Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone discovered

Using NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), researchers have discovered an Earth-sized planet that lies in its star’s habitable zone. The planet (TOI 700 d) is about 1.2 times the size of Earth and receives from its star 86% of the energy that the Sun provides to Earth and so considered to be in the … Continue reading Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone discovered

ISRO officially confirms locating Vikram lander, silent on whether it is intact

ISRO has posted on its website saying: “Vikram lander has been located by the orbiter of Chandrayaan-2, but no communication with it yet.” It does not say if it is intact or broken into pieces. In a first direct official confirmation, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Tuesday (September 10) morning tweeted and posted … Continue reading ISRO officially confirms locating Vikram lander, silent on whether it is intact

Chandrayaan-2: GSLV Mark III-M1 vehicle reduces number of orbit-raising exercises, saves fuel

The GSLV Mark III-M1 vehicle launched Chandrayaan-2 satellite in the Earth Parking Orbit with an apogee (farthest distance from the earth) of 45,475 km, which is about 6,000 km more than originally envisaged. As a result, the number of orbit-raising manoeuvres needed to take the satellite to the highest orbit has been reduced from six … Continue reading Chandrayaan-2: GSLV Mark III-M1 vehicle reduces number of orbit-raising exercises, saves fuel

Chandrayaan-2 soars to the Moon

Earlier this year, China landed a robotic spacecraft on the far side of the Moon, which is a first ever attempt by any country. Now, India is attempting a similar feat — to land its rover Pragyan in the Moon's South Polar region, a place that no country has attempted so far. A decade after … Continue reading Chandrayaan-2 soars to the Moon

IIT Madras produces gas hydrates by mimicking interstellar conditions

IIT Madras researchers have produced in the lab methane and carbon dioxide hydrates by simulating the low temperature and pressure conditions seen in deep space. The work raises the possibility of sequestering carbon dioxide as hydrates. IIT Madras is already collaborating with GAIL to recover methane from methane hydrate from the Krishna-Godavari Basin and simultaneously … Continue reading IIT Madras produces gas hydrates by mimicking interstellar conditions

What makes SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch so special

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBr2kKAHN6M&feature=youtu.be Though delayed by five-six years, on February 7, U.S. tech and automobiles billionaire Elon Musk realised his 2011 dream and made history when the Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket, was successfully launched by SpaceX, a company he founded. The rocket’s payload was a cherry-red 2008 Tesla Roadster electric car with a mannequin wearing … Continue reading What makes SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch so special

After 24 years, ISRO faces a small setback with the failed PSLV launch

The failed PSLV attempt to launch a navigation satellite is unlikely to affect future missions. After 39 consecutive successful launches, the Indian Space Research Organisation had almost made it appear that launching satellites was indeed child’s play when it used its workhorse rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. But the PSLV, which has been placing … Continue reading After 24 years, ISRO faces a small setback with the failed PSLV launch

With GSLV Mark III launch, ISRO puts India in a new orbit

The Indian Space Research Organisation has crossed a significant milestone with the successful developmental flight of the country’s heaviest Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, the GSLV Mark-III. This is the first time a satellite weighing over 3.1 tonnes has been launched from India to reach the geostationary orbit about 36,000 km from Earth. With this, ISRO has … Continue reading With GSLV Mark III launch, ISRO puts India in a new orbit

LIGO: Now, gravitational waves provide clues on how binary black holes form

On January 4, 2017, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detected gravitational waves — ripples in space and time — for the third time. The first success in observing gravitational waves was in September 2015 and the second detection was in December 2015. While the September 2015 detection became important as it was the first … Continue reading LIGO: Now, gravitational waves provide clues on how binary black holes form

ISRO asked to remain silent on South Asia Satellite launch

“We have been asked to [remain] silent on the launch [of the South Asia Satellite from Sriharikota off Andhra Pradesh on May 5 evening],” reads a message sent to me by a senior scientist at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) when I tried to get details about the satellite launch. Many more attempts to … Continue reading ISRO asked to remain silent on South Asia Satellite launch