Space records Current Affairs

Peggy Whitson: NASA’s record-breaking spacewoman retires as astronaut

NASA’s record-breaking spacewoman, Peggy Whitson (58) has announced her retirement as astronaut less than year after returning from her last and longest spaceflight.  During her career, she had racked up total of 665 days in space — more than any other NASA astronaut, and record for women worldwide. Her last spaceflight lasted close to 10 months, spanning 2016 and 2017.

Peggy Whitson

She was born on February 9, 1960 in Mount Ayr, Iowa, US. She is biochemist and had joined NASA as researcher in 1986 and became an astronaut in 1996. She had flown three missions aboard International Space Station (ISS): Expedition 5 in 2002; Expedition 16 in 2008 (In it she became first female commander of the orbiting lab) and extended and her longest stint in space from November 2016 through September 2017, which spanned Expeditions 50, 51 and 52. She had commanded Expedition 51, becoming the first woman to lead an ISS mission twice.

Records: She is world’s most experienced female spacewalker, with 10 under her spacesuit belt with record-setting total time of 60 hours and 21 minutes. She was first woman to command International Space Station (ISS), holding the position twice. She was oldest woman ever to fly in space. She was first and only woman (and first non-military person) to serve as chief of NASA’s male-dominated astronaut corps from 2009 to 2012.

Month: Categories: Persons in News 2018

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ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission completes 3 years in orbit

ISRO’s globally acclaimed Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) also known as Mangalyaan completed three years in Martian orbit. It has outlived its original lifespan and is still in good health and continues to work as expected.

On the occasion of completion of three years, ISRO released MOM second year science data from September 24, 2014 to September 23, 2016.

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)

Mangalyaan spacecraft was launched on board of PSLV C25 rocket from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on November 5, 2013 with aim of studying Martian surface and mineral composition as well as scan its atmosphere for methane (an indicator of life on Mars). It had entered Mar’s orbit on September 24, 2014, in its first attempt. It was nine-month-long mission.

The spacecraft was indigenously designed, built and launched by ISRO in record period of less than two years in Rs.450 crore ($73 million US) budget, making it cheapest inter-planetary mission till date to reach Mars.

The spacecraft has five instruments mounted on it for collecting scientific data of Mar’s morphology, atmospheric processes, surface temperature, surface geology and atmospheric escape process. These five instruments are Lyman-Alpha Photometer (LAP), Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM), Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA), Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS) and Mars Colour Camera (MCC)

Records

In September 2014, India (ISRO) created space history by becoming first nation in world to successfully launch interplanetary mission spacecraft into Mars orbit in maiden attempt. ISRO also become first Asian and fourth space agency in world to reach Mars orbit after the Roscosmos of Russia, NASA and European Space Agency.

Awards

For its enormous success in Mangalyaan mission, ISRO was conferred 2014 Indira Gandhi Peace Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development. The programme team of mission was conferred with prestigious 2015 Space Pioneer Award in Science and Engineering category by National Space Society (NSS).

Month: Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2018

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