Why in news? The first satellite named RemoveDEBRIS was successfully deployed from International Space Station (ISS) to demonstrate a range of innovative technologies to clean up space debris orbiting Earth.
RemoveDEBRISis a satellite research project intending to demonstrate various space debris removal technologies.
Rather than engaging in active debris removal (ADR) of real space debris, the RemoveDEBRIS mission plan is to test the efficacy of several ADR technologies on mock targets in low Earth orbit.
In order to complete its planned experiments the platform is equipped with a net, a harpoon, a laser ranging instrument, a dragsail, and two CubeSats(miniature research satellites).
The experiments are as follows:
One of the CubeSats, called DebrisSat 1, will deploy a balloon meant to simulate a piece of space debris.
From a short distance away, the RemoveDEBRIS satellite will attempt to capture the debris in a net and then manoeuvre this package to fall into Earth’s atmosphere and burn up.
The other CubeSat, called DebrisSat 2, will be released and the RemoveDEBRIS satellite will undergo a series of manoeuvres in order to obtain data and images using both lidarand optical cameras.
Harpoon and deployable target:
A harpoon connected by a tether will be fired at a plate attached to an arm extending from the RemoveDEBRIS platform itself.
After the conclusion of the other experiments the satellite will deploy a large sail, which will act in a similar fashion to an air brake.
The dragsail will bring RemoveDEBRIS from the relatively low orbital altitude of the space station into the planet’s atmosphere to safely disintegrate.
FACT # 2
Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY)
Why in news?The Gujarat government has recently launched a solar power scheme for farmers- Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY).
Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY):
SKY enables the farmers to generate electricity for their captive consumption as well as sell the surplus power to the grid and earn an extra amount.
Farmers are expected to generate their own electricity using solar energy and help doubling their income.
As per the scheme, farmers having existing electricity connection will be given solar panels as per their load requirements.
The State and Central governments will give 60 per cent subsidy on the cost of project.
The farmer is required to take 5 per cent cost, while 35 per cent will be provided to him as an affordable loan with interest rates of 4.5-6 per cent.
The scheme duration is 25 years, which is split between 7-year period and 18-year period.
For the first 7 years, farmers will get per unit rate of Rs 7 (Rs 3.5 by GUVNL + Rs 3.5 by state govt).
For the subsequent 18 years they will get the rate of Rs 3.5 for each unit sold.
This is a first such scheme in the country, where farmer would produce his power and sell the surplus to the State power utility.
The scheme envisages setting up of separate feeders for agricultural solar energy consumption.
Under the pilot project about 137 feeders will be set up.
As many as 12,400 farmers from 33 districts will be covered under the pilot project, which will generate 175 MW.
The project cost is around Rs 870 crore.
As of today, 22,704 MU or 26% of the total power consumption in the state is consumed by the agriculture sector.
FACT # 3
Why in news? There has been a sharp increase in the production of so-called “tight oil” from shale rocks in the US.
Tight oil is also known as shale oil, shale-hosted oil or light tight oil and is abbreviated as LTO.
It is a light crude oil contained in petroleum-bearing formations of low permeability, often shale or tight sandstone.
Tight oil shale formations are heterogeneous and vary widely over relatively short distances.
The natural gas and other volatiles in LTO make it more hazardous to handle, store, and transport.
Economic production from tight oil formations requires the same hydraulic fracturing and often uses the same horizontal well technology used in the production of shale gas.
While sometimes called “shale oil”, tight oil should not be confused with oil shale, which is shale rich in kerogen, or shale oil, which is oil produced from oil shales.
The North American oil production has shown a surge led by unconventional oils – US light tight oil (LTO) and Canadian oil sands.
It has produced a global supply shock that would reshape the way oil is transported, stored, refined and marketed.