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Chandrayaan-3: ISRO Confirms ‘No Signals’ From Vikram Lander And Pragyan Rover Yet

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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been working really hard to make the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover which are a part of the Chandrayaan-3 mission talk again. But despite all their efforts, they haven’t heard anything from these moon explorers as of last Friday 22nd September, 2023.

The lander and rover were created to work for a short time and during that time they sent important information to ISRO for example discovering sulphur. But once those two weeks were over they went to sleep because it was super cold on the moon as the Sun went away from the south pole.

SEE ALSO: ‘This Is Not The End…’ Former ISRO Chairman On Chandrayaan-3 Vikram Lander And Pragyan Rover Wake-Up Attempt

ISRO had a plan to wake up the two spacecraft on the evening of September 22. But, because of unexpected events, they had to put off this attempt until September 23. They needed the extra time to make sure the spacecraft would be safe and to do more tests and practice runs to make sure they could wake them up without any problems.





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SpaceX Shares Glimpse Of Spacecraft That Will Crash The International Space Station

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SpaceX has been assigned the job to crash the International Space Station (ISS) into the Pacific Ocean in 2030. To get it done, the former will be designing a ‘deorbit vehicle’ that will tug the orbital lab down from its orbit. SpaceX has now shared an illustration of what the said spacecraft will look like.

The picture features the spacecraft which has a similar build like SpaceX’s trademark Dragon capsule. It also has massive solar panels to power the components of the vehicle. According to SpaceX, it will be four times more powerful and have six times the propellant of today’s Dragon spaceceraft.

In a statement in June, NASA said it has awarded the company a contract worth $843 million (excluding launch costs) to design and build the vehicle. The agency plans to retire the station by 2030.

Crashing the ISS will be a lengthy process

During a press conference on July 17, NASA officials shared details about the deorbiting of the space station which will begin when the new spacecraft docks at one of its ports. According to Dana Weigel, ISS program manager, the vehicle will pull the station down 12 to 18 months after it drifts down from its normal orbit.

The official said that astronauts will occupy the station until six months before the station’s reentry and will vacate it after the ISS reaches about 200 kilometres in orbit. It currently circles the Earth at over 400 kilometres.

Sarah Walker, director of Dragon mission management at SpaceX, revealed the key features of the deorbit vehicle. The spacecraft will have an enhanced trunk section that will have additional propulsion tanks along with engines, avionics and power generation purposes, Space.com reported.

ALSO SEE: Astronaut Gives Tour Of The International Space Station In Never Seen Before Video; Watch

The station is currently being managed by five space agencies from the US, Russia, Canada, Japan and Europe. Its replacement will be filled by commercial habitats that will ensure human presence in the low-Earth orbit and continued experiments in microgravity.

Many US companies like Blue Origin and Sierra Space are together building Orbital Reef and Axiom Space is planning to launch the first module of its Axiom Station later this decade. Currently, China is the only country to have its own space station –Tiangong – and Russia is also working toward developing one for itself.

Steve Stich, the manager of the commercial crew program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, reportedly said earlier this year that the ISS wil be “out of the way” only if the commercial ones are successful.

ALSO SEE: SpaceX To Launch Historic Private Mission Polaris Dawn On July 31





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NASA Beams Hip-Hop Song By Missy Elliot To Venus For The First Time Ever

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NASA just beamed a song to Venus at light speed. The agency used the massive Deep Space Network (DSN) to transmit the song by hip-hop star Missy Elliot to Earth’s twin, which happens to be artist’s favourite planet.

The experiment was conducted at 10:35 pm IST on July 12 using the 34-meter-wide (112-foot) Deep Space Station 13 (DSS-13) radio dish antenna, located at the DSN’s Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California.

According to NASA, the song “The Rain” (Supa Dupa Fly) travelled about 254 million kilometres and it took the signal 14 minutes to reach Venus at the speed of light. The DSN is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and it is used to track space probes, send them commands and communicate with them.

This is the first time NASA has transmitted a hip-hop song into space. The only other instance when DSN was used for such purpose was the transmission of “Across The Universe” by The Beatles in February 2008.

“I still can’t believe I’m going out of this world with NASA through the Deep Space Network when “The Rain” (Supa Dupa Fly) becomes the first ever hip-hop song to transmit to space!,” Elliot stated. She revealed that she chose Venus because it “symbolises strength, beauty, and empowerment.”

ALSO SEE: Despite Titan Tragedy, OceanGate Co-Founder Is Fixed On Sending Humans To Venus; ‘It Is Very Doable’

Although, Venus is named after the ancient Roman goddess of love and beauty.

The idea of sending songs into space is not new and it dates back to the 70s. Arguably the most iconic examples are the Voyager probes which are carrying 27 songs in the Golden Records along with greetings in several languages and sounds from planet Earth.

Meanwhile, Venus has become an interesting subject of exploration and NASA has two missions planned to investigate the planet.

The first is DAVINCI (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging) scheduled for launch in 2029 and the other is VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and spectroscopy) which is scheduled to launch no earlier than 2031.

ALSO SEE: New Study Reveals Venus Might Have Hosted Life Billions Of Years Ago





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ESA To Launch Mission To Study Apophis During Extremely Rare Earth Flyby In 2029

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The European Space Agency (ESA) has planned to launch a planetary defense mission to study the asteroid Apophis. This hazardous space rock will make a scarily close flyby of Earth in 2029 and astronomers see it as a golden opportunity to investigate it up close.

Scientists have estimated that Apophis will be just about 32,000 kilometres from Earth’s surface during its flyby. Events like this happen only once in every 5,000 to 10,000 years.

The mission planned by ESA is called Ramses and it will rendezvous with Apophis and observe how Earth’s gravity changes its characteristics. It will soon enter development phase.

Measuring about 375-metres-wide, the asteroid named after Egyptian god of chaos and destruction was discovered in 2004 and scientists fear it might impact our planet in 2182. It will be at its closest point to Earth on April 13, 2029.

Apophis photographed by NASA. Image: NASA

“For the first time ever, nature is bringing one (asteroid) to us and conducting the experiment itself,” stated Patrick Michel, Director of Research of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).

“All we need to do is watch as Apophis is stretched and squeezed by strong tidal forces that may trigger landslides and other disturbances and reveal new material from beneath the surface,” he added.

Ramses is targeted for launch in April 2028 so it could be prepared to rendezvous with Apophis in February 2029. The probe will conduct a thorough before-and-after survey of the asteroid’s shape, surface, orbit, rotation and orientation and allow scientists to learn about its composition, interior structure, cohesion, mass, density, and porosity.

Most of the probe’s technology will be similar to ESA’s HERA mission which will launch in October this year to inspect Dimorphos, the asteroid destroyed by NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission.

Finding out the effects of external forces on asteroids and studying its properties will be crucial in devising ways to knock a hazardous asteroid off its trajectory.

“The results would be used to determine how best to redirect the asteroid or to rule out non-impacts before an expensive deflector mission is developed,” said Richard Moissl, head of ESA’s Planetary Defence Office.

Meanwhile, another mission by NASA – the OSIRIS-APEX – is on its way to Apophis and it will arrive at the asteroid roughly one month after its flies past Earth.





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