The China Space Agency (CMSA) and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) have selected nine major areas in which 20 experiments will be conducted on the future Chinese space station ( CSS), funded by China and the UN.
The experiments proposed by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) in Bengaluru and by IIT (BHU) in Varanasi are part of the international experiments officially announced by CMSA and UNOOSA on the 13th. in Vienna on the sidelines of the 62nd session of the Committee. on the peaceful uses of outer space.
While the IIA experiment will study the area between the stars, that of the IIT will study the behavior of partially visible fluids in microgravity. The 20 experiments will be conducted by institutes in 17 countries, including China.
There are two institutes in India, China and Belgium, while 14 other countries (Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Poland, Germany, Russia, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Spain, France and Netherlands) will have experiences from one institute each.
Professor Jayant Murthy, director of IIA, said: "We will examine the interstellar medium (the stuff between the stars) and study what types of elements are present, what are the temperatures, what pressures and conditions exist. "
He said that their experience will look at the nebula – clouds filled with gas – and will try to understand what it is made of. "It was a UN-sponsored initiative and they opened it to countries around the world. That's how we came in. We are going to build an instrument that will be put on the CSS that should be put in place by 2022. All the data that comes from there will be public. We are going to spend about 30 lakhs for the construction of the instrument, "said Murthy.
The instrument built by the IAI will be an ultraviolet photon counting detector. "We will detect each time a photon is recorded, record its position and time. Since our instrument will be fixed to the CSS and will scan the sky, we can build it on a small budget. We have no moving parts, "he explained.
The IIT experiment will see the introduction of two instruments on CSS, and the cost is being developed, said Prof. Pradyumna Ghosh, who is leading the project. The cost of sending them to the CSS will be the responsibility of the hosts, he said, adding that their experience had been borrowed by the UN and the European Union.
Professor Rajiv Prakash, Acting Director of IIT (BHU), said: "We want to study the properties of circulating fluids in microgravity. The flow of fluids anywhere, in factories, technical facilities or biological systems, is very important. So when a fluid flows under the effect of gravity on the Earth, the behavior is different than the one of low gravity.
Ghosh said: "Although NASA has conducted studies on visible fluids, no studies on partially visible fluids have been conducted in space. The lessons learned from this experience will be very important in many areas. At present, we do not know the exact behavior of fluids like urea or ammonia, for example, but we can learn a lot. "
He said that he had already written to Isro about future experiences to learn more about fluids and that the space agency was encouraging. "Although we can not send anything as part of experiments for Ganganyaan given its short duration, we are planning things for when we will have our own space station," Ghosh said.