GRBs last from a fraction of a second to several minutes, and are accompanied by the birth of a black hole…reports Asian Lite News
India’s AstroSat space telescope has achieved a significant milestone by detecting more than 600 Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB), each marking the death of a massive star or merging of neutron stars.
“The detection of the 600th GRB is a great demonstration of the continued undiminished performance of Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI) eight years after launch, and well after its design lifetime,” Dipankar Bhattacharya, the principal investigator for CZTI, said.
Dubbed as mini big-bangs, GRBs are the most energetic explosions in the universe, emitting more energy in seconds than the sun will emit in its entire lifetime, Gaurav Waratkar, a Ph.D student at IIT Bombay, who leads the study of GRBs with AstroSat, said.
GRBs last from a fraction of a second to several minutes, and are accompanied by the birth of a black hole.
Launched in 2015 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), AstroSat had a design life of five years, but continues to be in good health, making observations for astronomers.
The satellite is India’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory, equipped with a suite of payloads for simultaneously observing celestial objects across different wavelengths, from ultraviolet to X-rays.
“We are proud of what AstroSat has accomplished. To build upon this success, multiple institutes have come together and proposed to build Daksha, a next-generation GRB space telescope that will be far better than any such satellite worldwide. Daksha will be sensitive enough to detect in just over a year what CZTI did in eight,” Varun Bhalerao, associate professor at IIT-Bombay, said.
The 600th GRB detection by AstroSat’s CZTI detector was made on November 22, which was notified to astronomers across the world who could use it in their research on such a phenomenon and provide astronomers with invaluable data to explore the extreme conditions associated with these high-energy events.
“It is amazing to look at the data and have the opportunity to be the first one to view these explosions that happened billions of years ago,” Waratkar said.
He said since the 600th GRB, the CZTI has detected three more such events, the latest on Monday.
The minister said that the next significant development in the Indian space programme will be the Gaganyaan human spaceflight mission…reports Asian Lite News
India’s space economy is poised to reach USD 40 billion by 2040, and scientists will also enjoy a better working environment, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said.
The Minister of State for Science and Technology & Atomic Energy and Space (Independent Charge) said that some foreign agencies like the AKD have predicted that this figure could even go up to USD 100 billion by 2040.
“At present, our space economy is not very impressive, as we have just about USD 8 million. But we are moving in quantum jumps, and in the foreign satellite launch alone, we have earned about EUR 230–240 million for launching European satellites and about USD 170-180 million for launching American satellites,” Singh said.
He was speaking after inaugurating the 60thanniversary celebrations of ISRO’s rocket launch.
Singh said that with the establishment of the National Research Foundation, Anu Sandhan, a better model of similar foundations existing in US, a significant industry presence could be established. “With this, more than 70 per cent of our space resources are going to come from the non-government sector. So, this is also going to supplement our resources,” the minister said.
Agreeing with the fact that India did face a resource crunch in its space sector, he said, “We could tide it over with the great scientific acumen we have.” “We could even overtake other countries with that. Although they were the first to land a human on the Moon, Chandrayaan was the first to detect the H2O molecule,” the minister said. He said the ‘courageous’ decision of the political dispensation to open up the space sector to private players has been a game-changer. “This has supplemented our resources both fund-wise and knowledge-wise,” Singh added.
He said the opening up of the sector also helped popularise the concept of space science in the country. “The entire nation got involved in Chandrayaan. It was like the whole of science plus, the whole of the government plus, the whole of the nation,” Singh said.
The minister said that the next significant development in the Indian space programme will be the Gaganyaan human spaceflight mission, for which one of the trial flight test has already happened. He said by 2025, India would be sending a man to space and bringing him back safely. “Two to three months before it, we will have a female robot going to space, which could mimic all the actions of an astronaut,” the minister added.
Falcon 9’s first stage returned and landed on A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean….reports Asian Lite News
U.S. private space company SpaceX launched 23 more Starlink satellites into orbit on Wednesday.
The satellites were launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the U.S. state of Florida at 2:47 a.m. Wednesday Eastern Time, according to SpaceX.
Falcon 9’s first stage returned and landed on A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
The company later confirmed the deployment of the 23 satellites.
Starlink will deliver high-speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable, according to SpaceX.
Meanwhile SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that the recent test flight of SpaceX’s Starship did not damage the launch pad.
The Starship successfully lifted off under the power of all 33 Raptor engines on the Super Heavy Booster and made it through stage separation on Saturday evening.
The booster, however, experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly shortly after stage separation while Starship’s engines fired for several minutes on its way to space, SpaceX said.
During the first test flight in April, the integrated Starship and Super Heavy rocket blew apart the launchpad shortly after the launch. It spewed debris up to 20 acres outside the area that federal regulators initially expected.
To prevent this, one of the “several upgrades” that SpaceX did was to install a water-spewing steel plate beneath the pad. Musk said the plate prevented damage to the Starship launch pad so that no additional changes are needed to it before the next launch.
“Just inspected the Starship launch pad and it is in great condition! No refurbishment needed to the water-cooled steel plate for next launch,” Musk said in a post on X.
The launch of Starship has also again triggered an investigation by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) over the booster explosion.
“A mishap occurred during the @SpaceX Starship OFT-2 launch from Boca Chica, Texas, on Saturday, November 18. The anomaly resulted in a loss of the vehicle. No injuries or public property damage have been reported,” the aviation regulator posted on X.
“The FAA will oversee the @SpaceX-led mishap investigation to ensure SpaceX complies with its FAA-approved mishap investigation plan and other regulatory requirements,” the agency added.
Meanwhile, the billionaire also said that the next flight of Starship is likely before Christmas.
“Starship Flight 3 hardware should be ready to fly in three to four weeks. There are three ships in final production in the high bay (as can be seen from the highway),” Musk said.
Starship is the tallest rocket ever assembled. The fully-integrated Starship and Super Heavy rocket stands 394 feet tall, and is about 30 feet in diameter.
SpaceX aims to use Starship as a fully reusable transportation system to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, help humanity return to the Moon, and travel to Mars and beyond.
After twists & turns, the Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO, successfully flight tests crew escape system, module for human space mission, reports Venkatachari Jagannathan
After some twists and turns and suspense, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Saturday successfully flight tested the crew escape system, crew module that would carry the country’s astronauts sometime in 2025.
The mission was called Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1).
Announcing the mission’s success ISRO Chairman S.Somanath said: “The TV-D1 mission was to demonstrate the crew escape system for Gaganyaan (the name for Indian human space mission).”
He said the parachutes opened and the crew module touch down on the Bay of Bengal at the required velocity.
The crew module will be recovered from the sea by the Indian Navy ship and brought to the Chennai Port.
The space agency will then study the data.
On the twists and turns, Somanath said owing to the weather and poor visibility conditions the launch which was originally slated at 8 a.m. was postponed to 8.45 a.m. And just five seconds before the lift off from the first launch pad, the computer systems held back the rocket due to a non-conformance in the system.
He said the issue was identified and sorted out quickly.
The rocket had to be filled with gases and then the mission happened.
Measuring about 35 tall and weighing about 44 tonnes, the test vehicle/rocket uses a modified Vikas engine which is powered by liquid fuel.
The ISRO had modified the L40 booster Vikas engine used to power the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) formerly called GSLV-Mk2.
The crew module and crew escape system are mounted at the fore end of the rocket.
Five seconds to lift off and while one was able to see some fire and some smoke from the rocket’s tail, the full fledged ignition did not happen and the automatic launch sequence was put on hold.
This in turn brought the memories of the first flight of GSLV-D1 way back in March 2001. Then, the rocket was held back just one second before it was to lift off carrying communication satellite GSAT-1.
Even then some initial ignition was noticed but soon it stopped.
The rocket was subsequently launched on April 18, 2001 Be that as it may, with the lift off on hold, Somanath had announced postponement of the TV-D1 launch to a future date.
However the ISRO team quickly checked and sorted out the reason for the launch put on hold. The test rocket finally lifted off from the first launch pad here at 10 a.m. and the whole mission got completed in about nine minutes.
“It was a big training for the Gaganyaan mission,” Somanath said.
The entire flight sequence — from the test rocket’s lift off to the crew module touchdown at the sea with the deployment of parachutes – took about nine minutes.
According to ISRO, the mass of the crew module is 4,520 kg and is a single walled unpressurised aluminium structure.
At about 61 seconds into the flight and at an altitude of 11.9 km, the test vehicle/rocket and the crew escape system got separated. Soon after that the crew module and crew escape system got separated.
Subsequently, the abort sequence was executed autonomously commencing with the separation of crew escape system and deployment of the series of parachutes, finally culminating in the safe touchdown of the crew module in the sea, about 10 km from the coast of Sriharikota.
The crew module will house the astronauts in a pressurised earthlike atmospheric condition during the real human space mission.
Currently the crew module for the Gaganyaan mission is in different stages of development.
The TV-D1 is an unpressurised version but has an overall size and mass of actual Gaganyaan crew module and would house all the systems for the deceleration and recovery.
The avionics systems in the crew module are in a dual redundant mode configuration for navigation, sequencing, telemetry, instrumentation and power.
According to ISRO, the crew module in this mission is extensively instrumented to capture the flight data for evaluation of the performance of various systems.
The deceleration of the crew module was done with parachutes with pyro systems when it was at about an altitude of 17 km.
The crew module finally splashed down on Bay of Bengal at about 10 km from the launch pad at Sriharikota.
This Test Vehicle mission with this crew module is a significant milestone for the overall Gaganyaan programme as a near-complete system is integrated for a flight test.
The success of this test flight has set the stage for the remaining qualification tests and unmanned missions, leading to the first Gaganyaan mission with Indian astronauts.
The Polymathic AI team includes experts in physics, astrophysics, mathematics, artificial intelligence and neuroscience…reports Asian Lite News
An international team of scientists have launched a new research collaboration that will leverage the same technology behind ChatGPT to build an AI-powered tool for scientific discovery.
While ChatGPT deals in words and sentences, the new initiative, called Polymathic AI, will learn from numerical data and physics simulations from across scientific fields to aid scientists in modeling everything from supergiant stars to the Earth’s climate.
“This will completely change how people use AI and machine learning in science,” said Polymathic AI principal investigator Shirley Ho, a group leader at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Astrophysics in New York City, US.
The idea behind Polymathic AI “is similar to how it’s easier to learn a new language when you already know five languages,” said Ho.
Starting with a large, pre-trained model, known as a foundation model, can be both faster and more accurate than building a scientific model from scratch. That can be true even if the training data isn’t obviously relevant to the problem at hand.
“Polymathic AI can show us commonalities and connections between different fields that might have been missed,” said co-investigator Siavash Golkar, a guest researcher at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Astrophysics.
The Polymathic AI team includes experts in physics, astrophysics, mathematics, artificial intelligence and neuroscience. Polymathic AI’s project will learn using data from diverse sources across physics and astrophysics (and eventually fields such as chemistry and genomics, its creators say) and apply that multidisciplinary savvy to a wide range of scientific problems.
ChatGPT has well-known limitations when it comes to accuracy. Polymathic AI’s project will avoid many of those pitfalls, Ho said, by treating numbers as actual numbers, not just characters on the same level as letters and punctuation. The training data will also use real scientific datasets that capture the physics underlying the cosmos.
Transparency and openness are a big part of the project, Ho said. “We want to make everything public. We want to democratise AI for science in such a way that, in a few years, we’ll be able to serve a pre-trained model to the community that can help improve scientific analyses across a wide variety of problems and domains.”
The ISRO chief further said that apart from the software, ISRO is also going ahead with various tests focusing on the safety of the hardware chips inside the rockets…reports Asian Lite News
S Somanath, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Saturday said that the country’s space agency is facing more than 100 cyber-attacks daily.
Somanath, while speaking on the concluding session of the 16th edition of the c0c0n, a two-day international cyber conference in Kerala’s Kochi, further said that the possibility of cyber-attacks is much higher in rocket technology which uses ultra-modern software and chip-based hardware.
“The organisation is equipped with a robust cybersecurity network to face such attacks,” he said.
Notably, the conference was organised by the Kerala Police and Information Security Research Association here.
The ISRO chief further said that apart from the software, ISRO is also going ahead with various tests focusing on the safety of the hardware chips inside the rockets.
“Earlier, the way of monitoring one satellite has changed to a way of software monitoring many satellites at a time. This indicates the growth of this sector. During COVID, it was possible to launch from a remote location which shows the triumph of technology,” he added.
He further said that there are different types of satellites that branch out for navigation, maintenance, etc.
“And apart from these, satellites which help the daily life of common people are also present. All these are controlled by different types of software. Cyber security is very important to protect all of these,’ Somanath added.
He said advanced technology is a boon and a threat at the same time.
“We can face the challenges posed by cyber criminals using technology like artificial intelligence with the same technology. There should be research and hard work towards this end,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kerala Revenue Minister P Rajeev, who inaugurated the concluding session of the conference said that the state is a role model for cyber security governance as the state government is capable of providing adequate security to the cyber arena.
“The state government is capable of providing adequate security to the cyber arena. The government is also providing necessary support to this sector by establishing the Digital University in the state. Kerala is a state where the internet is ensured through K-Fone in every house,” the minister said.
He further said that the c0c0n is a role model for the Indian cyber security sector, which is making the necessary innovations for cyber security.
“C0c0n is capable of creating cyber security experts among the next generation,” P Rajeev added.
Hibi Eden MP presided over the function in which Mayor M Anilkumar was the chief guest. Actor Mamta Mohandas, Intelligence ADGP Manoj Abraham IPS and ISRA president Manu Zacharia also addressed the event. (ANI)
Preparations for the Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1), which demonstrates the performance of the Crew Escape System, are underway
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing for the first Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1) to demonstrate the crew escape system as part of its human space mission called Gaganyaan.
According to the space agency, it will commence unmanned flight tests for the Gaganyaan mission.
“Preparations for the Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1), which demonstrates the performance of the Crew Escape System, are underway,” ISRO said.
The first development flight Test Vehicle (TV-D1) is in the final stages of preparation.
The Test Vehicle is a single-stage liquid rocket developed for this abort mission.
“The payloads consist of the Crew Module (CM) and Crew Escape Systems (CES) with their fast-acting solid motors, along with CM fairing (CMF) and Interface Adapters,” ISRO said.
This flight will simulate the abort condition during the ascent trajectory corresponding to a Mach number of 1.2 encountered in the Gaganyaan mission.
ISRO said the Crew Escape System with Crew Module will be separated from the Test Vehicle at an altitude of about 17 km.
“Subsequently, the abort sequence will be executed autonomously commencing with the separation of CES (Crew Escape System) and deployment of the series of parachutes, finally culminating in the safe touchdown of CM (Crew Module) in the sea, about 10 km from the coast of Sriharikota,” ISRO said.
The Crew Module will house the astronauts in a pressurised earthlike atmospheric condition during the Gaganyaan mission.
It is in different stages of development.
For the TV-D1, the Crew Module is an unpressurised version that has completed its integration and testing and is ready to be shipped to the launch complex.
This unpressurised Crew Module version has to have an overall size and mass of actual Gaganyaan Crew Module and would house all the systems for the deceleration and recovery.
With its complete set of parachutes, recovery aids, actuation systems and pyros.
The avionics systems in Crew Module are in a dual redundant mode configuration for navigation, sequencing, telemetry, instrumentation and power.
According to ISRO, the Crew Module in this mission is extensively instrumented to capture the flight data for evaluation of the performance of various systems.
It will be recovered after touchdown in the Bay of Bengal, using a dedicated vessel and diving team from the Indian Navy.
The space agency said the Crew Module after integration underwent various electrical testing, at ISRO’s facility in Bengaluru, including an acoustic test and was dispatched to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on August 13.
At Sriharikota, it will undergo vibration tests and pre-integration with the Crew Escape System, before final integration to the Test Vehicle at the Launch Pad.
This Test Vehicle mission with this Crew Module is a significant milestone for the overall Gaganyaan programme as a near-complete system is integrated for a flight test.
The success of this test flight will set the stage for the remaining qualification tests and unmanned missions, leading to the first Gaganyaan mission with Indian astronauts, ISRO said.
The Laureates’ experiments have produced pulses of light so short that they are measured in attoseconds, thus demonstrating that these pulses can be used to provide images of processes inside atoms and molecules…reports Asian Lite News
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Tuesday awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2023 for exploring the world of electrons with extremely short pulses of light.
The award went to Pierre Agostini from the the Ohio State University; Ferenc Krausz from Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Germany; and Anne L’Huillier from Lund University, Sweden “for experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter”.
In the world of electrons, changes occur in a few tenths of an attosecond — an attosecond is so short that there are as many in one second as there have been seconds since the birth of the universe.
The Laureates’ experiments have produced pulses of light so short that they are measured in attoseconds, thus demonstrating that these pulses can be used to provide images of processes inside atoms and molecules.
“The three Nobel Laureates in Physics 2023 are being recognised for their experiments, which have given humanity new tools for exploring the world of electrons inside atoms and molecules,” the Academy said in a statement.
“Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier have demonstrated a way to create extremely short pulses of light that can be used to measure the rapid processes in which electrons move or change energy”.
A prize money of 11 million Swedish kronor will be shared equally between the Laureates. In 1987, L’Huillier discovered that many different overtones of light arose when she transmitted infrared laser light through a noble gas.
Each overtone is a light wave with a given number of cycles for each cycle in the laser light. They are caused by the laser light interacting with atoms in the gas; it gives some electrons extra energy that is then emitted as light.
L’Huillier has continued to explore this phenomenon, laying the ground for subsequent breakthroughs. In 2001, Agostini succeeded in producing and investigating a series of consecutive light pulses, in which each pulse lasted just 250 attoseconds.
At the same time, Krausz was working with another type of experiment, one that made it possible to isolate a single light pulse that lasted 650 attoseconds. The Laureates’ contributions have enabled the investigation of processes that are so rapid they were previously impossible to follow.
“We can now open the door to the world of electrons. Attosecond physics gives us the opportunity to understand mechanisms that are governed by electrons. The next step will be utilising them,” said Eva Olsson, Chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics.
There are potential applications in many different areas. In electronics, for example, it is important to understand and control how electrons behave in a material. Attosecond pulses can also be used to identify different molecules, such as in medical diagnostics.
The PSLV-C57.1 rocket carrying the Aditya-L1 orbiter lifted off successfully from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on September 2….reports Asian Lite News
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Saturday informed that the Aditya-L1 spacecraft has successfully escaped the sphere of Earth’s influence adding that it is now navigating its path towards the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1 (L1).
Taking to X (former Twitter), ISRO said, “The spacecraft has travelled beyond a distance of 9.2 lakh kilometres from Earth, successfully escaping the sphere of Earth’s influence. It is now navigating its path towards the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1 (L1).”
ISRO further stated that it is the second time in succession that the space agency could send a spacecraft outside the sphere of influence of the Earth with the first time being the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan).
The PSLV-C57.1 rocket carrying the Aditya-L1 orbiter lifted off successfully from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on September 2.
The successful launch of the maiden solar mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) came on the heels of the historic lunar landing mission — Chandrayaan-3.
According to the agency, the Aditya-L1 mission is expected to reach the observation point in four months. It will be placed in a halo orbit around Lagrangian Point 1 (or L1), which is 1.5 million km away from the Earth in the direction of the sun.
It will carry seven different payloads to have 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.
Major objectives of India’s solar 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. (ANI)
Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Ajit Kumar Mohanty shared India’s ambitious plans to step up nuclear power generation during a meeting with IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi….reports Asian Lite News
India on Wednesday spelled out plans to generate 22 GW power through nuclear energy to achieve Net Zero emissions for addressing the challenges posed by climate change.
At the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Ajit Kumar Mohanty shared India’s ambitious plans to step up nuclear power generation during a meeting with IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi.
Mohanty is in Vienna to attend the annual IAEA General Conference.
Mariano Grossi posted on X, “Greetings to Mohanty on India’s ambitious plans to reach 22 GW through nuclear energy for Net Zero.”
Addressing the conference, Mr Mohanty said Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has been setting records in extended continuous power plant operations and maintaining excellent safety records.
“Some of its units have operated continuously for more than 365 days (a year) on 42 occasions and more than 700 days on five occasions. One remarkable achievement is that unit-3 at Kakrapar in the Gujarat state of India recently commenced commercial operation, the first-of-its-kind 700 MW indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR),” he said.
Mohanty said a few days ago, India hosted the G20 Summit where energy security, access, affordability, and transition are essential considerations.
“Under India’s Presidency, the countries that opt to use civil nuclear energy reaffirmed their role in providing clean energy. These countries will now collaborate in research, innovation, development & deployment of civil nuclear technologies, including advanced and Small Modular Reactors (SMRs),” he said.
The discussions at G20 also centered around helping build resilient nuclear supply chains, promoting responsible nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste and spent fuel management, and sharing knowledge and best practices, he said.
Mohanty also touched upon India’s nuclear programme, commitment to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and its long history of partnership with the IAEA, the global nuclear watchdog.
NPCIL currently operates 23 commercial nuclear power reactors with a combined capacity of 7480 MW and plans to increase it to 22480 MW by 2031.