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Mangalyaan Mission: A huge leap into space

The project was nothing short of any miracle and helped India to join an elite club of space-faring nations to have accomplished this significant achievement.

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India has become only the 4th country in the world to successfully complete a Mars mission. Wikimedia Commons
India has become only the 4th country in the world to successfully complete a Mars mission. Wikimedia Commons
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NEW DELHI: The success of Indian Mars Orbiter Mission popularly known as Mangalyaan, is an astonishing success for India. The mission was undertaken by Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO) back on November 5, 2013. The whole mission was carried out well with clockwise precision and perfection.

Afterwards, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, congratulated the whole team of people involved in it and said, “History has been created.” The project was nothing short of any miracle and helped India to join an elite club of space-faring nations to have accomplished this significant achievement.

ISRO is the mastermind behind Mangalyaan mission. Wikimedia Commons
ISRO is the mastermind behind Mangalyaan mission. Wikimedia Commons

India has leaped many folds in the space research with its astonishing success of Mars mission that was undertaken by ISRO. After the deployment of the orbiter in the Martian orbit, India went on to become only the 4th country in the world to successfully complete a Mars mission.

Here are some of the highlights of the Mangalyaan mission that you need to know:
1. India is the only country to conduct a successful Mars mission in its first go.
2. The other nations who have conducted a similar Mars mission are US, European Space Agency, and the former Soviet Union.
3. The on-orbit mission life of Mangalyaan was less than ten months
4. The primary focus of the mission was to ascertain the information on Martian Climate and water. Also, the orbiter is expected to explore more about planet’s environment and minerals.

Magalyaan looked out for indications of life on Mars. Wikimedia Commons
Magalyaan looked out for indications of life on Mars. Wikimedia Commons

5. The Mangalyaan was equipped with five solar powered panels to generate enough power to stay afloat.
6. The closest point of orbiter from Mars was 365 km and farthest as 80,000 Km
7. The time taken to complete the Mangalyaan orbiter was 15 months. Whereas, N.A.S.A. took 5 years to complete its “Maven” Mars Orbiter.
8. NASA assisted India in administrative operations and non-visible time of the Indian Deep Space Network.
9. The responsibility of navigational and mission operations was on Indian Deep Space Network.
10. The total dry weight of the Mangalyan shuttle was 500 kg and separately engine fuel weighed about 850 kgs.

Mangalyaan weighs 1,350 kgs and was ready in 15 months. Wikimedia Commons
Mangalyaan weighs 1,350 kgs and was ready in 15 months. Wikimedia Commons

11. The cost of the mission was mere Rs450 crores, that stands out at Rs12 per km. And hence with this budget, the Mangalyan mission is the cheapest so far.
12. According to a research, every Indian has probably contributed about Rs. 5 towards the Mangalyaan mission.

The incredible feat by the Indian scientist has certainly set some very high standard at the international level and thus made India a perfect platform to launch satellites of many foreign countries.

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Habitability Of Surrounding Planets Affected By Super Flares Of Red Dwarfs: NASA

Red dwarfs -- especially young red dwarfs -- are active stars, producing flares blast out energy

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NASA, space, red dwarf
Superflares from red dwarfs may affect habitability of planets Pixabay

Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have found that violent outbursts, or superflares, from red dwarf stars could affect the habitability of any planets orbiting it.

Young low-mass stars flare much more frequently and more energetically than old stars and middle-age stars like our Sun, the findings of the study published in the Astrophysical Journal showed.

The findings are based on observations of the flare frequency of 12 red dwarfs.

Hubble is observing such stars through a large programme called HAZMAT — Habitable Zones and M dwarf Activity across Time.

“M dwarf” is the astronomical term for a red dwarf star — the smallest, most abundant and longest-living type of star in our galaxy.

Hubble Telescope. red dwarf
Hubble Telescope. Flickr

The HAZMAT programme is an ultraviolet survey of red dwarfs at three different ages — young, intermediate, and old.

“The goal of the HAZMAT programme is to help understand the habitability of planets around low-mass stars,” explained the programme’s principal investigator, Evgenya Shkolnik from Arizona State University.

“These low-mass stars are critically important in understanding planetary atmospheres,” Shkolnik added.

Stellar flares from red dwarfs are particularly bright in ultraviolet wavelengths, compared with Sun-like stars.

Red dwarf  planet
Artist’s view of planets transiting red dwarf star in TRAPPIST-1 system. Flickr

Hubble’s ultraviolet sensitivity makes the telescope very valuable for observing these flares.

The flares are believed to be powered by intense magnetic fields that get tangled by the roiling motions of the stellar atmosphere.

When the tangling gets too intense, the fields break and reconnect, unleashing tremendous amounts of energy.

The team found that the flares from the youngest red dwarfs they surveyed — just about 40 million years old — are 100 to 1,000 times more energetic than when the stars are older.

This younger age is when terrestrial planets are forming around their stars.

Red dwarf
This illustration shows a red dwarf star orbited by a hypothetical exoplanet. NASA

About three-quarters of the stars in our Milky Way galaxy are red dwarfs. Most of the galaxy’s “habitable-zone” planets — planets orbiting their stars at a distance where temperatures are moderate enough for liquid water to exist on their surface — orbit red dwarfs.

In fact, the nearest star to our Sun, a red dwarf named Proxima Centauri, has an Earth-size planet in its habitable zone.

Also Read: NASA Plans For Science Payloads For Delivery To Moon

However, red dwarfs — especially young red dwarfs — are active stars, producing flares that could blast out so much energy that it disrupts and possibly strips off the atmospheres of these fledgling planets. (IANS)