the voyager india

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Vasco da Gama

By: Editors

Updated: June 6, 2023 | Original: December 18, 2009

Portrait of Vasco da Gama

The Portuguese nobleman Vasco da Gama (1460-1524) sailed from Lisbon in 1497 on a mission to reach India and open a sea route from Europe to the East. After sailing down the western coast of Africa and rounding the Cape of Good Hope, his expedition made numerous stops in Africa before reaching the trading post of Calicut, India, in May 1498. Da Gama received a hero’s welcome back in Portugal, and was sent on a second expedition to India in 1502, during which he brutally clashed with Muslim traders in the region. Two decades later, da Gama again returned to India, this time as Portuguese viceroy; he died there of an illness in late 1524.

Vasco da Gama’s Early Life and First Voyage to India

Born circa 1460, Vasco da Gama was the son of a minor nobleman who commanded the fortress at Sines, located on the coast of the Alentejo province in southwestern Portugal. Little else is known about his early life, but in 1492 King John II sent da Gama to the port city of Setubal (south of Lisbon) and to the Algarve region to seize French ships in retaliation for French attacks on Portuguese shipping interests.

Did you know? By the time Vasco da Gama returned from his first voyage to India in 1499, he had spent more than two years away from home, including 300 days at sea, and had traveled some 24,000 miles. Only 54 of his original crew of 170 men returned with him; the majority (including da Gama's brother Paolo) had died of illnesses such as scurvy.

In 1497, John’s successor, King Manuel I (crowned in 1495), chose da Gama to lead a Portuguese fleet to India in search of a maritime route from Western Europe to the East. At the time, the Muslims held a monopoly of trade with India and other Eastern nations, thanks to their geographical position. Da Gama sailed from Lisbon that July with four vessels, traveling south along the coast of Africa before veering far off into the southern Atlantic in order to avoid unfavorable currents. The fleet was finally able to round the Cape of Good Hope at Africa’s southern tip in late November, and headed north along Africa’s eastern coast, making stops at what is now Mozambique, Mombasa and Malindi (both now in Kenya). With the help of a local navigator, da Gama was able to cross the Indian Ocean and reach the coast of India at Calicut (now Kozhikode) in May 1498.

Relations with Local Population & Rival Traders

Though the local Hindu population of Calicut initially welcomed the arrival of the Portuguese sailors (who mistook them for Christians), tensions quickly flared after da Gama offered their ruler a collection of relatively cheap goods as an arrival gift. This conflict, along with hostility from Muslim traders, led Da Gama to leave without concluding a treaty and return to Portugal. A much larger fleet, commanded by Pedro Alvares Cabral, was dispatched to capitalize on da Gama’s discoveries and secure a trading post at Calicut.

After Muslim traders killed 50 of his men, Cabral retaliated by burning 10 Muslim cargo vessels and killing the nearly 600 sailors aboard. He then moved on to Cochin, where he established the first Portuguese trading post in India. In 1502, King Manuel put da Gama in charge of another Indian expedition, which sailed that February. On this voyage, da Gama attacked Arab shipping interests in the region and used force to reach an agreement with Calicut’s ruler. For these brutal demonstrations of power, da Gama was vilified throughout India and the region. Upon his return to Portugal, by contrast, he was richly rewarded for another successful voyage.

Da Gama’s Later Life and Last Voyage to India

Da Gama had married a well-born woman sometime after returning from his first voyage to India; the couple would have six sons. For the next 20 years, da Gama continued to advise the Portuguese ruler on Indian affairs, but he was not sent back to the region until 1524, when King John III appointed him as Portuguese viceroy in India.

Da Gama arrived in Goa with the task of combating the growing corruption that had tainted the Portuguese government in India. He soon fell ill, and in December 1524 he died in Cochin. His body was later taken back to Portugal for burial there.

the voyager india

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The legacy of the Voyager mission

Nasa detected a signal from its voyager 2 spacecraft on august 1, after losing communication for over a week. launched 46 years ago, voyager 2 is currently in interstellar space. along with voyager 1, it has provided invaluable data and inspired future space missions..

the voyager india

More than a week after the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) lost communication with Earth ’s longest-running space probe, Voyager 2, the space agency detected a “heartbeat” signal from the spacecraft on Tuesday (August 1).

Although too faint for extraction of data, the detected signal confirms that Voyager 2, which is about 19.9 billion kilometres away from Earth, is still operating.

the voyager india

On July 21, a faulty command sent to the probe caused its antenna to point 2 degrees away from Earth. “As a result, Voyager 2 is currently unable to receive commands or transmit data back to Earth,” a statement released by NASA on Wednesday said.

Launched around 46 years ago, Voyager 2 is the second spacecraft to enter interstellar space — the region that lies outside the impact of our Sun’s constant flow of material and magnetic field. The first was Voyager 1, sent to space about two weeks after Voyager 2 (yes, Voyager 1 was launched after Voyager 2).

Between them, the two probes have explored all the outer giant planets of our solar system and discovered over 40 moons and numerous rings. They have provided invaluable data on planetary astronomy, and inspired many future space missions.

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Why were the Voyager spacecraft sent into space?

In 1972, NASA cancelled its plans of exploring the five outer planets (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) with four highly complex spacecraft — the proposal, estimated to cost $ 1 billion, was scrapped due to budgetary constraints.

Instead, it proposed to send the Voyager probes, initially slated to explore only Jupiter and Saturn. In 1974, however, it was decided that if one spacecraft completes the mission, the other one would be redirected towards Uranus and then Neptune.

Interestingly, the spacecraft were scheduled for a take-off towards the end of the 1970s for a reason. According to a report by Scientific American, NASA chose the particular launch window to take advantage of a rare alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune that occurs once every 175 years.


“The alignment allowed the spacecraft to harness the gravity of each planet and swing from one to the next using relatively minimal amounts of fuel. NASA first demonstrated the technique with its Mariner 10 mission to Venus and Mercury from 1973 to 1975,” the report said.

Voyager 2 was launched on August 20, 1977, two weeks before the September 5 Voyager 1 takeoff. This reversal of order took place as the two spacecraft were put on different trajectories — Voyager 1 was set on a path to reach Jupiter and Saturn, ahead of Voyager 2.

What are the features of the Voyager spacecraft?

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are identical spacecraft. Each of them is equipped with instruments to carry out 10 different experiments. The instruments include television cameras — to take images of planets and other celestial bodies — infrared and ultraviolet sensors, magnetometers, plasma detectors, and cosmic-ray and charged-particle sensors.

Both spacecraft feature a large antenna, 3.7 metres in diameter, which is used to receive commands from Earth and radio their findings back to the planet. As their mission involved going far away from the Sun, they aren’t powered by solar power, like other spacecraft are. “Instead, Voyager relies on a small nuclear power plant, drawing hundreds of watts from the radioactive decay of a pellet of plutonium,” writes American astronomer Carl Sagan, who played a leading role in the Voyager mission, in his book Cosmos .

Notably, each Voyager spacecraft is adorned with a golden phonograph record — a 12-inch disc, intended to be a sort of time capsule from Earth to any extraterrestrial life that might intercept the probes in the distant future.

Cover of golden phonograph record (Voyager)

“The covers of the records have several images inscribed, including visual instructions on how to play them, a map of our solar system’s location with respect to a set of 14 pulsars, and a drawing of a hydrogen atom. They are plated with uranium – its rate of decay will allow any future discoverers of either of the records to calculate when they were created,” a report by The Planetary Society said.

Moreover, the records’ content, selected for NASA by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan, includes 115 analogue-encoded images, a variety of natural sounds, such as those made by surf, wind and thunder, birds, whales, and other animals, musical selections from different cultures and eras, and spoken greetings from Earth-people in 55 languages, and printed messages from then US President Jimmy Carter.

What are the most notable achievements of the Voyager spacecraft?

Fifteen months after its launch, Voyager 1 reached its first target planet, Jupiter, on March 5, 1979, and was soon followed by Voyager 2, which arrived there on July 9. The most interesting discoveries made by Voyager 1 included the finding that Io, one of Jupiter’s moons, was geologically active. The spacecraft noted the presence of at least eight active volcanoes “spewing material into space, making it one of the most (if not the most) geologically active planetary bodies in the solar system,” another report by NASA said.


Moreover, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 discovered three new moons of Jupiter: Thebe, Metis and Adrastea.

Following the Jupiter encounter, the spacecraft, one by one, moved towards Saturn. While passing by the planet’s moon Titan, Voyager 1 discovered that it wasn’t the biggest moon of our solar system, contrary to what scientists of the time believed — “the diameter of the solid centre was found (through radio signals) to be smaller than Jupiter’s Ganymede”, a BBC report noted. The spacecraft also noted that Titan’s atmosphere was composed of 90 per cent nitrogen, and it likely had clouds and rain of methane.

Voyager 1 Saturn

After the Saturn expedition, as Voyager 1 headed on a trajectory to escape the solar system, Voyager 2 was redirected towards Uranus — both probes had fulfilled their primary mission goals but scientists kept them operational for further exploration.

Voyager 2 arrived at Uranus in 1986, becoming the first human-made object to fly past the aquamarine planet. The spacecraft took stunning photographs and confirmed that the main constituents of Uranus are hydrogen and helium. It also discovered 10 new moons and two new rings in addition to the previously-known nine rings, among other significant findings.


Then, the probe went to Neptune. Becoming the first human-made object to fly by the planet in 1989, Voyager 2 made some more notable discoveries there. Apart from finding new moons and rings, it discovered that Neptune is more active than previously thought — winds on the planet blow at the speed of 1,100 kph. The spacecraft also observed the Great Dark Spot, which was essentially a huge spinning storm in the southern atmosphere of Neptune and it was about the size of the entire Earth.

After the Neptune encounter, Voyager 2, like Voyager 1, was put on the path to head out of the solar system. While Voyager 1 officially entered interstellar space in August 2012, Voyager 2 made its entry in November 2018.

“These exits were instrumental in enabling astronomers to determine where exactly the edge of interstellar space is, something that’s difficult to measure from within the solar system. They showed that interstellar space begins just over 18 billion kilometres from the sun,” The Planetary Society report said.

Although most of the instruments on the spacecraft aren’t operational, Voyager probes have been transmitting data back to Earth over the years — it is only after the recent glitch that Voyager 2 has stopped sending back the data but scientists hope to regain full communication with the spacecraft soon. But eventually, there will not be enough electricity to power both probes. After that, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 will silently continue their journey among the stars.


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NASA, California Institute of Technology, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory Page Header Title

  • The Contents
  • The Making of
  • Where Are They Now
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Where are they now.

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The Voyager Planetary Mission

The twin spacecraft Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched by NASA in separate months in the summer of 1977 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. As originally designed, the Voyagers were to conduct closeup studies of Jupiter and Saturn, Saturn's rings, and the larger moons of the two planets.

To accomplish their two-planet mission, the spacecraft were built to last five years. But as the mission went on, and with the successful achievement of all its objectives, the additional flybys of the two outermost giant planets, Uranus and Neptune, proved possible -- and irresistible to mission scientists and engineers at the Voyagers' home at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

As the spacecraft flew across the solar system, remote-control reprogramming was used to endow the Voyagers with greater capabilities than they possessed when they left the Earth. Their two-planet mission became four. Their five-year lifetimes stretched to 12 and more.

Eventually, between them, Voyager 1 and 2 would explore all the giant outer planets of our solar system, 48 of their moons, and the unique systems of rings and magnetic fields those planets possess.

Had the Voyager mission ended after the Jupiter and Saturn flybys alone, it still would have provided the material to rewrite astronomy textbooks. But having doubled their already ambitious itineraries, the Voyagers returned to Earth information over the years that has revolutionized the science of planetary astronomy, helping to resolve key questions while raising intriguing new ones about the origin and evolution of the planets in our solar system.

History of the Voyager Mission

The Voyager mission was designed to take advantage of a rare geometric arrangement of the outer planets in the late 1970s and the 1980s which allowed for a four-planet tour for a minimum of propellant and trip time. This layout of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, which occurs about every 175 years, allows a spacecraft on a particular flight path to swing from one planet to the next without the need for large onboard propulsion systems. The flyby of each planet bends the spacecraft's flight path and increases its velocity enough to deliver it to the next destination. Using this "gravity assist" technique, first demonstrated with NASA's Mariner 10 Venus/Mercury mission in 1973-74, the flight time to Neptune was reduced from 30 years to 12.

While the four-planet mission was known to be possible, it was deemed to be too expensive to build a spacecraft that could go the distance, carry the instruments needed and last long enough to accomplish such a long mission. Thus, the Voyagers were funded to conduct intensive flyby studies of Jupiter and Saturn only. More than 10,000 trajectories were studied before choosing the two that would allow close flybys of Jupiter and its large moon Io, and Saturn and its large moon Titan; the chosen flight path for Voyager 2 also preserved the option to continue on to Uranus and Neptune.

From the NASA Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, Voyager 2 was launched first, on August 20, 1977; Voyager 1 was launched on a faster, shorter trajectory on September 5, 1977. Both spacecraft were delivered to space aboard Titan-Centaur expendable rockets.

The prime Voyager mission to Jupiter and Saturn brought Voyager 1 to Jupiter on March 5, 1979, and Saturn on November 12, 1980, followed by Voyager 2 to Jupiter on July 9, 1979, and Saturn on August 25, 1981.

Voyager 1's trajectory, designed to send the spacecraft closely past the large moon Titan and behind Saturn's rings, bent the spacecraft's path inexorably northward out of the ecliptic plane -- the plane in which most of the planets orbit the Sun. Voyager 2 was aimed to fly by Saturn at a point that would automatically send the spacecraft in the direction of Uranus.

After Voyager 2's successful Saturn encounter, it was shown that Voyager 2 would likely be able to fly on to Uranus with all instruments operating. NASA provided additional funding to continue operating the two spacecraft and authorized JPL to conduct a Uranus flyby. Subsequently, NASA also authorized the Neptune leg of the mission, which was renamed the Voyager Neptune Interstellar Mission.

Voyager 2 encountered Uranus on January 24, 1986, returning detailed photos and other data on the planet, its moons, magnetic field and dark rings. Voyager 1, meanwhile, continues to press outward, conducting studies of interplanetary space. Eventually, its instruments may be the first of any spacecraft to sense the heliopause -- the boundary between the end of the Sun's magnetic influence and the beginning of interstellar space. (Voyager 1 entered Interstellar Space on August 25, 2012.)

Following Voyager 2's closest approach to Neptune on August 25, 1989, the spacecraft flew southward, below the ecliptic plane and onto a course that will take it, too, to interstellar space. Reflecting the Voyagers' new transplanetary destinations, the project is now known as the Voyager Interstellar Mission.

Voyager 1 is now leaving the solar system, rising above the ecliptic plane at an angle of about 35 degrees at a rate of about 520 million kilometers (about 320 million miles) a year. Voyager 2 is also headed out of the solar system, diving below the ecliptic plane at an angle of about 48 degrees and a rate of about 470 million kilometers (about 290 million miles) a year.

Both spacecraft will continue to study ultraviolet sources among the stars, and the fields and particles instruments aboard the Voyagers will continue to search for the boundary between the Sun's influence and interstellar space. The Voyagers are expected to return valuable data for two or three more decades. Communications will be maintained until the Voyagers' nuclear power sources can no longer supply enough electrical energy to power critical subsystems.

The cost of the Voyager 1 and 2 missions -- including launch, mission operations from launch through the Neptune encounter and the spacecraft's nuclear batteries (provided by the Department of Energy) -- is $865 million. NASA budgeted an additional $30 million to fund the Voyager Interstellar Mission for two years following the Neptune encounter.

Voyagers 1 and 2 are identical spacecraft. Each is equipped with instruments to conduct 10 different experiments. The instruments include television cameras, infrared and ultraviolet sensors, magnetometers, plasma detectors, and cosmic-ray and charged-particle sensors. In addition, the spacecraft radio is used to conduct experiments.

The Voyagers travel too far from the Sun to use solar panels; instead, they were equipped with power sources called radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). These devices, used on other deep space missions, convert the heat produced from the natural radioactive decay of plutonium into electricity to power the spacecraft instruments, computers, radio and other systems.

The spacecraft are controlled and their data returned through the Deep Space Network (DSN), a global spacecraft tracking system operated by JPL for NASA. DSN antenna complexes are located in California's Mojave Desert; near Madrid, Spain; and in Tidbinbilla, near Canberra, Australia.

The Voyager project manager for the Interstellar Mission is George P. Textor of JPL. The Voyager project scientist is Dr. Edward C. Stone of the California Institute of Technology. The assistant project scientist for the Jupiter flyby was Dr. Arthur L. Lane, followed by Dr. Ellis D. Miner for the Saturn, Uranus and Neptune encounters. Both are with JPL.

JUPITER Voyager 1 made its closest approach to Jupiter on March 5, 1979, and Voyager 2 followed with its closest approach occurring on July 9, 1979. The first spacecraft flew within 277,400 kilometers (172,368 miles) of the planet's cloud tops, and Voyager 2 came within 650,180 kilometers (404,003 miles).

Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system, composed mainly of hydrogen and helium, with small amounts of methane, ammonia, water vapor, traces of other compounds and a core of melted rock and ice. Colorful latitudinal bands and atmospheric clouds and storms illustrate Jupiter's dynamic weather system. The giant planet is now known to possess 16 moons. The planet completes one orbit of the Sun each 11.8 years and its day is 9 hours, 55 minutes.

Although astronomers had studied Jupiter through telescopes on Earth for centuries, scientists were surprised by many of the Voyager findings.

The Great Red Spot was revealed as a complex storm moving in a counterclockwise direction. An array of other smaller storms and eddies were found throughout the banded clouds.

Discovery of active volcanism on the satellite Io was easily the greatest unexpected discovery at Jupiter. It was the first time active volcanoes had been seen on another body in the solar system. Together, the Voyagers observed the eruption of nine volcanoes on Io, and there is evidence that other eruptions occurred between the Voyager encounters.

Plumes from the volcanoes extend to more than 300 kilometers (190 miles) above the surface. The Voyagers observed material ejected at velocities up to a kilometer per second.

Io's volcanoes are apparently due to heating of the satellite by tidal pumping. Io is perturbed in its orbit by Europa and Ganymede, two other large satellites nearby, then pulled back again into its regular orbit by Jupiter. This tug-of-war results in tidal bulging as great as 100 meters (330 feet) on Io's surface, compared with typical tidal bulges on Earth of one meter (three feet).

It appears that volcanism on Io affects the entire jovian system, in that it is the primary source of matter that pervades Jupiter's magnetosphere -- the region of space surrounding the planet influenced by the jovian magnetic field. Sulfur, oxygen and sodium, apparently erupted by Io's many volcanoes and sputtered off the surface by impact of high-energy particles, were detected as far away as the outer edge of the magnetosphere millions of miles from the planet itself.

Europa displayed a large number of intersecting linear features in the low-resolution photos from Voyager 1. At first, scientists believed the features might be deep cracks, caused by crustal rifting or tectonic processes. The closer high-resolution photos from Voyager 2, however, left scientists puzzled: The features were so lacking in topographic relief that as one scientist described them, they "might have been painted on with a felt marker." There is a possibility that Europa may be internally active due to tidal heating at a level one-tenth or less than that of Io. Europa is thought to have a thin crust (less than 30 kilometers or 18 miles thick) of water ice, possibly floating on a 50-kilometer-deep (30-mile) ocean.

Ganymede turned out to be the largest moon in the solar system, with a diameter measuring 5,276 kilometers (3,280 miles). It showed two distinct types of terrain -- cratered and grooved -- suggesting to scientists that Ganymede's entire icy crust has been under tension from global tectonic processes.

Callisto has a very old, heavily cratered crust showing remnant rings of enormous impact craters. The largest craters have apparently been erased by the flow of the icy crust over geologic time. Almost no topographic relief is apparent in the ghost remnants of the immense impact basins, identifiable only by their light color and the surrounding subdued rings of concentric ridges.

A faint, dusty ring of material was found around Jupiter. Its outer edge is 129,000 kilometers (80,000 miles) from the center of the planet, and it extends inward about 30,000 kilometers (18,000 miles).

Two new, small satellites, Adrastea and Metis, were found orbiting just outside the ring. A third new satellite, Thebe, was discovered between the orbits of Amalthea and Io.

Jupiter's rings and moons exist within an intense radiation belt of electrons and ions trapped in the planet's magnetic field. These particles and fields comprise the jovian magnetosphere, or magnetic environment, which extends three to seven million kilometers toward the Sun, and stretches in a windsock shape at least as far as Saturn's orbit -- a distance of 750 million kilometers (460 million miles).

As the magnetosphere rotates with Jupiter, it sweeps past Io and strips away about 1,000 kilograms (one ton) of material per second. The material forms a torus, a doughnut-shaped cloud of ions that glow in the ultraviolet. Some of the torus's heavy ions migrate outward, and their pressure inflates the Jovian magnetosphere, while the more energetic sulfur and oxygen ions fall along the magnetic field into the planet's atmosphere, resulting in auroras.

Io acts as an electrical generator as it moves through Jupiter's magnetic field, developing 400,000 volts across its diameter and generating an electric current of 3 million amperes that flows along the magnetic field to the planet's ionosphere.

SATURN The Voyager 1 and 2 Saturn flybys occurred nine months apart, with the closest approaches falling on November 12 and August 25, 1981. Voyager 1 flew within 64,200 kilometers (40,000 miles) of the cloud tops, while Voyager 2 came within 41,000 kilometers (26,000 miles).

Saturn is the second largest planet in the solar system. It takes 29.5 Earth years to complete one orbit of the Sun, and its day was clocked at 10 hours, 39 minutes. Saturn is known to have at least 17 moons and a complex ring system. Like Jupiter, Saturn is mostly hydrogen and helium. Its hazy yellow hue was found to be marked by broad atmospheric banding similar to but much fainter than that found on Jupiter. Close scrutiny by Voyager's imaging systems revealed long-lived ovals and other atmospheric features generally smaller than those on Jupiter.

Perhaps the greatest surprises and the most puzzles were found by the Voyagers in Saturn's rings. It is thought that the rings formed from larger moons that were shattered by impacts of comets and meteoroids. The resulting dust and boulder- to house-size particles have accumulated in a broad plane around the planet varying in density.

The irregular shapes of Saturn's eight smallest moons indicates that they too are fragments of larger bodies. Unexpected structure such as kinks and spokes were found in addition to thin rings and broad, diffuse rings not observed from Earth. Much of the elaborate structure of some of the rings is due to the gravitational effects of nearby satellites. This phenomenon is most obviously demonstrated by the relationship between the F-ring and two small moons that "shepherd" the ring material. The variation in the separation of the moons from the ring may the ring's kinked appearance. Shepherding moons were also found by Voyager 2 at Uranus.

Radial, spoke-like features in the broad B-ring were found by the Voyagers. The features are believed to be composed of fine, dust-size particles. The spokes were observed to form and dissipate in time-lapse images taken by the Voyagers. While electrostatic charging may create spokes by levitating dust particles above the ring, the exact cause of the formation of the spokes is not well understood.

Winds blow at extremely high speeds on Saturn -- up to 1,800 kilometers per hour (1,100 miles per hour). Their primarily easterly direction indicates that the winds are not confined to the top cloud layer but must extend at least 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) downward into the atmosphere. The characteristic temperature of the atmosphere is 95 kelvins.

Saturn holds a wide assortment of satellites in its orbit, ranging from Phoebe, a small moon that travels in a retrograde orbit and is probably a captured asteroid, to Titan, the planet-sized moon with a thick nitrogen-methane atmosphere. Titan's surface temperature and pressure are 94 kelvins (-292 Fahrenheit) and 1.5 atmospheres. Photochemistry converts some atmospheric methane to other organic molecules, such as ethane, that is thought to accumulate in lakes or oceans. Other more complex hydrocarbons form the haze particles that eventually fall to the surface, coating it with a thick layer of organic matter. The chemistry in Titan's atmosphere may strongly resemble that which occurred on Earth before life evolved.

The most active surface of any moon seen in the Saturn system was that of Enceladus. The bright surface of this moon, marked by faults and valleys, showed evidence of tectonically induced change. Voyager 1 found the moon Mimas scarred with a crater so huge that the impact that caused it nearly broke the satellite apart.

Saturn's magnetic field is smaller than Jupiter's, extending only one or two million kilometers. The axis of the field is almost perfectly aligned with the rotation axis of the planet.

URANUS In its first solo planetary flyby, Voyager 2 made its closest approach to Uranus on January 24, 1986, coming within 81,500 kilometers (50,600 miles) of the planet's cloud tops.

Uranus is the third largest planet in the solar system. It orbits the Sun at a distance of about 2.8 billion kilometers (1.7 billion miles) and completes one orbit every 84 years. The length of a day on Uranus as measured by Voyager 2 is 17 hours, 14 minutes.

Uranus is distinguished by the fact that it is tipped on its side. Its unusual position is thought to be the result of a collision with a planet-sized body early in the solar system's history. Given its odd orientation, with its polar regions exposed to sunlight or darkness for long periods, scientists were not sure what to expect at Uranus.

Voyager 2 found that one of the most striking influences of this sideways position is its effect on the tail of the magnetic field, which is itself tilted 60 degrees from the planet's axis of rotation. The magnetotail was shown to be twisted by the planet's rotation into a long corkscrew shape behind the planet.

The presence of a magnetic field at Uranus was not known until Voyager's arrival. The intensity of the field is roughly comparable to that of Earth's, though it varies much more from point to point because of its large offset from the center of Uranus. The peculiar orientation of the magnetic field suggests that the field is generated at an intermediate depth in the interior where the pressure is high enough for water to become electrically conducting.

Radiation belts at Uranus were found to be of an intensity similar to those at Saturn. The intensity of radiation within the belts is such that irradiation would quickly darken (within 100,000 years) any methane trapped in the icy surfaces of the inner moons and ring particles. This may have contributed to the darkened surfaces of the moons and ring particles, which are almost uniformly gray in color.

A high layer of haze was detected around the sunlit pole, which also was found to radiate large amounts of ultraviolet light, a phenomenon dubbed "dayglow." The average temperature is about 60 kelvins (-350 degrees Fahrenheit). Surprisingly, the illuminated and dark poles, and most of the planet, show nearly the same temperature at the cloud tops.

Voyager found 10 new moons, bringing the total number to 15. Most of the new moons are small, with the largest measuring about 150 kilometers (about 90 miles) in diameter.

The moon Miranda, innermost of the five large moons, was revealed to be one of the strangest bodies yet seen in the solar system. Detailed images from Voyager's flyby of the moon showed huge fault canyons as deep as 20 kilometers (12 miles), terraced layers, and a mixture of old and young surfaces. One theory holds that Miranda may be a reaggregration of material from an earlier time when the moon was fractured by an violent impact.

The five large moons appear to be ice-rock conglomerates like the satellites of Saturn. Titania is marked by huge fault systems and canyons indicating some degree of geologic, probably tectonic, activity in its history. Ariel has the brightest and possibly youngest surface of all the Uranian moons and also appears to have undergone geologic activity that led to many fault valleys and what seem to be extensive flows of icy material. Little geologic activity has occurred on Umbriel or Oberon, judging by their old and dark surfaces.

All nine previously known rings were studied by the spacecraft and showed the Uranian rings to be distinctly different from those at Jupiter and Saturn. The ring system may be relatively young and did not form at the same time as Uranus. Particles that make up the rings may be remnants of a moon that was broken by a high-velocity impact or torn up by gravitational effects.

NEPTUNE When Voyager flew within 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles) of Neptune on August 25, 1989, the planet was the most distant member of the solar system from the Sun. (Pluto once again will become most distant in 1999.)

Neptune orbits the Sun every 165 years. It is the smallest of our solar system's gas giants. Neptune is now known to have eight moons, six of which were found by Voyager. The length of a Neptunian day has been determined to be 16 hours, 6.7 minutes.

Even though Neptune receives only three percent as much sunlight as Jupiter does, it is a dynamic planet and surprisingly showed several large, dark spots reminiscent of Jupiter's hurricane-like storms. The largest spot, dubbed the Great Dark Spot, is about the size of Earth and is similar to the Great Red Spot on Jupiter. A small, irregularly shaped, eastward-moving cloud was observed "scooting" around Neptune every 16 hours or so; this "scooter," as Voyager scientists called it, could be a cloud plume rising above a deeper cloud deck.

Long, bright clouds, similar to cirrus clouds on Earth, were seen high in Neptune's atmosphere. At low northern latitudes, Voyager captured images of cloud streaks casting their shadows on cloud decks below.

The strongest winds on any planet were measured on Neptune. Most of the winds there blow westward, or opposite to the rotation of the planet. Near the Great Dark Spot, winds blow up to 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) an hour.

The magnetic field of Neptune, like that of Uranus, turned out to be highly tilted -- 47 degrees from the rotation axis and offset at least 0.55 radii (about 13,500 kilometers or 8,500 miles) from the physical center. Comparing the magnetic fields of the two planets, scientists think the extreme orientation may be characteristic of flows in the interiors of both Uranus and Neptune -- and not the result in Uranus's case of that planet's sideways orientation, or of any possible field reversals at either planet. Voyager's studies of radio waves caused by the magnetic field revealed the length of a Neptunian day. The spacecraft also detected auroras, but much weaker than those on Earth and other planets.

Triton, the largest of the moons of Neptune, was shown to be not only the most intriguing satellite of the Neptunian system, but one of the most interesting in all the solar system. It shows evidence of a remarkable geologic history, and Voyager 2 images showed active geyser-like eruptions spewing invisible nitrogen gas and dark dust particles several kilometers into the tenuous atmosphere. Triton's relatively high density and retrograde orbit offer strong evidence that Triton is not an original member of Neptune's family but is a captured object. If that is the case, tidal heating could have melted Triton in its originally eccentric orbit, and the moon might even have been liquid for as long as one billion years after its capture by Neptune.

An extremely thin atmosphere extends about 800 kilometer (500 miles) above Triton's surface. Nitrogen ice particles may form thin clouds a few kilometers above the surface. The atmospheric pressure at the surface is about 14 microbars, 1/70,000th the surface pressure on Earth. The surface temperature is about 38 kelvins (-391 degrees Fahrenheit) the coldest temperature of any body known in the solar system.

The new moons found at Neptune by Voyager are all small and remain close to Neptune's equatorial plane. Names for the new moons were selected from mythology's water deities by the International Astronomical Union, they are: Naiad, Thalassa, Despina, Galatea, Larissa, Proteus.

Voyager 2 solved many of the questions scientists had about Neptune's rings. Searches for "ring arcs," or partial rings, showed that Neptune's rings actually are complete, but are so diffuse and the material in them so fine that they could not be fully resolved from Earth. From the outermost in, the rings have been designated Adams, Plateau, Le Verrier and Galle.

Interstellar Mission

The spacecraft are continuing to return data about interplanetary space and some of our stellar neighbors near the edges of the Milky Way.

As the Voyagers cruise gracefully in the solar wind, their fields, particles and waves instruments are studying the space around them. In May 1993, scientists concluded that the plasma wave experiment was picking up radio emissions that originate at the heliopause -- the outer edge of our solar system.

The heliopause is the outermost boundary of the solar wind, where the interstellar medium restricts the outward flow of the solar wind and confines it within a magnetic bubble called the heliosphere. The solar wind is made up of electrically charged atomic particles, composed primarily of ionized hydrogen, that stream outward from the Sun.

Exactly where the heliopause is has been one of the great unanswered questions in space physics. By studying the radio emissions, scientists now theorize the heliopause exists some 90 to 120 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun. (One AU is equal to 150 million kilometers (93 million miles), or the distance from the Earth to the Sun.

The Voyagers have also become space-based ultraviolet observatories and their unique location in the universe gives astronomers the best vantage point they have ever had for looking at celestial objects that emit ultraviolet radiation.

The Ultraviolet Spectrometer (UVS) is the only experiment on the scan platform that is still functioning. The scan platform is parked at a fixed position and is not being articulated. The Infrared Spectrometer and Radiometer (IRIS) heater was turned off to save power on Voyager 1 on December 7, 2011. On January 21, 2014 the Scan Platform Supplemental Heater was also turned off to conserve power. The IRIS heater and the Scan Platform Heater were used to keep UVS warm. The UVS temperature has dropped to below the measurement limits of the sensor; however, UVS is still operating. The scientist expect to continue to receive data from the UVS until 2016, at which time the instrument will be turned off to save power.

Yet there are several other fields and particle instruments that can continue to send back data as long as the spacecraft stay alive. They include: the cosmic ray subsystem, the low-energy charge particle instrument, the magnetometer, the plasma subsystem, the plasma wave subsystem and the planetary radio astronomy instrument. Barring any catastrophic events, JPL should be able to retrieve this information for at least the next 20 and perhaps even the next 30 years.

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A Guide to the Marriott Voyage Application & Interview Process in the U.S. and Canada

September 11, 2023  — Morgan Gibson Kanner

marriott voyage program

In case you aren’t familiar with Voyage, it’s our award-winning global leadership development program for recent college graduates. The program, which is typically 12 months in the U.S. (though it can run longer) and Canada and can be up to 18 months internationally, places participants (dubbed Voyagers) in hotels around the world to receive hands-on experience and training.

→ An Overview of Marriott’s U.S. and Canada Voyage Program → Interview Advice & Tips for Hopeful Voyage Applicants

Interested in applying? With the help of two Marriott experts, we’ve crafted a guide to the U.S. and Canada’s Voyage application and interview process. Experts:

  • Sarah D’Angelo, Director, Talent Acquisition + University Recruitment
  • Michael Wiszowaty, Senior Manager, University Relations + Recruiting

Take a look below so you can know what to expect as you apply to be a US or CA Voyager .

What is the Marriott Voyage application process?

1. applications open.

Michael: Voyage applications open just as the new school year kicks off ( they’re open now !) and will be open until the end of April of the same academic calendar. The sooner you apply, the better — many locations and disciplines may have already been selected if you wait.

Michael: As soon as the applications are open, you can apply. It doesn’t take long, and you are able to apply in multiple sittings, but please ensure that you attach your resume and fill out your university on the application.

3. Record Video Interviews

Sarah: Just 15 minutes after you submit your application, you’ll receive an email prompt to complete a pre-recorded video interview, answering questions like, “why do you want to work for us?” and “what skills make you qualified for this position?” Hopefully this isn’t intimidating, but you should dress up and treat it like a real interview. Remember, we can also see your background!

4. Submit preferences for location + department

Sarah: We might not have the exact position you’re looking for in the exact location you want, so really think about — is my city of choice more important, or my department of choice? Am I flexible at all? Your initial choices aren’t set in stone — your recruiter will discuss your preferences multiple times throughout the process to ensure we’ve got the right fit for you.

5. Complete the online leadership skills assessment

Sarah: This takes about 30 minutes. We recommend doing this in a quiet place, free of distractions, and approaching the assessment as if you were already a manager.

6. Interviews

Sarah: If you’re selected to move to the next step, you’ll receive communication from that recruiter to schedule your interview — in most cases this is via email for a virtual interview. It is possible that your recruiter may be coming to your campus; in that case, you may meet them first and schedule your interview in person.

What are the Marriott Voyage interviews like?

Sarah: Marriott asks “behavioral based” interviewing questions; a strong answer typically follows the “STAR” format: Situation, Task, Action, Result. During the interview, you can also talk in more detail about your preferences for department and location.

marriott voyage program

Kelly Loss Photography

How long does the whole Voyage hiring and interview process take?

Sarah: If you follow the guidance of your recruiter and complete all steps in a timely manner, you could complete the whole process within two weeks! Technically, you could get an offer during your senior year well in advance of your graduation date, which feels good knowing that you have a job lined up and can truly enjoy being a senior, rather than having to scramble to get a job around your graduation date.

What happens when a candidate is selected to be a Marriott Voyager?

Michael: Congratulations! If you have been selected to become a Marriott Voyager, you are joining an elite program that will help you accelerate your Marriott career! Once you are offered a position as a Voyager you will be placed in the discipline and location that you had discussed with your recruiter throughout your interview process. Depending upon your start date, you will be connected with your property leader to go over any property logistics and timelines before your first day. If you’re relocating for Voyage, you’ll be connected with Marriott’s relocation team to help move your belongings to your new city. Lastly, you will be connected with other Voyagers in your city, so that you can start building your new Marriott network!

When do applications close?

Sarah: We take applications throughout the fall semester, and generally, if you’re ready, it’s recommended that you apply early. Positions are discussed and offered on a rolling basis, so your “dream job” may not be available if you wait to apply. We do take a brief pause during winter break, so know if you apply in December, you likely won’t receive an interview until January. We continue interviews throughout the spring semester, with our last interviews and offers going out usually in April.

If a candidate isn’t accepted into the program, do you recommend they apply again next year?

Michael: Absolutely! There could be many reasons why you would not have been accepted into the Marriott Voyage Program. The first thing is to not be discouraged by this. Upon discovering that you were not selected for Voyage, your Recruiting Manager will have notified you letting you know. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain more experience in the hospitality field to strengthen your resume. You can apply next year as long as your undergrad graduation was not more than two years prior. → Voyage Applications Are Open! Apply for Marriott’s Prestigious Leadership Development Program

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These two voyagers show how far ideas can go at marriott, management experience as a post-grad in the voyage program, absolutely, what it looks like to jump from marriott voyager to assistant general manager.


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The Interstellar Journey of an Indian Raga That Has Been Playing for 39 Years Aboard the Voyager 1

While most Indians have heard about NASA's Voyager 1 and its famous Golden record, few know that the album also includes a a hauntingly beautiful Hindustani classical music composition – ‘Jaat Kahan Ho.’

The Interstellar Journey of an Indian Raga That Has Been Playing for 39 Years Aboard the Voyager 1

I n 2012, NASA space probe Voyager 1, travelling at more than 40,000 miles per hour, became the first man-made object to enter interstellar space, leaving the solar system behind and ushering mankind into the interstellar age. Launched on September 5, 1977, as a probe to Saturn and Jupiter, the nuclear-powered spacecraft took advantage of a once-in-176-years planetary alignment to extend its mission and travel beyond the four outer planets of the solar system.

Four decades later, humanity’s most distant space outpost has travelled more than 13 billion miles, sending back unprecedented images and data from its pioneering journey.

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Voyager 1 is special for one other reason. On board the spacecraft is a 12-inch gold-plated copper disc with music that aims to encapsulate 5,000 years of human culture. Compiled by American astronomer Carl Sagan, the songs of Sounds Of Earth (as the album is named) echo through outer space, billions of miles from Earth.

While most Indians have heard about this, few know that the album also includes a Hindustani classical music composition – ‘Jaat Kahan Ho.’ A hauntingly beautiful song by Kesarbai Kerkar, the legendary singer of Jaipur-Atrauli gharana , it is the only song from India that has been immortalised alongside the music of Beethoven, Bach and Mozart on the record.

Born in a remote hilly village in the heart of Goa, she broke out of the devdasi tradition in early 1900s and emerged as the most celebrated artist of her time; revered by many poets, kings and prime ministers.

In , Bhavita B writes,

“Born in a remote hilly village in the heart of Goa, she broke out of the devdasi tradition in early 1900s and emerged as the most celebrated artist of her time; revered by many poets, kings and prime ministers.”

In 1938, Kesarbai was awarded the title of ‘Surshri’ (Queen of Music) in 1938 by Rabindranath Tagore on behalf of Sangeet Pravin Sangitanuragi Sajjan Saman Samiti of Calcutta (now Kolkata).

the voyager india

Kesarbai Kerkar

During her childhood years, Kesarbai trained under the tutelage of music maestros like Abdul Karim Khan of Kirana gharana , Ramakrishnabuva Vaze of Gwalior gharana, Barkatulla Khan of Senia gharana and Bhaskarbua Bakhle of Jaipur-Atrauli gharana . However, this training periods were short-lived and she thirsted for more.

Kesarbai’s hunt for a teacher who would teach her the deepest depths of Hindustani classical music ended when she was accepted as a disciple by the legendary Alladiya Khan in 1920. Also known as “Gauri-Shankar” (Mount Everest of the Indian Classical Music) and “Gaan Samrat,” Khan founded the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana and is famous for the many rare ragas he created.

Interestingly, as Kesarbai had been initially unable to master his style of gayaki during a trial period of three months, Khan had initially refused to take her on as disciple. It was only when Kesarbai got the ruler of Kolhapur, Shahu Maharaj, to intervene on her behalf that he agreed!

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Kesarbai Kerkar receiving Sangeet Natak Akademi Award from Indian President Rajendra Prasad in March 1953

She trained under him for the next 25 years, during which she performed across the country. Her immense success as a khyal singer, along with that of Hirabai Barodekar, Gangubai Hangal and Mogubai Kurdikar (mother of Kishori Amonkar) paved the way for the next generation of female vocalists.

In 1953, Kesarbai was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the highest Indian recognition given to practicing artists. In 1969, the government of India honoured her with Padma Bhushan while Maharashta government conferred upon her the title of Rajya Gayika .

Over the years, Kesarbai’s magical voice won her countless fans across the world. One of these fans was ethnomusicologist Robert E. Brown, who believed her rendition of r aga Bhairavi to be the finest recorded example of Indian classical music. He was the one who recommended it for inclusion on the Voyager record.

In 1977, the year Kesarbai passed away, the Voyager spacecraft carried her recorded voice to celestial heights. As Bhavita B writes for the , the poignant piece in raga Bhairavi asks the eternal question, Jaat kahan ho akeli gori (Where are you going alone, girl).

Listen to it below..

A producer of the Voyager record, Timothy Ferris, once wrote about the Indian contribution to the mission in Murmurs of Earth , a 1978 book about the record.

He says: “One of my favourite musical transitions on the Voyager record comes when ‘Flowing Stream’ ends and we are transported, quick as a curtsy, across the Himalayas to the north of India and from the sound of one musical genius, Kuan Ping-hu to another, Surshri Kesar Bai Kerkar. This raga is formally designated for morning performance, but its popularity has led to its use as a closing number, a kind of encore, for concerts day and night.”

It has been over five decades since Kesarbai last sang in a concert (she stopped performing in 1965), yet her music lives on. Recently, Voyager 1 has been in the news once again: As the world’s fastest spacecraft, it will take 1, 17,000 years to travel to TRAPPIST-1 System.

Named after NASA’s Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST), which made the initial discovery, this is a system of seven earth-sized exoplanets revolving around an ultra-cool star.

the voyager india

On Wednesday, NASA held a special press conference announcing the discovery of this star system, which is located 39 light years away in the Aquarius constellation of the Milky Way Galaxy. What has space scientist excited is the fact that three of the seven planets fall within the star’s “habitable zone,” a range of distances from the star that would create the right temperatures for liquid water and conditions right for extraterrestrial life.

With this discovery, outer space is shaping up to be a more tantalizing target than ever – and this makes the Voyager 1 probe, which is still sending back data and making discoveries from the edge of interstellar space, probably mankind’s best chance of reaching it.

Also Read :  To Space and Back: Things You Might Not Know About India’s Legendary Cosmonaut, Rakesh Sharma

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He said Voyager is working with multiple undisclosed providers to supply crew and cargo services for Starlab, which would use a standard docking system aiming to be compatible with various spacecraft.

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Jason Rainbow writes about satellite telecom, space finance and commercial markets for SpaceNews. He has spent more than a decade covering the global space industry as a business journalist. Previously, he was Group Editor-in-Chief for Finance Information... More by Jason Rainbow

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Coach Gautam Gambhir seeks Abhishek Nayar as his deputy, Vinay Kumar for bowling coach

Newly-appointed indian men's cricket team head coach gautam gambhir is keen on having abhishek nayar as his deputy. gambhir was formally announced as the head coach by bcci secretary jay shah on tuesday, july 09..

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Gautam Gambhir and Abhishek Nayar

  • BCCI appoints Gautam Gambhir as head coach of senior men's team
  • Gambhir seeks services of Abhishek Nayar as assistant coach
  • Gambhir and Nayar worked together at KKR in IPL 2024

Gautam Gambhir has sought the services of former all-rounder Abhishek Nayar for the assistant coach role for Team India. Gambhir, who was formally announced as the new head coach of the senior national men's team, worked with Nayar at Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2024.

Gambhir has requested the Indian cricket board (BCCI) to rope in Abhishek Nayar into his support staff team, according to sources. Nayar has been a prolific mentor, overseeing the KKR academy as its head. Several young and veteran cricketers have lauded Nayar's role in helping shape their careers. Dinesh Karthik has often spoken about the impact Nayar has had in his late revival as a finisher at the highest level. S pinner Varun Chakravarthy made a special mention of Nayar after KKR lifted their third IPL crown earlier in May.

It's almost certain that Abhishek Nayar will join the coaching staff, Vinay Kumar's name has been floating around for the bowling coach role. The former India and Karnataka pacer's name was put forward by Gambhir himself. Fielding coach T Dilip might be retained for another stint even though there were initial discussions about getting legendary South Africa cricketer Jonty Rhodes into the set-up. There are high chances that Dilip will continue to work with the senior national men's team.

Gambhir left his job as the mentor of the Knight Riders after just one season to take up the role of India's head coach . The former opener was hugely credited for KKR's success in IPL 2024. Gambhir and Nayar have a close working relationship and the ex-Mumbai cricketer also has a good rapport with Test and ODI captain Rohit Sharma.

The BCCI on Tuesday confirmed that the support staff team of Vikram Rathour (batting coach), Paras Mhambrey (bowling coach) and T Dilip (fielding coach) would also make their way out along with Rahul Dravid, who stepped down from the head coach role after India's T20 World Cup triumph.

"The Board also congratulates Mr Paras Mhambrey (Bowling Coach), Mr T. Dilip (Fielding Coach) and Mr Vikram Rathour (Batting Coach) on a highly successful tenure. The BCCI values their contribution and wishes them the best going forward" the BCCI said in a statement.


Gambhir has no previous experience coaching a senior national team. The World Cup-winning former opener has not even coached an IPL side, but his stints as mentor at Lucknow Super Giants and the Knight Riders have been noteworthy.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah said he is hopeful that 'fierce competitor' Gautam Gambhir would lead the team to new heights.

“Gambhir has been a fierce competitor and a brilliant strategist. We believe he will bring the same tenacity and leadership to his role as Head Coach. His transition to the role of Head Coach is a natural progression, and I believe he will bring out the best in our players," Shah said.

“I am confident that he will inspire and lead the team to new heights. His vision for the future of Indian cricket aligns perfectly with our goals, and we are excited about the journey ahead. Congratulations to him and best of luck for this new journey.”

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The Recap: A Round-Up Of Media, Entertainment & Gaming Industries' Legal Updates - December 2023 - January 2024


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Welcome, legal hitchhikers, to another voyage through the dynamic frontiers of the Media and Entertainment (M&E) space. This month, we're channelling our inner Arthur Dent as we navigate (yet again) the uncertainties around the retrospective Goods & Services Tax (" GST ") levy on online gaming companies. For the uninformed, imagine being stuck in a Vogon airlock, sharing the void with a Betelgeusian and facing the threat of imminent asphyxiation. It is precisely at times like these that life's mysteries loom large, and for us, that means holding our breaths as we await a clear judicial determination on the taxation framework for the online gaming industry.

In the words of Arthur Dent himself, ' it's at times like these that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young '. On being inquired by a fellow Betelgeusian companion, Arthur finally confessed, ' I don't know, I didn't listen ' (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). And so, dear readers, let us be diligent listeners to the legal cosmos. For in the vast expanse of digital dungeons and the surge of star-studded deepfakes, we help you navigate everything from the trove of copyright infringements to the new Telecommunications Act, 2023, with the wisdom gleaned from both mothers and perhaps, a few interstellar attorneys.

This volume borrows from its predecessors and highlights some key developments from the last two months in what has been an eclectic mix of legal tussles, new laws, and court orders on challenges raised against scenes depicted in movies like 'Antony' and 'Aankh Micholi'. In the true sense of the new year, here's your twentieth edition as a double digest of the Recap, highlighting some key developments in the M&E and Gaming space from December 01, 2023, to January 31, 2024.


MeitY issues advisory to all intermediaries to comply with existing IT Rules in relation to Deepfakes

The struggle to contain the deepfake menace by social media platforms has led the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (" MeitY ") to issue yet another advisory to all intermediaries on December 26, 2023. The directive specifically targets the growing concerns around misinformation powered by AI (deepfakes). The advisory mandates that intermediaries communicate prohibited content clearly and precisely to users.

The ability to create entirely fictional yet convincing content involving real life people through the tap of a few buttons is a daunting prospect, especially with the power of social media. With the mass availability of AI-powered video (such as face-swap and Gan) and audio tools, the Indian internet has become rife with such content of influential public figures. Recent controversies involving the Prime Minister, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and the actress Rashmika Mandanna have raised concerns at the highest levels because some of this content may have potentially destructive effects, simply because of how realistic it can appear.

The current legal regime is not specialized towards targeting deepfakes but rather consists of the offences which get triggered as a result of such deepfake content. This includes offences under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (" IPC ") such as Section 416 ( cheating by personation ), and Section 465 ( forgery ). The more specialized legislation in this case, the Information Technology Act, 2000 (" IT Act "), also contains offences emanating from the use of information technology, which could include Section 66D ( cheating by impersonation ). Offences under the IPC and the IT Act targeting sexually explicit content can also be invoked against deepfakes of a sexually explicit nature. The Information Technology ( Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code ) Rules, 2021 (" IT Rules 2021 ") also imposes certain obligations on intermediaries, which forms the crux of the government's answer to deepfakes. The IT Rules 2021 cast a specific obligation on intermediaries to inform users of illegal content that should form part of the platform terms, and an obligation to make 'reasonable efforts' to remove content such as deepfakes which violate laws. Rule 3(1)(b) contains a list of illegal content which social media platforms must police, else they will risk losing their protection as intermediaries under the IT Act.

MeitY was also questioned in the Parliament on the deepfake issue and its responses to these questions towed the line of status quo (discussed in detail in our 'Parliament Capsule' section below). In its recent advisory, MeitY has stated that the content not permitted under the IT Rules 2021, in particular those listed under Rule 3(1)(b) must be communicated to the users in clear and precise language including through its terms of service and user agreements. Further, the advisory emphasizes that digital intermediaries must ensure that their users are informed about penal provisions, including those in the IPC and the IT Act in case of Rule 3(1)(b) violations. This formal advisory by MeitY also comes with a warning that the government will be closely observing the compliance of intermediaries in the coming weeks and follow this up with further amendments to the IT Rules 2021 (or other laws) if required.

You can read more about this development as reported by the Indian Express and the Hindu here and here respectively.

The Telecommunication Bill, 2023 receives President's Assent

The Telecommunications Act, 2023 (" Telecom Act ") recently received the President's assent and is set to overhaul and replace the country's antiquated telecom laws such as the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 . The Telecom Act consolidates the law on telecom and makes several changes to the erstwhile regime. Some of the relevant changes include:

  • Definition of 'Telecom ': The Telecom Act was preceded by consultations on a draft bill with some of the concerns raised therein leading to changes in the Telecom Act, most notably the exclusion of 'OTT communication services' from the definition of 'telecommunication services'. The definition of 'telecommunication services' has been simplified simply stating "any service for telecommunication" to be a telecommunication service. The definition of 'telecommunications' remains the same as before i.e., "transmission, emission or reception" of a message whether or not the message has been subjected to "rearrangement, computation or other processes". Despite the omission of an explicit mention of 'OTT communication services' and 'broadcasting services' from the definition of 'telecommunication services', the definition of 'telecom' itself is debatable on whether it still includes internet-based communication services, OTT communication services and broadcasting services, as it is wide enough to cover the same. Some respite may be taken from an official statement made by the Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw with a joint charge of MeitY and the Ministry of Communications that " there is no coverage of OTT in the new telecom bill passed by the Parliament ". According to the minister, OTT services will continue to be governed under the IT Act and by the MeitY as has been the case until now. However, it remains to be seen how the law is eventually interpreted and implemented by the government.
  • Interception and Suspension by the Government : Just like the prior regime under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 , the Telecom Act empowers the Central Government or a State Government with wide powers to prevent transmission and interception of messages or a class of messages exchanged between any persons or class of persons. In terms of new additions, the law now explicitly extends this power of transmission to or from 'any telecommunication equipment' (or 'class of telecommunication equipment'). The power also extends to possible decryption/monitoring as the law explicitly allows disclosure in an 'intelligible format' to an officer. Arguably, the Telecom Act has slightly extended the scope of powers compared to the erstwhile regime. Unlike before, the Telecom Act also makes an explicit mention of the suspension of telecom services; however, the circumstances for exercising this power remain the same as before

You may read more on this development as reported by the Economic Times here and here .

To view the full article, click here .

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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