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Gaganyaan Test Flight Successful, Crew Escape Module Touches Down

NEW DELHI, Oct 21: ISRO's unmanned test flight for its first human spaceflight mission 'Gaganyaan' today lifted off from Sriharikota, the first landmark in India's ambitious space mission. Saturday's rocket tested the emergency escape system of its crew module, which separated from the thruster and made a soft sea landing about 10 minutes after the launch.

This mission was conducted to test the efficiancy of the vehicle's crew escape system, which will be used in case astronauts need to eject in case of an emergency.

"We are very happy to announce the success of the mission. The purpose of the mission was to demonstrate the crew escape system. The vehicle went slightly above the speed of sound, before it initiated the crew escape system," Indian Space Research Organisation S Somanath said from the mission centre.

"The escape system took the crew module away from the vehicle and subsequent operations including the touch-down at the sea have been very well accomplished," he added.

Test Vehicle D1 mission was scheduled for a lift-off from the first launch pad at 8 am which was revised to 8.45 am. But just 5 seconds before the launch, the countdown stopped. ISRO identified the cause and successfully pulled off the test at 10am.

The test vehicle mission is the predecessor to the Gaganyaan programme which aims to send humans into space on a Low Earth Orbit of 400kms for three days and bring them safely back to the Earth.

India will demonstrate its human spaceflight capabilities in a mission called Gaganyaan, scheduled to launch in 2024. The country will set up a space station by 2035 and work on a Venus orbiter as well as a Mars lander.

'No Signals: Chandrayaan-3's Lander, Rover Still In Sleep Mode

NEW DELHI, Sept 22: India's space agency ISRO made efforts today to re-establish communication with rover Pragyan and lander Vikram, that are stationed near the south polar region of the moon, to ascertain their wake-up condition.

The rover and the lander were put to sleep mode and were "safely parked" on September 2 after the lunar night had set in. One day on the Moon is equivalent to 14 days on Earth.

ISRO, in its update on the Chandrayaan-3 Mission, said, "No signals have been received from them. Efforts to establish contact will continue."

The space agency had earlier planned to re-establish communication today. The lander and the rover were put into sleep mode on September 4 and 2 respectively.

According to the mission directives, as dawn breaks and sunlight is back on the south-polar region of the Moon, the solar panels of the lander and the rover are expected to be optimally charged soon, and ISRO will try to revive them and check their health and ability to function.

“We have put the lander and rover on sleep mode because the temperature would go as low as minus 120-200 degrees Celsius. From September 20 onwards, sunrise will be going on at the Moon, and by September 22 we hope that the solar panel and other things will be fully charged, so we will be trying to revive both the lander and rover, "ISRO's Space Applications Centre Director Nilesh Desai earlier told PTI.

Before being put into sleep mode, lander Vikram made a touchdown on the moon's surface again after its engines were fired again and it was elevated by about 40 cm and hopped for about 30-40 cm.

"Vikram Lander has exceeded Chandrayaan-3 mission objectives and successfully completed a hop experiment. On command, it fired the engines, elevated itself by about 40 cm as expected and landed safely at a distance of 30 - 40 cm away.”

After the historic landing, the Lander (Vikram) and the rover (Pragyan) performed different tasks on the lunar surface, including detecting the presence of sulphur and recording relative temperature.

iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus With Dynamic Island, 48-Megapixel Camera Launched in India: Price, Specifications

CUPERTINO, Sept 13: iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus were launched globally on Tuesday at Apple's 'Wonderlust' launch event. Both handsets feature a few notable hardware upgrades over last year's iPhone models. These include the company's A16 Bionic chipset, Dynamic Island and a 48-megapixel primary camera — features that were available on last year's Pro models. This year, all of Apple's iPhone models are equipped with a USB Type-C port, making them the first handsets to arrive without Apple's proprietary Lightning charging port.

iPhone 15 pricing in India starts at Rs. 79,900 while the iPhone 15 Plus is priced at Rs. 89,900 for the base 128GB variant. Both phones will be available in Black, Blue, Green, Pink, and Yellow colour options, according to the company. While pre-orders for the phones begin on September 15, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will go on sale on September 22. The handsets will be available with up to 512GB storage.

The iPhone 15 is a dual SIM (Nano) smartphone that sports a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with Ceramic Shield material for additional protection. This year, Apple has also equipped the iPhone 15 with the Dynamic Island that was introduced on the iPhone 14 Pro models last year. The display offers up to 2000 nits of peak brightness and the handset has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. The iPhone 15 Plus has a larger 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display.

Unlike last year's model, the primary camera on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models is a 48-megapixel wide angle camera with a 2um quad pixel sensor and an f/1.6 aperture. The smartphone is also equipped with a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera with an f/1.6 aperture and sensor shift stabilisation. The handset is equipped with a 12-megapixel TrueDepth camera on the front, located in the new camera island for selfies and video chats.

Apple's new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are equipped with the company's A16 Bionic chip that powered last year's iPhone 14 Pro models. The handsets are the first phones from Apple to feature a USB Type-C port (instead of Apple's proprietary Lightning connector). There's no word from the iPhone maker on the amount of RAM or battery capacities on both handsets, but we can expect to find out additional details through third-party sources over the coming weeks.

India's Sun Mission Aditya-L1 Takes Selfie, Clicks Images Of Earth, Moon

NEW DELHI, Sept 7: India's ambitious spacecraft mission, Aditya-L1, today sent pictures of the Earth and the Moon clicked as it heads to its destination Lagrangian point (L1) which is located 1.5 million km from the Earth.

The images were shared by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Twitter along with a selfie that Aditya-L1 had clicked.

"Aditya-L1, destined for the Sun-Earth L1 point, takes a selfie and images of the Earth and the Moon," the Bengaluru-headquartered national space agency said.

The images show VELC (Visible Emission Line Coronagraph) and SUIT (Solar Ultraviolet Imager) instruments as seen by the camera on-board Aditya-L1 on September 4, 2023.

The mission lifted off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on September 2.

The spacecraft has already completed two earth-bound orbital manoeuvres and will perform two more before placing in the transfer orbit towards the Lagrange point L1. Aditya-L1 is expected to arrive at the intended orbit at the L1 point after 125 days.

Major objectives of mission include the study of the physics of solar corona and its heating mechanism, the solar wind acceleration, coupling and dynamics of the solar atmosphere, solar wind distribution and temperature anisotropy, and origin of Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) and flares and near-earth space weather.

The solar probe is helping ISRO notch up its second feat in less than a month after the country beat others to the lunar south pole in late August.

India's other ongoing projects include a human spaceflight program that aims to launch astronauts into orbit for the first time possibly by 2025, ISRO Chairman S Somanath said.

'A Hop Experiment': Chandrayaan-3 Lander Makes A Moon Touchdown, Again

NEW DELHI, Sept 4: Days after Chandrayaan-3's successful moon landing, the Vikram Lander has made a touchdown on the lunar surface again, the Indian space agency said today.

"Vikram Lander has exceeded Chandrayaan-3 mission objectives and successfully completed a "hop experiment"," said the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

"On command, it fired the engines, elevated itself by about 40 cm as expected and landed safely at a distance of 30 - 40 cm away," ISRO said.

ISRO said this achievement "kickstart enthuses future sample return and human missions."

The space agency said that Vikram's systems are healthy and performed nominally. "Vikram's systems deployed ramp, equipment folded back and redeployed successfully after the experiment," it said.

Last week, the Chandrayaan-3 mission's Pragyan rover was "set into Sleep mode" but with batteries charged and receiver on.

"Hoping for a successful awakening for another set of assignments. Else, it will forever stay there as India's lunar ambassador," the space agency said.

India made history as the first country to land near the south pole of the moon with its Chandrayaan-3 lander last month.

Chandrayaan-3's soft, textbook touchdown after a failed attempt in 2019 has sparked widespread jubilation in the country. The landing, which came just days after a Russian lander crashed in the same region, is being seen as India's greatest scientific feat.

The country has been steadily matching the achievements of other space programmes at a fraction of their cost. ISRO's first Sun mission, Aditya-L1, was launched successfully last week. The key objectives of the mission are understanding the coronal heating and solar wind acceleration.

ISRO is slated to launch a three-day crewed mission into Earth's orbit by next year. It also plans a joint mission with Japan to send another probe to the Moon by 2025 and an orbital mission to Venus within the next two years.

ISRO Successfully Launches Sun Mission

SRIHARIKOTA, Sept 2: Days after scripting history by becoming the only nation to achieve a successful soft landing near the south pole of the moon, India added another feather to its space exploration cap on Saturday with the successful launch of the Aditya-L1 mission.

India's first solar space observatory mission was launched on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) XL from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 11.50 am. The separation of Aditya-L1 and its injection into an elliptical orbit around the Earth was successful and took about 63 minutes.

Aditya-L1 will be placed in the halo orbit around Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the sun-Earth system, which is about 1.5 million km from Earth. The journey to L1 will take 125 days.

Discovered by mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange, Lagrangian points are places in space where gravitational forces, acting between two objects, balance each other in such a way that spacecraft can remain in a fixed position with minimal fuel consumption

The L1 point is considered the most significant of the Lagrangian points for solar observations.

According to ISRO, the key objectives of the mission are understanding the coronal heating and solar wind acceleration; understanding initiation of Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), flares and near-Earth space weather; gaining knowledge of coupling and dynamics of the solar atmosphere; and getting a deeper understanding of solar wind distribution and temperature anisotropy (non-uniformity in different directions).

Solar wind refers to a continual stream of protons and electrons from the sun's corona, or outermost atmosphere, while coronal mass ejections are huge expulsions of coronal plasma and magnetic field lines ejected from the sun.

Aditya-L1 is carrying seven different payloads to conduct a detailed study of the sun, four of which will observe the light from the sun and the other three will measure in-situ parameters of the plasma and magnetic fields.

The primary payload, Visible Emission Line Coronagraph, will be sending 1,440 images per day to the ground station for analysis after it reaches the orbit around L1.

Chandrayaan-3's Rover Completes Assignments, Safely Parked, Put To Sleep

NEW DELHI, Sept 3: The Chandrayaan-3 mission's rover Pragyan has completed its assignments, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said today. The rover has been safely parked and put into sleep mode, ISRO said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

"Currently, the battery is fully charged. The solar panel is oriented to receive light at the next sunrise expected on September 22, 2023. The receiver is kept on," ISRO said.

"Hoping for a successful awakening for another set of assignments. Else, it will forever stay there as India's lunar ambassador," the space agency said.

The 26-kg, six-wheeled, solar-powered rover Pragyan is equipped to use its scientific instruments to record what the lunar soil and rocks are made of in the south polar region where Chandrayaan-3's lander Vikram touched down.

ISRO said APXS and LIBS payloads have been turned off and data from these payloads is transmitted to Earth via lander Vikram.

The APXS instrument is best suited for in situ analysis of the elemental composition of soil and rocks on the surface of planetary bodies having little atmosphere, such as the Moon. APXS observations have discovered the presence of interesting minor elements, including sulphur, apart from the major expected elements such as aluminium, silicon, calcium and iron.

The Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) instrument on board the rover has already confirmed the presence of sulphur.




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