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China has successfully launched a 23rd BeiDou Navigation Satellite

China has successfully launched a 23rd BeiDou Navigation Satellite to support its global navigation and positioning network. 
•    The satellite was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on board of Long March-3C carrier rocket. 
•    It is the 23rd satellite in the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, which is being developed as an alternative to GPS (Global Positioning System) of US.  
•    It was the 229th launch of the Long March carrier rocket. 
•    23rd BeiDou Navigation Satellite after entering its designed work orbit and finishing in-orbit testing, will join others satellite of the system already in orbit. 
•    It will help to improve the stability of the BeiDou Navigation system to offer global coverage. 
•    BNS is 2nd generation of the Chinese navigational system seen as rival to the US’s Global Positioning System (GPS). 
•    The system comprises total 35 satellites in two separate satellite constellations (i) Limited test system (operational since 2000) (ii) A full-scale global navigation system which is currently under construction. 
•    The BNS became operational in December 2011 in China with the constellation of 10 satellites of the system. 
•    In December 2012, the system began offering services to customers in the Asia-Pacific region. On its completion in 2020, the system will provide services to global customers. 
•    After completion, the navigation system would become an equivalent of the US Global Positioning System, Europe’s Galileo and Russia’s Glonass. 
•    It will be used for Civilian services, Navigation, messaging, transportation and weather forecasting sectors, Military applications etc 

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NASA launched world's largest satellite

A new U.S. spy satellite roared into orbit Saturday (June 11) atop the most powerful rocket currently in operation.
•    The National Reconnaissance Office's (NRO) NROL-37 satellite launched Saturday at 1:51 p.m. EDT (1751 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida riding a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket to space. 
•    The NRO is responsible for designing, building and operating the United States' fleet of spy satellites. 
•    As is the case with most NRO payloads, NROL-37's activities are classified; a brief description on ULA's website states that the mission is "in support of national defense." 
•    At launch, the Delta IV Heavy generates about 2.1 million lbs. (950,000 kilograms) of thrust, making it the most powerful rocket in use today. 
•    That's a lot, but far shy of the all-time record; NASA's Saturn V rocket, which blasted the Apollo astronauts toward the moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s, produced 7.5 million lbs. (3.4 million kg) of thrust at liftoff. 

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NASA Found 39 Unreported Man-Made Sources of Sulphur Dioxide Pollution

NASA's satellites also function as an observatory for climate change and weather behavior on Earth. 
•    These satellites were proven to be helpful in the recent findings by NASA scientists in partnership with the Environment and Climate Change Canada, who discovered that there are 39 unreported sources of toxic air pollution on Earth.
•    The findings of the recent study were published in the journal of in Nature Geosciences. 
•    The 39 unreported sources were found guilty of emitting toxic sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is one of the six air pollutants regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 
•    Agencies concerned with monitoring these air pollutants need to locate the sources first  in order to measure and moderate them. 
•    The recent study managed to identify the "hotspots" where unreported toxic air pollutants are coming from. 
•    Experts are now hoping that they can alleviate the toxic air pollutants emitted by the newly identified sources.
•    To help scientists identify the sources, a new satellite-based process was developed to allow the scientist to pinpoint the exact location of the man-made toxic emissions, which is vital in regulating them. 
•    The newly identifies man-made sources of toxic air pollutants accounts for 12 percent of the total man-made sulfur dioxide emissions according to a report by Engadget. 

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Astrophysicists discover Canarias Einstein Ring in space

An international team of astrophysicists discovered a new optical Einstein ring called Canarias Einstein Ring. Einstein Ring is a distorted image of a galaxy, the source, which is very distant from the Earth.

•    The rare phenomenon was discovered in the Sculptor constellation, IAC J010127-334319, in the vicinity of the Sculptor Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy.
•    The discovered new source of galaxy (Einstein Ring) is an almost complete ring with an angle of 300 degree having a diameter of 4.5 arcsec.
•    The discovered optical Einstein Ring shows two perfectly aligned galaxy, namely source galaxy and lens galaxy.
•    The source galaxy is 10000 million light years away from Earth and it appears as a blue galaxy populated by young stars began to evolve. The young stars were forming at a high rate.
•    The lens galaxy is 6000 million light years away from Earth and is more evolved, however, its stars have almost stopped forming, and its population is old.
•    Confirmation of the object was obtained by deriving spectroscopic redshifts for lens and source from observations at the 10.4-m Gran Telescopio CANARIAS (GTC) with the spectrograph OSIRIS.
•    The chance discovery was made while inspecting the data taken through the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) of the 4m Blanco Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Observatory in Chile.
•    The phenomena were predicted by Albert Einstein's theory of General Relativity.
•    An Einstein ring is a distorted image of a very distant galaxy, which is termed the source.
•    The ring is an illusion created by chance alignment of two galaxies.
•    The distortion is produced by the bending of the light rays from the source due to a massive galaxy, termed the lens, lying between it and the observer.
•    The strong gravitational field produced by the lens galaxy distorts the structure of space-time in its neighborhood, and it not only attracts objects which have a mass, but also bends the paths of light.
•    This change in alignment of two galaxies and the consequent bending of light rays create an illusion in the form of Einstein Ring.
•    Studying Einstein Ring gives relevant information about the composition of the source galaxy, and also about the structure of the gravitational field and of the dark matter in the lens galaxy.

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NASA has successfully deployed the first experimental inflatable room attached to the ISS

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has successfully deployed the first experimental inflatable room attached to the International Space Station (ISS). 
•    The experimental inflatable room dubbed as BEAM (Bigelow Expandable Activity Module) was deployed after it was successfully expanded and pressurized.
•    The inflatable room BEAM has been built by Nevada Company Bigelow Aerospace. It will be attached to the ISS for a two-year test and is the first such habitat to hold humans in orbit.
•    It is made up of aluminium and soft fabric which expands in space. It is light weight and also takes minimal space. It creates place for astronauts to live and work. 
•    It is 4 metres long and 3.2 metres in diameter with 16 cubic metres of interior volume when fully expanded. 
•    Its 2 year orbital test is intended to pave the way towards the use of such habitable rooms for long space trips, including to Mars and Moon.

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China to launch world's 1st Quantum satellite

China will launch its first experimental quantum communication satellite in July.
•    Its communications cannot be intercepted.
•    It will be the first quantum communication through a satellite in the world.
•    Quantum communication boasts ultra-high security as a quantum photon can neither be separated nor duplicated. 
•    It is hence impossible to wiretap, intercept or crack the information transmitted through it.
•    The CAS’s project includes launch of a satellite and building of four ground stations for quantum communication and one space quantum teleportation experiment station. 
•    Chinese scientists have taken five years to develop and manufacture the first quantum satellite. 
•    It will be transported to Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in June.
•    Upon completion, the satellite will be able to establish quantum optical links simultaneously with two ground bases thousands of kilometers apart. 
•    Chinese scientists have taken five years to develop and manufacture the first quantum satellite. 
•    It will be transported to Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in June, CAS said. 

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ISRO to test rocket that takes its fuel from air

After successfully testing a reusable launch vehicle, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to test an air-breathing propulsion system, which aims to capitalise on the oxygen in the atmosphere instead of liquefied oxygen while in flight.
•    Generally, vehicles that are used to launch satellites use combustion of propellants with oxidizer and fuel. 
•    The air-breathing propulsion system aims at using oxygen present in the atmosphere up to 50 km from the earth’s surface to burn the fuel stored in the rocket.
•    The new propulsion system, once mastered, would complement ISRO’s aim to develop a reusable launch vehicle that would have longer flight duration. 
•    The Dual Mode Ramjet (DMRJ), the ramjet-scramjet combination, is currently under development, which will operate during the crucial Mach 3 to Mach 9 ascend flight of the launch vehicle.
•    ISRO is now evolving and testing various technologies to bring down the cost of launch vehicles. 
•    The national space agency has earlier developed rockets that can send multiple satellites in a single mission.

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ISRO launches India's first reusable space shuttle

The ISRO successfully launched the first 'Made in India' space shuttle
•    It is called the Reusable Launch Vehicle.
•    It was launched early on 23rd May morning from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
•    The test launch is important because in 2011, the U.S.'s Nasa abandoned its reusable space shuttle project
•    The RLV-TD is described as "a very preliminary step" in the development of a reusable rocket, the final version of which is expected to take 10-15 years.
•    The government has invested Rs 95 crores in the project.•    ISRO chairman Kiran Kumar said that it is essentially an attempt bring down the cost of making infrastructure for space.•    The RLV is a mechanism to bring down the cost of launch. We intend to go through a series of technology demonstration exercises, the first one of which we call HEX-01, that is a hypersonic experiment. It is called a winged body," Kumar said.•    This is the first of a series of experiments and India still have a long way to go till it reach the actual RLV, which will give a tremendous capacity in terms of launching at a very low cost.

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China launched Yaogan -30 remote sensing satellite

China has successfully launched a remote sensing satellite which will focus on experiments on survey of land, crop yields and disaster relief.
•    The satellite named Yaogan—29 was carried by a Long March—4C rocket after it was launched on Thursday from Taiyuan in the country’s northern Shanxi province.
•    This is the 219th mission for the Long March rocket family. China launched the first “Yaogan” series satellite, Yaogan—1, in 2006.
•    The satellite will be used for experiments, land surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster relief, state—run Xinhua news agency reported.
•    Western analysts believe the series of satellites are of a military nature, using electronic intelligence, electro—optical and synthetic aperture radar sensing equipment.
•    This launch comes weeks after China had successfully launched Yaogan—28.

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Flying Observatory SOFIA detects Atomic Oxygen in Martian Atmosphere

Atomic Oxygen was detected in the upper layers of the Martian atmosphere known as Mesosphere. 
Atomic oxygen affects how other gases escape Mars .It therefore has a significant impact on the planet’s atmosphere.
The research was published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.
•    These more recent observations were possible due to SOFIA’s airborne location, flying between 37000-45000 feet, above most of the infrared-blocking moisture in Earth’s atmosphere.
•    The last measurement of the atomic oxygen in Martian atmosphere was diagnosed by Viking and Mariner missions of the 1970s.
•    Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)
•    SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP jetliner modified to carry a 100-inch diameter telescope.
•    It is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center.
•    SOFIA program is managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.
•    The aircraft is based at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center's hangar 

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