News:The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has initiated the ‘Project NETRA.
About Project NETRA:
- NETRA stands for Network for Space Object Tracking and Analysis.
- It is an early warning system in space to detect space debris and to safeguard India’s functional satellites in low-earth orbits.
- Under NETRA,ISRO plans to put up many observational facilities such as (a)connected radars (b)telescopes (c)data processing units and a (d)Space Situational Awareness Control Centre.
- These facilities can spot, track and catalogue objects as small as 10 cm, up to a range of 3,400 km and equal to a space orbit of around 2,000 km.
Significance of NETRA:
- This will improve India’s space situational awareness and allow it to become self-dependent.
- This will ensure that India will no longer have to depend on data from the North America Aerospace Defence Command(NORAD).
- NORAD is an initiative of the U.S. and Canada that shares selective space debris data with many countries.
Space situational and awareness centre:
- ISRO has set up the Space Situational Awareness Control Centre in Bengaluru.
- The control centre hosts a range of activities related to the protection of Indian space assets from (a)inactive satellites (b)pieces of orbiting objects (c)near earth asteroids and (d)adverse space weather conditions.
- It also assimilates the tracking data of inactive satellites from indigenous observation facilities and generates useful information from bare observations through analysis.
- Space debris are artificial material that is orbiting Earth but is no longer functional.
- They consists of dead satellites, spent rocket motors, nuts and bolts etc.Space debris is a threat to active satellites and spaceships as they pose risk of collisions.