Current Affairs – June, 2015

Philae comet lander wakes up from hibernation on Comet 67P

Philae comet lander has taken on the surface of Comet 67P (Churyumov-Gerasimenko) from seven-month hibernation.

It was announced by European Space Agency (ESA) after the comet lander managed to communicate with Earth for more than a minute.

In November 2014, Philae comet lander had created space history by becoming first to probe landed on a comet. The historic feat was achieved after it was dropped on to the surface of Comet 67P by its mothership Rosetta.

After successfully landing on the comet it had worked for 60 hours and had conducted experiments and transmitted that data to Earth  before going into hibernation after its solar-powered battery ran flat.

Probe resumed its communication on 14 June 2015 by sending about 300 packages of data to Earth via its mother ship Rosetta which is still orbiting the comet.

Timeline of Philae’s journey

  • March 2004: ESA’s unmanned probe Rosetta was successfully launched from Kourou, French Guiana.
  • February 2007: The probe carries out a close flyby of Mars.
  • September 2008: Probe successfully passes close to an asteroid 2867 located 400 million km from Earth.
  • July 2010: The probe transmits first pictures from the largest asteroid ever visited by a satellite Lutetia in between Mars and Jupiter.
  • August 2014: It swings alongside comet 67P situated in between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
  • November 2014: Philae lander successfully lands on comet after it is released from Rosetta.

Former Union Minister Sheila Kaul passes away

Former Himachal Pradesh governor and ex-union minister Sheila Kaul passed away in New Delhi. She was 101.

She was a sister-in-law of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi’s maternal aunt.

About Sheila Kaul

  • Lok Sabha: Kaul was elected as Member of Parliament to Lok Sabha five times in 1971, 1980 and 1984 (from Lucknow ) and in 1989, 1991 (from Rae Bareli).
  • Union Minister: She had served as Minister of State (MoS) for Culture, Education and Social Welfare (Independent Charge) from1980–84 in Indira Gandhi Government. It should be noted that during this period she was union Cabinet Minister.
  • Later she had served as Union Minister for Housing and Urban Development from 1991 to 1995.
  • Governor: She had served as Governor of Himachal Pradesh from 1995 to 1996.
  • Apart from being a politician, she was also an educationist, social worker, social reformer and an independence activist in British India from Uttar Pradesh.