Space Current Affairs November 2015

China Rover Sets Record for Longest Stay on Moon

  • The scientists said on October 29, 2015 that China’s first lunar rover, Yutu has set the record for the longest stay by a rover on the lunar surface. It was deployed on the Moon by China’s Chang’e-3 lunar probe in 2013.
  • It has break the record of Soviet Union’s 1970 rover Lunokhod 1, which spent 11 months on the Moon. In 2014, Yutu experienced a mechanical control abnormality, but it was revived within a month.
  • The rover is unable to move, but it continues to collect data, send and receive signals, and record images and videos. With this rover China had become the third country after the Soviet Union and the US to carry out such a mission.

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Russia Announced to Launch Manned Moon Missions

  • Vladimir Solntsev, head of Roscomsos Energia consortium, announced on October 27, 2015 that Russia is planning to send its first manned lunar missions by 2029. A spacecraft specially designed to carry out missions to the moon is currently being built by Roscomsos Energia.
  • The Spacecraft is expected to make its first test flight in 2021. It will dock with the International Space Station in 2023. In 2025, the spaceship will carry out its first unmanned mission to the moon. The US remains the only country to send manned lunar missions; the first was in 1969.

China Launched Latest Mapping Satellite

  • China successfully sent its third mapping satellite of the Tianhui-1 series into orbit on October 26, 2015. Tianhui-1C mapping satellite was launched from the Jiuquan launching base located in the country’s North-Western Gansu province.
  • Tianhui-1C was aboard a Long March 2D carrier rocket, the 215th launch of the Long March series rockets. The satellite was developed and produced under the auspices of the auspices of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASTC).
  • Tianhui-1C satellite will enhance the China’s ability to carry out scientific research, mapping and disaster relief. It will also be used for scientific experiments, land resource surveys, mapping, crop yield estimation and disaster relief.

An Unexpected Discovery: Comet Contained Alcohol and Sugar

  • Comet Lovejoy released large amounts of alcohol as well as one type of sugar into space, according to new observations by Nicolas Biver of the Paris Observatory, France, lead author of a paper on the discovery published October 23, 2015 in Science Advances. His team found 21 different organic molecules in gas from the comet, including ethyl alcohol and glycolaldehydc, a simple sugar.
  • The discovery marks the first time ethyl alcohol, the same type in alcoholic beverages, has been observed in a comet. The finding adds to the evidence that comets could have been a source of the complex organic molecules necessary for the emergence of life.
  • Comet Lovejoy (formally cataloged as C/2014 Q2) was one of the brightest and most active comets since comet Hale-Bopp in 1997

Also Read>> Defence & Security Current Affairs Nov 2015

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Updated: December 29, 2015 — 6:50 pm

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