Science & technology Current Affairs - 2020
Japan has launched H-IIA rocket carrying a space probe- Hayabusa2 destined for a distant asteroid 1999JU3. The H-IIA rocket blasted off from Tanegashima Space Center in the south of Japan. This launch comes just weeks after a Rosetta mission of European Space Agency made historic landing of Philae probe on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.
Key facts of this mission:
- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) sent the probe on a six-year mission. Hayabusa in Japanese means peregrine falcon.
- Project cost: 31-billion-yen ($260-million)
- Mission: This project aims to send the explorer towards the 1999JU3 asteroid in deep space. . It will also study the surface of comet by dropping tiny robots. It will blast a crater in the asteroid to collect materials unexposed to millennia of wind and radiation, in the hope of answering some fundamental questions about life and the universe
- Duration: It is expected to reach the asteroid in mid-2018 and spend around 18 months in the area. If all goes well, asteroid samples will be returned to Earth in late 2020.
Earlier, Japan’s Hayabusa 1 probe, had made history for round-trip flight to an asteroid- Itokawa from 2003 to 2010. The first Hayabusa mission had encountered several crippling problems, including a fuel leak, failures in its pointing system, and a glitch with the craft’s sample collection system. Despite the challenges, the spacecraft returned to Earth in 2010, carrying a fraction of the asteroid specimens intended.
Tags: Japan • Science & technology
SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft has concluded its mission to the ISS (International Space Station) and returned to Earth. The spacecraft was launched in September in SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle. This was Dragon’s fifth visit to the ISS.
Dragon carried cargo of almost 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station during a month long stay. The Dragon delivered a multitude of food, clothing, equipment, experiments and supplies for the ISS and her crew including a 3D printer.
Dragon also carried 20 mice who will now stay at the ISS. The mice were taken into space in a new hardware system designed to carry rodents safely from Earth to the ISS and provide long-term accommodation aboard the ISS. It is being done to help researchers study the long-term effects of microgravity on mammalian physiology.
- Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, orSpaceX, is a space transport services company that is headquartered in Hawthorne, California, USA
- It was founded in 2002 by formerPayPal entrepreneur and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.
- The goal behind the setting up of SpaceX was to reduce space transportation costs and enable thecolonization of Mars
- SpaceX has developed two reusable launch vehicles: the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9, apart from a spacecraft called Dragon
- SpaceX is a holder of the following records:-
- It was responsible for the first privately funded, liquid-fueled rocket to reach orbit
- It is the first privately funded company to successfully launch orbit and recover a spacecraft
- It is the first private company to send a spacecraft to the ISS
- Is the first private company to send a satellite intogeosynchronous orbit
- Dragon is a free flying spacecraft that was designed by SpaceX
- It was designed to deliver cargo and also people to orbiting destinations in space
- In 2012, it became the first commercial spacecraft in history to delivery cargo to the ISS and also return cargo safely back to Earth
- SpaceX is currently developing a new version of Dragon under an agreement with NASA, whereby it will be able to carry crew-members. Dragon’s first manned test flight is expected to occur in a couple of years