The army spokesman said that of the six, five soldiers had sustained only minor injuries while the other soldier had suffered “moderate” injuries.He said that the authorities are conducting further investigations into the explosion. (Colombo Gazette) A group of soldiers were injured when detonators hidden by the LTTE had exploded in Udayarkattukulam, Mullaitivu today.Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya said that the explosion took place when construction work was underway in the former rebel held area. “In a former LTTE base in Udayarkattukulam area where Army troops are deployed at present a minor explosion had occurred during preparatory work for a construction. Preliminary investigations revealed that a stock of detonators hidden by the LTTE had exploded when a soldier unknowingly dug the ground for some construction work,” he said. He said that a soldier had dug the ground not knowing that detonators had been hidden there.
A US COMPANY says it has successfully completed the first small-scale test flight of a high-altitude balloon and capsule being developed to let tourists float 20 miles (32 km) above the earth.World View Enterprises of Tucson in Arizona said on Tuesday that it launched the flight last week from Roswell.CEO Jane Poynter said the system broke the world record for highest parafoil flight, lifting a payload to 120,000 feet.“It went really, really, really well,” Poynter said. “Actually, the guys hit the ball out of the park. We’re thrilled.”The system uses a balloon similar to that used in 2012 to lift Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner 128,000 feet to make a world-record breaking 24-mile sky dive. That flight also launched from the Roswell airport. An artist rendering of the space capsule that will be carried by the balloon. Source: AP Photo/World View EnterprisesPoynter said last week’s flight was the first testing all the components together. It used a balloon about third the size of that planned for passenger flight to lift a payload of about one-tenth of what will be used to carry passengers.The company is still planning to begin its $75,000 (€55,000) per-person flights in 2016, she said. The balloons will lift a capsule carrying six passengers and two crew members 20 miles up, where they will float under a parafoil for about two hours before floating back down to earth. The capsule will be big enough for the passengers to walk around.The selling point is the view of the Earth and seeing its curve, the company says. Other space-tourism ventures under development will rocket passengers the full 62 miles into space but on much shorter flights. Workers filling the high altitude balloon. Source: AP Photo/World View EnterprisesIn filings with the Federal Aviation Administration, World View said it planned to launch its flights from Spaceport America in New Mexico. But Poynter said yesterday that no final decision has been made on where to base the flights.Spaceport is where Virgin Galactic plans to launch its first space-tourism flights at a cost of $200,000 per person. Development of Virgin’s spacecraft has taken longer than originally planned, and it is unclear when the company, founded by British billionaire Richard Branson, will make its first flight. The company’s newest target date is the end of this year, but it has said that for each of the last several years.“I don’t think anyone considers us in a race,” Poynter said when asked if they might beat Virgin Galactic to passenger flight. We don’t consider us in competition because the experience is so completely different.Read: Curiosity Rover celebrates first year on Mars with an obligatory selfie > Read: Researcher arrested after faking data for a HIV vaccine >