
  • Heartbreak for India as Saina Nehwal lose in the final of All England badminton championship to Carolina Marin of Spain. 
    • Carolina Marin - the current World and European champion in women's badminton - thus became the first Spaniard to lift this coveted trophy.
    • This is her first ever win over Saina in four meetings.
    • Only 2 Indians - Pullella Gopichand (2001) and Prakash Padukone (1980) - have so far bagged this title.
  • India-Nepal opens 2nd bus service between them on the Varanasi-Kathmandu route. 
    • This daily link service will cover around 600 km over 12 hours reaching the destination via Azamgarh, Gorakhpur and Sonauli.
    • The 1st direct bus link is operational from last November (2014) connecting the capitals (Delhi- Kathmandu) of both the nations.
  • President confers Stree Shakti Puraskars and Nari Shakti Puraskars for the year 2014
    • The Stree Shakti puraskars are conferred to six women in the area of women’s endeavor and exceptional contribution each year.
    • The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 300000 and a citation.
    • The inaugural 'Nari Shakti Puraskars' were also conferred this year.
    • The award carries a cash prize of Rs 100,000 and a citation.
    • They have been instituted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development to honour 8 women to recognize their individual contribution in specific areas.
  • Veteran journalist Vinod Mehta - founder-Editor-in-Chief of the 'Outlook' magazine - breathes his last at 74. 
    • He launched a number of successful publications such as the Sunday Observer, Indian Post, The Independent, The Pioneer (Delhi edition) and, finally, Outlook.
  • G Karthikeyan, Speaker of Kerala's legislative assembly, passes away aged 66. 
    • The congress legislator was given this office after his party came to power in the state in 2011.

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