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Venus could have active volcanoes, says research

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New York: Venus, the Earth’s nearest neighbour may be volcanically active, suggests new research that found temporary spikes in temperature at several spots on the planet’s surface.

The hotspots, which were found to flash and fade over the course of just a few days, appear to be generated by active flows of lava on the surface, the researchers said.

“We were able to show strong evidence that Venus is volcanically, and thus internally, active today,” said study co-author James Head, geologist at Brown University in the US.

“This is a major finding that helps us understand the evolution of planets like our own.”

The research was published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The hotspots turned up in thermal imaging taken by the European Space Agency’s Venus Express spacecraft’s Venus Monitoring Camera.

The data showed spikes in temperature of several hundred degrees Fahrenheit in spots ranging in size from one square km to over 200 km.

The latest result is consistent with other data from Venus Express that has hinted at very recent volcanic activity.

“The observation of hotspots by Venus Express makes a strong case for a volcanically active Venus.” (IANS)

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American Record-Breaking NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson Set to Return Back to Earth After 288-Days Space Mission

At the time of their landing, Whitson will have gathered a total of 665 days in space over the course of her career which is more than any American astronaut.

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Peggy Whitson
American record-holder NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson. Wikimedia
  • Nasa astronaut Peggy Whitson set to return back to Earth from International Space Station
  • The astronauts return after completing 288 days in space in Expedition 52
  • Peggy Whitson holds the record for the maximum time spend in space by an American astronaut

Washington, September 2, 2017 : NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who holds the record for maximum time spent in space by any American astronaut, is set to return to Earth on Saturday, completing a 288-day mission at the International Space Station.

Whitson and her Expedition 52 crewmates Jack Fischer of NASA and Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are scheduled to land in Kazakhstan at 9.22 p.m. EDT on Saturday (6.52 a.m. Sunday, India time).

At the time of their landing, she will have accrued a total of 665 days in space over the course of her career, more than any American astronaut, placing her eighth on the all-time space endurance list, NASA said.

Whitson’s return will mark the end of her third long-duration stay onboard the space station.

She launched on November 17 with 377 days in space already under her belt, and on April 24 broke Jeff Williams’ standing US record of 534 cumulative days in space.

Whitson also holds the record for most spacewalks by a female.

Yurchikhin and Fischer, who launched in April, will complete 136 days in space on their return. Yurchikhin will return to Earth with a total of 673 days in space on his five flights, putting him in seventh place on the all-time endurance list.

At the time of undocking, Expedition 53 will begin aboard the station under the command of Randy Bresnik.

Along with his crewmates Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency), the three-person crew will operate the station until the arrival of three new crew members.

Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA and Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos, are scheduled to launch on September 12 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, NASA said. (IANS)

 

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Report: China Developing Advanced Lunar Mission Spaceship

China's Shenzhou space capsule used on all six of its crewed missions is based on Russia's Soyuz and is capable of carrying three astronauts in its re-entry module

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FILE - The supermoon, rises over a logo for AVIC or Aviation Industry Corp in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016.

China is developing an advanced new spaceship capable of both flying in low-Earth orbit and landing on the moon, according to state media, in another bold step for a space program that equaled the U.S. in number of rocket launches last year.

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The newspaper Science and Technology Daily cited spaceship engineer Zhang Bainian as saying the new craft would be recoverable and have room for multiple astronauts. While no other details were given in the Tuesday report, Zhang raised as a comparison the Orion spacecraft being developed by NASA and the European Space Agency. The agency hopes Orion will carry astronauts into space by 2023.

China’s Shenzhou space capsule used on all six of its crewed missions is based on Russia’s Soyuz and is capable of carrying three astronauts in its re-entry module.

China came late to crewed space flight, launching its first man into space in 2003, but has advanced rapidly since then. In its most recent crewed mission, two astronauts spent a month aboard a Chinese space station late last year.

A fully functioning, permanently crewed space station is on course to begin operations in around five years and a manned lunar mission has been suggested for the future.

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Now firmly established among the big three in space travel, China last year moved ahead of Russia for the first time in number of rocket launches and equaled the United States at 22, according to Harvard University astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell. Russia had 17 launches, while the U.S. might have had several more if Space X’s Falcon 9 rocket fleet hadn’t been grounded following a Sept. 1 launchpad explosion. (VOA)

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After Mars Orbiter Mission (MoM), ISRO eyes inter-planetary missions to Jupiter and Venus

After Moon and Mars, ISRO plans to spread its reach to Jupiter and Venus.

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A satellite, (representational Image), Pixabay

Bangalore, Jan 4, 2017: After its successful and internationally acclaimed  Mars Orbiter Mission (MoM), ISRO is eyeing inter-planetary missions to Jupiter and Venus and is studying and analysing their feasibility.

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“We are looking at other planets that can be explored. So, two of them are Jupiter and Venus. The mission analysis is on what type of satellite we are supposed to build and what type of rocket we need.”

“Studies are going on and it may take few years from now to have a concrete plan,” M Nageswara Rao, Associate Director, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) stated at a plenary session on science technology at the Indian Science Congress.

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He added that the oppertunity of launching a satellite to Venus comes once in 19 months, considering the distance between the planets and earth’s position.

Venus, second in order from the Sun, is nearly 162 million miles away from Earth while Jupiter, which lies between Mars and Saturn, is nearly 610 million miles away from Earth.

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Rao mentioned that a follow-up mission for Mars Orbiter Mission (MoM) is also being planned.

“We want to have a follow-up Mars Mission and we want to have a mission to Venus. We want to go close, 70,000 km close (to Mars). Work for Chandrayaan 2 is also on. The project involves having a lander and a rover,” he stated.

So for the first time, ISRO can have its lander land on the moon, which will give the space agency minute details of the earth’s natural satellite. Earlier programmed as a joint collaboration with Russia, ISRO has now decided to go solo on this project.

Chandrayaan 2 is scheduled to be launched next year.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang