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Agnikul Cosmos Calls Off Maiden Rocket Launch Seconds Before Lift Off

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Agnikul Cosmos’s maiden mission was scrubbed on May 28 again. The mission named SubOrbital Technological Demonstrator or SOrTeD will test the single-stage 6.2-meter-long Agnibaan rocket which is the first to use the entirely 3D printed engine.

According to the NDTV, the launch was called off just second before lift off from Agnikul’s spaceport ALP-01 at Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota. The launch was reportedly scheduled between 5:30 to 7:30 am.

This is the third time the launch was scrubbed close to the lift off. The previous attempt was foregone on April 7 at T-129 seconds. Agnikul’s first attempt was made on March 22 which was also scrubbed during countdown.

During the previous attempt, Agnikul said that the team stood down from launch due to a communication issue between two hardwares.

ALSO SEE: Indian Tech Startup To Create World’s First 3D-Printed Rocket Engine; All You Need To Know

The reason for not going ahead with the mission is yet to be revealed.

When it lifts off, Agnibaan will be powered by the semi-cryogenic Agnilet engine which uses kerosene and liquid oxygen.

Agnikul says that the Agnibaan rocket could be customised according to the customers needs. Measuring 18 meters tall, the rocket will be capable of transporting 100 kg to a 700 km orbit when it flies.

ALSO SEE: India Gets Its First Private Launch Pad, And It Will Give Space Sector A Major Boost; Here’s How

(Image: Agnikul Cosmos)





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NASA Shares Incredible Picture Of ‘Space Potato’ Phobos; It Will Soon Crash Into Mars

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Ever seen a space potato? NASA is here to treat you with one. The agency has shared a fascinating image of Phobos, the larger of two moons of Mars, explaining what makes this object so intriguing.

Meauring just 27 by 22 by 18 kilometres in diameter, Phobos orbits Mars about 6,000 km above the red planet’s surface and it is on a collision course with Earth.

This is the closest any Moon orbits a planet and Phobos might crash into Mars in the future. Scientists estimate that this is likely to happen within 50 million years. Another likely scenario of Phobos’ end will be its potential obliteration into pieces, eventually forming a ring around Mars.

According to NASA, Phobos is nearing Mars at the rate of six feet each year.

ALSO SEE: We May Have Been Wrong About Martian Moon Phobos’ Origin, It Could Be A Comet

Phobos (left) and Deimos (right). Image: NASA

Describing the image, the agency said that it was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been studying Mars since 2006.

Phobos was discovered along with its twin just six days apart by astronomer Asaph Hall in 1877.

ALSO SEE: ISRO’s Mangalyaan Presents Breathtaking Video Of Martian Moon ‘Phobos’

The Moon also has several craters but the most dominant one is the 10-km-wide Stickeny crater which Hall named after his wife Angelina.

The second moon is Deimos which measures 15 by 12 by 11 kilometres and orbits the red planet every 30 hours. Both the moons are named after the mythological sons of Ares, the Greek counterpart of the Roman god. Phobos means fear and Deimos means dread, says NASA. As for their origin, astronomers believe they could be asteroids or debris caught by Mars in the early solar system.

(Image: NASA)





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Rare ‘Gigantic Jets’ Spotted Above The Himalayas, NASA Shares Viral Picture

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NASA recently shared a captivating image of gigantic jets soaring from a thunderstorm toward the Himalayan Mountains in China and Bhutan. This composite image, featured in NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day segment on June 18, reveals four immense jets captured within minutes of each other.

Gigantic jets are a rare and fascinating type of lightning discharge that have only been documented since the early 2000s. Unlike conventional lightning that occurs between clouds or strikes the ground, gigantic jets bridge the gap between thunderstorms and the Earth’s ionosphere, the layer of the atmosphere that is ionised by solar and cosmic radiation, NASA said.

Jets of lightning spotted over the Himalayas. Image: NASA/Li Xuanhua

These jets are unique in their appearance and behavior, differing significantly from traditional lightning phenomena.

ALSO SEE: Webb Telescope Photographs Baby Stars Burping Out Gases For The First Time

Despite their visual grandeur, the precise mechanisms and triggers behind gigantic jets are still under investigation. What is known is that these jets help to balance electrical charges between different layers of the Earth’s atmosphere, playing a crucial role in maintaining the atmospheric electrical circuit.

For those interested in observing this phenomenon, a powerful but distant thunderstorm viewed from a clear vantage point offers the best chance.

As these jets typically shoot upwards from the storm tops into the ionosphere, they can often be seen from hundreds of kilometers away under the right conditions.

ALSO SEE: NASA Shares First Cosmic Image Of 2024 And It’s Exploding With Stars



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‘Ram Setu’ Looks Stunning In Latest Satellite Image Shared By ESA

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The European Space Agency (ESA) has released a remarkable image of Ram Setu, also known as Adam’s Bridge, captured by its Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite.

Ram Setu has long intrigued historians, geologists, and the general public. While it has a religious significance for Hindus, geological evidence suggests that these limestone shoals are remnants of an ancient landmass that once linked India and Sri Lanka.

This ancient chain of shoals, which stretches 48 kilometers from Rameswaram Island off the southeastern coast of India to Mannar Island in Sri Lanka, serves as a natural divider between the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait.

It is predominantly composed of sandbanks and the area is fairly shallow. It ranges just between 1-10 meters deep, ESA says.

ALSO SEE: Gujarat’s Luna Crater Catches NASA’s Attention; Satellite Image Released

The Adam’s Bridge. Image: ESA

Mannar Island, covering approximately 130 square kilometers, is connected to mainland Sri Lanka via both a road bridge and a railway bridge, located at the island’s southern end. On the Indian side, Rameswaram Island, also known as Pamban Island, is accessible through the 2-kilometer-long Pamban Bridge.

ALSO SEE: NASA’s Satellite Images Show Grim Condition Of The UAE Before And After Floods

Both ends of Ram Setu are part of protected national parks in India and Sri Lanka, underscoring the region’s ecological importance. Moreover, the shallow waters surrounding the bridge are rich in biodiversity, home to numerous species of fish and seagrasses.

According to ESA, the marine life around Adam’s Bridge includes dolphins, dugongs, and turtles, making it a crucial habitat for these species.





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