Science & Tech Current Affairs

Science & Technology Current Affairs 2019-2020 category comprises current affairs with all important national / international updates in science and tech and events for the year 2019-2020 for UPSC, States, Civil services, SSC and other competitive examinations of India and States.

SpaceX: First Private Space Company to send NASA astronauts to space

The SpaceX has become the first private rocket company to send astronauts to space. The company sent Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to space initiating a new business model for NASA.

Highlights

According to the US Government, the mission will end the reliance of NASA on Russian space rockets.

Why is a private Space Company hired?

NASA had plans to hand over the transport of crew to the space since 2000s. This decision came up after the Columbia Space Shuttle broke up while returning to the earth in 2003. In order to make space programmes such as transfer of crew and food to the International Space Station affordable; the step has been taken.

SpaceX

SpaceX was the first private company in the world to return rockets back to the earth. Usually the rockets burn away after putting the satellites on their orbit or simply get thrown away to the space adding up space debris.

SpaceX was actively involved in delivering cargo to the International Space Station.

The US-Russia Factor

NASA has been paying millions of dollars to Russia to launch its astronauts. This is the first launch of humans by the US in the decade.

Crew Dragon

The Spacecraft that is transporting the Astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) is called Crew Dragon. The Crew Dragon is capable of carrying seven passengers. The Crew Dragon will return the astronauts after their tasks associated with the ISS is complete. The Crew Dragon is to parachute down into the Atlantic Ocean.

Starman Suits

The Suits worn by the astronauts are called the Starman suits. They are designed only to be worn inside Crew Dragon and are not meant for spacewalks.

Existence of Earth like planet orbiting Proxima Centauri confirmed

On May 30, 2020, the international team of scientists confirmed the existence of the planet that is of the size of the earth. The planet is revolving Proxima Centauri star in the Alpha Centauri star system.

Highlights

The planet has the mass of 1.17 times as that of the earth. The mass of the planet was measured using radial velocity measurements with the help of a spectrograph. The name of the spectrograph used to detect the planet mass is ESPRESSO.

The planet has been named Proxima b. Proxima b is 20 times closer to its star than the earth is to the sun. The new planet found orbits its sun in just 11.2 days.

Proxima Centauri

Proxima Centauri is located 4.2 light years away from the sun. It is a red dwarf star and is one-eighth the mass of the sun. The Proxima b was discovered in 2016 simply as a planet that is revolving Proxima Centauri. The recent discovery says that the planet is similar to that of the earth.

Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the sun.