Atlantic Ocean Current Affairs - 2020

Scientists find Giant Sea Cockroaches in the Eastern Indian Ocean

On July 19, 2020, the scientists reported the discovery of first “Super Giant Isopod” species. It was found in the eastern Indian Ocean.

Highlights

A new species of cockroach has been found deep in the Indian Ocean by a team of researchers from Singapore. The researchers found the species when they were working on the unexplored waters of Indian Ocean in Banta. Bantan is in the southern coast of West Java in Indonesia.

The newly found cockroach species has been named “Bathynomus raksasa”.

About the species

The cockroach belongs to the genus Bathynomous. It has 14 legs and uses them to crawl along the bed of oceans in search of food. It measured 50 centimetres in length  and is big for isopods. In general, the isopods that reach to a length of 50 centimetres are generally referred to super giants. The raksasa eats dead marine animals such as fish and whales. It can also go for long periods without food. This is a common trait the raksasa shares with cockroaches.

Significance of the discovery

So far, the scientific community has found five super giant species. Two of them were found in western Atlantic. This is the first discovery from Indonesia.

Mission

A 31-member group from National Universtiy of Singapore conducted the project. The project studied 63 sites in weeks and returned with 12,00 specimen from the deep sea. This included sponges, jellyfish, worms, molluscs, starfish, crabs and urchins. It also included 12 other unknown species.

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.