Science and Technology Current Affairs – 2018

Latest Science & Technology Current Affairs 2015-2016; current developments in Science and Technology 2015-2016 all important national / international updates in science and tech and events for the year 2015-2016.

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Gaganyaan: ISRO, ROSCOSMOS to work together for first Indian manned mission

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Russia’s federal space agency Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities (ROSCOSMOS) have agreed to worked together for first manned space mission Gaganyaan. In this regard, both space agencies have signed MoU at end of delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladmir Putin in New Delhi.

Key Facts

Under MoU on Joint Activities in the field of Human Spaceflight Programme, ROSCOSMOS has offered ride to Indian astronaut short visit to International Space Station (ISS) on board Soyuz spacecraft for short training mission in 2022. ISS is habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. Russia had first made the offer to train an Indian astronaut for the mission when External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had visited Russia in September 2018.

Historically, India-Russia space cooperation was very strong, with Soviet Union being one of the three partners who helped India get off the ground with its space programme. This has continued for several decades included for sending an Indian cosmonaut in a Soviet Soyuz mission in 1982. Former Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Rakesh Sharma was first Indian to travel to space. He was part of Soviet Union’s Soyuz T-11 expedition, launched on April 2, 1984 of Intercosmos programme.

Gaganyaan Mission

It is India’s first manned space mission. Under it, India is planning to send three humans (Gaganyatris) into space i.e. in low earth orbit (LEO) by 2022 i.e. by 75th Independence Day for period of five to seven days. The mission was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his 72nd Independence Day speech.

Under this mission, crew of three astronauts will conduct experiments on microgravity in space.  The crew will be selected jointly by Indian Air Force (IAF) and ISRO after which they will undergo training for two-three years. This mission will make India fourth nation in the world after USA, Russia and China to launch human spaceflight mission.

Objectives of Gaganyaan Mission: Enhance of science and technology levels in the country, serve as national project involving several institutes, academia and industry, improve of industrial growth, inspire youth, develop technology for social benefits and improve international collaboration.

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Parker Solar Probe completes first Venus flyby: NASA

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has successfully completed flyby of Venus at distance of about 2,415 kilometres during its first gravity assist from planet. These gravity assists will help spacecraft tighten its orbit closer to Sun over course of the mission. The spacecraft in future will be carrying six Venus gravity assists over the course of the seven-year mission.

Parker Solar Probe mission

Parker Solar Probe is mankind’s first mission to study outer corona of Sun. It was successfully launched in August 2018 for unprecedented seven-year long journey to unlock mysteries of Sun’s fiery outer atmosphere and its effects on space weather. It is designed and built by NASA’s Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. It is named after solar astrophysicist Eugene Parker, making it first spacecraft of NASA to be named after living person.

Scientific goals

  • Determine structure and dynamics of magnetic fields at sources of solar wind.
  • Trace flow of energy that heats corona and accelerates solar wind.
  • Determine what mechanisms accelerate and transport energetic particles.
  • Explore dusty plasma near Sun and its influence on solar wind and energetic particle formation.

Parker Solar Probe will explore Sun’s outer atmosphere and make critical observations to answer questions about physics of stars. Its data will also be useful in improving forecasts of major eruptions on Sun and subsequent space weather events that impact technology on Earth, as well as satellites and astronauts in space.

The probe is designed to endure harsh environment near Sun, by approaching within 8.5 solar radii (5.9 million kilometers) to ‘surface’ (photosphere) of Sun where incident solar intensity is approximately 520 times intensity at Earth orbit. It will have mission life of seven-year.

It is fitted with thermal protection system (TPS) or heat shield made of reinforced carbon-carbon composite that will allow it to survive temperatures in Sun’s corona. It main systems and scientific instruments are located in central portion of shield’s shadow, where direct radiation from Sun is fully blocked.

Month: Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2018

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