JAXA Current Affairs - 2019

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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).

BepiColombo Ready for Long Cruise to Mercury

The European Space Agency (ESA) – Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)’s BepiColombo mission has successfully completed a series of tests and has completed its near-Earth commissioning phase.

The BepiColombo mission is now ready for the operations that will take place during the cruise and, eventually, for its scientific investigations at Mercury.

About the Mission

BepiColombo is a joint mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to the planet Mercury. The mission comprises of two satellites launched together:

  • Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO)
  • Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO)

The mission will undertake a comprehensive study of Mercury, including characterization of its magnetic field, magnetosphere, and both interior and surface structure.

Launched in October 2018, the mission is expected to arrive at Mercury in 2025. It will endure temperatures in excess of 350 °C and gather data during its 1-year nominal mission, with a possible 1-year extension.

Later next year BepiColombo will also perform the first of its two flybys of Venus — the second planned for August 2021. The flybys of Venus will provide an opportunity to operate some of the instruments on both orbiters and to collect scientifically valuable data to further study this fascinating planet while en route to the mission’s destination Mercury.