Karnataka to set up five tech innovation hubs

18 : Karnataka’s first ‘K-Tech Innovation Hub’ was inaugurated in Belagavi by K J George, Karnataka Minister for IT/BT & ST. The K-Tech Innovation Hub backed by providing space and infrastructure, prototyping facilities and a world-class innovation network. The K-Tech Innovation hub leverages the globally connected ecosystem & brings infrastructure similar to the MIT Fab Lab to Belagavi.

NASA puts Kepler space telescope to sleep

The Kepler Space Telescope, which is a famous planet-hunting telescope of NASA has been put to sleep since it is almost out of fuel. The telescope was launched by NASA in 2009 to learn more about the frequency and number of planets in our galaxy. Scientists have found many exoplanets with the help of this telescope, which is 94 million miles away from the Earth.

ISRO’s first ‘pad abort’ test successful

The first ‘pad abort’ test critical for a future human space mission was conducted successfully by ISRO. ‘PAT’ is the 1st in a series of tests to qualify a crew escape system technology of a manned mission in the future. Crew Escape System is an emergency escape measure to quickly pull the crew module along with astronauts to a safe distance from the launch vehicle in event of a launch abort

Japanese mission reached asteroid Ryugu

A Japanese probe has reached an asteroid 300 million km away to collect information about the birth of the solar system and the origin of life after a more than three-year voyage through deep space. The Hayabusa2 probe successfully settled into an observation position 20 km above the Ryugu asteroid, officials from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

NASA to use submarines for hunting meteorite

Scientists from several organisations in the US, including NASA, are planning to use remote-operated submarines to hunt for the remains of an outer space object. The Nautilus research ship of the non-profit group Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) will aid in the scavenger hunt, Digitaltrends. The object splashed down into the Pacific Ocean on March 7.

NASA’s ECOSTRESS to correct water imbalances

ECOSTRESS, an instrument on the International Space Station (ISS) will measure the temperature of plants from space to determine plant water use & to study how drought conditions affect plant health. ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) will monitor evapotranspiration. It is a part of NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder program.

Peggy Whitson retires as astronaut

NASA’s record-breaking astronaut, Peggy Whitson, retired after returning from her last and longest spaceflight. Whitson was the first woman to command the International Space Station, holding the position twice, and the oldest woman ever to fly in space. She was also the only woman to have served as chief of NASA’s male-dominated astronaut corps.

Astronaut and Moonwalker Alan Bean dead

Former US astronaut Alan Bean, who was the 4th man to walk on the Moon, has died in Texas, U.S. Bean went into space twice, the first time in November 1969 as the lunar module pilot on the Apollo 12 moon-landing mission. Bean spent a total of 69 days in space, including 31 hours on the moon. In 1973 he was commander of the second crewed flight to Skylab – America’s first space station.

ISRO making green propellant

Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation have reported progress in the development of an environment-friendly propellant to power satellites and spacecraft. The effort is to replace the conventional hydrazine rocket fuel, a highly toxic and carcinogenic chemical, with a greener propellant. ISRO has started working on propellant blend based on hydroxylammonium nitrate.

SpaceX launched most powerful Falcon 9 yet

SpaceX blasted off its newest & most powerful Falcon 9 rocket, known as the Block 5, carrying the first high-orbit communications satellite for Bangladesh.The satellite will provide broadband connectivity to rural areas throughout Bangladesh. Block 5 Falcon 9 is eventually meant to carry astronauts to the International Space Station, with the first launch tentatively planned for Dec 2018.

Mrinalini Sarabhai’s 100th birth anniversary

Google Doodle on 11th May celebrated the 100th birth anniversary of Mrinalini Sarabhai, the renowned Indian classical dancer. Mrinalini married notable physicist Vikram Sarabhai who is considered to be the Father of the Indian Space Program. Mrinalini was awarded the Padma Shri in 1965 and Padma Bhushan in 1992. She was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship New Delhi in 1994.

A new nuclear reactor for space

NASA has developed a new kind of reactor to be used for space exploration missions. NASA’s Kilopower project works to build the kind of technology that could be used for an affordable fission nuclear power system so astronauts can have longer trips to planets. Kilopower is a small, lightweight fission power system that can deliver 10 kilowatts of electrical power.

India & Japan to work together

India and Japan have agreed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in energy development space as well as contribute to worldwide energy security and solutions to climate change issues. Both countries agreed to initiate the discussion towards development of Electric Vehicles. They will work together in promoting well-functioning energy markets.

Blue Origin launches its first space mission

Blue Origin, the US aerospace company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has launched its suborbital ‘New Shepard’ rocket and space capsule. The mission marked the company’s first test flight of the year and second flight of the New Shepard 2.0 spacecraft. New Shepard is a reusable vertical takeoff, vertical landing space vehicle, consisting of a pressurized capsule atop a booster.

Isro to launch slew of military satellites

Indian Space Research Organisation is gearing up to launch a slew of important satellites in the coming months.Some of these satellites are significant as they will help military keep an eye on our neighbours & safeguard our land & sea borders. ISRO will launch a dedicated satellite, Gsat-7A, for Indian Air Force & an advanced remote sensing satellite, Risat-2A, for surveillance purpose.

Jim Bridenstine to be the new NASA chief

US Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump-nominated Representative Jim Bridenstine to serve as NASA’s 13th administrator.His confirmation following a vote in the Senate ends the longest span of time that NASA has operated without a permanent leader. Bridenstine, a pilot in US Navy Reserve currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee & Science, Space & Technology Committee.

Scientists in Spain create a new record

Researchers based out in Spain cramp down light to lesser than a nanometer, that is, a space of 1 atom.The team did so by squeezing plasmons into a gap between graphene and metal. This is the smallest confinement done till date. This work was performed in collaboration with MIT (USA) and University of Minho (Portugal).

2nd magnetic field created by Earth found

The European Space Agency has created the most detailed map ever of the elusive oceanic magnetism generated by Earth’s lithosphere.While Earth’s magnetic field is majorly generated within the outer core, a small fraction comes from magnetised rocks in the crust and the upper mantle. This lithospheric magnetic field is 20,000 times weaker than global magnetic field at satellite altitude.

RH300 sounding rocket launched

7 : The RH300 sounding rocket, developed by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre as part of a study to enrich available atmospheric data, was launched on 6th April from the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station in Kerala.This was the 21st launch of RH300 sounding rocket. The RH-300 MKII sounding rocket is utilised to study the Equatorial and lower ionosphere regions of the atmosphere.

Icarus, the farthest star ever seen

Scientists have detected the most distant star, Icarus, ever viewed, located more than halfway across the universe.The star was formally named MACS J1149+2223 Lensed Star-1. Scientists used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to spot the star. The star is 9.3 billion lights years away from Earth and it is about twice as hot as our sun.

China’s Tiangong-1 space station burns up

China’s Tiangong-1 space station re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and burnt up over the middle of the South Pacific.The craft re-entered the atmosphere and the “vast majority” of it had burnt up upon re-entry.Tiangong-1 was launched in 2011 to carry out docking and orbit experiments as part of China’s ambitious space programme, which aims to place a permanent station in orbit by 2023.

China’s Tiangong-1 space lab set to hit Earth

China’s Tiangong-1 or Heavenly Palace space station is set to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere b/w March 31 & April 1.Scientists have underlined that the danger of Tiangong-1 being hit by falling debris is tiny, as the structure is likely to burn up in the atmosphere during its re-entry In 2011, China launched Tiangong-1 as a prototype for Beijing’s goal of establishing a permanent space station

Point Nemo is watery graveyard for spacecraft

Point Nemo is the watery graveyard for titanium fuel tanks and other high-tech space debris and is officially called an ?oceanic pole of inaccessibility?. The largest object descending from the space to fall down at Point Nemo, in 2001, was Russia‘s MIR space lab, which weighed 120 tonnes. However, China‘s Earth-bound and out-of-control Spacelab, Tiangong-1, will probably not hit the spot.

Biggest space telescope launch delayed

NASA has delayed the launch of its much awaited, $8 billion James Webb Space Telescope— set to be the world‘s biggest space observatory — until at least May 2020. The James Webb Space Telescope will be complementing the scientific discoveries of NASA‘s Hubble Space Telescope and other science missions. The observatory will solve mysteries of our solar system, according to NASA.

SEBI clamps down on derivative markets

SEBI tightened the derivative markets framework to curb speculations and prevent small investors from entering the high-risk space. It also accepted the majority of the recommendations made by the Uday Kotak Committee on corporate governance. It introduced a concept of =product suitability‘ under which investors will have to show income or knowledge proof to deal in the derivatives segment.

China to launch “Long March-5B rocket”

China‘s heavy-lift ‘Long March-5B carrier rocket’, which is capable of carrying a payload of 25,000 kg in low earth orbit, will be launched into space in 2019. It will help carry the core module and experimental modules to China‘s space station. The carrier rocket will undergo testing this month in preparation for the first launch mission.

Russia, China to create joint data centre

Russia and China have agreed to set up a joint data centre for lunar and deep space projects, Russian space agency Roscosmos said. The Russian agency and China National Space Administration will look into possibilities of providing assistance to each other‘s lunar programmes. Last year, the two agencies had agreed on a bilateral cooperation programme, including research on the moon.

Moon to get its first mobile phone network

The moon will get its first 4G mobile network next year to allow lunar exploration vehicles to stream high-definition data back to a base station.Vodafone Germany, Nokia, and carmaker Audi said that they were working in collaboration with Berlin-based space exploration scientists. The project is a part of the first privately-funded mission to the Moon.

Tintins may provide Net for all

SpaceX launched its Paz mission, using its workhorse Falcon-9 rocket.CEO Elon Musk had spoken of Starlink, a constellation of satellites that would provide a cheap, high speed, global Internet connection. If successful, (the) Starlink constellation will provide high-speed broadband services around the world. Tintin satellites are launched.

SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket

Elon Musk-led space exploration startup SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket, which carried two test satellites for its planned global internet broadband service.The rocket also carried Spanish company Hisdesat’s PAZ satellite to low Earth orbit as payload. The launch was carried out from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, United States.

ISRO plans to launch 2nd space observatory

Indian Space Research Organisation is planning to launch the country’s second AstroSat-2 or space observatory.The mission is meant to further the study of astronomy and astrophysics.The advantage of having such a space observatory in outer space is that it helps observe distant planets, galaxies and other astronomical objects more clearly than from the Earth.

Kepler discovers nearly 100 new exoplanets

17 : Team of scientists have confirmed the discovery of nearly 100 new exoplanets – planets located outside our solar system.Discovery was based on data from the 2nd mission of NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope released in 2014. The detected planets range from sub-Earth-sized to the size of Jupiter & larger. Newly discovered exoplanets brings the total no of exoplanets by K2 mission to almost 300.

India to land Chandrayaan-2 on Moon

India, which has been making strides in the space race, is set to land its Chandrayaan-2 on the Moon in April.Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second lunar exploration mission after Chandrayaan-1 which discovered the presence of water on the surface of the moon. The mission will cost around 800 crore rupees which includes cost of orbiter, lander and rover.

Forbes Releases Cryptocurrency Rich List

Business magazine Forbes has released its first-ever Crypto Rich List, comprising 20 wealthiest people in the cryptocurrency space.The list was topped by Ripple Co-founder Chris Larsen, who is estimated to have a crypto net worth of $7.5-8 billion.He is followed by Ethereum Co-founder Joseph Lubin ($1-5 billion) & Founder of cryptocurrency exchange Binance Changpeng Zhao ($1.1-2 billion).

SpaceX Launches Its Most Powerful Rocket

The US-based SpaceX has successfully launched the world’s most powerful operational rocket Falcon Heavy towards Mars.The rocket, carrying a Tesla Roadster car, will revolve around the Sun in a way that will repeatedly bring it close to the Earth and Mars.Falcon Heavy’s thrust and capacity are the highest since NASA’s Saturn V, which carried astronauts to the Moon.

Chandrayaan-2 to land near Moon’s south pole

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to send the Chandrayaan-2 on the world’s first-ever mission to soft-land near the Moon’s south pole. Former ISRO chief AS Kiran Kumar said the mission could take place either in the first quarter or second half of 2018.The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark II will reportedly carry the Chandrayaan-2.

Interaction b/w Dinosaur & mammals found

A sandstone containing at least 70 mammal and dinosaur tracks was discovered at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.They are older than 100 million years, according to a new paper published by journal Scientific Reports.The sandstone shows that there was interaction between mammals and dinosaurs.

A hill on Mars is named after Kalpana

NASA named seven hills on planet Mars after the seven crew members, including India-born astronaut Kalpana Chawla, of the Space Shuttle Columbia who lost their lives while returning from their mission.The crew died when the space shuttle disintegrated on re-entering Earth’s atmosphere on February 1, 2003.The 16-day mission was dedicated to research in physical, life and space sciences.

Narayanan takes over as LPSC Director

Senior ISRO scientist Dr V Narayanan has assumed charge as Director of the space agency’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), at nearby Valiamala.He succeeds S Somanath who has been appointed Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. Narayanan, who is a rocket propulsion expert, joined ISRO in 1984 and functioned in various capacities, a press release said.

Sarabhai Space Centre’s new director

ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) director S Somnath has taken charge as the new director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.He says the focus is on two upcoming launches next month. Somnath told that his priorities will be on technology upgradation of launch vehicle design and to focus on immediate launches including GSLV-Mark (MK) II and PSLV-C41 in Feb.

First image taken by Cartosat-2

The first-day image captured by India’s recently launched weather observation Cartosat-2 series satellite shows a part of Indore city in Madhya Pradesh.The image was acquired on January 15, three days after the launch of the satellite.Cartosat-2 Series satellite was successfully launched onboard the PSLV-C40 rocket on January 12 by ISRO from its spaceport at Sriharikota, 110 km from here.

NASA discovers “SPT0615-JD”

NASA scientists have spotted the farthest known galaxy in the universe.“SPT0615-JD” galaxy is a cluster of 500 million year-old stars. The image of SPT0615-JD was captured by NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. The images were captured through gravitational lensing. SPT0615-JD was found in Hubble’s Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey and companion S-RELICS Spitzer programme.

India and Israel ink nine pacts

India & Israel have inked 9 pacts to boost cooperation in key areas, including cybersecurity and energy.The agreements were signed after extensive talks between PM Narendra Modi & his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu for bolstering bilateral ties in strategic areas. Agreements include cooperation in oil & gas sector, amendments to air transport, film co-production, space science etc.

ISRO mulls launching 65 satellites

The Indian Space Research Organisation has set itself an ambitious to-do list for making and launching around 65 satellites for a slew of uses.They are planned to be released over the period from 2017 to 2021, according to a top official. The headquarters of ISRO is in Bengaluru.

John Young, Astronaut dies at 87

7 : John Young, a legendary US astronaut who went into space six times, orbited the moon and then walked on its craggy surface, has died, NASA has announced.Young was a man of many firsts: the only astronaut to fly in the Gemini Apollo and space shuttle programmes. While in the navy, Young set world records for the fastest ascension from a standing start in an F-4 Phantom II jet.

ISRO to launch 31 satellites in one go

ISRO would launch 31 satellites, including India’s Cartosat-2 series earth observation space craft, in a single mission on January 10.The mission will be the first ‘Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle’ (PSLV) mission after the unsuccessful launch of the navigation satellite IRNSS-1H in August this year.The mission’s main payload would be India’s Cartosat-2 series earth observation satellite.

SpaceX unveils its biggest rocket

SpaceX’s biggest rocket till date, the Falcon Heavy, has been raised on the Cape Canaveral launchpad for the first time.The rocket will look to push forward Elon Musk’s vision of making humans an inter-planetary species.It will have its maiden journey out of Earth’s orbit next month.

President Dedicates 4 Projects to AP

President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, dedicated 4 projects to Andhra Pradesh Government at a function held at Velagapudi, Andhra Pradesh.The Projects were Andhra Pradesh Fibregrid Project, Andhra Pradesh Surveillance Project, Drone Project, and Free Space Optical Communication (FSOC) system.The President focused on the 24/7 hyper-connected world and the online presence of the government.

SAC developing new Remote Sensor camera

The Space Application Centre Ahmedabad is all set to develop a new advanced hi-tech “Remote Sensor” camera with a capacity to capture images from a height of over 300 kms.The Camera will be fully indigenous, living up to “Make in India” concept. It will be an improvement on the existing application used for infrastructure development works, soil management and even security-related tasks.

NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless dies

Former NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless, the first person to fly in space without tethers, passed away. He was 80 years old.Bruce McCandless performed the famous spacewalk in 1984, during which he did not use restrictive tethers and umbilicals.He has been honoured with numerous awards like American Expeditionary Service Medal, NASA Space Flight Medal etc.

UAE launches its 1st astronaut programme

Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum has launched UAE’s 1st astronaut programme aimed at sending 4 Emirati astronauts to International Space Station.UAE has announced plans to become the 1st Arab country to send an unmanned probe to orbit Mars by 2021, naming it “Hope”.The program would make UAE one of only a handful of states in the Middle East to have sent a person into space.

Planet Labs to launch 4 satellites

Planet Labs Inc said four of its Dove satellites will be launched aboard India’s PSLV-C40 mission, scheduled to fly in January 2018.Planet Labs Inc, a US-based integrated aerospace, and data analytics company.The primary payload for PSLV-C40 mission is Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Cartosat-2 Series satellite, and Planet Lab’s four satellites will ride as secondary payload.

CMFRI joins hands with ISRO

The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute has joined hands with ISRO to identify potential fishing zone, an area in the sea where fishes are seen in abundance. In the first phase, CMFRI and the Space Applications Centre of ISRO have jointly launched a research project for identifying, forecasting and monitoring PFZ in coastal and offshore waters of Tamil Nadu.

Global Conference On Cyber Space

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the fifth edition of the Global Conference on Cyber Space or GCCS in Delhi. The theme of the two-day conference is Cyber4All: A Secure and Inclusive Cyberspace for Sustainable Development. GCCS 2017 will give the world’s cyber community a unique opportunity to learn from global experience and expert insight.

Seminar on Indian Space Programme

The International Seminar on Indian Space Programme was inaugurated on 20 November. ‘Trends and Opportunities for Industry’ named seminar is being organised by Indian Space Research Organisation. The objective of this two-day conference is to deliberate on the best practices, pursue the ongoing discussion process to support further work of India’s Space Sector.

Global Conference on Cyber Space 2017

India, for the first time ever, is going to host the Global Conference on Cyber Space on 23 & 24 November 2017, at Aerocity, New Delhi. It is one of the world’s largest conferences in the field of Cyber Space and related issues. It was incepted in 2011 in London and the fourth version GCCS 2015 was held on April 16-17, 2015 in The Hague, Netherlands which saw participation from 97 countries.

Asgardia launched Asgardia-1 into space

The Space Kingdom of Asgardia (virtual nation) launched its first satellite ‘Asgardia-1’ into space from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The Asgardia – so-called ‘virtual nation’ is the project of Russian scientist and billionaire Igor Ashurbeyli. The Asgardia-1 satellite, which is about the size of a loaf of bread, contains half a terabyte of data

India’s first co-working space launched

Independent workplace provider WorkoLab unveiled its first co-working space in Gurgaon, Haryana and in Pusa Road, New Delhi. Co-working spaces offered by WorkoLab also provide research guidance by India’s youngest scientific minds with an aim to infuse innovation into the start-up idea. WorkoLab is planning to launch 100+ centres in next three years across the globe.

X-ray polarisation of Crab pulsar

AstroSat, India’s multi-wavelength space telescope, has successfully accomplished the extremely difficult task of measuring X-ray polarisation. In the paper ‘Nature Astronomy’, the team has documented the results of their 18-month study of the Crab pulsar in the Taurus Constellation. This measurement puts up a strong challenge to prevailing theories of high energy X-ray emission from pulsars

China launches two navigation satellites

China has launched two BeiDou-3 satellites into space through a single carrier rocket. The two newly-launched satellites represent the third phase of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System. This system will provide services for countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, and form a complete global satellite navigation system by 2020.

Astronauts to install new camera system

Two NASA astronauts have successfully completed a spacewalk to install a new camera system outside the International Space Station. This has replaced a blown fuse and installed a new high definition camera on the starboard truss of the station. This was the fifth spacewalk of Bresnik’s career – 32 hours total spacewalking – and the third for Acaba – 9 hours and 46 minutes total spacewalking.

SpaceX launches 10 satellites

SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket carrying 10 satellites to bolster the global data communications network for Virginia-based company, Iridium. The white rocket blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force base in California. About seven minutes after launch, the tall portion of the Falcon 9, known as the first stage, returned to Earth for an upright landing.

World Space Week – October 4 -10

World Space Week is observed all over the world from 4th to 10th October 2017. It was declared as World Space Week in 1999. It was to mark two big events, first, on October 4th, 1957 Sputnik 1 was launched and second, the signing of The Outer Space Treaty on October 10th 1967. World Space Week theme for 2017 is ‘Exploring New Worlds In Space’.

First space station near Moon

Russia & US have agreed to cooperate on a NASA-led project to build the 1st lunar space station, part of a long-term project to send humans to Mars. Deep Space Gateway will allow mankind to eventually undertake space flights to Mars & elsewhere in the Solar System. The project envisages building a crew-tended spaceport in lunar orbit that would serve as a gateway to deep space & lunar surface

Australia announces new space agency

Australia will create its own space agency in an attempt to cash in on a $420 billion aeronautical industry and create thousands of new jobs. A national space agency will ensure a strategic long-term plan that supports the development and application of space technologies and grows the domestic space industry of Australia. Most developed nations have a space agency, including New Zealand.

China issues stamp

China has issued a commemorative stamp in honour of the world’s largest radio telescope located in Guizhou province. With an investment of 1.2 billion yuan, the telescope is single-dish with a diameter of half a kilometre. The telescope is designed to probe space for the faintest signs of life and is sensitive to any electromagnetic interference.

UPI enabled digital payments

Airtel Payments Bank has become the 1st payments bank in India to integrate Unified Payments Interface on its digital platform. It will allow customers to create their personalised UPI handles on Airtel app & enable them to make digital payments in both offline & online space. Customers can also link their savings accounts to any of their UPI handles on apps like BHIM or UPI of other banks.

NASA finds ‘shape-shifting’ bacteria

Bacterial cells treated with a common antibiotic have been spotted changing shape to survive while aboard the International Space Station. The way bacteria act in near-zero gravity environments could pose a serious problem for treating astronauts with infections. The group of researchers was led by Luis Zea of the University of Colorado.

India, Afghanistan exchange four pacts

India and Afghanistan exchanged four pacts in areas of health, transport, space and new development partnership. The agreements were exchanged after delegation level talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani in New Delhi. India will also supply wheat to Afghanistan in coming weeks through Chahbahar port.

SpaceX launches super-secret shuttle

SpaceX has launched the Air Force’s super-secret space shuttle, a technology tester capable of spending years in orbit. It’s the fifth flight for one of these crewless minishuttles, known as the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle. This is the first time SpaceX has provided a lift for the experimental mini-shuttle.

TRAPPIST-1 planets likely to have water

The Earth-sized planets orbiting the TRAPPIST-1 dwarf star may have substantial amounts of water and could be habitable. They had used Hubble Space Telescope, a joint project of European Space Agency & NASA. The seven Earth-sized planets (named TRAPPIST-1b, c, d, e, f, g and h) were discovered in 2017.

Peggy Whitson returns to Earth

A record-shattering NASA astronaut is set to return to Earth, finishing a 288-day mission that put her over the top as the American who has spent the most cumulative amount of time in space. She is also the oldest female astronaut in the history of space exploration. She is eighth on the all-time space endurance list, NASA said.

1st Private Sector-Built Satellite Fails

India’s first private sector built satellite IRNSS-1H failed after its launch from Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh. Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System is an independent regional navigation satellite system developed by India on par with US-based GPS. It was due to a “trivial issue” of satellite’s protective heat shield not getting separated & dropping off that led to failure

ISRO all set to launch IRNSS-1H

Indian Space Research Organisation is all set to launch PSLV-C39 carrying Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. The satellite IRNSS-1H is a part of the indigenous navigation system called ‘NavIC,’ that was initially planned to have a constellation of 7 satellites. Like its other IRNSS predecessors, IRNSS-1H also carries 2 types of payloads such as navigation payload & ranging payload.

Jammu gets Rs. 200 crore funds

Over Rs. 200 crore funds have been allocated for Jammu under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation. Several major towns of the state would also be covered under the AMRUT programme so that they are replete with all modern facilities of urban living. Funds have been allocated for development of various sectors like urban transport, green spaces, drainage, and sewerage.

GIC to acquire stake in DLF rental arm

In the biggest FDI deal ever in India’s real estate space, Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC has agreed to acquire 33.34% stake in DLF Cyber City Developers for $1.39 bn. In addition, DCCDL will also buy back Rs. 3,000 cr of preference shares held by promoters in 2 installments. DLF’s net debt is close to Rs. 26,000 cr, hence the deal comes as a boost in the arm for its deleveraging plans.

Taiwan launches 1st homegrown satellite

Taiwan’s first locally built satellite Formosat-5 has been launched into space from an air base in the US. The Formosat-5 rode on a Falcon 9 rocket owned by private spaceflight company SpaceX. The satellite is equipped with Complementary Metal-oxide-semiconductor sensors to observe the Earth. The launch is seen as a great leap that demonstrates Taiwan’s technological progress.

FICCI’s Healthcare Personality award

Dr. Nanda Kumar Jairam, CEO, Chairman & Group Medical Director, Columbia Asia Hospitals, India, has been awarded ‘Healthcare Personality of the Year’ award. He was given the award at 9th Healthcare Excellence Awards instituted by FICCI. The Healthcare Excellence Awards by FICCI is an attempt to recognise the contributions of those who have set benchmarks of excellence in the healthcare space.

Satellite to help astronauts talk

NASA has launched the latest in a series of satellites aimed at ensuring astronauts at the International Space Station can communicate with Earth. Boeing-made Tracking & Data Relay Satellite soared into space from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It will facilitate space-to-ground communication for NASA’s low-Earth orbit operations. It will support critical space communication into the mid-2020s

SpaceX to launch super-computer to space

SpaceX is set to launch an unmanned cargo ship towards International Space Station, including a super-computer that could direct astronauts on deep-space missions. Liftoff of Falcon 9 rocket carrying Dragon cargo ship will take place from Florida. This is 12th official trip for SpaceX, which has $1.6bn contract with NASA to supply astronauts living in orbit over 20 such back & forth journeys

Space Station to get 1st supercomputer

The International Space Station is expected to get its first supercomputer next week. Hewlett Packard Enterprise will launch a supercomputer into space on the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft as part of a joint experiment with NASA. The system, called the Spaceborne Computer, is designed to last for a year, which is roughly the amount of time it will take to travel to Mars.

Machine Learning Hub in Bengaluru

IBM has opened its 1st Machine Learning Hub in Bengaluru which would provide a physical space to organisations for hands-on training on machine learning. It will allow data professionals to work with IBM’s data science experts to understand & learn technology to analyse & interpret data. It will provides a platform for enterprises to collaborate & transform their data science processes.

Facility to boost launch capability

ISRO’s launch capacity will get a major boost with Satish Dhawan Space Centre set to get a second vehicle assembly building by end of this year. Rocket launch centre at Sriharikota consists of 2 launch pads, but just 1 vehicle assembly building for assembling final components of a rocket. 2nd assembly facility will allow ISRO to optimally utilise both launch pads, reducing the launch timings

India to see launch of two moon missions

India will witness launch of 2 lunar missions from Indian soil early next year. ISRO will launch its Chandrayaan-2 mission, an advanced version of its previous 2018 mission with the objective of deeper lunar surface probe. The other mission is by Team Indus, a group of space enthusiasts who want to unfurl the tricolour on moon’s surface as part of a global lunar competition.

UR Rao passes away

Former ISRO chairman and renowned scientist UR Rao passed away. Rao served as the chairman of ISRO for about 10 years, was conferred the Padma Vibhushan in 2017 and was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1976. He had launched India’s first satellite Aryabhata in 1975. For his immense contribution to development of India’s space technology, Rao was inducted by IAF in 2016 into its Hall of Fame.

Assistance for construction of school

India has extended Nepalese Rupees 66.44 million as financial assistance for construction of school buildings in Nepal. Assistance under Small Development Programme Scheme is for infrastructure development for education. New infrastructure would provide much-needed classroom space and would create an improved environment for learning and contribute to the development of education facilities.

India to Host Conference on Cyber Space

India will be hosting the 5th Global Conference on Cyber Space in 2017, one of the world’s largest conference on Cyber Space & related issues. Narendra Modi will be inaugurating the conference whose theme will be based on Cyber4All: An Inclusive, Sustainable, Developmental, Safe & Secure Cyberspace. The 2 day conference will see participation of around 2000 delegates from over 100 countries.

ISRO battery to power e-vehicle

Indian Space Research Organisation has approved commercial use of its indigenously developed lithium-ion battery. Use of ISRO’s indigenous battery technology is bound to reduce the cost of e-vehicles, whose manufacture is currently dependent on costly, imported parts. It has been developed by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and is currently used in satellites & launch vehicles like GSLV, PSLV.

Made in India micro circuit boards

18 : The Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET), Thrissur, has developed low-cost microwave printed circuit boards. The boards are required in strategic applications such as space, defence, and atomic energy. This is one of the major steps in the indigenisation of electronic materials drive, especially for wireless communication sectors

Russia launches 73 satellites

Russian space agency Roscosmos successfully launched an imaging satellite and 72 micro-satellites into the orbit. For the first time in the world, such a complex and large mission has been developed and implemented. The 72 small satellites include those made by Japan, Germany and Canada along with 62 nanosatellites known as CubeSats, developed by the United States.

India, Israel ink 7 agreements

India and Israel signed as many as seven agreements on areas including space, tech, water and agriculture. A MoU was signed for setting up of USD 40 million worth India-Israel Industrial Research and Development and Technical Innovation Fund. Separate MoUs were signed on cooperation in GEO-LEO optical link and cooperation in Electric Propulsion for small satellites.

Japan reveals plans to put a man on moon

Japan has revealed ambitious plans to put an astronaut on the Moon around 2030. This is the first time Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has said that it aims to send an astronaut beyond the International Space Station. JAXA plan would involve making use of NASA’s proposed Deep Space Gateway in cislunar space, which would serve as the jumping-off point for expeditions to the lunar surface.

Communication satellite GSAT-17 launched

Communication satellite GSAT-17 was successfully launched by a heavy duty rocket of Arianespace from spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana. It is designed to provide continuity of services of operational satellites in C, extended C & S bands. It has equipment to aid meteorology forecasts and search & rescue operations across the sub-continent. This is 3rd satellite launch by ISRO this month.

SpaceX launches 10 satellites

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket succeeded in launching 10 communication satellites into the orbit. The rocket carried the 2nd batch of new satellites for Iridium Communications, which is replacing its fleet with a next-generation constellation of satellites. 7 minutes after liftoff, rocket’s first-stage booster returned to earth and landed on a floating platform on a ship in the Pacific Ocean.

NASA finds 10 new Earth-like planets

NASA has announced the discovery of 10 rocky, Earth-sized planets in our Milky Way Galaxy that could potentially have liquid water and support life. These planets were orbiting their suns at a distance similar to Earth’s orbit around the sun. This discovery brings the total number of suspected exoplanets founded by the Kepler space telescope to be more than 4,000.

Second-hottest month in 137 years

According to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by NASA scientists May 2017 was the second hottest month in a span of 137 years. May 2016 was the hottest on record, this year’s May temperature was 0.05 degrees Celsius cooler than last year. The analysis was conducted by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies which assembled data from 6300 meteorological stations around the world.

1 Million Dollar Fund for BRICS Media

The Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping has signaled its intent to expand its footprint in the global media space, with the injection of a $1 million fund. The plan will promote six objectives, including “balanced reporting”— a view shared by several speakers at the forum who called for alternative media narrative, which did not take the cue from Washington or London.

NASA hires Raja Chari

NASA has chosen 12 new astronauts, including an Indian-American who will be trained for missions into Earth orbit and to deep space. Indian-orgin Lt. Col Raja Chari, a commander of the 461st Flight Test Squadron is a part of the squad. He is the 3rd Indian-origin NASA astronaut after Sunita Williams and late Kalpana Chawla. This is the largest group NASA has selected in almost 2 decades.

ISRO launches heaviest rocket

ISRO launched India’s heaviest rocket GSLV-Mk III along with a communications satellite GSAT-19 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The 43.43m rocket that weighs 640 tonnes is capable of lifting payloads of up to 4000 kg into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. The rocket’s cryogenic engine has been developed by space scientists indigenously. It was developed in 15 years at a cost of ` 300 crore.

SpaceX launches 1st recycled cargo ship

4 : SpaceX has launched its first recycled cargo ship to the International Space Station. An unmanned Falcon rocket lifted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center with a Dragon capsule that made a station delivery nearly three years ago. When this refurbished Dragon reaches the orbiting lab it will be the first returning craft. This is SpaceX’s 11th mission under a NASA contract.