PSLV-C53/DS-EO Mission


ISRO will launch PSLV-C53/DS-EO mission on 30th June, 2022 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.


(Image Source: ISRO)

  • PSLV-C53 is the second dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).
  • It will launch three foreign satellites and demonstrate the utilization of the spent upper stage of the launch vehicle.

Foreign Satellites

  • PSLV-C53 will carry three satellites - DS-EO, a 365 kg and NeuSAR, a 155 kg satellite both belonging to Singapore and built by Starec Initiative, Republic of Korea. Third satellite is a 2.8 kg Scoob-1 of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.

Technology Demonstration

  • The mission proposes to demonstrate the utilization of the spent upper stage of the launch vehicle as a stabilized platform for scientific payloads subsequent to the separation of the satellites.
  • The PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) activity will perform in-orbit scientific experiments using the spent PS4 stage as an orbital platform.
  • It is first time that PS4 stage would orbit the earth as a stabilized platform.
  • Attitude stabilization is achieved using a dedicated NGC system.
  • POEM derives the power from the solar panels mounted around the PS4 tank and a Li Ion battery.
  • It navigates using four sun sensors, a magnetometer, gyros & NavIC.
  • It carries dedicated control thrusters using Helium gas storage.
  • It is enabled with telecommand feature.
  • POEM carries six payloads including two from Indian Space Start-ups M/s Digantara and M/s Dhruva Aerospace, enabled though IN-SPACe and NSIL.

DAVINCI Mission of NASA


NASA will launch the Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry and Imaging (DAVINCI) mission in 2029.

  • The mission will be the first to study Venus through both flybys and descent.
  • The spacecraft is expected to explore the layered Venusian atmosphere and reach its surface by June 2031.
  • Only two NASA missions have previously visited the second planet from our sun -- Pioneer in 1978 and Magellan in the early '90s.

Mission Objective

  • DAVINCI, a flying analytical chemistry laboratory, will measure critical aspects of Venus’ massive atmosphere-climate system for the first time.
  • It will also provide the first descent imaging of the mountainous highlands of Venus while mapping their rock composition and surface relief at scales not possible from orbit.
  • The mission supports measurements of undiscovered gases present in small amounts and the deepest atmosphere, including the key ratio of hydrogen isotopes – components of water that help reveal the history of water, either as liquid water oceans or steam within the early atmosphere.

Spacecraft and Probe

  • Under the DAVINCI mission, NASA will send a spacecraft and a probe to Venus.
  • The mission’s carrier, relay and imaging spacecraft (CRIS) has two onboard instruments that will study the planet’s clouds and map its highland areas during flybys of Venus and will also drop a small descent probe with five instruments that will provide new measurements at very high precision during its descent to the hellish Venus surface.

Three Venus Gravity Assists

  • DAVINCI mission will make use of three Venus gravity assists, which will save fuel by using the planet’s gravity to change the speed and/or direction of the CRIS flight system.
  • The first two gravity assists will set CRIS up for a Venus flyby to perform remote sensing in the ultraviolet and the near infrared light, acquiring over 60 gigabits of new data about the atmosphere and surface.
  • The third Venus gravity assist will set up the spacecraft to release the probe for entry, descent, science, and touchdown, plus follow-on transmission to Earth.

Flyby & Descent

  • The first flyby of Venus will be six and half months after launch and it will take two years to get the probe into position for entry into the atmosphere over Alpha Regio with the goal of measuring the landscapes of Venus at scales ranging from 328 feet (100 meters) down to finer than one meter. Such scales enable lander style geologic studies in the mountains of Venus without requiring landing.
  • Once the CRIS system is about two days away from Venus, the probe flight system will be released along with the titanium three foot (one meter) diameter probe safely encased inside. The probe will begin to interact with the Venus upper atmosphere at about 75 miles (120 kilometers) above the surface. The science probe will commence science observations after jettisoning its heat shield around 42 miles (67 kilometers) above the surface. With the heat shield jettisoned, the probe’s inlets will ingest atmospheric gas samples for detailed chemistry measurements of the sort that have been made on Mars with the Curiosity rover. During its hour-long descent to the surface, the probe will also acquire hundreds of images as soon as it emerges under the clouds at around 100,000 feet (30,500 meters) above the local surface.

Other Future Mission to Venus

  • EnVision: EnVision (to be launched by 2031) is a European Space Agency-led mission in partnership with NASA. It will be the first mission to investigate Venus from its inner core to its upper atmosphere.
  • VERITAS: The VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy) mission of NASA (to be launched around 2028) will map the surface of planet Venus in high resolution.

EnVision will work in synergy with NASA’s forthcoming VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy) and DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging) missions to provide the most comprehensive study of Venus ever.

Some Interesting Features of Venus

  • A Day on Venus is longer than a Year: It takes Venus longer to rotate once on its axis than to complete one orbit of the Sun. That’s 243 Earth days to rotate once – the longest rotation of any planet in the Solar System – and only 224.7 Earth days to complete an orbit of the Sun.
  • Venus is hotter than Mercury – despite being further away from the Sun: Its mean temperature is 462°C. This is because of the high concentration of carbon dioxide in Venus’ atmosphere, which works to produce an intense greenhouse effect. Heat is trapped in the atmosphere like a blanket, causing the temperature of the planet to be much higher than its proximity to the Sun would suggest.
  • Unlike the other Planets in our Solar System, Venus spins clockwise on its Axis: All other planets spin anti-clockwise on their axis and orbit the Sun in an anti-clockwise direction. Venus also orbits the Sun anti-clockwise. The only other planet to spin in a weird direction is Uranus.
  • Venus is the second brightest natural object in the Night Sky after the Moon: The clouds of sulphuric acid in Venus’ atmosphere make it reflective and shiny, obscuring our view of its surface. Its brightness makes it visible even during the day.
  • Venus has 90 times the Atmospheric Pressure of Earth: That’s about the same as the pressure found at a depth of 1km in the Earth's oceans.

FRB 20190520B: New Fast Radio Burst Detected by Scientists


Astronomers have detected a radio signal coming from space, the second of its kind, which raises more questions about their origins.

  • The signal is coming from a galaxy believed to be nearly 3 billion light-years away. The detection of the new Fast Radio Burst (FRB), termed FRB 20190520B, raises some important questions about the origin and source of these signals.
  • FRBs: These are intense but brief flashes of radio frequency emissions and these typically last milliseconds. These are known to send out repeat radio waves multiple times.

Discovery

  • FRB 20190520B was detected using the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) in Guizhou, China in May 2019.
  • Scientists followed this up with monthly observations and detected nearly 75 bursts between April 2020 and September 2020.
  • The researchers localised FRB 20190520B using the US National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Karl G Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), which is a radio astronomy observatory located in central New Mexico.

Key Points

  • The source of FRB 20190520B is “co-located with a compact, persistent radio source and associated with a dwarf host galaxy of high specific-star-formation.”
  • The signal is supposed to be close to another unknown object, which is emitting a weaker radio signal.
  • This sort of combination has only been observed in another FRB. Researchers also observed that the object constantly emits weaker radio waves between bursts.