JAXA Current Affairs - 2020

SpaceX Crew Dragon docks with International Space Station

The Crew Dragon capsule of Space X has successfully docked with the International Space Station.

SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule

  • The demonstration mission is named as Demo-1.
  • It was a test mission before it can begin taking US astronauts into space.
  • After the successful docking, the crew members of International Space Station opened the hatch of the space capsule and, for the first time, penetrated its interior in space.
  • The Dragon Capsule had carried Ripley, a test dummy named after the heroine from Alien Movies, an untethered plush toy, 400 pounds (about 181 kg) of supplies and experiments to the ISS.
  • During the mission, Flight computers guided the spacecraft directly into a docking port, unlike the previous cargo Dragon spacecraft that were attached to the space station after captured by a robotic arm.

International Space Station

The International Space Station is a habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS maintains an orbit with an altitude of between 330 and 435 km (205 and 270 mi) by means of reboost manoeuvres and  circles the Earth in roughly 92 minutes and completes 15.5 orbits per day

The ISS programme is a joint project between five participating space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).

Demo-1 was a dress rehearsal to demonstrate that the vehicle is reliable and safe so that NASA can resume manned flights from US soil this year and reduce its reliance on Russia to ferry its astronauts to the space station since the end of the US space shuttle program in 2011 after a 30-year run.

Japan launches fourth Michibiki satellite for hi-tech GPS

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully launched Michibiki-4 satellite (QZSS-4) onboard of H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Centre.

It was fourth satellite in Michibiki series i.e. Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), which is a satellite-based high-precision global positioning system similar to US operated GPS. Moreover, it was 36th H-IIA vehicle to be launched so far and fifth launch of an H-IIA rocket in 2017.

QZS-4 (Michibiki-4)

Michibiki-4 is third QZSS satellite to be launched in 2017 and once operational it will bring the constellation of QZSS to its operating capacity of four until a planned expansion to 8 satellites occurs around 2023.

Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS)

It is own version of GPS and is dubbed as Michibiki system. Michibiki means guidance in Japanese. It is intended for civilian use, with a claimed positioning accuracy down to mere centimetres. The QZSS constellation of 8 satellites will trace out a figure-8 pattern over Japan, the Western Pacific, and Australia.

The Michibiki system can cover the Asia-Oceania region and works with the US-operated GPS to provide higher level of precision than previously possible with fewer satellites in visible range. It will become operation in 2018 with four satellites focusing on country and wider region. It will provide global positioning and timing services across frequencies ranging from 1575.42 MHz to 2 GHz.

H-IIA rocket

The H-IIA rocket is Japanese large-scale launch vehicle. It was manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The vehicle stands 53 meters tall and generates 1.7 million pounds-force (7,628 kilonewtons) of thrust at liftoff.