Space technology Current Affairs - 2019
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Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) will launch a satellite exclusively for the Union Home Ministry to help it in strengthening its frontiers with Pakistan and Bangladesh among others.
Features of the exclusive satellite for Border Management
The important features of the exclusive satellite for Border Management are:
- The exclusive satellite will be utilised for the purpose of using space resources for security, operational planning and border infrastructure development.
- It would strengthen island and border security and facilitate the development of infrastructure in border and island areas.
- A short, medium and long-term plan have been proposed for implementation in five years in close coordination with the ISRO and the Union Defence Ministry for the implementation in a time-bound manner.
- Under short term plan, immediate needs of border guarding forces will be met by procurement of high-resolution imagery and the hiring of bandwidth for communications.
- Under the mid-term plan, one satellite is being launched by the ISRO for the exclusive use of the MHA.
- Under long term plan, the MHA will develop ground segment and network infrastructure to share satellite resources by user agencies, develop a central archival facility for storing various imagery resources and dissemination of the same to user agencies.
The plan for an exclusive satellite has been formulated based on the recommendations made by a task force on the use of space technology in improving border management.
NASA’s first-ever OSIRIS-REx mission designed to visit asteroid and return sample of its dust back to Earth reached its destination, Bennu, two years after its launch. It will use its suite of five science instruments to study asteroid for the next year and a half.
OSIRIS-Rex stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer. It was launched in September 2016 for studying 101955 Bennu, a carbonaceous asteroid. It is NASA’s first asteroid sampling mission i.e. it will survey surface, collect sample and deliver it safely back to Earth. It will regularly observe area around the asteroid to search for dust plumes and natural satellites and study its light and spectral properties. It will return to Earth after collecting some of its gravels by 2023. It will capture 60 grams dirt and debris from surface of asteroid using its robotic arm without landing i.e. by hovering like hummingbird stirred up by nitrogen gas thrusters and then to Earth for detailed analysis of the collected samples.
Bennu is near-Earth carbonaceous asteroid about the size of a small mountain in the Apollo group. It was discovered in September 1999 by the LINEAR Project. It orbits close to Earth’s path around the Sun. It is one of the oldest asteroids known to NASA. It is carbon-rich asteroid and believed to be the type of asteroids that may have chemical building blocks of life, along with lots of water. So, analysis of returned sample from it could help to reveal key insights about early solar system and the origin of life on Earth. It is potentially hazardous asteroid and there is very slight chance it could strike into Earth in the late 22nd century.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx is not world’s first asteroid sampling mission. This distinction is held by Japanese space agency JAXA. It had proved world’s first sample collection from asteroid after its Hayabusa spacecraft crash-landed into the surface of its target asteroid and managed to return a few micrograms of material in 2010.