February 28, 2024

Space


Gaganyaan Crew

The names of four astronauts, part of the country's human space flight mission Gaganyaan, were revealed recently. The PM presented astronaut wings to the four selected for the space flight during an event at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram. The four astronaut-designates selected for the Gaganyaan mission are- Group Captain Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair, Group Captain Ajit Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla. The astronauts chosen for the mission have been trained in technical knowledge as well as physical fitness to ensure they stay well during the mission. ABOUT GAGANYAAN MISSION Gaganyaan project envisages demonstration of....Read More

   Hunger Moon

Full moon on February 24 was called as Hunger moon or Snow Moon or Storm Moon. It missed Earth's shadow, because moon's orbit is tilted by five degrees to the plane of the Earth's orbit, and therefore Earth won't be directly between the sun and the moon. It has been named by Native American tribes as the 'Snow Moon' or the 'Hunger Moon'. This lunar event carries a history woven with the challenges of midwinter. NASA has explained that heavy snowfall, making hunting difficult, led to it being called the 'Snow Moon'. The added title of the 'Hunger Moon' reflects....Read More

PACE Mission

NASA’s PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem) satellite was recently launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. ABOUT PACE PACE, NASA’s newest Earth-observing satellite, will help scientists better understand how climate change is affecting blooms of ocean phytoplankton. Phytoplankton, also known as microalgae, is the foundation of the ocean’s food web. They are the primary producers of energy, feeding everything from tiny zooplankton to whales that weigh multiple tons. The smaller fish and ocean creatures that feed on phytoplankton are then eaten by bigger fish. PACE will also help understand the influence of particles in the air, like dust and....Read More

GRAPES-3 experiment

Researchers at GRAPES-3 have identified a distinctive characteristic in the cosmic-ray proton spectrum, particularly at an energy level of approximately 166 tera-electron-volt (TeV). This revelation spans a measurement range from 50 TeV to slightly over one peta-electron-volt (PeV), sparking potential shifts in our comprehension of cosmic ray origins, their acceleration processes, and their movement within the Milky Way. ABOUT COSMIC RAYS Cosmic rays, first discovered over a century ago, constitute the most energetic particles in the universe. These particles uniformly bombard Earth from all directions, penetrating the atmosphere and generating a cascade of secondary particles such as electrons, photons, muons,....Read More

GRAPES-3 experiment

Researchers at GRAPES-3 have identified a distinctive characteristic in the cosmic-ray proton spectrum, particularly at an energy level of approximately 166 tera-electron-volt (TeV). This revelation spans a measurement range from 50 TeV to slightly over one peta-electron-volt (PeV), sparking potential shifts in our comprehension of cosmic ray origins, their acceleration processes, and their movement within the Milky Way. ABOUT COSMIC RAYS Cosmic rays, first discovered over a century ago, constitute the most energetic particles in the universe. These particles uniformly bombard Earth from all directions, penetrating the atmosphere and generating a cascade of secondary particles such as electrons, photons, muons,....Read More

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko set a world record for the most time spent in space. He spent over 878 days and 12 hours outside the Earth's atmosphere, totalling nearly two and a half years. He has surpassed the milestone of his compatriot Gennady Padalka, who was in space for a total of 878 days, 11 hours, 29 minutes and 48 seconds across five space journeys before retiring in 2017. MORE ABOUT OLEG KONONENKO Oleg Kononenko, who is the commander of the Russian space agency Roscosmos cosmonaut corps, is on his fifth space mission. Alongside fellow Russian Nikolai Chub and NASA....Read More

Asteroid Ryugu

Two organic compounds essential for living organisms have been detected in the sample of the asteroid Ryugu. The samples were brought back on Japan’s Hayabusa 2 space craft. A study of samples claims to have discovered evidence that points to organic matter from comets being transported from space to regions near Earth. The sample surfaces contain “melt splashes” ranging from 5 to 20 micrometers. These splashes could have been created when Ryugu got bombarded by micrometeoroids of cometary dust. ABOUT ASTEROID RYUGU It is a diamond-shaped carbonaceous or C-type asteroid (meaning it contains a lot of carbon and water). The....Read More

POEM- 3

POEM-3, the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module-3, India’s unique inexpensive space platform using the spent PS4 stage of the PSLV-C58 vehicle that launched XPoSat on January 1, 2024, has successfully achieved all its objectives. After deploying the satellite into its intended orbit at 650 km, the vehicle was lowered to 350 km circular orbit to minimize the time of orbit decay after completion of the experiment. It is a three-axis-attitude controlled platform with power generation and telecommand & telemetry capabilities, for supporting Payloads. POEM-3 flew with nine Payloads from VSSC, PRL, Academia, and Space start-ups inducted through IN-SPACe. Payloads included RUDRA,....Read More

Japan achieved a significant milestone as its spacecraft, Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), successfully landed on the lunar surface, making it the fifth country in history to reach the moon. The first four are- India, USA, China and Russia. SLIM's mission priority was to achieve a pinpoint landing, a technology promising greater control than previous moon landings. The lightweight spacecraft, about the size of a passenger vehicle, utilized precision landing technology, aiming for a target of just 100 meters (330 feet). The mission, nicknamed "the Moon Sniper," was the result of two decades of precision technology development by Japan....Read More

An official delegation from the Department of Science and Technology visited Hawai’i in the United States, to discuss “challenges” to the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project. About TMT Project The TMT has been conceived as a 30-metre diameter primary-mirror optical and infrared telescope that will enable observations into deep space. It is proposed as a joint collaboration involving institutions in the U.S., Japan, China, Canada, and India. Indian participation in the project was approved by the Union Cabinet in 2014. It will be installed on Mauna Kea, an inactive volcano on the island of Hawaii. TMT’s light-collecting primary mirror will....Read More

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