Low Earth Orbit Current Affairs - 2020
K. Sivan, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently announced that the country is planning to launch its own space station and modalities for it will be worked out after Gaganyaan Mission (India’s maiden manned mission to space).
Mastering Technology: Although ISRO made announcement of space station recently but it has been quietly working on a key technology such as space docking & berthing technology for which it has also got Rs.10 crore sanctioned earlier. Once the agency will master this technology it will help join two separate free-flying space vehicles and also transfer materials and humans from one another that will enable this future space station and is also the key for a space station.
Extension: India’s space station project will be an extension of Gaganyaan Mission, which involves sending three Indian astronauts to space for 7 days in lower earth orbit (of 120-400 km). The government has already approved a cost of Rs.10,000 crore for Gaganyaan mission. Before the maiden flight with crew sometime in August 2022, there would be two unmanned (without crew) flights from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
The detailed project report on setting up India’s space station will also be submitted to government after Gaganyaan.
No Collaboration: India will not be collaborating with any other country for its space station project. United States (US), Russia, China and a consortium of nations that own the International Space Station (ISS) are the only countries that have had space stations so far. After its successful launch India would become 4th country to launch a space station.
The proposed space station is anticipated to weigh about 20 tonnes, it would be placed in an orbit 400 km above earth and will serve as a facility where astronauts can stay for upto 15-20 days in space.
India is targeting 2030 as the date to launch country’s space station which will most likely be used to conduct microgravity experiments.
It is one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by India.
What is a space station?
It is a spacecraft that designed to remain in space for an extended period of time and can be used for other spacecraft to dock as well as capable of supporting crew members, the most commonly known being the International Space Station (ISS).
International Space Station: It is a habitable artificial satellite in low earth orbit (LEO). It is the largest human-made body in LEO that completes multiple orbits around Earth every day thus can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth. Its first component was launched into orbit in 1998 and since then it has been inhabited continuously.
Tags: Gaganyaan Mission • India's Space Station • Indian Space Research Organisation • International Space Station • ISRO
SpaceX successfully launched a Dragon spacecraft on a cargo mission for NASA to International Space Station (ISS).
- 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).