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Missing Philae Spacecraft found on comet

European Space Agency released a photo of the washing machine-sized robot lab on the comet’s rough surface, one of its three legs thrust dramatically into the air.
•    This was the first sighting of Philae since its rough landing in November 2014. 
•    The image was captured by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on Friday and downloaded two days later — just weeks before the official end of the groundbreaking science mission to unravel the mysteries of life on Earth.
•    The Twitter page of Philae, its communications unit switched off in July, remained silent.
•    The 100kg probe touched down on comet 67P in November 2014, after a 10-year, 6.5 billion kilometre journey piggybacking on Rosetta.
•    Philae bounced several times after its harpoons failed to fire, and ended up in a ditch shadowed from the Sun’s battery-replenishing rays.

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New found asteroid "2016 QA2" came within 80km of earth

A newly found asteroid, named '2016 QA2', came within 80,000 km of the Earth on Sunday, which is a little over one-fifth of the moon's distance from Earth. 
•    The 25-55 metre wide asteroid was first spotted on Saturday and found to orbit the Sun in a more elliptical path than Earth, taking 350 days to complete one revolution.
•    Brazilian sky watchers had only just discovered the asteroid, called 2016 QA2, the day before it zoomed by within 50,000 miles (80,000 km) of Earth.
•    The upper end of the range would make it far larger than the object which exploded over Chelyabinsk in Russia in 2013, smashing windows and injuring more than 1,000 people.
•    The team at Sonear believes the asteroid has been travelling in an elliptical orbit around the sun, completing a lap of the star approximately once every 350 days.

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ISRO Successfully Tested Scramjet Engine

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on 28 August 2016 successfully test launched the Supersonic Combustion Ramjet engine, called Scramjet, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikotta in Andhra Pradesh.
•    The experimental mission aimed at realisation of an Air Breathing Propulsion System (ABPS) uses hydrogen as fuel and oxygen from the atmosphere air as the oxidiser.
•    Two scramjet engines were mounted alongside of a two-stage, solid fueled rocket called Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV), which is an advanced sounding rocket. The national space agency said that its first ever experimental mission met all the specified goals. The rocket carrying Scramjet engines weighed 3277 kg at lift-off.
•    After a flight of about 300 seconds, the vehicle touched down in the Bay of Bengal, approximately 320 km from Sriharikota. The vehicle was successfully tracked during its flight from the ground stations at Sriharikota.
•    With this success, India joined the select league of four space faring nations that have demonstrated flight testing of Scramjet engines.
•    A scramjet (supersonic combusting ramjet) is a variant of a ramjet air breathing jet engine in which combustion takes place in supersonic airflow.
•    The scramjet engine is used only during the atmospheric phase of the rocket’s flight.
•    It uses hydrogen as fuel and the oxygen from the atmospheric air as the oxidizer.

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NASA fires world record 44 rockets in 1 flight

The Guinness World Records recently recognised NASA's September 2015 launch which saw 44 rockets being fired in a single flight, as a world record for the most rockets fired in a single launch. 
•    The mission, which used 37 engines to create an exhaust cloud, three for the rocket launch, and four for position control, was aimed at studying "dusty plasmas".
•    Although the rocket carried an NRL experiment, Wallops had a big hand in the mission. 
•    The team implementing the NRL concept for the multi-rocket-motor dust release module and leading the construction of CARE II are at Wallops.
•    Phil Eberspeaker, Office Chief for the Sounding Rocket Program, said, “Being recognized by Guinness World Records for this achievement is icing on the cake for the entire team. 
•    To successfully carry out this mission required great planning from everyone involved.”

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China Launches 1st hack proof communication satellite.

China on 16 August 2016 launched the world's first quantum satellite named Quantum Experiments at Space Scaler (QUESS) satellite. 
•    The satellite was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the remote northwestern province of Gansu.
•    The satellite will help establish hack-proof communications between space and the ground.
•    It is nicknamed Micius, after a 5th century BC Chinese philosopher and scientist who has been credited as the first one in human history conducting optical experiments.
•    It is designed to establish hack-proof quantum communications by transmitting uncrackable keys from space to the ground.
•    It will enable secure communications between Beijing and Urumqi, the capital of China's violence-prone far western region of Xinjiang.
•    It will circle the Earth once every 90 minutes after it enters a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500 km.

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NASA finds flooded canyons on Saturn’s moon

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has found deep, steep-sided canyons on Saturn's moon Titan that are flooded with liquid hydrocarbons. 
•    The finding represents the first direct evidence of the presence of liquid-filled channels on Titan, as well as the first observation of canyons hundreds of meters deep.
•    A new paper in the journal Geophysical Research Letters describes how scientist’s analyzed Cassini data from a close pass the spacecraft made over Titan in May 2013. 
•    During the flyby, Cassini's radar instrument focused on channels that branch out from the large, northern sea Ligeia Mare.
•    The branching channels appear dark in radar images, much like Titan's methane-rich seas. 
•    This suggested to scientists that the channels might also be filled with liquid, but a direct detection had not been made until now. 
•    Previously it wasn't clear if the dark material was liquid or merely saturated sediment -- which at Titan's frigid temperatures would be made of ice, not rock.

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China has successfully launched Gaofen-3

China on 10 August 2016 launched Gaofen-3 Satellite, China's first Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imaging satellite. The satellite was launched from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in northern Shanxi province on Wednesday.
Gaofen-3 is a high-resolution satellite for the protection of its maritime rights as the South China Sea dispute continues to simmer.
•    It is also China's first low orbit remote sensing satellite that has a lifespan of eight years. 
•    It will be used for disaster warning, weather forecasting, water resource assessments, and the protection of maritime rights.
•    With 12 imaging modes, the high-definition observation satellite is capable of taking wide pictures of the Earth and photographing detailed scenarios of specific areas.
•    It is able to provide high-definition remote sensing data for its users over a long period of time.
•    It was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology and the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, under the guidance of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

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China has successfully launched Tiantong-01 for mobile telecommunication.

China on 6 August 2016 successfully launched its first satellite for mobile telecommunication, Tiantong-01.
•    Tiantong-01 satellite was launched from southwestern China's Xichang Satellite Launch Center, with the Long March-3B carrier rocket. 
•    More geostationary satellites will be sent into orbit for the system.
•    It is the first satellite of China's homemade satellite mobile telecom system, and a key part of the country's space information infrastructure.
•    It was designed by China Academy of Space Technology
•    Its ground service will be operated by China Telecom
•    It will operate in a geosynchronous orbit (GEO)
•    It will establish a mobile network with ground facilities, providing services for China, the Middle East, Africa and other areas. 
•    It was the 232nd flight of the Long March series carrier rockets, and the 36th launch of the Long March-3B. 
•    The three-stage Long March 3B rocket is currently the most powerful Chinese booster in service.

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A team of international astronomers for the first time have sighted a Jovian planet named as HD 131399Ab.

A team of international astronomers for the first time have sighted a Jovian planet orbiting a triple star system. 
•    The planet has been named as HD 131399Ab. The strange planet was sighted by team of astronomers led by University of Arizona using the SPHERE instrument on European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope in Chile. 
•    Usually binary solar systems (having two stars or suns) are relatively common in the universe, but solar systems involving three stars or more are very rare. 
•    Planet HD 131399Ab is located about 340 light years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus. 
•    It is believed to be relatively young, about 16 million years old. 
•    This makes it one of the youngest planets discovered outside our solar system to date. 
•    HD 131399Ab has mass four times that of the gas giant Jupiter, our solar system’s largest planet. 
•    It orbits the brightest of the three stars on a very long and wide path. SPHERE instrument SPHERE stands for Spectro-Polarimetric High-Contrast Exoplanet Research Instrument. 
•    It is one of the world’s most advanced instruments dedicated to finding planets around other stars. 
•    It is sensitive to infrared light which makes it capable of detecting the heat signatures of young planet. 
•    It has ability to correct the image distortion (twinkle) introduced by the Earth’s atmosphere. This technique is called direct imaging.

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NASA’s Juno spacecraft has successfully entered into the orbit of Jupiter

Juno spacecraft of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on 4 July 2016 successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit.
Confirmation of a successful orbit insertion was received from Juno tracking data monitored at the navigation facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
Juno's main aim is to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. The spacecraft will also investigate the existence of a solid planetary core, map Jupiter's intense magnetic field, measure the amount of water and ammonia in the deep atmosphere and observe the planet's auroras.
•    Juno is a NASA New Frontiers mission launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on 5 August 2011.
•    It is in a polar orbit to study Jupiter's composition, gravity field, magnetic field and polar magnetosphere.
•    It will determine how much water is in Jupiter's atmosphere.
•    It will look deep into Jupiter's atmosphere to measure composition, temperature, cloud motions and other properties.
•    It will map Jupiter's magnetic and gravity fields, revealing the planet's deep structure.
•    It will explore and study Jupiter's magnetosphere near the planet's poles, especially the auroras, i.e. Jupiter's northern and southern lights.
•    It is the second spacecraft to orbit Jupiter after the Galileo probe which orbited from 1995–2003.
•    It is powered by solar arrays.
•    The spacecraft's name comes from Greco-Roman mythology.
•    The mission had previously been referred to as Jupiter Near-polar Orbiter in a list of NASA acronyms.
•    The spacecraft will orbit the giant planet 37 times in around 20 months.
•    Juno will dispose off in the form of a controlled deorbit into Jupiter in February 2018

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