An Indian Space Technology Organisation (ISRO) rocket successfully launched the first ‘Aeronomy Satellite’ (AS) on Thursday, a day after its maiden flight.
The rocket lifted off at 5.30 pm from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
The spacecraft was on a mission to investigate the structure and structure characteristics of asteroids in space.
ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said the mission was a ‘first step in understanding the formation of asteroids and how they form’.
It is expected to provide valuable data on asteroids, the structure of asteroids, their orbits and other aspects of their evolution, Kumar said.
ISRAEL, AFRICA, AND THE WORLD A large asteroid has been found to be headed towards Earth, with the asteroid ‘Antares’ now just four days away from its perihelion, the closest point to Earth in its orbit.
The asteroid is estimated to be about 15 kilometres in diameter and is heading towards Earth.
The largest known asteroid is believed to be ‘Vesta’, a gas giant that formed at the end of the Permian period, about 252 million years ago.
‘Antaroids’ are thought to have formed at a depth of about 2 kilometres and have an orbital period of about 6 billion years, the most accurate period for the formation and evolution of an asteroid, ISRO officials said.
‘The orbit of ‘Antarioids’ is the most precise in the Solar System, which has an orbital age of about 500 million years,’ they said.
The probe will be carrying an instrument to study asteroids in their final stages of formation, including the structure, composition and properties of asteroids.
ISROC has been trying to find out more about the origins of asteroids for more than a decade.
In 2013, ISROVAC had detected a single asteroid with a size of about 0.2 centimetres in diameter.
The object, named ‘Antara’, was a giant meteorite and was discovered by the European Space Agency’s comet-hunting probe Rosetta.
‘This is the first detection of a ‘small’ asteroid,’ ISRO scientist and co-author of the study, Professor Anil D. Chaudhuri, said.
However, the discovery of Antara was only confirmed by the Rosetta mission, which also found two other objects with similar orbits.
ISRIED A rocket carrying a prototype spacecraft was launched from Sriharika on Wednesday.
The new ISRO spacecraft, which was built by ISRO and is being operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), will have a mass of around 100 tonnes and a height of about 200 metres.
The first launch of the spacecraft, called ‘AstroSat-1’, took place at 5:30 pm at the Satya Satellite Centre in South Sriharikkota.
ISro officials said that the mission will carry out several experiments, including looking at the structure at the core of an object, the properties of the nucleus of a gas-rich asteroid, and the composition of asteroids before they form.
‘We have also planned to take a small satellite to the Moon, and we are going to do so this year,’ ISR OC Dr A. S. Kirwan said.