NASA will launch Israel’s first space telescope mission, the Ultraviolet Transient Astronomy Satellite (ULTRASAT) in early 2026.
GS III: Science and Technology
Dimensions of the Article:
- About ULTRASAT
- What is a geostationary orbit?
- ULTRASAT is an upcoming ultraviolet observatory that will focus on studying short-duration events in the universe, such as supernova explosions and mergers of neutron stars.
- The observatory has a large field of view and is planned to be launched into a geostationary orbit around Earth.
- NASA will provide the launch opportunity, Flight Payload Adapter, and other launch-related responsibilities for ULTRASAT.
- Further details about the timeline and specific launch date have not yet been announced.
What is a geostationary orbit?
- Satellites in geostationary orbit (GEO) circle Earth above the equator from west to east following Earth’s rotation – taking 23 hours 56 minutes and 4 seconds – by travelling at the same rate as Earth.
- Satellites placed in GEO remain in the same position relative to Earth’s surface, appearing to be stationary.
- In order to remain in this orbit, a satellite must travel at a speed of about 3 km per second at an altitude of approximately 35,786 km above Earth’s surface.
- The GEO is used for a variety of applications including meteorological observations, satellite communications, and broadcasting.
- The geostationary orbit is a special type of geosynchronous orbit, which is any orbit that has a period equal to the rotation period of Earth.
-Source: The Hindu