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MOM completes a revolution around Mars : ISRO

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan, has completed one revolution around the Red Planet, Ritu Karidhal, deputy operation director of Bengaluru-based MOM ISRO Satellite Centre said.
●    The span of two years on Earth nearly equals to one year on Mars. 
●    The Mangalyaan, which entered into the orbit of Mars around two years ago, has completed one revolution. 
●    The ISRO scientist said the MOM could last in the space further for at least 5 to 10 years. 
●    The Mangalyaan does not have any fuel system to support its existence while orbiting Mars but is being purely driven by its different components. 
●    The life of these components would decide the future life of MOM.
●    Listing down some of the many firsts associated with MOM at the international level, including the mission that was successful in the first attempt, she said the greatest achievement of Mangalyaan was to infuse confidence among countrymen that India was second to none.

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Cassini set to fly closest to Saturn's ring

NASA said its Cassini mission is set to begin on November 30 a daring set of “ring-grazing” orbits, during which it will fly closer to Saturns rings than it has since its 2004 arrival. 
●    On November 30, following a gravitational nudge from Saturn’s moon Titan, Cassini will enter the first phase of the mission’s dramatic endgame.
●    Launched in 1997, Cassini has been touring the Saturn system since arriving there in 2004 for an up-close study of the planet, its rings and moons. 
●    During its journey, Cassini has made numerous dramatic discoveries, including a global ocean within Enceladus and liquid methane seas on Titan.
●    Between November 30 and April 22, Cassini will circle high over and under the poles of Saturn, diving every seven days — a total of 20 times — through the unexplored region at the outer edge of the main rings. 
●    On many of these passes, Cassini’s instruments will attempt to directly sample ring particles and molecules of faint gases that are found close to the rings.


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NASA launches GOES-R Weather satellite

The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) on 20 November 2016 launched the highly advanced geostationary weather satellite Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R).
●    It will boost the weather observation capabilities of the US, leading to more accurate and timely forecasts, watches and warnings. 
●    It will be into the operations within a year after undergoing testing and validation of new instruments including the first operational lightning mapper in geostationary orbit. 
●    Its primary instrument Advanced Baseline Imager will provide images of Earth’s weather, oceans and environment with 16 different spectral bands. 
●    It is also first satellite to carry a lightning mapper instrument to geostationary orbit.
●    It will photograph lightning activity throughout Western Hemisphere about 200 times every second.
●    There are four satellites in the GOES series: GOES-R, GOES-S, GOES-T and GOES-U
●    This will extend NOAA’s geostationary coverage through 2036 and GOES-R.

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Super Earth found orbiting nearby star

Scientists have discovered a new ‘super Earth’ planet with a mass around 5.4 times that of the Earth, orbiting a very bright star near to our Sun. 
●    The exoplanet, GJ 536 b, is not within the star’s habitable zone, but its short orbital period of 8.7 days and the luminosity of its star make it an attractive candidate for investigating its atmospheric composition. 
●    The star, GJ 536, is a red dwarf which is quite cool and near to our Sun.
●    During the research, a cycle of magnetic activity similar to that of the Sun has been observed, but with a shorter period, three years.
●    To detect the planet, the researchers had to measure the velocity of the star with an accuracy of the order of a metre per second. 
●    The planet was detected in a joint effort between the IAC and the Geneva Observatory, using the HARPS spectrograph on the 3.6M ESO Telescope at La Silla in Chile and HARPS North, on the Telescopio Nacional Galileo at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, Garafia in Spain. 
●    The finding appears in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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Kepler 11145123 : Roundest Celestial Object

Celestial bodies and the planetary structure have always been a great source of mystery, both for the ordinary people the space explorers. 
●    A number of researches and explorations have previously been held in space structures, planets, and stars, in order to crash all those hidden secrets of nature. 
●    During some of such researches, we realized the fact that the sun is the roundest object of the entire cosmos and this has been believed since long. 
●    But recently a new roundest-ever natural object spotted 5,000 light years away which completely smashed the previous intergalactic testimony.
●    A team of astrophysicists found a new star – ‘Kepler 11145123’ which is almost double the size of the current title holder sun and has been flagged down Sun as the roundest object in nature.
●    The sun was the former title-holder – however, it has been thumped from its post by the gigantic star which measures around 1.5 million km.

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Water found in Pluto

New analysis of seemingly proves beneath the icy top layer of the planet lies a liquid ocean – one of the key ingredients for life.
●    Researchers analysed images from NASA’s New Horizon spacecraft which made a flyby of the tiny planet which hovers on the edge of the solar system in 2015.
●    It is believed that the water lies 93 to 124 miles beneath the surface and is 62 miles deep.
●    However, experts state that the water is slushy ice.
●    It shows that nature is more creative than we are able to imagine, which is why we go and explore. 
●    With Pluto being 40 times farther out from the sun than the Earth, the natural conclusion would be that any liquid there would be solidly frozen.
●    However, Francis Nimmo of the University of California explained that there was still enough radioactive heat left over from its formation 4.6 billion years ago that acts as a sort of radiator.

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China launches pulsar navigation satellite

China today successfully launched a navigation satellite which will conduct in-orbit experiments
using pulsar detectors to demonstrate new technologies. 
●    The X-ray pulsar navigation satellite — XPNAV-1 — weighing more than 200 kilogrammes, was sent skyward at 7:42 AM (local time) at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China’s northwest.
●    The satellite operates in a Sun-synchronous orbit and will conduct in-orbit experiments using pulsar detectors to demonstrate new technologies. 
●    It was carried by a Long March-11 rocket, the 239th flight mission by a Long March carrier rocket series.
●    While in orbit, the satellite will undergo tests on its detector functions and space environment adaptability. 
●    It weighs more than 200 kilogrammes and carries two detectors.
●    The satellite and the rocket were designed by academies affiliated with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. 
●    The X-ray pulsar navigation will help reduce the spacecraft’s reliance on ground-based navigation methods and is expected to lead to autonomous spacecraft navigation in the future.

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NASA completes construction of World's Largest Space Telescope

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on 2 November 2016 completed the construction of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) after more than 20 years of hard work.
●    This largest-ever space telescope is expected to launch in 2018 following the in-depth testing.
●    The telescope has 18 large mirrors that will collect infrared light, sheltered behind a tennis-court-size sun shield. 
●    It is considered as the successor to NASA's iconic Hubble Space Telescope.
●    It is a 8.8 billion US dollars worth space observatory built to observe the infrared universe like never before.
●    The telescope's infrared view will pierce through obscuring cosmic dust to reveal the universe's first galaxies and spy on newly forming planetary systems. 
●    It will also be sensitive enough to analyze the atmospheres of exoplanets that pass in front of their stars, perhaps to search for signs of life.

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Team Indus strikes deal with ISRO to send Rovers to Moon

Bengaluru-based Team Indus, made of a group of young space enthusiasts, is practising a kind of frugal engineering with generous help from former ISRO engineers . 
●    V Adimurthy came to the Team Indus office in Bengaluru for the first time in 2013. 
●    As the resident intellectual of the Indian Space Organisation (ISRO), he had been instrumental in working out the mathematical aspects of its missions for four decades. 
●    It was mainly his calculations that formed the basis for the moon and mars missions, and he still provides important intellectual inputs for ISRO missions. 
●    In 2013, Team Indus was a group of young space enthusiasts who had been working for three years to develop a spacecraft to land and rove on the moon, as part of the Google X Prize Lunar Challenge. 
●    They had no experience in space technology. But they had a plan, and they wanted Adimurthy to take a look. 

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Astronauts return from 115 day ISS Mission

Three astronauts landed safely in Kazakhstan on Sunday following a 115-day mission aboard the International Space Station, including US astronaut Kate Rubins, the first person to sequence DNA in space.
●    They were then taken to a nearby medical tent for initial examination.
●    Molecular biologist Rubins and Onishi were both returning from their first missions in space, while flight commander Ivanishin undertook a five-month mission at the ISS five years ago.
●    Their journey back to Earth marks the first complete mission to and from the orbital lab for a new generation of Soyuz spacecraft with upgraded features.
●    Andrei Borisenko and Sergey Ryzhykov of Russia and NASA astronaut Robert Shane Kimbrough remain on board the space station.
●    The space laboratory has been orbiting Earth at about 28,000kmph (17,000 miles per hour) since 1998.

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