Space Current Affairs - 2020

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ISRO to launch GSAT-30 satellite

On January 17, 2020, the Indian Space Research Organization will launch GSAT-30 satellite on the launch vehicle Ariane-5. It is to be launched in Ariane Launch Complex at Kourou. Kourou is a French territory that if located along the north eastern coast of South America.

About the Mission

The GSAT-30 is a communication satellite. It is to replace INSAT-4A. The mission life of GSAT-30 is 15 years. ISRO has designed GSAT-30 in such a way to increase the number of transponders. A transponder is a device that transmits and responds to signals.

The satellite will help in supporting VSAT network, teleport services, DTH televisions services, cellular backhaul connectivity and digital news gathering services

INSAT-4A

The Indian National Satellite System was a series of geostationary satellites that were launched for telecommunications, meteorology, broadcasting and search and rescue operations. The INSAT-4A was launched in 2005  mainly for communication purposes.

Ariane

Ariane Space is a commercial satellite launching organization that was founded in 1980. Since then, it has launched 23 Indian satellites. APPLE Experimental was the first Indian satellite to be launched by Ariane.

The launch centres of the organization is located in Washington D.C, Tokyo, Singapore, French Guiana and Baikonur Cosmodrome (Central Asia)

APPLE

APPLE was an experimental satellite launched by India in 1981. It was the first experimental communication satellite of India. It was used for TV and radio communications. It laid the foundation for the large satellite constellation of India that included INSAT and GSAT series.

LIGO: Second Merger of Neutron Stars detected

The LIGO (Laser Inferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) detected gravitational waves due to collision of two neutron stars. This is the second time the gravitational waves are being detected.

Highlights

The mass of the neutron stars detected is expected to be 3.3 times and 3.7 times as that of the sun. The scientists believe that the neutron stars were formed separately and drifted together to form a star pair. The neutron stars were at a distance of 520 million light years from the earth. The combined mass is the heaviest of the stars known so far.

The first neutron star detection was in 2017. However, the second event that was recorded now, is not as strong as the first.

LIGO

Currently LIGO operates three gravitational wave detectors at Livingston, Louisiana and Hanford. They are located 3,000 km apart in the shape of ‘L’.

Indian Contribution

LIGO India is to come up in Maharashtra. It will aim at locating gravitational waves and their new sources.

Why is the study important?

The gravitational waves are caused by exploding stars, black holes, merging neutron stars. LIGO helps to detect these waves and analyze the information that they carry. As the waves interact very weakly with matter, they help to learn about the universe and its origin.