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European Space Agency (ESA)
Intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space.
Planck (Spacecraft):-Planck is a space observatory designed to observe the universe using high sensitivity and angular resolution. It was launched in 2009. In July 2010, the Planck space satellite released the full map of the entire universe.
Solar Impulse Project:- Solar impulse is a European long range solar powered plane project which aims at circumnavigating the world on a solar powered air plane. In July 2010, the plane completed a 24 hour flight, the first solar plane to do so by using batteries charged during the day to keep it aloft overnight.
Spitzer Space Telescope:- It is an infrared space observatory launched in 2003. It is the fourth and final of NASA’s Great Observations. The other great observatories are:
1. Hubble Space telescope: It is a NASA space telescope launched in 1990 and the first great observatories. It is one of the largest and most versatile space telescopes. It was built by NASA with contributions from the European Space Agency and is operated by the Space Telescope Science Institute.
2. Compton Gamma Ray Observatory: Launched in 1991 and was deorbited in 2000.
3. Chandra X-ray Observatory: It is a satellite launched by NASA in 1999. Chandra is sensitive X-ray sources 100 times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope.
NowCast:-It is a weather predicting device that is used to predict a few hours ahead in specific localities. The device was used in the Common Wealth Games 2010 in New Delhi to predict weather over each stadium.
Water on Moon:-India’s Chandrayan had discovered water on the surface of moon. The matter was re-confirmed by the US Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) in 2009. It sent a spent rocket upper stage crashing on the moon’s South Pole and another rocket behind studied the debris thrown up by it. It showed that the debris matter contained about 5 pc of its weight in the form of ice. This could have an important implication in terms of using it as a space fuel.
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