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Week in tech: Nasa to train Indian astronaut for a trip to the ISS

Nasa administrator Bill Nelson’s recent visit to India marked another milestone for the deepening space ties between the two countries

Bengaluru: Nasa administrator Bill Nelson (centre), Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma (right) and KA Sadhana (left), Director, VITM during a conversation.(PTI)

By Team Lounge

LAST PUBLISHED 03.12.2023  |  06:00 PM IST

Here’s a weekly recap of at what made news in the world of science and technology.

Nasa to train Indian astronaut for ISS voyage

Nasa administrator Bill Nelson’s recent visit to India marked another milestone for the deepening space ties between the two countries. Speaking at an event in Bengaluru on 29 December, Nelson said Nasa will train an Indian astronaut for a voyage to the International Space Station as early as next year, a Reuters report explains. Nelson was speaking ahead of inspecting NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR), a low-Earth orbit observatory system jointly developed by Nasa and Isro (Indian Space Research Organisation), which is set to be launched from India early next year, the Reuters report adds.

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Global 5G subscriptions to exceed 5.3 billion in 2029: Report

By the end of 2023, almost one in five of all global mobile subscriptions will be 5G subscriptions, the most recent version of the Ericsson Mobility Report revealed earlier this week. The report also highlighted how India is fast becoming a key 5G market. According to the twenty-fifth edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, 5G subscriptions in India are expected to reach 130 million this year and grow to 860 million by 2029. Globally, 5G subscriptions are forecast to top 5.3 billion by the end of 2029. You can read more about the report and its findings here.

This image provided by NASA shows an artist’s illustration of the Tess telescope. Astronomers have discovered six planets orbiting a bright nearby star in perfect rhythmic harmony. (Nasa via AP)

Astronomers find a planet that is too big for its star

In a fascinating discovery, astronomers have found a planet at least 13 times Earth's mass orbiting very close to a red dwarf that is only 11% of the sun's mass. Red dwarfs are some of the most common types of stars found in the Milky Way galaxy. According to a Reuters report, these stars - or simply are not big enough to host planets much larger than Earth. But this new discovery, the report adds, has astronomers going back to the drawing board on planetary formation theory involving this prevalent type of star. The report adds: The planet, called LHS 3154 b, orbits at about 2.3% of Earth's orbital distance from the sun, circling its star every 3.7 days. It is much closer even than our solar system's innermost planet Mercury is to the sun.

In another interesting find, with the help of Nasa's Tess and the European Space Agency's Cheops satellites, astronomers discovered a rare in-sync solar system with six planets moving like a “grand cosmic orchestra", according to a report in the Associated Press.

Compiled by Nitin Sreedhar - (With inputs from agencies).

Also read: Researchers find second-most distant galaxy using James Webb telescope