Bengaluru: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Friday said it missed the January-February launch window for the second moon mission,Chandrayaan-2, which is now expected to be carried out around April. The new schedule comes after the ambitious space mission missed two earlier launch windows in 2017 and 2018.
“Because we could not complete a few tests, we are now looking at March-April,” ISRO chairman K.Sivan said in Bengaluru. The mission would be carried out by April end and next in June if this one was also missed, he added.
The space agency has 32 missions lined up this year. It undertook 16 missions last year. The most ambitious among this year’s missions will be to put a human in space.
The agency aims to complete two unmanned missions beginning end of next year before it can actually put a human in space, scheduled for December 2021.
ISRO has opened a Human Spaceflight Centre to better enable the agency to carry out the manned mission. With a budget of Rs 10,000 crore,ISRO is looking to send three humans into space for seven days, though the specific number for its first ‘Gaganyaan’ is yet to be finalised. ISRO will help select the astronauts along with the Indian Air Force (IAF) and other premier agencies. The astronauts will be trained initially at ISRO’s human sciences centre and then travel to Russia for advanced training.
ISRO plans to set up ground stations in countries such as Russia and Japan for other programmes, according to Sivan.
Other major plans for 2019 include the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), one of the smallest launches for ISRO. Sivan said it will have a payload of only 500 kilograms, integrate within 72 hours and requires only six people to be part of the mission compared to other big programmes. The cost of the mission would be around Rs 30 crore, he added.
ISRO will also launch its second reusable vehicle later this year, which could pave the way for further cost reductions.
BAIKONUR(KAZAKHSTAN): Astronauts set to board the first manned space mission since an unprecedented accident aboard Russia’s Soyuz, on Sunday brushed aside safety concerns, saying they were ready to take risks.
Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos, Anne McClain of NASA and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency will launch to the International Space Station (ISS) from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on Monday.
They will head to the ISS after a Soyuz rocket carrying Russia’s Aleksey Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague failed on October 11 just minutes after blast-off.
The pair escaped unharmed, but the failed launch was the first such incident in Russia’s post-Soviet history and a new setback for the country’s once proud space industry.
The crew heading to the ISS dismissed any possible concerns about their safety.
“Risk is part of our profession,” crew commander Oleg Kononenko told a news conference at Baikonur, adding they “absolutely” trusted teams preparing them for the flight.
“We are psychologically and technically prepared for blast-off and any situation which, God forbid, may occur on board,” the 54-year-old said.
Anne McClain, a 39-year-old former military pilot, struck a similar note.
“We feel very ready for it,” she said.
Canada’s Saint-Jacques added that Soyuz spacecraft was “incredibly safe,” noting it was “actually reassuring” to witness the October aborted launch from Baikonur.
The accident highlighted the “smart design of the Soyuz and the incredible work that the search and rescue people here on the ground are ready to do every launch,” the 48-year-old said.
Russia said last month the launch of the Soyuz rocket failed because of a sensor that was damaged during assembly at the Baikonur cosmodrome. But officials insisted the spacecraft remains reliable.
Saint-Jacques will be the first Canadian astronaut to visit the space station since Chris Hadfield, who recorded a version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity classic aboard the ISS in 2013.
Canada’s governor general and former astronaut Julie Payette is expected to be among dignitaries to watch Monday’s launch.
Of the trio set to reach the ISS six hours after blastoff, both Saint-Jacques and McClain will fly for the first time. Kononenko is beginning his fourth mission to add to an impressive 533 days in space.
NASA’s McClain was deployed to Iraq and represented the United States women’s national rugby union team in the past.
She has said that training to spacewalk was similar to rugby since it demands “grit, toughness, mental focus, and more”
A new video from the European Space Agency shows the spectacular launch of the Soyuz rocket.
The video was captured by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst and shows the Russian Progress MS-10 cargo spacecraft taking off from the Soyuz rocket on Nov. 16. The spacecraft was carrying food and supplies for astronauts aboard the International Space Station and fuel to resupply the ISS. The spacecraft was carrying 5,653 lbs of supplies and fuel.
This Thursday, crystallizing proteins from the Michael J. Fox Foundation, a dizzying virtual- reality system, ultratiny membranes and the “Refabricator” — a device that turns waste into 3D-printing filament, will all be shooting into space.
This weird science and so much more will launch Thursday (Nov. 15) at 4:49 a.m. EST (0949 GMT) on Northrop Grumman’s (formerly Orbital ATK) 10th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station. The company’s Cygnus spacecraft will lift off on its Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, carrying about 882 pounds (400 kilograms) of research and hardware for these experiments, NASA officials said in a statement. In total, the rocket will launch about 7,500 pounds (3,402 kg) of scientific equipment and crew supplies like food and clothing to the International Space Station.
These experiments will be among the hundreds of scientific investigations currently happening aboard the space station. The launch will be visible along parts of the U.S. East Ccoast, and you can watch it live online here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV. [Launch Photo: Orbital ATK’s Antares Rocket & Cygnus OA-9 Soar to Space Station]
Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus vehicle has been named in honor of NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy officer John Young. Young spent 835 hours in space over six missions as a NASA astronaut.
Aboard the Cygnus vehicle will be a device called the Refabricator as part of the In-Space Manufacturing Refabricator project. This is the first integrated 3D printer and recycler that will turn waste plastic into filament for 3D-printing aboard the space station. The filament will be used for repairs aboard the space station and also as a means of recycling waste. The device could also be used to fabricate things on board the space station.
This technology could be very useful for long-term deep-space missions where astronauts will have to deal with waste, repair and resource issues on a regular basis. As the investigation’s research overview states, “Without a recycling capability, a large supply of feedstock would need to be stowed on board for long-duration exploration missions.” This investigation is sponsored by NASA’s Technology Demonstration Office.
Microgravity virtual reality
The Effect of Long Duration Hypogravity on the Perception of Self-Motion (VECTION) study, another investigation launching to the space station, will explore how a microgravity environment might affect an astronaut’s ability to visually interpret motion, orientation and distance.
Here on Earth, our senses work together to let us know how far away we are from things, how fast they are moving, and how they are oriented. In space, gravity no longer plays a part in our vestibular system, a system that contributes to our sense of balance and orientation. The VECTION study aims to better understand how microgravity affects these senses using virtual reality.
In this study, astronauts will wear a virtual-reality (VR) system that will provide computer-generated visual clues to try to create artificial gravity using visual acceleration, Laurence Harris, a professor at York University in Toronto and principal investigator in this research, said at a news conference on Thursday, Nov. 8. After the VR simulation, the astronauts will report how far they perceive that they moved, how far away things were from them, etc.
“Many astronauts do feel disoriented or suffer from space sickness when they first arrive at the space station,” Harris said. So, to understand how a microgravity environment might affect astronauts at multiple points in their trip, they will participate in the VR simulation as soon as they arrive in space, once they’ve gotten used to the environment and once they’ve returned to Earth.