ISS Current Affairs - 2019

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Raavana-1: Sri Lanka’s 1st satellite successfully launched

Sri Lanka’s first ever satellite ‘Raavana-1’, designed and developed by two Sri Lankan engineers, was successfully placed into orbit. It was launched from International Space Station (ISS) along with two other BIRDS 3 satellites from Japan and Nepal.

About Raavana-1

Background: The satellite was officially handed over to JAXA (Japanese Aerospace and Exploration Agency) on February 18 and was sent to International Space Station on April 17, through assistance of Cygnus-1 spacecraft from United States.

Orbit: It was deployed to 400-km of orbit at an inclination of 51.6 degrees using JAXA (Japanese Aerospace and Exploration Agency) owned Kibo experiment module.

Engineer: It was designed and developed by two Sri Lankan engineers Tharindu Dayaratne and Dulani Chamika who are studying space engineering at Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology.

Features: It is a cube satellite measuring 11.3 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm, and weighs around 1.05 kg. It is expected to fulfil 5 missions including capturing pictures of Sri Lanka & its surrounding regions. It also has active attitude stabilization which will ensure that satellite’s attitude is stable under influence of external talks.

Life span: It is designed for a minimum lifespan of 1.5 years but is expected to be active for about five year.

About BIRDS 3 Project

The ‘Birds project’ is an acronym for ‘Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Satellite project’, which is a cross-border interdisciplinary satellite project for non-space faring countries supported by Japan. It is first step towards creating an indigenous space program by designing, building, operating, testing and launching 1st satellite for participating nations.

The Birds 3 project is led by Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology and involves students from Sri Lanka, Nepal and Japan.

Month: Categories: Science & Technology

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SpaceX launches Cargo Mission for NASA to ISS

SpaceX successfully launched a Dragon spacecraft on a cargo mission for NASA to International Space Station (ISS).

About Mission

  • This is SpaceX’s fifth launch of year. The launch was rescheduled earlier due to some electrical problem on ISS.
  • It was launched on a ‘Falcon 9’ rocket, from Cape Canaveral in Florida. It is being used for first time.
  • Rocket on boards an un-crewed Cargo Dragon spacecraft.

The Dragon spacecraft

  • It is scheduled to reach ISS on May 6.
  • It carries 2,500 kilograms of research, supplies and hardware for astronauts living and working on ISS as part of the CRS-17 mission (17th resupply mission).
  • It will remain at ISS for about four weeks before coming back to Earth with more than 1,900 kg of research and return cargo.
  • It has flown before on other Missions namely, CRS-12 mission in August 2017

About The International Space Station (ISS)

  • It is basically an orbiting laboratory where its crew members conduct experiments in fields of biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology,etc.
  • It is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit (LEO).
  • Launched into orbit for first time in 1998, it is now largest human-made body in LEO.
  • Primary partners on project are USA’s NASA, Russia’s Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities (Roscosmos), EU’s European Space Agency (ESA), Canadian Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Month: Categories: International

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