Current Affairs September 14, 2014
NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft officially is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from sun. New and unexpected data indicate Voyager 1 has been traveling for about one year through plasma, or ionized gas, present in the space between stars. Voyager is in a transitional region immediately outside the solar bubble, where some effects from the sun are still evident. “Voyager has boldly gone where no probe has gone before, marking one of the most significant technological achievements in the annals of the history of science, and adding a new chapter in human scientific dreams and endeavors,” said John Grunsfeld, NASA’s associate administrator for science in Washington.
India’s First Mars Orbiter Mission
One of the main objectives of the first Indian mission to Mars is to develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission.
Following are the major objectives of the mission:
- Technological Objectives:
• Design and realisation of a Mars orbiter with a capability to survive and perform Earth bound manoeuvres, cruise phase of 300 days, Mars orbit insertion / capture, and on-orbit phase around Mars.
• Deep space communication, navigation, mission planning and management.
• Incorporate autonomous features to handle contingency situations.
- Scientific Objectives:
Exploration of Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian
atmosphere by indigenous scientific instruments.