UPSC IAS Current Affairs Pdf: Vyom Mitra Frontier IAS Current Affairs
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UPSC IAS current Affairs Pdf: Vyom Mitra Frontier IAS Current Affairs
What is Vyom Mitra?
- Vyommitra is a female spacefaring half-humanoid robot being designed by ISRO.
- She will eventually fly in unmanned spaceflights scheduled for December 2020 and one later in July -August 2021.
- Vyommitra is a combination of two Sanskrit words, Vyom (Space) and Mitra (Friend).
- She was unveiled on January 22 at the inaugural session of the “Human Spaceflight and Exploration – Present Challenges and Future Trends” in Bengaluru.
- Vyommitra on the 2nd day of an international conference on human spaceflights in Bengaluru. (Pic credits: Indian Express)
- She is under development at a robotics laboratory at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.
What is Half-Humanoid?
- A humanoid is a robot whose design resembles the human body.
- She is being called half-humanoid because she possesses only the upper portion of the body, not the lower limbs.
- A humanoid’s functions, just like those of other robots, are determined by the computer systems to which it is connected.
- The essential difference between humanoids and other kinds of robots is that the movement of the former is human-like.
What is ISRO’s objective behind developing her?
- ISRO plans to send humans into space with its ambitious maiden manned space mission Gaganyaan by December 2021. That’s where Vyommitra’s role comes into play.
- Before astronauts are sent to space, two flights with humanoids will test the efficacy of the rocket and crew recovery system.
- Once in space, she will also provide a better understanding of what weightlessness and radiation do to the human body during long durations in space.
What tasks can she perform?
- Once fully developed, she can do switch panel operations, ECLSS [environment control and life support systems] functions, and even give environmental air pressure change warnings.
- Moreover, she can report back to Earth on the changes occurring in the crew module during the spaceflight and return, such as heat radiation levels.
- She can also be a companion for astronauts, conversing with them (bilingual), recognizing them, and also responding to their queries.
What role will she play in mission Gaganyaan?
- She will provide audio inputs on aspects like the health of the spacecraft during the launch, landing, and orbital phases of the manned mission.
- She will take up postures suited for launch and tasks, take and act as per commands received from the ground, replace carbon dioxide canisters, and also detect and give out warnings if environmental changes within the cabin get uncomfortable to astronauts and change the air condition.
Have Humanoids been sent on space missions before?
- There have been many space missions featuring dummy astronauts or humanoids. The most recent one was in March 2019, when SpaceX launched a mannequin called Ripley on the Dragon crew capsule, on a Falcon rocket, and sent it to the International Space Station.
- India will be the first country to send humanoids to space to test conditions before carrying out human space flights.
How did, then, other nations test conditions in space?
- Till now, all other countries have sent animals into space to test the survivability of a space flight.
- Fruit flies were the first creatures to be sent into space in 1947.
- In several of the initial cases of sending animals to space, many of them didn’t even make the journey back.
- This now seems to be changing, with private companies like SpaceX and Boeing deciding not to fly animals to space in advance of humans.