Nasa’s Juno probe completes first Jupiter flyby
- Nasa’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft has successfully executed its first flyby of Jupiter, passing just 4,200 kilometres above the gas giant’s swirling clouds – the closest contact ever achieved by a man-made probe with the king of planets.
- The flyby on August 27 was the first time Juno had its entire suite of science instruments activated and looking at the giant planet as the spacecraft zoomed past.
- During the closest approach with the gas-giant world, Juno passed about 4,200 kilometres above Jupiter’s clouds, travelling at 208,000 kilometres per hour with respect to the planet.
- There are 35 more close flybys of Jupiter planned during Juno’s mission scheduled to end in February 2018.
- Results from the spacecraft’s suite of instruments will be released down the road, a handful of images from Juno’s visible light imager – JunoCam – are expected to be released in the next couple of weeks.
- Those images will include the highest-resolution views of the Jovian atmosphere and the first glimpse of Jupiter’s north and south poles.
- The Juno spacecraft was launched on August 5, 2011, from Florida, and arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016.
ISRO successfully test-fires scramjet engine
- The Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV), a sounding rocket (research rocket) with a solid booster carrying advanced scramjet engines, was successfully flight-tested from the launch pad of the Sathish Dhawan Space Centre, also known as Sriharikota Range (SHAR), at Sriharikota.
- This first experimental mission of Indian Space Research Organisation is aimed at the realisation of an Air Breathing Propulsion System which uses hydrogen as fuel and oxygen from the atmosphere air as the oxidiser.
- The mission had a smooth countdown of 12 hours as the ATV with scramjet engines weighing 3277 kg. ISRO chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar and SHAR director P. Kunhikrishnan along with a host of space scientists were present at Sriharikota on the occasion.
- The ATV vehicle, which touched down in the Bay of Bengal approximately 320 km from Sriharikota after a flight of 300 seconds, was successfully tracked during its flight from the ground stations at Sriharikota.
- Technological challenges handled by ISRO scientists during the development of the scramjet engine include the design and development of hypersonic engine air intake, the supersonic combustor, proper thermal management and ground testing of the engines.
- India has become the fourth country to demonstrate the flight testing of a scramjet engines. This mission is a milestone for ISRO’s future space transportation system.
Govt plans Rs 2000 crore package for people displaced from PoK
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitching for the rights of those living in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan regions of Pakistan, the government has proposed a Rs 2,000-crore package for people displaced from PoK living in India.
- The home ministry is expected to place the details of the package before the Cabinet for approval soon.
- J&K government has identified 36,348 such families which will get around Rs 5.5 lakh each. Refugees from Pakistan, mostly from PoK, were settled in different parts of Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri districts over a period of time. They do not have the status of permanent residents.
- Some of the families were displaced during partition in 1947, and others during the 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan. The displaced people can cast their votes in Lok Sabha polls but not in the elections to the Jammu & Kashmir assembly.
- Jammu and Kashmir Sharanarthi Action Committee (JKSAC), an organisation representing the displaced people of PoK, has maintained that the package should not be seen as final settlement as Rs 9,200 crore was required to settle all of them.
- The NDA government had in January 2015 approved certain concessions for refugees from Pakistan settled in J&K after considering their problems. These include special recruitment drives for induction into paramilitary forces, equal employment opportunities in the state and admission for children of refugees in Kendriya Vidyalayas.
- The government has maintained that PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan are part of J&K. There have been reports that the government is planning to invite the diaspora from PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan for the next Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas to be held in Bengaluru.