Space for Prelims

IXPE Mission – UPSC Prelims

IXPE Mission: IXPE observatory is a joint effort of NASA and the Italian Space Agency. Aim: To study the most extreme and mysterious objects in the universe – supernova remnants, supermassive black holes, and dozens of other high-energy objects. Duration: The mission’s duration is 2 years. Instruments used: IXPE carries three state-of-the-art space telescopes. Each of the three telescopes hosts one light-weight …

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Laser Communications Relay Demonstration(LCRD) – UPSC Prelims

Laser Communications Relay Demonstration(LCRD): LCRD is NASA’s first-ever laser communications system. Purpose: It has been launched to help demonstrate the benefits of space-to-ground laser communications also called optical communications. Orbit: The LCRD payload is hosted onboard the US Department of Defense’s Space Test Program Satellite 6 (STPSat-6). It will be in a geosynchronous orbit over 35,000 km above Earth. Location …

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Dhawan-I – UPSC Prelims

Dhawan-I: Dhawan-1 is India’s first privately developed, fully cryogenic rocket engine. It runs on two high-performance rocket propellants – liquid natural gas (LNG) and liquid oxygen (LoX). Skyroot Aerospace, a Hyderabad-based space technology startup, has successfully test-fired the Dhawan-1 engine and is planning to launch Vikram-1 and Vikram-2 launch vehicles in a few years. The engine was …

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PASIPHAE Project – UPSC Prelims

Polar-Areas Stellar-Imaging in Polarisation High-Accuracy Experiment (PASIPHAE) is an international collaborative sky surveying project. Aim: To study the polarisation in the light coming from millions of stars. Features: The survey will use two high-tech optical polarimeters to observe the northern and southern skies, simultaneously. This will help us focus on capturing starlight polarisation of very faint stars …

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Exoplanets – UPSC Prelims

Exoplanets: Exoplanets are planets that orbit a star other than the Sun. The first confirmation of detection of exoplanets occurred in 1992. Astronomers study the physical properties of exoplanets with extreme accuracy as it can help them to explore the ones that could be similar to planet Earth and hence might be habitable.

Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) – UPSC Prelims

Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART): NASA will launch its first planetary defence test mission, named the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). The mission will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. DART is the first technology demonstration of the kinetic impactor technique. If successful, this technique could be used to mitigate the threat in case …

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Leonids Meteor Shower – UPSC Prelims

Leonids Meteor Shower? Leonids Meteor Shower was originally discovered in 1833. It contains debris that originated from a small comet called 55P/Tempel-Tuttle in the constellation Leo, which takes 33 years to orbit the sun. Every 33 years, a Leonid shower turns into a meteor storm, which is when hundreds to thousands of meteors can be seen every hour. The Leonids are …

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