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Thursday, January 16, 2020

India’s first satellite of 2020 Gsat-30 successfully launched from French Guiana

GSAT-30,  India's first satellite of 2020 was successfully launched by European Space Agency's heavy lift launcher Arian 5 ( VA 251 ) from French Guiana at 02:35 am on Friday 17th January, 2020. 

GSAT-30 was placed into a geo synchronous orbit 38 minutes after lift off.  The 3357 Kg GSAT-30 will serve as a replacement to INSAT-4A spacecraft services with enhanced coverage.  The satellite will provide Indian main land with coverage in Ku Band and extended coverage in C-Band covering Gulf countries and large number of Asian countries and Australia.   The mission life of this space craft is 15 years.

For more details please click here..

Please see the video of the live launch below..

Saturday, December 14, 2019

The top 10 closest black holes to earth

Black holes should be common in our Milky Way galaxy, but their dark nature means only dozens have been discovered to date. Here are a few nearby black holes astronomers know a little about.

By nature, it is impossible to see black holes directly.  But astronomers can sense their presence by the way they interact with their environments, letting us glimpse these objects whose gravity is so strong that nothing can escape. In the past century, not only have astronomers shown that black holes do exist, but they’ve found dozens in our own galaxy.
However, based on the number of stars in our galaxy, there should actually be tens of millions out there.   Let us now see the top 10 black holes which are closest to our Earth.

1. A0620-00, or V616 Monocerotis:

This black hole occassionally releases dramatic outbursts of X-Ray light.  One of these happened in 1917 and that is how it was discovered.  During the outburst in 1975 this black hole brightened over 1,00,000 times becoming the brightest X-Ray source at that time.  Some of the details of this black hole are given below
  • It is about 3,500 light-years away
  • 6.6 solar masses 
  • Paired with a K-type main sequence star orbiting every 7.75 hours — less than the average work day
  • Its companion star is only around 40 percent of our sun’s mass. And the star is continually losing mass to the black hole, whose pull is so strong it’s squeezed into an ellipsoid instead of a sphere.

2. Cygnus X-1:

It is suspected by scientists that this black hole Cygnus X-1 began its life as a star 40 times the mass of our Sun.  It is likely collapsed directly to form a black hole some 5 million years ago.  Some details of this black hole are given below.
  • 6,000 light-years away
  • 14.8 solar masses 
  • The black hole has an event horizon 185 miles across — about the length of New Hampshire.
  • Cygnus X-1’s companion star is a blue supergiant variable star that orbits every 5.6 days at just one-fifth of the sun-Earth distance.

3. V404 Cygni:

Scientists reported a wobble in giant jets of particles shot out by the black hole in V404 Cygni in 2019.   They think this wobble could be caused by a black hole warping space-time.   Some details of this black hole are given below.
  • 7,800 light-years away
  • 9 solar masses
  • Paired with an early K giant star that’s 70 percent as massive as our own sun, but six times larger in diameter.  

4. GRO J0422+32:

This black hole is either the smallest ever found that formed from the collapse of star, or it could be a neutron star — the verdict is still out. Some details of this black hole are
  • 7,800 light-years away
  • 3.66 to 5 solar masses
  • Companion to an M-type main sequence star named V518 Per

5. Cygnus X-3:

The mass of this black hole is not well measured and the scientists are uncertain if Cygnus X-3 actually holds a black hole or a neutron star.  The object is paired with a Wolf-Rayet star — an incredibly bright object with an unusual distribution of elements, particularly on its surface — that is one of the brightest stars in the galaxy. The star will likely become a black hole itself fairly soon, so stay tuned — for the next million years or so.  Some details of this black hole are
  • 20,00 light-years away
  • Roughly 2 to 5 solar masses

6. GRO J1655-40:

This black hole and star are traveling through the galaxy at 250,000 mph. For comparison, the sun cruises at only 44,740 mph. Astronomers think they achieved their breakneck pace when the black hole was created by an asymmetric supernova, which gave the system a kick. Some details of this black hole are
  • 11,000 light-years away (perhaps much closer)
  • 7 solar masses
  • Paired with an evolved F-type star that’s two times as massive as our sun. 
  • The star and black hole are locked in an orbit every 2.6 days.
  • The black hole spins 450 times per second — fast enough to warp the space around it.

7. Sagittarius A*:

Sagittarius A* (pronounced A-star) is the Milky Way’s central supermassive black hole. It was first noticed in 1931, thanks to a radio signal coming from the center of the galaxy. But by observing the motions of nearby stars over decades, and watching clumps of gas near the object, astronomers have since firmly determined that it is indeed a supermassive black hole. What’s more, they now know most large galaxies also have them.  Some details of this black hole are
  • 25,640 light-years away
  • More than 4 million solar masses

8. 47 Tuc X9:

Scientists are still debating whether there’s actually a black hole in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. Recent studies offer evidence for and against the idea. But, if it is there, it would be a rare example of a black hole in a globular cluster — something astronomers long thought was impossible. It would also have the closest orbit ever seen between a black hole and a star. Some details of this black hole are
  • 14,800 light-years away
  • Mass unknown 
  • Every 28 minutes, the black hole orbits its companion white dwarf star at a separation of just 2.5 times the distance between Earth and the moon. 

9. XTE J1118+480:

Some details of this black hole are as follows.
  • 5,000 to 11,000 light-years away
  • More than 6 solar masses
  • Paired with a star that packs just 20 percent of the sun’s mass
  • Suspected to have been formed by a metal-rich star that underwent a supernova

10. GS2000+25:

  • 8,800 light-years away
  • 7 solar masses
  • Paired with a late K-type star with 50 percent of the sun’s mass
  • Binary pair orbits every 8.26 hours

Europe Is Launching a Suicide Robot to clean up the debris in space

We all know that largest dump on Earth is in Space. 
An artist's rendering shows the ClearSpace-1 satellite using its robotic arms to capture the conical piece of space debris called Vespa.
In low Earth orbit — the space around our planet up to about 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) in altitude -  There are more than 3000 satellites which are not functioning and tens of millions of smaller pieces of debris around the atmosphere.  And each one of these is moving at tens of thousands of miles per hour  Some times two big pieces of this debris crash into each other creating smaller fragments which is another junk in space.  All these debris are moving at such high velocities that they can damage a space craft moving in the orbit.

So European Space Agency ( ESA ) has announced its plan to tackle this problem using robot hugs.  In its mission known as ClearSpace-1,  ESA will be launching an experimental, four-armed robot to collect a defunct satellite, hug it closely and then finally drag it on a kamikaze dive into Earth's atmosphere - destroying both devices.
The ClearSpace-1 Mission is scheduled to launch in 2025.  It will test its robotic hugging muscles on a mid size piece of junk called Vespa. Which ESA's Vega launcher deposited about 800 Kms above Earth in 2013.  The weight of that debris is 100 Kgs so it is relatively easy to capture on the robotic mission.
After capture of the Vespa, the robotic garbage collector and Vespa both will make a controlled yet fiery descent into Earth's atmosphere.  The cost of this Mission is estimated to be around $135 millions.
Whether this is a cost-effective way or not,  other nations and agencies are proposing other methods for removing debris like deploying tiny nets and using satellite mounted lasers to blast bits of space debris into atmosphere.

Friday, December 13, 2019

ISRO's PSLV-C48 successfully places RISAT-2BR1 and 9 other commercial satellites into orbit on 11th December, 2019

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its fiftieth flight (PSLV-C48), successfully launched RISAT-2BR1, an earth observation satellite, along with nine commercial satellites of Israel, Italy, Japan and USA from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. 

PSLV-C48 lifted-off exactly at 1525Hrs (IST) on December 11, 2019 from the First Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota.  PSLV-C48 was the 75th launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota. This is the 2nd flight of PSLV in 'QL' configuration (with 4 solid strap-on motors).  Also this is the 50th PSLV flight of ISRO.
 About 16 minutes and 23 seconds after lift-off, RISAT-2BR1 was injected into an orbit of 576 km at an inclination of 37 degree to the equator.
RISAT-2BR1 is a radar imaging earth observation satellite weighing about 628 kg. The satellite will provide services in the field of Agriculture, Forestry and Disaster Management. The mission life of RISAT-2BR1 is 5 years.
9 Commercial satellites were also successfully injected into designated orbit. These satellites were launched under commercial arrangement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). 

Here is the video of the PSLV-C48 Launch...

Saturday, November 30, 2019

ISRO's PSLV-C47 succesfully places Cartosat-3 and 13 US nano satellites into orbit on 27th November, 2019

India’s PSLV-C47 launch vehicle successfully launched India's Cartosat-3 and 13 commercial nanosatellites of USA from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota on 27th November, 2019.

PSLV-C47 lifted-off exactly at  09:28 Hrs (IST) on November 27, 2019 from the Second Launch Pad of SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.   PSLV-C47 was the 75th launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota. This is the 21st flight of PSLV in 'XL' configuration (with 6 solid strap-on motors).
About 17 minutes and 38 seconds after lift-off, Cartosat-3 was injected into an orbit of 509 km at an inclination of 97.5 degree to the equator.
with the successful launch of CARTOSAT-3 on-board PSLV-C47 Rocket,  ISRO has added one more to its constellation of remote sensing satellites which can map the earth with better accuracy.   With this launch, ISRO so sar launch launched 8 nos of Cartosat Satellites since 2005,  With this ISRO has launched 310 foreign satellites till now.
Fore more details please click here...

Here is the video of the launch.....

Sunday, October 13, 2019

UK's first Moon Rover to be launched in 2021

The United Kingdom is set to make its own giant leap soon, with a very small rover.
A 2.2-lb. (1 kilogram), four-legged robot built by London-based Spacebit will launch aboard Astrobotic's Peregrine moon lander in July of 2021, representatives of both companies announced recently. 
It will be a flight of firsts — the first mission for both Peregrine and its rocket, United Launch Alliance's new Vulcan Centaur; the first trip to the moon's surface by a UK-built craft; and the first time a legged robot has explored another world.
The rover will be moving at least 10 meters on the surface of moon and beam high definition videos and other data to earth during its 10-earth-day mission.  This mission is going to be just beginning.  If all goes according to their plan,  eventually Spacebit aims to launch a fleet of these little robots to explore the lunar sub surface to find out a suitable place for human settlement.
Spacebit's walking rover won't be flying alone on the July 2021 mission; it's one of about 30 payloads that Peregrine will carry to the lunar surface for a variety of customers. Fourteen of those payloads are from NASA

Thursday, November 29, 2018

ISRO's PSLV-C43 puts HysIS and 30 customer satellites into orbit on 29th November, 2018

At exactly 9:57:30 am ( IST ) on Thursday, the 29th November, 2018  the ISRO's reliable workhorse PSLV rocket soared into the skies from Sriharikota's first launch pad carrying the India's first hyperspectral imaging satellite ( HysIS), an advanced earth observation satellite and  30 foreign satellites.  During the 112 minute long mission, the PSLV-C43 first delivered India's primary satellite into the polar sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 630 Km 17 minutes and 19 seconds after the takeoff and then  delivered the other 30 satellites after restarting the fourth stage engines twice.  The last of the 30 satellites was injected into its designated orbit after 1 hour 49 minutes after lift off.

HysIS is an earth observation satellite built around ISRO’s Mini Satellite-2 (IMS-2) bus weighing about 380kg. The mission life of the satellite is five years.

The 30 commercial satellites, including one micro and 29 nano satellites, are from eight countries. Of the total 30 satellites whose combined weight is 261.5 kg, 23 are from the US.

For more details about the Mission,  please click here.. 

Here is a video of the launch....