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 NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft has found water locked inside asteroid Bennu. Bennu is too small to have ever hosted liquid water, but this finding does indicate that liquid water was present at some time on Bennu’s parent body, a much larger asteroid.
Key Facts Data obtained from spacecraft’s two spectrometers OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES) and OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (OVIRS) has revealed presence ofhydroxyl molecules that contain oxygen and hydrogen atoms bonded together. These hydroxyl groups exist globally across asteroid in water-bearing clay minerals, indicating that at some point Bennu’s rocky material interacted with water.
OSIRIS-REx It launched in September 2016 is NASA’s first asteroid sampling mission i.e. it will survey surface, collect sample and deliver it safely back to Earth. It had reached its destination Bennu asteroid in December 2018 after travelling through space for more than two years and travelling over two billion kilometres. Samples returned by the mission to Earth in 2023 will enable scientists to find new information about the history and evolution of our solar system.
Bennu It 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 is one of oldest known asteroids which is considered as remnant from early in formation of solar system and orbits close to Earth’s path around Sun.. 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.

 The indigenously built Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile Agni-5 has been test-fired successfully from Abdul Kalam island under Chandipur Interim Test Range. It can carry both nuclear and traditional weapons. The first test was conducted in 2012 from ITR Chandipur in Balasore district. This is the fourth successful test of this missile. Previously the test of Agni 4 was unsuccessful. Having 17 meters length and 2 meters diameter the missile can hit the target from a distance of 5 thousand kilometers. 
Source- AIR World Service

 China launched the first-ever spacecraft, Chang’e 4, that will attempt landing on the far side of the Moon, which always shows the same face to Earth as it’s close enough to be locked by the planet’s gravitational field. The Chang’e-4 mission will see a static lander and rover touch down in Von Kármán crater, located on the side of the Moon which never faces Earth. The payload blasted off atop a Long March 3B rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
Source: BBC

 German firm BigRep claims it has produced the world’s first fully functioning e-motorbike NERA using a 3D printer. According to the company, NERA has groundbreaking features like airless tires, embedded electronics, and forkless steering. The bike was conceptualized and developed in 12 weeks and includes 15 parts, which are all 3D printed except its motor and battery. The name is derived from the slogan “New Era”.
Source: The Reuters

 India’s heaviest, largest and most powerful satellite GSAT-11 was successfully launched by an Arianespace rocket from the French Guiana. Blasting off from the Ariane Launch Complex in Kourou, the Ariane-5 vehicle injected the GSAT-11 into the orbit in a flawless flight lasting about 33 minutes. The satellite will play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country and also be a platform to demonstrate new generation applications. As per the ISRO Chairman K Sivan, GSAT-11 is going to be the richest space asset for India and it will provide something like 16 Gbps data link services to the country.
About GSAT-11 in Brief:  The satellite has 38 spot beams as well as eight sub-beams, which will cover the entire country, including the remote places.
  • Launch Mass: 5854 kg.
  • Mission Life: 15 Years.
  • Power: 13.6 kW Ariane-5 VA-246.
  • Type of Satellite: Communication.
  • Manufacturer: ISRO.
  • Application: Communication.
  • Orbit Type: GTO.

 The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched PSLV-C43.This launch took place from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. Marking the 45th mission that uses the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) rocket, ISRO launched its latest Earth-mapping satellite, HysIS, as part of the mission. The HysIS satellite adds a mass of 360kg to the payload, and launched beside 30 other satellites from eight nations. Out of these, 23 are from the United States. These smaller satellites will add a weight of 281.4kg to the payload, and adds to ISRO’s list of 239foreign satellites that have already been launched.
Source: The Indian Express

 University Grants Commission, UGC has decided to set up a Consortium of Academic and Research Ethics (CARE) which will prepare a fresh list of credible quality journals in the non-science disciplines. The commission stated that the percentage of research articles published in poor quality journals is reported to be high in India which has adversely affected its image. CARE will be headed by the UGC Vice Chairman. Members of CARE will prepare lists of quality journals in their respective disciplines within a defined timeframe. These lists will be critically analysed and curated for quality by a special cell at the entrusted institution using defined criteria. Reference List of Quality Journals’ will be maintained by the CARE and this will be used for all academic purposes.
Source: News on AIR

 NASA’s InSight spacecraft landed on Mars after nearly a 7 months, 458-million-kilometre journey, and a 6.5-minute parachuted descent through the Red Planet’s atmosphere. The 360-kg lander also shared its first photo from Mars, showing an area called Elysium Planitia, where it will dig five meters below the surface. The $993-million mission will measure the Mars’ internal heat and study quakes.
Source: The New York Times

 The Government has set up a state of -the- art National Data Repository. At the DG Carbons Roadshow programme in Abu Dhabi Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan stated that it is a database of all the geo-scientific data of hydrocarbon resources in the country.
Source: News on AIR

 GSAT-29 communication satellite, which is being carried by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-Mk III) was launched into space. The satellite aims at solving the communication barriers faced by Village Resource Centres (VRCs), which are responsible for providing space-based services to ISRO from rural areas.
The launch took place from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The GSAT-29 is a communication satellite with a weight of 3,423 kg. According to ISRO, this will be the second developmental flight of GSLV-Mk III rocket with a rated carrying capacity of four tonnes. GSAT-19 was the first of the series that was sent up into the orbit in June 2017.
Source- The Quint



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