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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

07 April, 2020 Space

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

21 April, 2020 Space

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

25 April, 2020 Space

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

26 April, 2020 Space

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

10 May, 2020 Space

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

11 May, 2020 Space


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

14 May, 2020 Space


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

17 May, 2020 Space

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

21 May, 2020 Space

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

21 May, 2020 Space

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.

27 May, 2020 Space

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.

29 May, 2020 Space

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

01 June, 2020 Space

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

16 June, 2020 Space

Study of optical properties of super-massive black-hole

Study of optical properties of super-massive black-hole GS- PAPER-3 S&T PT-MAINS Through 153 nights, 17 scientists from 9 countries in Europe and Asia including researchers from Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital (PT), an autonomous institution of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India took 2263 image frames and observed the changes in a very high energy gamma-ray emitting blazar ‘1ES 0806+524’ using seven

24 June, 2020 Space

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

25 June, 2020 Space

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

26 June, 2020 Space


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

27 June, 2020 Space

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

30 June, 2020 Space

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

18 July, 2020 Space

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

24 July, 2020 Space

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

30 July, 2020 Space

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

30 July, 2020 Space


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

04 August, 2020 Space

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

05 August, 2020 Space

GSAT-30 Satellite

17 January, 2020 Space

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