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ISRO sets world record by successfully launching 104 satellites in single mission

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ISRO sets world record by successfully launching 104 satellites in single mission

Posted on 15 February 2017 by GGS News

Sriharikota : Today at 9.30 am, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) marked its name in history by setting a new world record after launching 104 satellites into orbit in a single mission. The launch saw PSLV-C37 pushing a mindboggling 104 satellites into orbit.

Of the 104 satellites, 101 satellites were from international clients. Of the 101 international co-passenger nano-satellites, 96 are from the US, and one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. The weight of all the satellites at launch totals 1,378 kg.The countdown for the launch of PSLV-C37/Cartosat2 Series satellite mission began at 5:28 AM soon after the Mission Readiness Review committee and Launch Authorisation Board gave its approval for lift off, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.
This mission was ISRO’s second successful attempt after launching 23 satellites in one go in June 2015. PSLV first launched the 714 kg CARTOSAT-2 Series satellite for earth observation and then injected the 103 co-passenger satellites, together weighing about 664 kg at lift-off into polar Sun Synchronous Orbit, about 520 km from Earth. ISRO scientists have used the XL Variant — the most powerful rocket — earlier used in the ambitious Chandrayaan and during the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM).
Out of the 101 co-passenger satellites onboard, a total of 96 belong to USA alone, five are from International customers to ISRO, which include Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, respectively. Two Indian nano satellites, weighing a total of around 1,378 kg, also rode piggyback on the PSLV rocket. The nano-satellites belonging to international customers were launched as part of the arrangement by Antrix Corporation Ltd (ANTRIX) the commercial arm of the ISRO.
Cartosat-2 Series, which is the primary satellite, will be similar to the earlier four satellites in Cartosat-2 Series. After coming into operation, it will provide remote sensing services. Images sent by it will be useful for coastal land use and regulation, road network monitoring, distribution of water and creation of land use maps, among others. Cartosat-2 Series has a mission life of five years.
The two Indian Nano-satellites INS-1A and INS-1B were developed as co-passenger satellites to accompany bigger satellites on PSLV. The primary objective of INS (ISRO Nano Satellite) is to provide an opportunity for ISRO technology demonstration payloads, provide a standard bus for launch on demand services.
INS-1A carries Surface Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function Radiometer and INS-1B caries Earth Exosphere Lyman Alpha Analyser as payloads.
In its 39th flight, the PSLV launched the 714-kg Cartosat-2 satellite for earth observation and 103 co-passenger satellites, together weighing about 664kg, at lift-off. The satellites have been successfully placed in an orbit 505km above the Earth.
ISRO has confirmed that all the 104 satellites were sucessfully seperated from the launch vehicle and are being placed into their respective orbits.
After the launch, PM Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO team for successful launch of 104 satellites: space agency chief A S Kiran Kumar.DECCAN CHRONICLE.

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India tests exo-atmospheric ballistic missile interception – Know all about it

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India tests exo-atmospheric ballistic missile interception – Know all about it

Posted on 11 February 2017 by GGS News

Balasore : The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Saturday successfully tested an exo-atmospheric missile interception as part of the ballistic missile defence programme, sources informed.

At 7.45 am, on the east coast of India, an incoming missile was successfully intercepted at a height of 100 kms with a direct hit by an interceptor missile, said a top DRDO official.

The interceptor is based on the nuclear-capable Prithvi missile.IANS

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ISRO to launch record 104 satellites on February 15: Things to know

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ISRO to launch record 104 satellites on February 15: Things to know

Posted on 08 February 2017 by GGS News

New Delhi : The India Space Research Organization (ISRO) is conducting its mega-launch program on February 15, under which it will set off total 104 satellites to space. As scheduled, the satellites will take off at one go around 9 am from Sriharikota spaceport, Andhra Pradesh on February 15.
ISRO will create history by launching a record of 104 satellites, including 101 from foreign countries, out of which 88 are from the United States and the remaining are from Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. The rest 3 belongs to India itself.
All satellites will be placed in the lower orbit of the earth for monitoring the planet and its ongoing actions.
ISRO will take up its most efficient launcher rocket ‘PSLV-C37’- Polar Satellite launch Vehicle for setting the satellites in motion. It’s a 320-tonne rocket which will launch all the satellites with a combined weight of 1,500 kg, including the 650 kg remote-sensing Cartosat-2 and two nano-satellites (IA and IB) weighing 15 kg each.
The launch of 104 satellites will surpass the 37 satellites launch record set in June 2014 and 29 satellites launched by NASA in 2013. The Indian space agency has already launched 20 satellites in one shot in June 2016.
If ISRO succeeds in conducting this mega-launch program, then it will be honored as the only agency to launch the highest number of satellites in one go.

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According to NASA scientists we have two options to protect Earth from deadly asteroids

According to NASA scientists we have two options to protect Earth from deadly asteroids

Posted on 16 December 2016 by GGS News

New Delhi, IT SOUNDS like an idea that should remain firmly in the realm of Hollywood but NASA thinks one day we might need to nuke any Earth-bound asteroids to save humanity.
Scientists gathered this week at the American Geophysical Union meeting which included researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory and NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center who spoke, among other things, about how to prevent humans going the same way as the dinosaurs.
And when it comes to planetary defence, sending a nuclear rocket to intercept an oncoming asteroid is at the top of the list of ideas.
It’s basically one of two options. Either we can shoot an object at the offending asteroid to nudge it onto a trajectory away from us. Or we can send a nuclear missile to blow it up into little, far less threatening, pieces.
Outside of those two options, we’re about as vulnerable as it gets when it comes to large space rocks hurtling towards us.
That point was driven home by Dr Joseph Nuth, a researcher with Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
“The biggest problem, basically, is there’s not a hell of a lot we can do about it at the moment,” he said.
While smaller space shrapnel can be common and burn up on approach, potential extinction-inducing impacts are much more rare.
“Things like dinosaur killers, they’re 50 to 60 million years apart, essentially. You could say, of course, we’re due, but it’s a random course at that point,” he told the meeting, The Guardian reported.

It’s not entirely uncommon for asteroids to get knocked into our neighbourhood. In fact according to Mr Nuth Earth had somewhat a close encounter in 1996 when a comet flew into Jupiter and again in 2014 when a comet passed “within cosmic spitting distance of Mars”.
Earlier in the year, NASA announced it was planning to launch a probe to study an “Armageddon” asteroid named Bennu that could one day pulverise the Earth.
Dr Cathy Plesko, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory who also spoke during the meeting said she favoured the deflection option, a technique she equated to a “giant cannonball”.
“Cannonball technology is actually very good technology, intercepting an object at high speed actually ends up being more effective than high explosives,” she said.
Either way it looks like we’re relying on rocket power to save the planet from any unwanted asteroid visitors, as long as we detect the threat in time.au.news

 

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NASA Curiosity rover discovers unexpected mineral on Mars

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NASA Curiosity rover discovers unexpected mineral on Mars

Posted on 24 June 2016 by GGS News

NEW DELHI, 24 JUNE : NASA’s Curiosity rover has discovered an unexpected mineral in a rock sample on Mars, a finding that suggests the red planet hosted explosive volcanoes during its evolution.

The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, has been exploring sedimentary rocks within Gale Crater since its landing in August 2012.

In July last year, on Sol 1060 (the number of Martian days since landing), the rover collected powder drilled from rock at a location named “Buckskin.”

Analysing data from an X-ray diffraction instrument on the rover that identifies minerals, scientists detected significant amounts of a silica mineral called tridymite.

Tridymite is generally associated with silicic volcanism, which is known on Earth but was not thought to be important or even present on Mars, researchers said.

The discovery of tridymite might induce scientists to rethink the volcanic history of Mars, suggesting that the planet once had explosive volcanoes that led to the presence of the mineral.

“On Earth, tridymite is formed at high temperatures in an explosive process called silicic volcanism. Mount St. Helens, the active volcano in Washington State, and the Satsuma-Iwojima volcano in Japan are examples of such volcanoes,” said Richard Morris, NASA planetary scientist at Johnson.

“The combination of high silica content and extremely high temperatures in the volcanoes creates tridymite,” said Morris.

“The tridymite was incorporated into ‘Lake Gale’ mudstone at Buckskin as sediment from erosion of silicic volcanic rocks,” he added.

The findings will also stimulate scientists to re-examine the way tridymite forms.

Researchers examined terrestrial evidence that tridymite could form at low temperatures from geologically reasonable processes and not imply silicic volcanism. They found none.

They will need to look for ways that it could form at lower temperatures.

The study was published in the journal PNAS.

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Journey to Mars: NASA invites media, social media to June deep space rocket booster test

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Journey to Mars: NASA invites media, social media to June deep space rocket booster test

Posted on 19 May 2016 by GGS News

NEW DELHI, 19 MAY : Media and social media followers are invited to watch as NASA tests the largest, most powerful booster in the world for the agency’s new deep space rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), on June 28 at Orbital ATK Aerospace System’s test facility in Promontory, Utah. SLS and NASA’s Orion spacecraft will launch astronauts on missions to explore multiple destinations on the journey to Mars.
NASA social media followers can apply for credentials to attend the booster test firing as part of a NASA Social event. A maximum of 45 participants will be selected to attend events on June 27, which include tours of the Orbital ATK facilities and opportunities for interviews with NASA and Orbital ATK officials. Participants also will have the opportunity to view, and feel, the powerful test firing on June 28.

Social media followers can apply to attend the event at:

http://www.nasa.gov/social/qm2_social

Registration is for U.S. citizens only and closes Monday, May 23. All social media accreditation applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Details and rules for social media accreditation also are listed on the website.

Members of the U.S. media interested in covering the June 27 events and June 28 test can request credentials by contacting Orbital ATK’s Kay Anderson at 435-230-2787 or kay.anderson@orbitalatk.com.

This is the second two-minute, full-duration qualification test for the booster, and will provide NASA with critical data to support booster qualification for flight. It also will be the last time the booster is fired in a test environment before the first flight of SLS and Orion in 2018.

During the test, 82 qualification test objectives will be measured through more than 530 instrumentation channels on the booster at a target initial temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit – the colder end of its accepted propellant temperature range.

The first, full-scale booster qualification test was successfully completed in March 2015 and demonstrated acceptable performance of the booster design at 90 degrees Fahrenheit — the highest end of the booster’s accepted propellant temperature range. Testing at the thermal extremes experienced by the booster on the launch pad is important to understanding the effects of temperature on the performance of the propellant.

Two five-segment solid rocket boosters and four RS-25 main engines will power the SLS. Solid rocket boosters operate in parallel with the main engines for the first two minutes of flight, providing more than 75 percent of the thrust needed for the rocket to overcome Earth’s gravitational pull.

The SLS Block I configuration will have a minimum 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capability and be powered by twin boosters and four RS-25 engines. The next planned upgrade of SLS, Block 1B, would use a more powerful exploration upper stage for more ambitious missions with a 105-metric-ton (115-ton) lift capacity. Block 2 will add a pair of more powerful boosters to provide a 130-metric-ton (143-ton) lift capacity. In each configuration, SLS will continue to use the same core stage and four RS-25 engines.

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How To Watch The 2016 Transit Of Mercury Right Now, Because It Won’t Happen Again For A While

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How To Watch The 2016 Transit Of Mercury Right Now, Because It Won’t Happen Again For A While

Posted on 10 May 2016 by GGS News

Right now at this very moment, the tiny speedy rock crumb known as Mercury is doing something it hasn’t done since 2006 and won’t do again until 2019. A transit is the term used to describe when one celestial object appears to pass in front of anther (i.e. a solar or lunar eclipse). And Mercury is in the midst of a rare-ish process transit across the face of the sun.

Today’s Mercury Transit, which will wrap up right before 3 p.m. ET, is visible—at least in part—throughout most of the world (sorry Australia and Antarctica). Check out this handy map of event viewability, courtesy of timeanddate.com:The transit is visible to just about everyone with the aid of binoculars or a telescope, but DO NOT LOOK AT IT WITHOUT A SOLAR FILTER OR YOU RISK EYE DAMAGE. If you don’t have the necessary equipment, you can watch some live coverage of the transit above via Timeanddate’s YouTube page, or alternatively check out live coverage along with expert commentary on SLOOH.The transit is visible to just about everyone with the aid of binoculars or a telescope, but DO NOT LOOK AT IT WITHOUT A SOLAR FILTER OR YOU RISK EYE DAMAGE. If you don’t have the necessary equipment, you can watch some live coverage of the transit above via Timeanddate’s YouTube page, or alternatively check out live coverage along with expert commentary on SLOOH.Mercurian transits happen 13 or 14 times per century—so, slightly more than once a decade. It’s not rare like Halley’s Comet fly-by, but it’s a rare enough event that sky watchers take note.

Still, once-a-decade seems like a fairly low occurrence of transits for two relatively close (in cosmic terms) celestial bodies. Considering that Mercury zips around the sun once every 88 days, shouldn’t this happen once ever few months? No, because the plane of Mercury’s orbit is inclined about seven degrees from that of the Earth. That means there are limited convergences where the Earth, Mercury, and sun all line up.

An even rarer event is the Transit of Venus. While the plane of Venus’s orbit is only inclined 3 percent from that of the Earth, the fact that it has a 225-day orbit means that there are relatively few times when all three bodies are properly aligned. (By the way the last Transit of Venus happened in 2012, but don’t worry if you missed it, the next one will be 2117, by which time The Singularity would have happened and allow us all to live forever.)

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Ex-NASA Astronaut Tom Jones ‘Used To Be A Big UFO Fan.’ Not Now

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Ex-NASA Astronaut Tom Jones ‘Used To Be A Big UFO Fan.’ Not Now

Posted on 08 May 2016 by GGS News

Are these snapshots proof that aliens do exist? Some theorists are convinced. Picture UFO Sightings Daily.

EXTRATERRESTRIAL conspiracy theorists are convinced that NASA is covering up proof of alien life.A UFO researcher believes that they have spotted a black cube “orbiting the sun” in a snap taken by the European Space Agency’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory.
“More and more people on Earth, see the mysterious phenomena in the sky, as well as unidentified flying objects,” the YouTuber explained.
“Governments of all countries withhold information from its citizens and put pressure on witnesses and the media.
“This resource was created to promote the free flow of information on UFOs and paranormal phenomena, bypassing the ban and censorship of the government.
“People need to know the truth.”
Another Martian researcher, Scott C. Waring from UFO Sightings Daily, believes he’s seen the hovering black shape before.
”The cube has been seen before off and on,” he explained.
“Sometimes it’s seen in three dimensions other times like this just two.”It’s not the first time this year that space authority NASA have been forced to defend themselves against conspiracy theorists.
After an ISS live feed suddenly went down, UFO enthusiasts were convinced that it was because they were attempting to conceal a U-shaped object floating through the sky.
The UFO was first spotted by Scott Waring, from UFO Sightings Daily, as he observed the live stream.
Scott then passed the clip on to fellow alien hunter Tyler Glockner – who uploaded the footage to his YouTube channel ‘secureteam10’.
“When you play this footage quickly, it looks like the UFO changes its position,” Tyler said narrating the video.
“When we first see it it’s more on its side, but when you cycle through the footage it seems to be manoeuvring more on its face.
“It’s definitely another interesting find and once again directly after it appears NASA cuts the feed.
“That’s why you see the screen go blue. They’ve done this, they have been doing this, and they have their hand on the chicken switch as they call it.“I know they monitor these feeds but sometimes they’re not quick enough and UFOs appear.
“We have documented that on this channel for years now.“The only time when the feed tends to get cut is oddly when these UFOs appear.”What do you think? Alien cover-up, or just a coincidence?

News.com.au

 

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First-Ever Complete Map of Mercury Reveals Its Violent Volcanic Past

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First-Ever Complete Map of Mercury Reveals Its Violent Volcanic Past

Posted on 08 May 2016 by GGS News

New Delhi, 08 May : NASA Releases First-Ever Global Topographic Model Of Mercury World | Indo-Asian News Service | Updated: May 08, 2016 14:29 IST by Taboola Sponsored Links Sponsored Retirement Lessons From 3 Successful IPL Cricketers (Big decisions) Find out the Best Option to Invest Your Savings! (ABM MyUniverse®) EMAIL PRINT COMMENTS NASA Releases First-Ever Global Topographic Model Of Mercury An animation of the new global digital elevation model (DEM) created from MESSENGER images. WASHINGTON: NASA’s MESSENGER mission has unveiled the first global digital elevation model (DEM) of Mercury, revealing in stunning detail the topography across the entire innermost planet. It will also pave the way for scientists to fully characterise Mercury’s geologic history. “The wealth of these data has already enabled and will continue to enable exciting scientific discoveries about Mercury for decades to come,” said Susan Ensor, software engineer at The Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). This new model reveals a variety of interesting topographic features, including the highest and lowest points on the planet.The highest elevation on Mercury is at 4.48 km above Mercury’s average elevation, located just south of the equator in some of Mercury’s oldest terrain. The lowest elevation, at 5.38 km below Mercury’s average, is found on the floor of Rachmaninoff basin, an intriguing double-ring impact basin suspected to host some of the most recent volcanic deposits on the planet. More than 100,000 images were used to create the new model. “This has become one of my favourite maps of Mercury. Now that it is available, I’m looking forward to it being used to investigate this epic volcanic event that shaped Mercury’s surface,” added Nancy Chabot, instrument scientist for the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) in a NASA statement. “During its four years of orbital observations, MESSENGER revealed the global characteristics of one of our closest planetary neighbours for the first time. The data from the mission will continue to be utilised by the planetary science community for years to come.

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Watch: NASA’s Kepler captures ‘shockwave’ of an exploding star for first time!

Watch: NASA’s Kepler captures ‘shockwave’ of an exploding star for first time!

Posted on 22 March 2016 by GGS News

NASA, 22 MARCH : The brilliant flash of an exploding star’s shockwave—what astronomers call the “shock breakout”—has been captured for the first time in the optical wavelength or visible light by NASA’s planet-hunter, the Kepler space telescope.

An international science team led by Peter Garnavich, an astrophysics professor at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, analyzed light captured by Kepler every 30 minutes over a three-year period from 500 distant galaxies, searching some 50 trillion stars. They were hunting for signs of massive stellar death explosions known as supernovae.In 2011, two of these massive stars, called red supergiants, exploded while in Kepler’s view. The first behemoth, KSN 2011a, is nearly 300 times the size of our sun and a mere 700 million light years from Earth. The second, KSN 2011d, is roughly 500 times the size of our sun and around 1.2 billion light years away.

“To put their size into perspective, Earth’s orbit about our sun would fit comfortably within these colossal stars,” said Garnavich.

Whether it’s a plane crash, car wreck or supernova, capturing images of sudden, catastrophic events is extremely difficult but tremendously helpful in understanding root cause. Just as widespread deployment of mobile cameras has made forensic videos more common, the steady gaze of Kepler allowed astronomers to see, at last, a supernova shockwave as it reached the surface of a star. The shock breakout itself lasts only about 20 minutes, so catching the flash of energy is an investigative milestone for astronomers.

“In order to see something that happens on timescales of minutes, like a shock breakout, you want to have a camera continuously monitoring the sky,” said Garnavich. “You don’t know when a supernova is going to go off, and Kepler’s vigilance allowed us to be a witness as the explosion began.”

Supernovae like these — known as Type II — begin when the internal furnace of a star runs out of nuclear fuel causing its core to collapse as gravity takes over.

The two supernovae matched up well with mathematical models of Type II explosions reinforcing existing theories. But they also revealed what could turn out to be an unexpected variety in the individual details of these cataclysmic stellar events.

While both explosions delivered a similar energetic punch, no shock breakout was seen in the smaller of the supergiants. Scientists think that is likely due to the smaller star being surrounded by gas, perhaps enough to mask the shockwave when it reached the star’s surface.

“That is the puzzle of these results,” said Garnavich. “You look at two supernovae and see two different things. That’s maximum diversity.”

Understanding the physics of these violent events allows scientists to better understand how the seeds of chemical complexity and life itself have been scattered in space and time in our Milky Way galaxy

“All heavy elements in the universe come from supernova explosions. For example, all the silver, nickel, and copper in the earth and even in our bodies came from the explosive death throes of stars,” said Steve Howell, project scientist for NASA’s Kepler and K2 missions at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. “Life exists because of supernovae.”

Garnavich is part of a research team known as the Kepler Extragalactic Survey or KEGS. The team is nearly finished mining data from Kepler’s primary mission, which ended in 2013 with the failure of reaction wheels that helped keep the spacecraft steady. However, with the reboot of the Kepler spacecraft as NASA’s K2 mission, the team is now combing through more data hunting for supernova events in even more galaxies far, far away.

“While Kepler cracked the door open on observing the development of these spectacular events, K2 will push it wide open observing dozens more supernovae,” said Tom Barclay, senior research scientist and director of the Kepler and K2 guest observer office at Ames. “These results are a tantalizing preamble to what’s to come from K2!”

In addition to Notre Dame, the KEGS team also includes researchers from the University of Maryland in College Park; the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia; the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland; and the University of California, Berkeley.

The research paper reporting this discovery has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.

Ames manages the Kepler and K2 missions for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, managed Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation operates the flight system with support from the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

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