Mars Current Affairs - 2019
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National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) InSight lander spacecraft has detected what’s believed to be a “marsquake” on the Red Planet. NASA scientists are still working to confirm the source of the faint trembling.
Scientists believe the trembling may not be due to wind or movement of the lander’s robotic arm but from below the Martian surface. If scientists confirm it would become the first seismic activity ever detected on Mars.
NASA’s InSight Lander Mission
NASA’s InSight stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport is a Mars lander aimed to undertake the first-ever thorough checkup since it formed 4.5 billion years ago. Insight Mission will also measure tectonic activity and meteorite impacts on Mars.
NASA’s Insight is the first outer space robotic explorer to study in-depth the “inner space” of Mars: its crust, mantle, and core. Studying these internal structures will aid in answering the early formation of rocky planets in our inner solar system – Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars – more than 4 billion years ago, as well as rocky exoplanets.
The Union Cabinet has approved the continuation of the ongoing Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) programme phase-4 consisting of five rocket flights during 2021-2024.
- The GSLV phase four will enable the launch of two-tonne class of satellites for geo-imaging, navigation, data relay communication and space sciences.
- The total fund requirement for phase four has been pegged at Rs 2729.13 crores. The cost includes the cost of five Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicles (GSLVs), essential facility augmentation, programme management, and launch campaign, along with the additional funds required for meeting the scope of the ongoing programme.
- The GSLV continuation programme is expected to meet the launch requirement of satellites for providing critical satellite navigation services, data relay communication for supporting the Indian human spaceflight programme and the next interplanetary mission to Mars.
- The continuation programme will meet the demand for the launch of satellites at a frequency up to two launches per year.
The GSLV continuation programme was initially sanctioned in 2003, and two phases have been completed and the third phase is in progress and expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2020-21.