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NASA and associated Missions

NASA’s Artemis: First human base camp Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- S&T National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) unveiled its plan to setup ‘Artemis’, the first human base camp on Moon’s South Pole by 2024 through a 13-page report titled “NASA’s Plan for Sustained Lunar Exploration and Development”. The report was submitted to the National Space Council, an advisory group to United States (US) President Donald Trump, presided over

Black hole

What is a black hole? A black hole is an object in space that is so dense and has such strong gravity that no matter or light can escape its pull. Because no light can escape, it is black and invisible. What is Event Horizon? There’s a boundary at the edge of a black hole called the event horizon, which is the point of no return — any light or matter that crosses that boundary is sucked into the black hole. It would need to travel faster than the speed of ligh

New model to predict ionospheric electron density

New model to predict ionospheric electron density Researchers from Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Navi Mumbai have developed a global model to predict the ionospheric electron density with larger data coverage - a crucial need for communication and navigation. A new Artificial Neural Networks based global Ionospheric Model has been developed using long-term ionospheric observations to predict the ionospheric electron density and the peak parameters. Artificial Neural Networks replicate t

China Mars mission Tianwen-1 and importance of MARS

China Mars mission Tianwen-1 Part of: GS-III- S&T Space (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Aiming to catch up with India, U.S., Russia and the European Union to reach the red planet, China’s Mars mission plans to complete orbiting, landing and roving in one mission China named its first Mars exploration mission to be launched later this year as Tianwen-1 as it celebrated Space Day to mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of the country’s first satellite Dong Fang Hong-1 in 197

First merger of two black holes with unequal masses detected

Context: For the first time since it started functioning, the gravitational wave observatories at LIGO scientific collaboration have detected a merger of two unequal-mass black holes. The event, dubbed GW190412, was detected nearly a year ago, and this is almost five years after the first ever detection of gravitational wave signals by these powerful detectors. Violent merger showed that it involved two black holes of unequal masses coalescing, one of which was some 30 times the mass of

Solibacillus kalamii

Solibacillus kalamii Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the foremost lab of NASA for work on interplanetary travel, discovered the new bacteria on the filters of the International Space Station (ISS) and named it Solibacillus kalamii to honour the late President. Even as it orbits the earth some 400 kilometres above, the ISS is home to many types of bacteria and fungi. These spore formers tend to withstand high radiation and also produce some useful compounds protein-wise which will

Magnetic field in Uranus

Magnetic field in Uranus Recently scientists have found that Uranus’ magnetic field gets flipped on and off like a light switch everyday as the planet rotates. It is based on the data from NASA’s Voyager 2 Spacecraft. Uranus magnetic field is lopsided and tilted 60 degrees from its axis. Thus it causes magnetic field to tumble asymmetrically to the solar winds. This is quite different from Earth’s magnetosphere, since the alignment of Earth’s magnetospher


Cartosat-2 Cartosat – 2 launched through PSLV C-38. Cartosat is a series of earth observation satellites placed in Polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (PSSO). PSLV is the third generation launch vehicle of India. It is the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages. The imageries from Cartosat-2 series satellite will useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, wat


SOFIA SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is the largest airborne observatory in the world. It consists of an extensively modified Boeing aircraft carrying a reflecting telescope with an effective diameter of 2.5 meters. The observatory is based at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California. Thus SOFIA observes universe in infrared wavelengths to get the expanded views. It is preparing for its campaign for observing Saturn’s giant moo

Indigenous Cryogenic Engine

Indigenous Cryogenic Engine A Cryogenic rocket stage is more efficient and provides more thrust for every kilogram of propellant it burns compared to solid and earth-storable liquid propellant rocket stages. Specific impulse (a measure of the efficiency) achievable with cryogenic propellants (liquid Hydrogen and liquid Oxygen) is much higher compared to earth storable liquid and solid propellants, giving it a substantial payload advantage.  However, cryogenic stage is technically

Tabby's star

Tabby's star Tabby’s star is the “most mysterious star in the universe” as it kept dimming and brightening irregularly, following no pattern. Officially called KIC 8462852, the star is 1,000 light years away from the Earth and 1,000 degrees hotter than the Sun. There was a 20% decrease in brightness and the dip lasted from five to 80 days. A recent report showed that the dimming is caused by ordinary dust particles, the majority of them at a size less than one microme

Farthest known galaxy

Farthest known galaxy NASA has spotted the farthest known galaxy in the universe, a primitive cluster of stars just 500 million years old. The galaxy was named SPT0615-JD. Preliminary analysis suggests that the galaxy is less than 2,500 light-years across. A galaxy is a huge collection of gas, dust, and billions of stars and their solar systems. A galaxy is held together by gravity. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, also has a supermassive black hole in the middle.

NASA’s Kilopower Project

NASA’s Kilopower Project NASA has invented a small nuclear reactor Kilopower, It can generate a reliable power supply by using uranium-235 reactor core. This power system could provide up to 10 kilowatts of electrical power enough to run two average households continuously for at least 10 years. This reactor will be used for electronic propulsion systems and for providing safe and plentiful energy for future robotic and human missions for Mars and beyond.

SpaceX Crew Dragon: A new era in space exploration

SpaceX Crew Dragon: A new era in space exploration On Sunday night, two American astronauts flew to the International Space Station, the world’s only space-based laboratory, located about 400 km from the earth, in a journey that has been undertaken hundreds of times earlier. It was the first time that astronauts used a spaceship built and launched by a private company, and the event is being widely seen as the beginning of a new era in space exploration. Two NASA astronauts fle

Falcon Heavy

Falcon Heavy Falcon Heavy is a reusable super heavy-lift launch vehicle designed and manufactured by SpaceX, a private American aerospace manufacturer. Its first test flight carrying a red sports car was successfully launched from florida pad used by NASA. It is the most powerful operational rocket in the world. It can lift about twice the payload at one third of the cost by Delta 4 rocket which was the most powerful rocket till now. This lift capacity al

Star Formation Nebula White dwarf and Neutron Star or Black Hole

Star Formation Nebula White dwarf and Neutron Star or Black Hole GS- Paper-1 Geography / Geography Optional (PT-Mains-I.V) Outlined below are the many steps involved in a star’s evolution, from its formation in a nebula, to its death as a white dwarf or a neutron star. Nebula: a star’s birthplace. Protostar: an early stage of a star formation where nuclear fusion is yet to begin. T Tauri Star Main Sequence Star: E.g. Sun – full of life (nuc

Micius Satellite

Micius Satellite Micius is the world’s first quantum communications satellite, launched by China in 2016. The satellite serves as the source of pairs of entangled photons. Recently, it has sent light particles to the Earth to establish the world’s most secure communication link. It has successfully brought entanglement-based quantum cryptography to its original ground stations 1,200 km apart by sending simultaneous streams of entangled photons to the ground stations to establish a


IN-SPACe Union Government has given approval to Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe). It will be the nodal national entity under the Department of Space to drive building of satellites, rockets, or launch services through Indian industry. It will provide a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure. It will also hand-hold, promote and guide the private industries in space activities through encouraging policies and a friendly re

HAM Radio       

HAM Radio        Recently HAM (amateur) radio operators have volunteered to help a special task force that has been constituted in Bengaluru to ensure that citizens placed under home quarantine follow the protocol for it. ImpPoints Amateur radio, also called ham radio, is a noncommercial two-way radio communications. They use many frequency bands across the radio spectrum. HAM radio is a real-time communication netwo

NEOWISE after the NASA telescope

NEOWISE after the NASA telescope GS-Paper-3 S&T (PT) The recently discovered comet C/2020 F3 will make its closest approach to the Earth at a distance of 64 million miles or 103 million kilometres while crossing Earth’s outside orbit on 22nd July 2020. It is also known as NEOWISE after the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) telescope that discovered it. On 3rd July, it was closest to the sun

Tianwen-1 Mars mission

Tianwen-1 Mars mission Context: China launched the Tianwen-1 Mars rover mission. About Tianwen-1: It is China’s first fully home-grown Mars mission. It was launched atop Long March-5 carrier rocket. It consists of an orbiter and a lander/rover duo, a combination of craft that had never before been launched together towards Mars. News It is especially striking given that it’s China’s first attempt at a full-on Mars mission. China did launch a

ASTHROS mission

ASTHROS mission The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has begun work on a balloon that will carry a 2.5-meter telescope into the stratosphere to observe wavelengths of light that are not visible from the ground. The mission named Astrophysics Stratospheric Telescope for High Spectral Resolution Observations at Submillimeter-wavelengths, or ASTHROS in short, will tentatively be launched by December 2023 from Antarctica. It will

Inter-planetary Contamination in Mars

Inter-planetary Contamination in Mars Recently, astrobiologists have expressed concerns about possible ‘interplanetary contamination’ on Mars. Interplanetary contamination refers to biological contamination of a planetary body by a space probe or spacecraft, either deliberate or unintentional. In the past, space missions have established physical contact with astronomical bodies such as comets and asteroids, and crewed missions have landed on the Moon. However, since these bodi


BeiDou China’s administration has officially commissioned BeiDou Navigation Satellite System constellation. It was initiated in 1994. It aims to integrate its application in different sectors, including fishery, agriculture, special care, mass-market applications, forestry and public security. It now offers services including accurate positioning, navigation and timing as well as short message communication. BeiDou uses a network of satellites and can provide positional accuracies of

Space X Capsule Returns

Space X Capsule Returns GS-Paper-3 Space (PT-MAINS) Recently, two National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken have returned to earth in their SpaceX Dragon capsule named Endeavour, in less than a day after departing the International Space Station (ISS). Their capsule parachuted into the Gulf of Mexico about 40 miles off the coast of Pensacola, Florida Panhandle (USA), whic

Turkey’s space program

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently unveiled an ambitious 10-year space program that includes missions to the moon, developing internationally viable satellite systems, and sending Turkish astronauts into space. President Erdogan also informed that Turkey plans on establishing its first contact with the moon in 2023 when the nation will mark the centennial of the founding of the Turkish Republic. However, the critics have questioned the Turkish government’s decision

Russia to launch around 40 satellites from 18 countries in 2021

Russia is set to put into orbit around 40 satellites from over a dozen different countries all over the world using the Soyuz-2 carrier rocket in March 2021. Soyuz-2.1, a carrier rocket with the Fregat booster will blast off with the South Korean CAS500-1 (Compact Advanced Satellite 500) space vehicle from the Baikonur space centre in March, 2021.  

SpaceX to launch first all-civilian astronaut mission in late 2021

SpaceX recently announced on that it will be launching four private individuals on a Crew Dragon Capsule into orbit around Earth. The mission is dubbed ‘the world’s first all-civilian mission’. The mission known as Inspiration4 aims at raising the support for Children’s Research Hospital. On the conclusion of Inspiration4 mission, Dragon, the spacecraft will be re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere for soft water landing off the coast of Florida.

NASA captures images of ‘Lost Galaxy’ in Virgo Constellation

The Hubble Space Telescope of National Aeronautics and Space Administration- NASA has captured the stunning image of ‘Lost Galaxy’ in the Virgo constellation. Like our own ‘Milky Way’, the ‘Lost Galaxy’ is a barred spiral galaxy. It is a vast swirl of stars with a distinct bar structure at its centre. The yellowish glow of the lost galaxy points to its oldest and coldest retinue of stars.

SpaceX creates new world record after launching 143 satellites on a single rocket

SpaceX, an aerospace company, has beaten the record of the Indian Space Research Organisation- ISRO where it deployed 104 satellites in February 2017 in a single launch.The reusable rocket launched 143 satellites to space which are part of the SmallSat Rideshare program of SpaceX from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

New Guidelines for the Geo-Spatial Sector

What is the news? The Ministry of Science and Technology has released new guidelines for the Geo-spatial sector in India. It deregulated the existing protocol and liberalizes the sector to a more competitive field. What is a Geo-Spatial Data? Geospatial data is data about objects, events, or phenomena that have a location on the surface of the earth. The location may be static in the short-term, like the location of a road, an earthquake event, malnutrition among children, o

International Space Station

It is the only active modular space station (habitable artificial satellite) in the Earth’s Orbit. It is the largest artificial object in space and the largest satellite in low Earth orbit, visible to the naked eye from Earth's surface. It is a joint project between five participating space agencies - NASA (USA), Roscosmos, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), European Space Agency, and Canadian Space Agency.

Kodaikanal Solar Observatory

Kodaikanal Solar Observatory (KoSO) has estimated how the Sun had rotated over the Century, from digitized data extracted from old films and photographs. KoSO is an autonomous institute of Department of Science and Technology (DST). This estimation would help study magnetic field generated in the interior of the Sun, which causes sunspots and results in extreme situations like the mini-ice age on Earth (absence of sunspots). It could help predict solar cycles and the

Goldilocks Zones

Goldilocks Zones A habitable zone, also called the “Goldilocks zone”, is the area around a star where it is not too hot and not too cold for liquid water to exist on the surface of surrounding planets. Our Earth is in the Sun’s Goldilocks zone. If Earth were where the dwarf planet Pluto is, all its water would freeze; on the other hand, if Earth were where Mercury is, all its water would boil off. Life on Earth started in water, and water is a necessary ingredi

Space Related Facts and Data

Space Related Facts and Data Indian Space Program Started in 2ndFive Year Plan. Vikram Sarabhai is the architect of INDIAN SPACE PROGRAM. Space program is run byDepartment of Space, PMO. Quick Facts PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 is the first dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), a Government of India company under Department of Space. Notable payloads launched by PSLV include India's first lunar probe Chandrayaan-1, India's first&nb

GISAT-1 Being Planned by ISRO

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to launch GISAT-1 into space using GSLV-F10 rocket. Geo Imaging Satellite-1 or GISAT-1 is India’s first earth observation satellite in a geostationary orbit. The rocket will place GISAT-1 in geosynchronous orbit, and subsequently in geostationary orbit, using its onboard propulsion system. GISAT-1 will facilitate near real-time observation of the Indian sub-continent, under cloud-free condition, at frequent intervals. With onbo

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle Planned by ISRO for April, 2021

The maiden flight of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) - ISRO’s compact launcher - will be made soon. SSLV will meet the “launch on demand” requirements in a cost-effective manner for small satellites in a dedicated and ride-share mode. It is a 3-stage all solid vehicle that can launch up to 500 kg satellite into 500 km Low Earth Orbit and 300 kg into Sun Synchronous Orbit. With lower per kg launch cost, the mini launcher will have multiple satellite mounting o


LIGHT DETECTION AND RANGING SURVEY (LIDAR) TECHNIQUE: National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited will be adopting Light Detection and Ranging Survey (LiDAR) technique using Laser enabled equipment mounted on a Helicopter for conducting ground survey for the preparation of Detailed Project Report for the proposed Delhi-Varanasi HSR corridor. What is LiDAR? It is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Ear


AUSTRALIAN SQUARE KILOMETRE ARRAY PATHFINDER: Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a new type of radio telescope developed by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Recently, this telescope had helped map around 300 million galaxies in approximately 300 hours to create a ‘new atlas of the universe’. Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder The first light of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder was


ARECIBO TELESCOPE: Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Telescope was built in 1963. It is the second-largest single-dish radio telescope in the world. It was in news recently because of its collapse. It is owned by the US National Science Foundation. It is known for its finding that Mercury rotates in 59 days and not 88 days (original calculation). About Arecibo Telescope The Arecibo Telescope has one of the most powerful radar employed to observe asteroids, planets, ionosphe


SENTINEL-6 SATELLITE  The Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite is designed to monitor oceans. It was recently launched from California aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. This is a part of the next mission dedicated to measuring changes in the global sea level. What is the mission? The mission is called the Jason Continuity of Service (Jason-CS) mission. It is designed to measure the height of the ocean, which is a key component in understanding how the


ARIEL SPACE MISSION - ESA The European Space Agency (ESA) has formally adopted Ariel. What is Ariel? Ariel (Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey) will be launched in 2029. It will perform a large-scale survey of over a thousand exoplanets over a period of 4 years. The explorer that will study the nature, formation and evolution of exoplanets. Significance: Ariel is the first mission of its kind dedicated to measuring the chemical composition an


SPACEX-NASA’S CREW-1 MISSION NASA has certified SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule and the Falcon 9 rocket, making it the first spacecraft certification provided by the space agency. What is the Crew-1 mission? The mission is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, whose objective is to make access to space easier in terms of its cost, so that cargo and crew can be easily transported to and from the ISS, enabling greater scientific research.  About the S


THIRTY METER TELESCOPE PROJECT. 2020 Physics Nobel Laureate Prof.  Andrea Ghez had worked closely with Indian astronomers on the design of back-end instruments of Thirty Meter Telescope Project. About TMT: It is an astronomical observatory with an extremely large telescope (ELT). It is an international project being funded by scientific organisations of Canada, China, India, Japan and USA. Planned location is Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii in the US stat


GIANT METREWAVE RADIO TELESCOPE (GMRT) The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope observatory located in Pune has been provided with the prestigious IEEE milestone status. This is the 3rd IEEE milestone recognition being offered to India  The previous two IEEE milestone recognition were awarded to JC Bose in 1895 and CV Raman in 1928. JC Bose is regarded as the Father of Wireless Communication. Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope It is an array of 30 radio telescopes operated


RADIO BURST IN MILKY WAY NASA recently observed a mix of radio signals and X-ray in Milky Way. This has never been observed earlier in the galaxy. NASA has also reported the spotting of Fast Radio Bursts. This was detected by the CHIME telescope. What are Fast Radio Bursts? Fast Radio Bursts are bright bursts of radio waves produced by astronomical objects with changing magnetic fields. The duration of these bursts last only for milli-second. making it difficult to spot


IRNSS RECOGNIZED UNDER WWRNS BY IMO The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) has been accepted as a component of the World-Wide Radio Navigation System by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for its operation in the Indian Ocean Region. This will enable the vessels to use IRNSS to obtain position information similar to GLONASS and GPS. Impacts The navigation system up to 1,500 km in the Indian Ocean waters can now replace GPS. This means that the s


INDIA-EUROPEAN UNION COUNTER TERRORISM DIALOGUE India and European Union held Counter Terrorism Dialogue.  Highlights The dialogue reviewed threats posed by UN-sanctioned terrorist entities. India and European Union are to soon conclude the Free Trade Agreement. During the dialogue, European Union stressed to increase India’s investments in the field of Green Energy. India-European Union European Union is the largest trading partner of India. The EU


ASTEROID 16 PSYCHE The NASA has found that 16 Psyche asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter is made of rare metals such as gold, cobalt, platinum, rhenium and iridium. The total worth of the precious metals in the asteroid has been estimated as 10,000 Quadrillion USD by NASA scientists. About Asteroid 16 Psyche Oxidation is constantly occurring at the surface of the asteroid due to solar winds. Solar winds are stream of charged particles from the hot outer atmosph

Martian Blueberries

According to Researchers from Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad the Blueberries in India and “Martian Blueberries” share similar characteristics. What are Martian Blueberries? Martian blueberries are small spherical haematites.  The Mars rover “Opportunity” discovered them in 2004 on the planet Mars. Composition of Martian blueberries: Martian Blueberries are made of iron oxide compounds called haematites. These haematites are known

Indo French Space Collaboration

Indo-French Space Collaborations Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and French space agency Centre National dEtudes Spatiales (CNES) are working on their 3rd joint satellite mission. ISRO and CNES have completed the feasibility study to realise the earth observation satellite mission with TRISHNA, thermal infrared imager. TRISHNA will monitor the water cycle to help in properly utilizing it.  ARGOS of CNES will be integrated into ISRO’s OCEANSAT-3 satellite.

Bacteria found on International Space Station named after Indian scientist

4 species of bacteria have been discovered onboard the International Space Station (ISS). About the Discovery:  One of the bacteria has been named after Indian biodiversity scientist Seyed Ajmal Khan (Methylobacterium ajmalii). Four strains of bacteria belong to this family These bacteria aid in plant growth. While one strain was identified as Methylorubrum rhodesianum bacteria, the other three strains were previously undiscovered. International Space Station (ISS)

CIISCO Algorithm- Aditya-L1 Solar probe – UPSC Prelims S&T

CIISCO Algorithm- Aditya-L1 Solar probe – UPSC Prelims S&T Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) Identification in Inner Solar Corona (CIISCO) algorithm will be used in India’s first solar mission, Aditya-L1. CIISCO was developed by the Aryabhatta Research Institute of observational sciences (ARIES) and Royal Observatory of Belgium. This new algorithm will be used to detect and track the accelerating Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) in the lower corona of the Sun. Previously, Computer

Apophis Asteroid and Asteroid research programmes

Apophis Asteroid and Asteroid research programmes GS: Paper-3: Space-based missions: Prelims-Personality Test First detected in 2004, Apophis is now officially off National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA's) asteroid “risk list”. This has ruled out any chance of Apophis smacking Earth in 2068, and don’t show any impact risk for at least the next 100 years. Asteroids or planetoids or minor planets are made up of metals and rocks. They revolve

Zhurong – Mars rover

Zhurong – Mars rover GS-Paper-3: S&T-Space – UPSC PRELIMS – Mains Application Chinese government announced that its first Mars rover will be named Zhurong after a traditional fire god. This name fits with the Chinese name for Mars - “Huo Xing” or fire star. The rover is aboard the Tianwen-1 probe that arrived in Mars orbit in February, 2021 and is due to land in May to look for evidence of life. The top candidate for the landing site on Ma

International Space Station- Comprehensive analysis

International Space Station- Comprehensive analysis Introduction The ISS has been assembled section by section over several years. The first segment was launched on November 20, 1998, in a Russian proton rocket named Zarya (which means ‘sunrise’) The first human expedition to the station was launched in a Soyuz TM 31 rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan So far, 240 individuals from 19 countries have visited the ISS, including from Malaysia and the UAE About

VERITAS Mission and DAVINCI+ Mission: NASA Missions on Venus

VERITAS Mission and DAVINCI+ Mission: NASA Missions on Venus NASA announced two missions to Venus, Earth’s closest planetary neighbour, as part of its ‘Discovery Program’ that aims to explore and study the solar system. Missions are The VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy) mission will map the surface of the planet, study its geology, and hunt for volcanic activity. The DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of

Supernova explosion From Wolf–Rayet Stars Traced

Indian astronomers from Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences have tracked a rare supernova explosion and traced it to one of the hottest kind of stars called Wolf–Rayet stars or WR stars.   The rare Wolf–Rayet stars are highly luminous objects a thousand times that of the Sun. They strip their outer hydrogen envelope which is associated with the fusion of Helium and other elements in the massive core. Supernova A supernova

China’s Space Missions

China’s Space Missions China took another step towards completing the construction of its first space station by the end of next year following the launch and docking of a cargo spacecraft early on Sunday. The Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft, described by China’s state media as “the delivery guy for China’s space station”, was launched late on Saturday on a Long March-7 rocket from the island of Hainan, and docked eight hours later with the space station’s

Space reforms in India

Space reforms in India Space Activities Bill aims at regulation and promotion of private players in space sector. Government committed to create an ecosystem to encourage more private participation in indigenous production of space technologies, services and devices. Government of India has announced space sector reforms in June 2020. The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) was created as an independent nodal agency under the Department of Space with th

ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization)

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is the space agency under Dept of Space. ISRO headquarters are in Bengaluru, Karnataka. ISRO was initiated under Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, the founding father of Indian space programme, during 1960’s. Vikram Sarabhai is the father of Indian Space Program. Hence Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre is located at Kerala. Dr. K. Sivan is the ISRO Chairman, Department of Space. ISRO’s vision is to harness space technology for national develop

Yuktadhara - Geospatial Planning Portal

Yuktadhara is a geospatial planning portal for facilitating Gram Panchayat level planning of MGNREGA activities across India using Remote Sensing and GIS based information. It integrates a wide variety of spatial information contents to enable a holistic approach towards planning using open source GIS tools. Current level of integration under Yuktdhara, as a part of Bhuvan, incorporates multi-temporal IRS satellite data of better than 3 m detail in natural color, digital terrain, themat


ASTROSAT is India’s first dedicated multi wavelength space observatory. AstroSat is the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission aimed at studying celestial sources in X-ray, optical and UV spectral bands simultaneously. The payloads cover the energy bands of Ultraviolet (Near and Far), limited optical and X-ray regime (0.3 keV to 100keV). One of the unique features of AstroSat mission is that it enables the simultaneous multi-wavelength observations of various astrono

Indian astrophysicists spot rare merger of 3 jumbo black holes

A rare merging of three supermassive black holes has been spotted by a team of astrophysicists from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), working with Professor Francoise Combes from the Paris Observatory. This is only the third time such an event has been observed and the findings were published as a letter in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics in June. The team were observing the merging of two galaxies — NGC7733 and NGC7734 — in the earth’s celest

Sun, Solar Missions & Solar Phenomenon

Sun, Solar Missions & Solar Phenomenon Context: This topic is important for UPSE Prelims and Mains GS Paper3. Aurora An aurora also known as the polar lights or aurora polaris, is a natural light display in Earth's sky, predominantly seen in high-latitude regions (around the Arctic and Antarctic). Auroras display dynamic patterns of brilliant lights that appear as curtains, rays, spirals or dynamic flickers covering the e

Was it really a black hole that the EHT imaged in 2019

  Context: "Was it really a black hole that the EHT imaged in 2019?" is an important topic for UPSE GS Paper 3 and Prelims. The debate among physicists takes off over alternative possibilities such as naked singularities into the realms of time travel and loops of time In 2019, astronomers of the Event Horizon Telescope captured the first-ever image of a supermassive black hole (M87*) which was located at the centre of a galaxy Messier 87 (M87). This black hole

Significance of Transfer Of IN- Orbit Communication

Significance of Transfer Of IN- Orbit Communication Satellite  Recently the union cabinet approved the transfer of 10 in-orbit communication satellites from the government of India to NewSpace India limited. NSIL is a public sector enterprise under the administrative control of the Department of Space. The Indian government has also approved increasing the share capital of NSIL from Rs1000 crore to Rs 7500 crore. SIGNIFICANCE It will provide the desired financial autonomy to the


JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE  NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has delivered the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe so far. Webb’s First Deep Field of view is galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 and it is teeming with thousands of galaxies – including the faintest objects ever observed in the infrared. About James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) About: It is the world's premier space science observatory. It will solve the


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