The Indian Space Research Organization (Isro) has released the first images of the Moon from its Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, following its Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) on August 5, 2023. This marked a significant milestone in India’s third lunar mission, as the spacecraft entered the Moon’s orbit after a 384,400 km journey, escaping Earth’s gravity. The health of Chandrayaan-3 is being continuously monitored from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at the Isro Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (Istrac) in Bengaluru, and is reported as normal. After 22 days into its 40-day lunar journey, launched on July 14 onboard the LVM-3, Chandrayaan-3 is set to carry out its first lunar-bound manoeuvre post LOI between 10.30pm and 11.30pm on Sunday. The success of this mission continues to symbolize India’s growing capabilities in space exploration. (Times of India)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced strict new emissions limits aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles, proposing that 67% of new vehicles should be electric by 2032. However, these plans have met skepticism from both the auto industry, which deems the target unrealistic, and environmental groups that say it doesn’t go far enough. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation argues the limits are unattainable and underestimates the challenges in producing EV batteries and charging infrastructure. Meanwhile, environmental experts call for more aggressive measures to meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Studies suggest that the proposed regulations would still result in nearly 80% of vehicles running on gasoline or diesel by 2032. The EPA’s final regulation is expected in March 2024, amidst growing global urgency to reduce carbon emissions. (Associated Press)
Construction is nearing completion on an 11,200-foot predator exclusion fence at the Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge in Nihokū. Encompassing 168 acres, the fence will provide protection for thousands of nesting seabirds, including Layasn albatross, red-footed boobies, wedge-tailed shearwaters, and red-tailed tropic birds, from non-native predators. The specially designed fence will also safeguard the federally threatened nēnē (Hawaiian goose) and is tall and secure enough to prevent mammals like cats, dogs, pigs, mongooses, rats, and mice from penetrating. Initially developed in New Zealand and used in Hawaiʻi since 2011, these fences are used to create predator-free sanctuaries on islands. Nihokū’s lack of light pollution and absence of infrastructure threatening to birds make it an ideal location. The enclosure may eventually support hundreds of thousands of birds, and translocation projects for endangered species are already underway, with some birds having returned and successfully bred. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Global Conservation has launched a $50 million Global Parks Fund aimed at protecting endangered National Parks in developing countries. Unlike traditional government-to-government funding models, this fund directly supports the protection of forests and wildlife habitats, making it a more cost-effective solution. The initiative focuses on 100 existing National Parks with large intact forests, especially in tropical regions like the Amazon, Congo, and Asia. The founder, Jeff Morgan, emphasized that by protecting over 100 million acres of forests, the fund could equate to eliminating 250 million automobiles, which would contribute significantly to combating climate change. The effort aligns with UN Climate Goals and the newly adopted “30×30” land/sea protection targets. Global Conservation’s approach, Global Park Defense, utilizes modern technologies like drones, satellite imagery, and SMART Patrolling systems, combined with community-based enforcement, to prevent illegal activities in National Parks. Already in use in over 25 parks, the strategy will now be expanded globally with the new fund. (World Animal News)
Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.
WORDS: The Biology Guy.
IMAGE CREDIT: NASA.