Satish Dhawan Space Centre Current Affairs - 2019

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Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft successfully launched by GSLV MkIII-M1

Chandrayaan-2, India’s 2nd moon mission (after Chandrayaan-1, 2008) was successfully launched by GSLV-MkIII-M1 from Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. This successful launch comes exactly a week after Missions’ liftoff was aborted due to a technical snag.

About Chandrayaan-2

Besides being India’s 2nd mission to the moon it is 1st-ever mission to be spearheaded by two women.

Mission Objective: To demonstrate key technologies for end-to-end lunar mission capability, including soft-landing and roving on lunar surface. It will also carry detailed study of moon’s topography and atmosphere leading to a better understanding of Moon. It seeks to improve understanding of moon which could lead to discoveries that will benefit India and humanity as a whole.

Landing: The rover will land on unexplored lunar South Pole of Moon on 7 September 2019, to carry out scientific experiments. After touchdown the rover will carry out experiments for 14 Earth days (equalling 1 Lunar Day).

Components: It comprises a fully indigenous-

  1. Orbiter
  2. Lander- Vikram. It is named after father of Indian space research programme Dr Vikram A Sarabhai. It will be landed in a high plain between 2 craters at a latitude of about 70 degrees South of moon.
  3. Rover- Pragyan. Pragyan in Sanskrit means wisdom. It is 6-wheeled robotic vehicle, weighing 27-kg. It will set out on its job of collecting information on lunar surface

Rover Pragyan is housed inside Vikram lander i.e. Vikram will be carrying the rover Pragyan.

Payload: Mission carries a total of 13 payloads. It includes 3 from Europe, 2 from United States and 1 Bulgaria. A Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA) of NASA (US space agency) is among the payloads. LRA is aimed at understanding dynamics of Earths’ moon system and deriving clues on Lunar interior.

Significance: Besides making India 1st country in world to land a rover on unchartered Lunar South Pole, Chandrayaan-2 will also make India 4th country after Russia, United States and China to pull off a soft landing on moon.

About GSLV-MkIII-M1

It is a 3-stage launch vehicle developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It has two solid strap-ons, a core liquid booster and a cryogenic upper stage.

It is 43.43-metre tall. It is dubbed as Baahubali for its ability to carry heavy payloads.

It is designed to carry 4 ton class of satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) or about 10 tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

Chandrayaan-2 was the GSLV-MKIII’s 1st operational flight.

ISRO inaugurates ‘Yuvika 2019’: The Young Scientist Programme

ISRO Chairman Dr K. Sivan inaugurated ISRO’s Young Scientist Programme called ‘Yuvika 2019’ at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

Key Highlights

  • About: The YUVIKA (or ‘YUva VIgyani KAryakram’) 2019, is a two week (14 days) summer vacation residential training programme, which will be conducted by ISRO from 13 May to 26 May 2019. It was launched by ISRO in tune with the Centre governments vision of “Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan”. This is the first time it is being held.
  • Aim: to get young school children interested in emerging areas of space science, space technology and various space applications by imparting basic knowledge about it. It also seek to inculpate scientific temper in students.
  • Participants: 3 students from each Indian State (29) and Union Territories (7 UTs) are participating (about 108 students) and will get trained by ISRO Scientists. During programme, participants will also visit Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Shriharikota which is spaceport of India.
  • Selection Procedure: The students are selected based on their performance in the 8th Standard (covering CBSE, ICSE and State syllabus), which includes both academic and extracurricular activities.
  • Two Week Course Curriculum: During programme students will be provided course material which has already been pre-loaded on Tablets. It includes science topics like Rocket engineering, Environment science, Astronomy, Space applications, Renewable Energy, and also soft skill improvement modules like leadership, team work, communication, etc.
  • Training Centres/Units: It will be conducted across 4 centres of ISRO, Department of Space (DOS)-
    1. Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad
    2. North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC), Shillong
    3. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram
    4. U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), Bengaluru
  • Significance: Students will get to personally visit launch pad and integration facilities at SDSC, SHAR to understand space port operations. They will also visit ISRO laboratories and interact with and share experience with eminent ISRO scientists.

Way Forward

  • It is expected that programmes like YUVIKA might produce good number of scientist in coming years and would lead to national intergartion and national building.
  • Since YUVIKA 2019 received more responses than expected thus ISRO is considering of conducting this programme every year.