Science & Technology Current Affairs 2019 - Current Affairs Today

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Updated:25-06-2019 16:13:34
Updated:25-06-2019 2 days ago
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  • India has the highest data usage per smartphone in the World: Report

    2 days ago
    According to the  Ericsson Mobility Report, monthly data usage per smartphone in India rose to 9.8 gigabytes (GB) at the end of 2018, the highest in the world. It is expected that, Monthly data usage per smartphone would grow at 11 percent to reach 18 GB by 2024 from 9.8 GB in 2018. The report also projects that total mobile data usage per month in the country will go up 23 per cent in the coming five years, rising from 4.6 exabytes (EB) presently to 16 EB. One EB equals one billion GB. At the end of 2018, there were 5.1 billion smartphone subscribers globally, 99 percent of which were for 3G and 4G. North East Asia comes second with 7.1GB per month.

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    ISRO opens its laboratories for Indian school students

    17 June 2019
    Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is an agency which has the legacy of India’s ancient knowledge and modern technology.  She opened its laboratories for Indian school students to undergo two-week training from this year. first batch 108 students drawn from all states. Union Territories completed their exposure in its laboratories in Bengaluru, Sriharikota, Thiruvananthapuram. The training module devised as part of its new Young Scientists Programme.  Yuva Vigyanik Karyakram, YUVIKA. ISRO’s YUVIKA is modeled around the Indian government’s vision ‘Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan’. The initiative is primarily aimed at imparting basic knowledge on Space Technology, Space Science and Space Applications to children to kindle their interest in the emerging areas of space activities. The two-week-long program would include invited talks, experience sharing by eminent scientists, facility and lab visits, exclusive sessions for discussions with experts, practical and feedback sessions. About Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Formation:15 August 1969 Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

    Scientists places worlds highest weather stations atop Mount Everest

    16 June 2019
    Scientists from National Geographic Society and Tribhuvan University installed have installed two highest weather stations in the world in an expedition to Mount Everest that wrapped up in June 2019. The two weather monitoring stations are located at an altitude of 8,430 meters (27,657 feet) and 7,945 meters (26,066 feet). Also, three other stations have been set up across the Mount Everest.  The setting up of the weather station aim to collect weather data. The data gathered from the stations will help scientists to understand how rising global temperatures impacts the rapidly melting glaciers. The nearly two month expedition involved a team of more than 30 scientists from all over the world, including 17 Nepali researchers. The team also collected the world highest ice core sample at 8,020 meters , which will help the scientists study the deep record of precipitation on the mountain and composition of the atmosphere during pre-industrial times.  The project also reached another milestone of placing the world's highest helicopter-based lidar scan and the most detailed photogrammetric imaging, also with lidar scans, of the Everest Base Camp area and the entire Khumbu Glacier.



    Two female scientists Ritu Kridhal and Vanitha to head Indias 2nd Moon mission Chandrayaan-2

    16 June 2019
    For the first time, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has appointed two women scientists - Ritu Karidhal (as mission director) and Muthayya Vanitha (as project director) - to head the India's second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2. ISRO Chairman K Sivan announced that close to 30 percent of the ISRO team working on Chandrayaan 2 are women. Ritu Karidhal was referred as the 'Rocket Woman of India'. She became famous with the launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission where she was the deputy operations director. Muthayya Vanitha received the Best Woman Scientist award in 2006 by the Astronomical Society of India. About Chandrayaan-2: Chandrayaan-2 is India's second mission to explore moon after Chandrayaan-1. Developed by: ISRO The Chandrayaan-2 mission is scheduled to launch on July 15. The project cost is close to Rs 1,000 crore with the involvement of close to 600 industries and 15 academia collaboration.

    NASAs OSIRIS REx spacecraft creates new record

    15 June 2019
    NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft entered its second orbital phase around asteroid Bennu, called Orbital B on June 12, 2019. It broke its own world record for the closest orbit of a planetary body. In the Orbital B phase, the maneuver placed the spacecraft in an orbit 680 meters above the surface of asteroid Bennu. The previous record was set by OSIRIS-REx on 31 December, 2018, when the spacecraft flew 1.33 km above the asteroid’s surface during Orbital A phase. OSIRIS-REx: The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft was sent to study the asteroid Bennu and return a sample from its surface to Earth. The spacecraft is on a seven-year journey. The sample of a primitive asteroid will help the scientists understand the formation of the Solar System over 4.5 billion years ago. Sample collection has been scheduled for summer of 2020. The spacecraft is expected to deliver the sample to Earth in September 2023.

    ISRO unveiled plan to set up its own space station in seven years

    14 June 2019
    ISRO unveiled plan to set up its own space station in seven years. ISRO is to set up a very small and a separate space station. It will not be a part of the International Space Station (ISS). The project will be an extension of the Gaganyaan mission, which aims to send an Indian crew to space in 2022.  The weight of the space station will be around 20 tonnes. ISRO's proposal will be sent to the government for approval by 2022 after the first Gaganyaan mission. the mission is looking at 5-7 years to execute the programme. The cost of the proposed space station was not disclosed. The International Space Station (ISS) is a partnership between European Space Agency, the United States (NASA), Japan (JAXA), Canada (CSA) and Russia (Roscosmos). It is the world's largest international cooperative programme in science and technology.hina also plans to build a space station of its own.

    MoSPI has proposed to set up a National Data Warehouse to leverage big data analytical tools

    11 June 2019
    Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) has proposed to set up a National Data Warehouse with an aim to leveraging big data analytical tools. This move is to further improve the quality of macro-economic aggregates. MoSPI also plans to introduce a legislative framework so that the National Statistical Commission (NSC) can function with independence and give holistic guidance for improving the national statistical system.  Significance: The move also lends its support to the system reforms that are currently ongoing. It will also ensure the responsiveness to the changing needs of society that are necessary. This proposed set up is necessary as there are increasing demands on the statistical system for the production of relevant and quality statistics. National Data Warehouse for macro-economic aggregate: The Ministry also proposed to establish a National Data Warehouse on Official Statistics. Here, the technology will be leveraged for using big data analytical tools for further improving the quality of macro-economic aggregates. MoSPI has been criticized in some sections for the quality of macro-economic data. Merger of merger of CSO and NSSO: Regarding this the government has recently merged the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) and the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) to streamline and strengthen the statistical system. The merger leveraged the strengths of the two organisations so that it can meet the increasing demands. The government use the statistical data to revise the GDP estimate would require concomitant changes in the sectoral data flows and associated regulatory framework in the data source agencies to facilitate the use of more macro modelling techniques. Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI): Established on: 15 October 1999  Minister responsible: Rao Inderjit Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) It has 2 wings:        1)Department of Statistics        2)Department of Programme Implementation It is responsible for the development of the statistical system and maintains norms and standards in the field of statistics that involves concepts and definitions, methodology of data collection, processing of data and dissemination of results. MoSPI is concerned with coverage and quality aspects of statistics.

    Researchers found 2 childrens milk teeth in north eastern Siberia

    8 June 2019
    Researchers found two children's milk teeth buried deep in a remote archaeological site in northeastern Siberia. This discovery has revealed a previously unknown group of people who lived there during the last Ice Age. The group of people have been named as the Ancient North Siberians and described their existence as a significant part of human history. Researchers said that this population does not appear to be the direct ancestor of Native Americans. The DNA was recovered from the only human remains discovered from the era, two tiny milk teeth, that were found in a large archaeological site found in Russia near the Yana River. 

    Google Maps launches features for real-time updates on public transports in India

    8 June 2019
    Google tech Behemoth invented three new features- bus travel times from live traffic in 10 of the largest cities in India The live train status for Indian Railways trains, and mixed-mode commute suggestions that now combine auto-rickshaw and public transport. The travel plan of Indian users are predicted by transit time while traveling on buses. Google map enable users to know how long a bus trip will take when factoring in live traffic conditions This feature launched in 10 cities namely Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow, Chennai, Mysore, Coimbatore, and Surat. The partnership app is Where is My Train app acquired by Google in December 2018.  It helped for Google’s ‘Next Billion Users’ initiative. About Google Maps The feature is live in two cities in Delhi and Bengaluru. India is the top three countries for Google Maps transit usage.  The search engine over 300 million users in the country.  Google Map has more than 10,000 routes it can predict the transit time accurately. It will be available on Android and iPhones. Apple hiring spree to expand its products in India.


    India Test Fires Brahmos Supersonic Cruise Missile From Chandipur in Odisha

    7 June 2019
    Supersonic cruise missile BrahMos was test fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha. Anti-ship version of the missile launched by complex-3 of the ITR, Defence Research and Development (DRDO) sources. World’s fastest supersonic cruise missile with high rate of accuracy Missile is fired from land, sea and air.  The missile with a strike range of around 290 km is a strategic asset for India which act as a deterrence against any possible threats from China and Pakistan. BrahMos is a joint venture between the DRDO and the NPOM(a Russian military technology firm) of Russia. BrahMos operationalized in the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force. Senior defence officials and scientists from DRDO and BrahMos witnessed the trial Origin and history of Brahmos It brings a supersonic speed when it is separated. At the second stage then takes the missile closer to 3 Mach speed in cruise phase. Stealth technology and guidance system with advanced embedded software provides the missile an extraordinary performance Type: Cruise missile; Air-launched cruise missile. Variants: Ship-launched; Surface-launched.. Manufacturer: BrahMos Aerospace Limited Place of origin: India / Russia About Brahmos Speed: Mach 2.8–Mach 3  Unit cost: US$2.73 million Place of origin: India / Russia Manufacturer: BrahMos Aerospace Limited  

    James Webb Space Telescope successfully passed final thermal vacuum test

    3 June 2019
    NASA's $8.8-billion James Webb Space Telescope, the world's largest and most expensive one, has successfully passed final thermal vacuum test, making its parts cleared for use in space.  The 6.5-meter diameter telescope has 18 gold-coated mirrors and a tennis court-sized sun-shield to gather light and protect its instruments. The telescope set to launch in 2021. It took 20 years to build. James Webb Space Telescope (JWST): Operators: NASA / ESA / CSA / STScI Mission duration: 5 years (design), 10 years (goal) Launch date: March 30, 2021 (planned) Launch mass: 6,500 kg It is planned to be the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. It will provide greatly improved resolution and sensitivity over the Hubble and will enable a broad range of investigations across the fields of astronomy and cosmology.

    Astronomers discovered the Forbidden Planet, NGTS- 4b in the Neptunian Desert

    2 June 2019
    An international collaboration of astronomers with the University of Warwick, I-JK, have discovered an exoplanet, Next-Generation Transit Survey(NGTS)- 4b, the Forbidden Planet, in the Neptunian Desert. It is smaller than Neptune but 3 times the size of the Earth. The Research was led by Dr. Richard West including Professor Peter Wheatley, Dr. Daniel Bayliss and Dr. James McCormac from the Astronomy and Astrophysics Group at the University of Warwick. This information was published in the Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society(MNRAS). The Forbidden Planet with a mass of 20 Earth masses, radius 20% smaller than Neptune and temperature of 1000 degree Celsius, orbits around the star in only 1.3 days and its atmosphere as gases. NGTS, situated at the European Southern Observatory Paranal Observatory in the Atacama Desert, Chile.

    ISRO partnered with IAF for Gaganyaan astronaut selection, training

    1 June 2019
    The Indian Air Force (IAF) has signed an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for crew selection and training for the prestigious Gaganyaan, the country's maiden manned mission. AVM RGK Kapoor, ACAS Ops (Space), IAF handed over the MoU to Shri R Hutton, Project Director of Gaganyaan Programme. Agreement: - Under the programme, a three-member crew will spend a minimum of seven days in space.  - A human-rated GSLV Mk-lll will be used to carry the orbital module, which will have necessary provisions for sustaining a three-member crew for the duration of the mission.  - The Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM) will lead the selection and training of astronauts on behalf of IAF. - The necessary infrastructure for crew training, a realization of flight systems and ground infrastructure will be established to support the program.  - The ISRO will collaborate extensively with national agencies, laboratories, academia, and industry to accomplish the objectives of the prestigious mission. Gaganyaan Mission: Gaganyaan ("Sky Craft") is an Indian crewed orbital spacecraft intended to be the basis of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme. Gaganyaan was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018. The mission worth Rs. 10,000 crore.  The Programme is aimed to be launched by December 2021.  It was approved by the Union Cabinet in 2018. In its maiden crewed mission, ISRO's largely autonomous 3.7-tonne capsule will orbit the Earth at 400 km (250 mi) altitude for up to seven days with a three-person crew on board.

    Facebook plans to launch its cryptocurrency, GlobalCoin, by the first quarter of 2020

    1 June 2019
    Facebook plans to launch its cryptocurrency by the first quarter of 2020. The company is expected to reveal more details about the currency before testing begins later in 2019. The currency, which is being referred to internally as “GlobalCoin,” will reportedly be available in around a dozen countries at launch, where it’s expected to offer people affordable and secure payments without the need for a bank account. The currency will need to overcome numerous technical and regulatory hurdles before it can be launched. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with the Bank of England’s governor Mark Carney to discuss the opportunities and risks of the planned digital currency.  India-Key focus: However, Facebook might have a harder job on its hands in India, which has taken a hostile attitude towards virtual currencies. India is reported to be a key focus for the new currency, where Facebook hopes it will allow Indian workers abroad to send money back home to their families using WhatsApp. What is a Cryptocurrency A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. A cryptocurrency is difficult to counterfeit because of this security feature. It is not issued by any central authority, rendering it theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation. The first blockchain-based cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, which still remains the most popular and most valuable. Today, there are thousands of alternate cryptocurrencies with various functions or specifications.

    ISS spacewalk successfully carried out for the 217th time by 2 cosmonauts

    31 May 2019
    Two Russian space agency Roscosmos' cosmonauts have successfully carried out the 217th spacewalk for International Space Station's support, maintenance and upgrade. The spacewalk, fourth for 2019, was done by Expedition 59 Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineer Alexey Ovchinin and lasted six hours and one minute.  This was Commander Kononenko's fifth spacewalk and the first-ever for Ovchinin. The cosmonauts retrieved science experiments, install handrails on the Russian segment of the complex, and conduct maintenance on the orbiting laboratory. Roscosmos State Space Corporation: Formation: 25 February 1992 Headquarters: Moscow, Russia Administrator: Dmitry Rogozin Parent organization: The Russian government It is responsible for the wide range and types of space flights and cosmonautics programs for the Russian Federation.

    Gujarat traffic police to use laser guns to curb overspeeding

    31 May 2019
    The Gujarat government has decided to equip the traffic police with 'laser guns' for detection of over-speeding by vehicles. The state police's traffic branch has purchased 39 such high-tech guns at a cost of Rs.3.9 crore. Five of these US-made devices will be given to the Ahmedabad city police, and every district police force will also be provided one of these guns. A three-day workshop was organised recently at the Karai Police Academy here to impart training to over 200 traffic policemen on operating the device. Laser gun: The gun uses laser technology to detect the speed of a vehicle. It can record the speed of three vehicles simultaneously in a second, even if the vehicles are a km away. The device is equipped to record speeds from 0-320 kilometre per hour. The speed gun is an online device which can send an e-memo to the owner with a photo of the vehicle. If required, the speed gun can also generate and print the challan offline on the spot. It is also capable of recording videos of the over- speeding vehicles which will serve as proof if the vehicle owner confronts the police.  

    IIT Madras launched Integrated Database on Infrastructure Projects

    31 May 2019
    Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) launched a data platform called Integrated Database on Infrastructure Projects (IDIP) on 29th May. IDIP is aimed at enhancing the efficiency of infrastructure development in India and to enable effective decision-making among different stakeholders involved in the infrastructure sector.  Reason to build Database: The quality data on infrastructure projects in the country is scarce. While data sets provided by the government are often very dated, those from external agencies such as banks and funding institutions lack details Focus on road sector: IDIP was launched at the World Conference of Transport Research at IIT Bombay. While the database will expand to cover other infrastructure in the country, the initial focus of IDIP would be on the road sector, which has received the highest private investment among all infrastructure sectors Comprehensive infrastructural data on 250 roads across the country, built on a public-private partnership (PPP) model, has been made available at a single destination. The Road PPP in India is the largest in the world. IIT-Madras is soon to work on adding around 680 roads built on the Engineering Procurement and Construction model.

    NASA unveiled the plans about the Artemis program

    28 May 2019
    NASA unveiled the calendar for the "Artemis" programme that will return astronauts to the Moon for the first time in half a century, including eight scheduled launches and a mini-station in lunar orbit by 2024. Artemis : The original lunar missions were named for Apollo - Artemis was his twin sister in Greek mythology, and the goddess of hunting, wilderness, and the Moon.  Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed mission around the Moon planned for 2020. Artemis 2 will orbit Earth's satellite with a crew around 2022. Artemis 3 that will put astronauts on lunar soil in 2024, including the first woman. Aim: It consists of a spacecraft to measure what happens when Sun's radiation hits our rocky moon, where there is no magnetic field to protect it.  Benefits:  Artemis mission uses two out of five in-orbit spacecraft from another NASA Heliophysics constellation of satellites called The Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms i.e. "THEMIS". NASA's THEMIS mission began in 2007 and was successfully completed in 2010. The Artemis mission thus allows NASA to repurpose its two in-orbit spacecraft and to extend their useful science mission, saving millions of taxpayer dollars instead of building and launching new spacecraft. Partners of NASA: The three, Artemis 1, Artemis 2 and Artemis 3, will be launched into space by the biggest rocket of all time, the Boeing-led Space Launch System (SLS), which is currently under development. Affixed to its summit will be the Orion capsule, for which Lockheed Martin is the primary contractor. Lunar mini-station "Gateway": In addition to these missions, which will be all NASA's efforts, there will be five launches carrying the building blocks of the lunar mini-station "Gateway" which will serve as a staging point for the Moon landing. It is located about 250,000 miles from Earth. These will be carried out between 2022 and 2024 by private space companies, which NASA will pay for their services. The orbital station will initially consist of a simple power and propulsion element and a small habitat module. In 2024, astronauts will stop there en route to the Moon. They will then descend to the surface on a lander. A part of the lander will remain on the Moon while the other part will take off and allow the astronauts to return to their station, where they will board the Orion capsule and return to Earth.

    WhatsApp to put ads on Status in 2020, confirms Facebook

    26 May 2019
    WhatsApp Status will start displaying ads from 2020, the messaging platform's parent firm Facebook has confirmed. It added its already monetized WhatsApp Business app will get richer messaging formats, including viewing text alongside image or PDF in a single message. Notably, WhatsApp Co-founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum had left after disagreements with Facebook over monetising it. About Whatsapp Messenger  Founded: February 24, 2009; 10 years ago Headquarters: Mountain View, California, United States Founder   Jan Koum, Brian Acton

    SpaceX successfully launches, deploys 60 internet satellites

    26 May 2019
    SpaceX sent a packed rocket of 60 satellites into space. The launch was "the heaviest payload a Falcon 9 rocket has ever launched. The satellites represent the company’s ambitious plan to build an interconnected satellite network to beam high-speed internet to anywhere on the planet. The Falcon 9 rocket launched from the company's pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX deployed the 60 Starlink satellites in a "very low Earth orbit" of 440 kilometers above the surface. The full Starlink network would consist of 11,943 satellites flying close to the planet, closer than the International Space Station.

    ISRO flagged off the shipment of Indias largest liquid Hydrogen storage tank

    25 May 2019
    Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Secretary, DOS & Chairman, Dr.K Sivan, flagged off the shipment of India’s largest liquid Hydrogen storage tank at VRV Asia Pacific production plant at Sri City in Chittoor district.  The event stands out as a typical example for ISRO-Industry cooperation for realizing import substitutes indigenously.  The storage tank: VRV Asia Pacific manufactured the storage tank with a Liquid Nitrogen (LIN) shield, in a collaborative effort with Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, under the Make in India initiative.  The storage capacity of the tank is 120 kilolitres. Liquid hydrogen is used as fuel for satellite launch vehicles.  

    Researchers suspects gas insulation could be protecting an ocean inside Pluto

    24 May 2019
    Researchers said that computer simulations provide compelling evidence that an insulating layer of gas hydrates could keep a subsurface ocean from freezing beneath Pluto’s icy exterior. The researchers conducted computer simulations covering a timescale of 4.6 billion years when the solar system began to form. The simulations showed the thermal and structural evolution of Pluto’s interior and the time required for a subsurface ocean to freeze and for the icy shell covering it to become uniformly thick. They simulated two scenarios: one where an insulating layer of gas hydrates existed between the ocean and the icy shell, and one where it did not. Sputnik Planitia: In July 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew through Pluto’s system, providing the first-ever close-up images of this distant dwarf planet and its moons. The images showed Pluto’s unexpected topography, including a white-colored ellipsoidal basin named Sputnik Planitia, located near the equator and roughly the size of Texas. Because of its location and topography, scientists believe a subsurface ocean exists beneath the ice shell which is thinned at Sputnik Planitia. However, these observations are contradictory to the age of the dwarf planet because the ocean should have frozen a long time ago and the inner surface of the ice shell facing the ocean should have also been flattened. The simulation’s results support the possibility of a long-lived liquid ocean existing beneath the icy crust of Sputnik Planitia.

    Dr. Ankur Patwardhan, a scientist from Pune conferred with 'German Chemistry Prize'

    24 May 2019
    Dr. Ankur Patwardhan, a scientist from Pune won second place in 'German Chemistry Prize' in an international competition named 'Elsevier Foundation-ISC3 Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge' during in the 4th Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conference held in Dresden ,Germany.  Dr. Ankur Patwardhan received the second prize with €25,000 for his project 'Butterfly attractant for pollination and ecosystem health' The first prize was won by Dr. Ramia Al Bakain with €50,000 for his project "New green technique to remove toxic metal from wastewater'. At present, Dr. Ankur is working as head of the 'Annasaheb Kulkarni Biodiversity Department' at Abasa Garware College, Pune.  About Society of German Chemists Formation: 1949 (1867) Type: Learned society Headquarters: Frankfurt Location:Germany  

    Amazon likely to get the .amazon domain name

    23 May 2019
    Jeff Bezos-led Amazon has bagged a seven-year dispute over the '.amazon' domain name from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO), a group with member countries including Brazil backed the dispute.  The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) decided to proceed with designation requested by Amazon pending a 30-day period of public comment. The company is likely to get control of its internet namesake soon. Amazon intends to use the domain with its multiple business streams so internet addresses like ‘books.amazon’ and ‘alexa.amazon’ can be used by 2019. Domain name dispute: The e-commerce giant first applied for this domain in 2012 but its approval took seven years because a group of South American countries through which the river Amazon flows, raised objections. The Board found the Amazon corporation proposal of April 17, 2019, acceptable, and therefore directed the ICANN organisation’s President and CEO to continue the processing of the ‘.amazon’ applications according to the policies and procedures of the New gTLD Programme.

    ISRO successfully launched earth observation satellite RISAT 2B

    22 May 2019
    ISRO launched Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46) from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota on its 48th mission, carrying RISAT-2B on 22nd May. The earth observation satellite RISAT-2B is capable of observing Earth during the day, night and even under rainy and cloudy conditions.  The launch of the PSLV marks the third launch in 2019. It was the 72nd launch vehicle mission from Sriharikota and also marked the 36th launch from the first launch pad. RISAT-2B: The RISAT-2B (Radar Imaging Satellite-2B), meant for application in fields such as surveillance, agriculture, forestry, and disaster management support, was released into the orbit successfully. It would replace the RISAT-2, which was successfully launched in 2009. RISAT-2B is an excellent satellite with hi-fi earth observation capabilities. The RISAT-2B is equipped with a synthetic aperture radar that can take pictures of the earth during day and night, and also under cloudy conditions. With a mission life of five years, the satellite would also be used for military surveillance. The RISAT-2 has been actively used by India to monitor activities in camps across the border in Pakistan to thwart infiltration bids by terrorists. 2 RISATs: ISRO launched two RISATs in 2009 and 2012 and plans to launch four more in 2019. This comes after Balakot airstrikes on February 26, following which PM Narendra Modi claimed cloud cover helped IAF jets escape Pakistan's radars.  ISRO had launched RISAT-1, a microwave remote sensing satellite, on April 26, 2012, from Sriharikota. 1st and 2nd launches by ISRO in 2019: The PSLV-C45/EMISAT mission, which successfully injected the EMISAT and 29 international customer satellites into their orbits on April 1. The PSLV-C44, which successfully placed the Microsat-R and the Kalamsat-V2 satellites in designated orbits on January 24.

    ISRO announced Seven Mega Missions in next 10 years

    21 May 2019
    Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced to conduct seven Mega Missions for the upcoming 10 years and also prepared a roadmap for the next 30 years.  The seven Mega Missions includes India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan-2, XPoSaT and Aditya L-1. ISRO categorized its six Mega Missions (excluding Chandrayaan-2) in two broad categories- Defined Missions: The mission includes XPoSaT and Aditya L-1. Undefined Missions: The missions which are still in planning stage.  These missions are: Mangalyaan-2, Venus Mission, Lunar Polar Exploration and Exoworlds. About XPoSaT It is also known as X-ray Polarimeter Satellite.  The main aim of this mission is to study polarisation.  It will be launched in 2020 and the life of the mission will be of 5 years till 2025. The payload for XPoSaT was developed by Bengaluru-based Raman Research Institute. The spacecraft which will carry Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays (POLIX) payload study the degree and angle of polarisation of bright X-ray source in the energy range between 5 to 30 keV (Kilo electron volt) Aditya L-1 The mission was planned to launch in 2021 which will study the solar corona. The spacecraft of this mission will be placed in a halo orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrangian point (L1) which is about 1.2 million km away from the earth. About ISRO Formation: 15 August 1969 Headquarter: Bengaluru, Karnataka Director: K Sivan

    Methanol, water ice, and organic molecules is found on Ultima Thules surface

    20 May 2019
    NASA's New Horizons mission team has found evidence for a unique mixture of methanol, water ice, and organic molecules on Ultima Thule’s surface which is the farthest world ever explored by mankind. The U.S. space agency has published the first profile of Ultima Thule, an ancient relic from the era of planet formation, revealing details about the complex space object.  The researchers analyzed the first sets of data collected during the New Horizons spacecraft’s New Year’s 2019 flyby of the Kuiper Belt object called 2014 MU69, also known as Ultima Thule. Scientists discovered that Ultima Thule wasn’t any space object, instead, its composition, development, and geology were more complex than expected. Data transmission from the flyby will continue until late summer 2020 and until then, New Horizons will continue to take new observations of additional Kuiper Belt objects. Ultima Thule: Ultima Thule is a contact binary, because it has two differently-shaped lobes. It’s about 22 miles long and consists of a large, weirdly flat lobe (Ultima) that’s connected to a small, slightly rounder lobe (Thule), at a juncture dubbed the neck.  It features bright spots, hills, craters, and pits. The biggest depression on Ultima Thule is five miles in diameter and it is nicknamed as the Maryland crater, which could have been created from an impact event. Some smaller pits on Ultima Thule though might have developed by material falling into underground spaces.  

    Govt plans introducing artificial intelligence system in MCA 21 portal

    20 May 2019
    The union government plans to introduce artificial intelligence system in the MCA 21 portal as it seeks to make the compliance process easier as well as ensure routine enforcement activities are done round-the-clock on autopilot basis. MCA 21 is the electronic backbone for the dissemination of information to all stakeholders, including the regulator, corporates and investors. All filings under the companies law are submitted to the ministry through this portal. Ministry of Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas has said the ministry would like to introduce Artificial Intelligence in MCA 21 when version 3 of the portal is rolled out in about a year's time.

    Worlds first living organism with fully redesigned DNA created

    19 May 2019
    In a two-year effort, researchers at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge read and redesigned the DNA of the bacterium Escherichia coli (E coli), before creating cells with a synthetic version of the altered genome. The artificial genome holds 4m base pairs, the units of the genetic code spelled out by the letters G, A, T and C. Printed in full on A4 sheets, it runs to 970 pages, making the genome the largest by far that scientists have ever built. The DNA coiled up inside a cell holds the instructions it needs to function. When the cell needs more protein to grow, for example, it reads the DNA that encodes the right protein. The DNA letters are read in trios called codons, such as TCG and TCA. In 2010, US scientists announced the creation of the world’s first organism with a synthetic genome. The bug, Mycoplasma mycoides, has a smaller genome than E coli – about 1m base pairs – and was not radically redesigned.

    Govt. to mandate QR code based payment method

    15 May 2019
    The Indian government is planning to mandate a quick response (QR) code based payment method option using Unified Payments Interface (UPI) at all shops. The prime idea behind the proposal of mandatory QR code-based payment is to make digital payment more popular and bring a behavioral change in the ecosystem. The GST council approved the proposal. The move will also provide a GST benefit to both shops and consumers. The govt has for the project roped in National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to work on a necessary mechanism to launch it nationally. The QR code payment is reported to have witnessed exponential growth in consumer adoption in ASEAN countries.  Advantages of QR code payment:  Consumer can buy goods and services without the need to swipe plastic cards Records necessary information related to the transactions Data loss and security breach are minimized Can also be introduced on invoices It is cost effective compared to POS machine. As per an estimate, it costs about $1 to put up a laminated QR code sign at a shop. QR Code: It was first designed in 1994 for the automotive industry in Japan. A barcode is a machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached. QR code is said to store over 4000 alphanumeric characters. A QR code uses four standardized encoding modes (numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary, and kanji) to store data efficiently, extensions may also be used. It consists of black squares arranged in a square grid on a white background, which can be read by an imaging device and processed using Reed–Solomon error correction until the image can be appropriately interpreted. The required data is then extracted from patterns that are present in both horizontal and vertical components of the image. QR codes often contain data for a locator, identifier, or tracker that points to a website or application.   

    Yuvika 2019, ISROs Young Scientist Programme inaugurated

    14 May 2019
    ISRO Chairman Dr. K. Sivan inaugurated Yuvika (Yuva VIgyani KAryakram) 2019, ISRO's Young Scientist Programme, at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. As many as 110 teenagers are participating in the YUVIKA 2019. It is a two-week summer vacation residential training program which will be conducted by ISRO from 13 May to 26 May 2019. They are the first batch of young scientists of Yuvika (Yuva Vigyani Karyakram) that the Indian Space Research Organisation plans to hold every year. The chosen Class 9 students will spend the time visiting four centers of ISRO. It was launched by ISRO in tune with the Centre governments vision of Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan. This is the first time it is being held. Yuvika focusses on one such important area and would inculcate a scientific temper in the students apart from contributing to national integration and nation building. During the program, participants will also visit Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Shriharikota which is spaceport of India. During the programme, students will be provided course material which has already been pre-loaded on Tablets. It includes science topics like Rocket engineering, Environment science, Astronomy, Space applications, Renewable Energy, and also soft skill improvement modules like leadership, teamwork, communication, etc. They will also visit ISRO laboratories and interact with and share the experience with eminent ISRO scientists. Training Centres/Units:  It will be conducted across 4 centres of ISRO, Department of Space (DOS)-  1. Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad  2. North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC), Shillong  3. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram  4. U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), Bengaluru 

    Japan to test ALFA X version of Shinkansen bullet train

    13 May 2019
    Japan started testing its fastest-ever bullet train capable of reaching 400 kilometres per hour (249 mph) as it continues to develop the revolutionary mode of travel. The model's futuristic design features 10 cars and a long pointed nose. It'll be tested on the line between the cities of Sendai and Aomori, which are about 280 kilometres apart as the crow flies.  Tests will take place after midnight when the line is quiet and will occur twice a week. The ALFA-X marks a new stage of growth for the Shinkansen, pushing the world-renowned high-speed rail service even faster towards the future. Its testing debut comes as Japan's new high-speed Shinkansen N700S continues tests that began just over a year ago. That model will enter operation in 2020, but its maximum speeds of 300 kph -- the same as other N700 series trains  will be easily surpassed by the ALFA-X.

    Facebook selected London as the center to develop WhatsApps mobile payment service

    13 May 2019
    Facebook confirmed that it has selected London as the center to launch WhatsApp Pay.  The main reason to choose London than US City is because WhatsApp is widely used in UK and London is considered as a Hub for Fintech. WhatsApp currently has 1.5 billion users globally, out of which, more than 200 million users are in India. In the process of launching this new feature, WhatsApp will hire nearly 100 new software engineers in London and additional staff would be hired in Dublin. In April, the Reserve Bank of India issued a circular with regard to data localization policy for payment system providers.  Facebook assured the Supreme Court that it would adhere to the RBI’s data localization norms before the launch of the full payments service in India. About Facebook: ♦ Headquarters: Menlo Park, California, United States ♦ Founded: February 4, 2004 ♦ CEO: Mark Zuckerberg About WhatsApp: ♦ Headquarters: Menlo Park, California, United States ♦ Founded: 2009 ♦ Parent Organization: Facebook

    A 163 million year old fossil reveals new bat wing dinosaur species

    12 May 2019
    A fossil unearthed in northeastern China of a feathered dinosaur a bit bigger than a blue jay that possessed bat-like wings represents a remarkable but short-lived detour in the evolution of flight & the advent of birds. The dinosaur, named Ambopteryx longibrachium, lived 163 million years ago during the Jurassic Period & took flight with membranous wings made of skin supported by a long, pointed wrist bone, dramatically different from the distinctive feathered wings of birds. Unlike birds, Ambopteryx had membranous wings resembling pterosaurs, flying reptiles that appeared roughly 230 million years ago & bats, flying mammals that appeared roughly 50 million years ago. Ambopteryx, about 13 inches (32 cm) long & about 11 ounces (306 grams) in weight, was certainly capable of gliding but it is difficult to know whether it could achieve powered flight. Likely omnivorous, Ambopteryx lived an arboreal lifestyle in a forested environment.

    Samsung Electronics introduced worlds highest resolution image sensor

    12 May 2019
    Samsung Electronics Co, the South Korean Tech Giant, unveiled the world's highest-resolution image sensor, with 64 megapixels for smartphones. This is a step to meet the increasing demand for mobile devices with better image quality. Samsung expanded its 0.8-micrometer pixel image sensor lineup by introducing two new 0.8-micrometer pixel image sensors namely:  1. 64-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GWI (for advanced handsets)  2.48-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GM2 (forfiagship phones)  The two image sensors are currently being sampled and its mass production will soon start in second half of 2019. The image sensor market is expected to grow exponentially by 2030 in line with advancements in about to be introduced 5G technologies and artificial intelligence (A1). Apart from Smart Phones, Vehicle components are next market for image sensors, ranging from parking assistant system to autonomous driving (self-driving cars).

    Jeff Bezos has unveiled a a new lunar lander spacecraft

    12 May 2019
    Amazon entrepreneur Jeff Bezos has unveiled a mock-up of a new lunar lander spacecraft that aims to take equipment and humans to the Moon by 2024. The aim is for Blue Moon to land on the south pole of the Moon, where ice deposits have been found in craters. The water derived from that ice can be broken down to produce hydrogen, which could then fuel up the spacecraft for further missions across the solar system. Features of the rocket: The unmanned, reusable Blue Moon vehicle will carry scientific instruments, satellites and rovers. It will feature a new rocket engine called BE-7 that can blast 10,000lb (4,535kg) of thrust. Blue Moon will weigh 33,000lb when loaded with fuel on lift-off from Earth, which will decrease to about 7,000lb when it is about to land on the Moon. Mr Bezos presented the Moon goals of his space exploration company Blue Origin at the Washington Convention Center in Washington DC, to an audience consisting of potential customers and officials from NASA. The Blue Moon lunar lander comes loaded with enough fuel to get from Earth to the Moon. It can deliver payloads to the lunar surface, deploy up to four self-driving rovers, and launch satellites to orbit the Moon.

    MIT developed a system that tracks health from bounced back radio signals

    12 May 2019
    MIT scientists have developed a movement-tracking system 'Marko' based on wireless radio-frequency signals, which collects health and behaviour data after the signals bounce off a human. The system is trained using sensors worn by users for a few days.  The system is originally based on algorithms that detect changing reflections and associate them with specific individuals. The system then checks whether each individual’s movement around a digital floor plan. Comparing their movement patterns, scientists can get insights on how people interact with each other and the environment. Scientists describe the system and its real-world use in six locations: two assisted living facilities, three apartments inhabited by couples, and one townhouse with four residents. The case studies demonstrated the system’s ability to distinguish individuals based solely on wireless signals, and revealed some useful behavioral patterns.  

    ElectionGuard, an open source software unveiled by Microsoft for secure voting

    11 May 2019
    Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella announced the launch of “ElectionGuard”, a free open-source Software Development Kit(SDK) to help nations to carry out secure and verifiable voting.  Developed by Galois,  “Election Guard” is a supplement to paper ballots. It is verifiable as it allows the voters and third-party organizations to verify election results. “Election Guard” provides a voter a unique code.  During the process of voting, voters have an optional step which allows them to track their votes from the moment he/she casts it, after the voter has verified the selections are correct to the final step of counting the votes. It does not work with vote-by-mail systems and is not designed to work with internet voting schemes as it can be easily hacked. About Microsoft: ♦ Headquarters: Redmond, Washington, United States ♦ Formation: April 4, 1975 ♦ Founders: Bill Gates & Paul Allen ♦ CEO: Satya Nadella

    Experimental device generates electricity from the coldness of the universe for the first time

    11 May 2019
    Scientists from Stanford University, Shanhui Fan along with Masashi Ono have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to produce a measurable amount of electricity in an infrared photodiode from the coldness of the universe.The infrared semiconductor uses the temperature difference between Space and Earth to produce the electricity. The study was published in a journal named  Applied Physics Letters. The new device has generated about 64 nanowatts per square meter. According to the theoretical calculations, the device can generate almost 4 watts per square meter, roughly one million times what practically generated. In the new technology, the negative illumination effect allows electrical energy to be harvested as heat leaves a surface. About Solar Panel : ♦ Solar panels can generate 100 to 200 watts per square meter. ♦ The solar panel requires sunlight to generate electricity. ♦ non-uniform illumination effect influences the overall electrical efficiency of solar cells. About electricity: ♦ Invented in: 1752 ♦ Inventor: Benjamin Franklin ♦ Father of Electricity: William Gilbert

    Scientists created fake asteroid destroys New York City

    11 May 2019
    An asteroid 200 feet wide just plowed into a simulated New York City, sent there by NASA as part of an exercise to study what might happen if astronomers found a giant space rock heading toward Earth. NASA scientists have revealed the outcomes of its asteroid impact drill where they simulated an asteroid heading towards Denver, US. The world's space powers collaborated to hit and deflect the 180-meter-wide asteroid. However, a 60-metre chunk broke off and hit New York City at 69,000 kmph destroying everything in a 15-km radius as political disagreements failed in nuking the rock. If the collision had been real, the city would have been hit with a force 1,000 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima, leveling buildings from Central Park to lower Manhattan and causing up to 1.3 million deaths. Scientists said the city might have been spared had there been more than eight fictional years to plan space missions to knock the asteroid off course from Earth.

    Genetically Engineered Virus Treats Antibiotic-Resistant Infection for the first time

    10 May 2019
    A team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have used genetically modified viruses to treat a patient fighting an antibiotic-resistant infection for the first time. It was published in the journal Nature Medicine on 8th May 2019. The patient, Isabelle Carnell-Holdaway, 17, of  England, diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was 11 months old. She was suffered from a life-threatening infection after a lung transplant Isabelle had when she was 15.

    IIT Bombay researchers developed first indigenous microprocessor AJIT

    9 May 2019
    Engineers from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) have developed a microprocessor called AJIT which could reduce the country’s dependence on imports. It is the first to be conceptualised, designed, developed and manufactured in India. The project was funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and IIT Bombay. Powai Labs, a Mumbai-based company, has invested in the venture. It will own, market and support the product. India’s electronics market is expected to reach $400 billion by 2020. Most of the electronic devices that are used are imported and only a quarter of the devices are produced in the country. Microprocessor: An electronic equipment that is almost always imported is the microprocessor. It is the brain of an electronic device. A microprocessor is an integrated circuit that contains a few million transistors (semiconductor-based electronic devices) fused on a semiconductor chip. The dimension is of few millimetres. It is used in almost every electronic device, from the microwave and washing machine in homes to supercomputers of a space station. However, developing and manufacturing it is not easy; it is expensive, risky, and needs skill. Hence, only a handful of companies across the world have been able to manufacture and sell microprocessors. AJIT: The researchers developed a tool set called AHIR-V2, which can convert an algorithm to hardware to design the microprocessor circuit. AJIT is a medium-sized processor. It can be used inside a set top box, as a control panel for automation systems, in a traffic light controller or even robotic systems The expected price of the processor in market will be Rs.100. It can not be used in mobile phones yet but not for trivial uses like washing machines either.It can be used in WiFi routers, secure power metres or even electronic voting machines. In the first stage, AJIT has been manufactured in the government-owned Semiconductor Laboratory, Chandigarh. MeitY has extended its funding to enhance the processor and deploy it in government-initiated projects. SAMEER (Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering & Research), an independent laboratory under MeitY, is planning to use AJIT in the receivers being developed for NAVIC or IRNNS (The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System), an indigenous navigation system for the Indian subcontinent.

    Asteroid 99942 Apophis will fly towards the Earth in 10 years

    8 May 2019
    The U.S. space agency NASA said that an asteroid named 99942 Apophis will fly towards the Earth in 10 years. The colossal asteroid is named after the Egyptian god of chaos and destruction. It is expected to approach dangerously close to the Earth on April 13, 2029. It will be crossing about 19,000 miles (31,000 km) away from Earth. Current calculations show that Apophis still has a small chance of impacting the earth. NASA said it's relatively rare for such a large object to pass so close to the Earth and it will be a great opportunity for asteroid scientists around the world to conduct a close-up study of the Apophis' size, shape, composition and possibly even its interior. The asteroid will be observed with both optical and radar telescopes. With radar observations, we might be able to see surface details that are only a few meters in size. Apophis was discovered in 2004 by U.S. astronomers. Since its discovery, optical and radar telescopes have tracked Apophis as it continues on its orbit around the sun, so scientists has predicted its future trajectory. Asteroids: Asteroids are minor planets, especially of the inner Solar System. Larger asteroids have also been called planetoids. There exist millions of asteroids. They are differentiated from comets and meteoroids as asteroids are mainly composed of mineral and rock. Asteroids formed closer to the sun, preventing the development of cometary ice. Asteroids are formed closer to the sun to prevent the development of cometary ice. Asteroids have a diameter of greater than one meter. The first asteroid, Ceres, was discovered in 1801. 

    SpaceX successfully launched cargo mission for NASA to ISS

    7 May 2019
    SpaceX successfully launched a Dragon spacecraft on a cargo mission for NASA to International Space Station (ISS). This is SpaceX's fifth launch of the year. The launch was rescheduled earlier due to some electrical problem on ISS. It was launched on a 'Falcon 9' rocket, from Cape Canaveral in Florida. It is being used for the first time. Rocket on boards an uncrewed Cargo Dragon spacecraft.  About the Dragon spacecraft: It is scheduled to reach ISS on May 6. It carries 2,500 kilograms of research, supplies, and hardware for astronauts living and working on ISS as part of the CRS-17 mission (17th resupply mission). 

    Japan first privately developed rocket Momo-3 reached outer space

    6 May 2019
    A Japanese aerospace startup Interstellar Technology Inc. successfully launched a first privately developed rocket ‘Momo-3’ into space.  The unmanned rocket launched from its test site in Taiki on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido and it reached about 110 km in altitude before falling into the Pacific Ocean after 10 minutes of flight time. The rocket is 10 meters in length, 50 centimeters in diameter and weighs about 1 ton. ‘Momo-3’ rocket has the capability of putting payloads into the orbit. The company Interstellar Technology Inc. founded by former Livedoor Co. President Takafumi Horie in 2013.  About Japan Emperor: Naruhito Prime Minister: Shinzo Abe Capital: Tokyo Currency: Japanese Yen

    ISRO to launch RISAT 2BR1 by the end of May

    6 May 2019
    The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced its plans to launch its latest radar imaging reconnaissance satellite 'RISAT 2BR1 ' towards the end of May 2019. Its launch was earlier scheduled in 2020. The RISAT (radar imaging satellite), will be carried by PSLV-C46. It is one of the reusable variants of ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket, which has offered significant progress and technology sophistication in terms of advancement in space technologies.  The designation C-46' is as per ISRO's numbering system. It would depart from the first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. ISRO’s RISAT: The RISAT series by ISRO is first all-weather earth observation satellites.  These Radar imaging satellites are designed to all-weather surveillance using synthetic aperture radars (SAR) i.e. they provide a continuous (24x7) view of earth day or night and even during bad weather for defence.  

    Giant asteroid 99942 Apophis will fly past Earth in a decade

    5 May 2019
    The 340m wide asteroid named 99942 Apophis will fly past Earth like a ‘moving star- like point of light’ on April 13, 2029. It will fly above the earth’s surface at 30,500 km and first become visible with a naked eye in the night sky over the Southern Hemisphere from the east coast to the west coast of Australia. In 2004, astronomers at the Kitt Peak National Observatory based in Arizona discovered Apophis and claims about the chance of 2.7% that asteroid may impact Earth in 2029. However, further observation ruled out that chance but Apophis still has a small chance of impacting Earth which is less than 1 in 100,00- many decades from now. In the session International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Planetary Defense Conference 2019 held in College Park, Maryland on April 30, the asteroid was the main topic of discussion among scientists who talked about observation strategies, exploration missions and encounter preparation. About 99942 Apophis Radius: 185 m Mass: 26.99 billion kg Orbital period: 324 days Orbits: Sun Absolute magnitude (H): 19.7±0.4; 19.09±0.19

    ISRO planning to send a probe to study sun early next year

    5 May 2019
    Indian Space Research Organization is planning to send a probe to study the sun early next year. ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan currently scientists are exploring possibilities to study more about Sun and the probe named Aditya-L1 will be sent to observe the solar corona, the outer layers of the Sun. The satellite would be ed in a halo orbit around the L1 (Lagrangian point 1) of the Sun-Earth system so that it has the advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation or eclipses. The L1 is 1.5 million kms from t the mission to send Indian astronauts to space by 2022 is well on stream.  The provided by ISRO, officials were able to forecast the landfall area and this helped in taking precautionary measures in advance.  About ISRO  Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India Administrator: Dr K. Sivan, Secretary (Space) and chairperson Primary spaceport: Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota (SHAR), Andhra Pradesh, India Parent organisation: Department of Space, Government of India

    Huawei overtook Apple to become Worlds 2nd largest smartphone maker

    5 May 2019
    The Chinese electronics giant Huawei has surpassed Apple to become the No. 2 smartphone vendor worldwide, according to statistics from the International Data Corp. (IDC). South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung continues to top the list with 20.9% market share. Huawei was the only smartphone maker in the top three that saw an increase in shipments in the first quarter of 2019. The company saw year-over-year growth of 50.3% in the first quarter and claimed 19% of the worldwide market share. Apple holds 11.7% of the worldwide market share as of the first quarter of 2019, while Huawei now claims 19%. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi sits on the fourth position in the list. The fifth position is captured by another Chinese smartphone maker - Oppo.

    Chandrayaan 2 to be launched between 9 and 16th July

    4 May 2019
    The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the moon, will be launched between July 9 and 16 and that it is expected to land on September 6. In August 2018, the organisation had said it will launch Chandrayaan 2 in January 2019 and described it as most complex mission undertaken by ISRO. The mission will be launched on a GSLV Mk-III rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota. The mission aims to land on the moon’s south pole. 3 modules of the mission: Chandrayaan-2 is a fully-indigenous mission that comprises three modules, an Orbiter, a Lander named Vikram, and a Rover named Pragyan, and will be launched on board a GSLV-MkIII rocket. The GSLV-MkIII is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle that has been designed to carry four-tonne class satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). The Chandrayaan-1 mission was launched on board a PSLV. The rover is housed inside the lander. After launch into earth bound orbit by GSLV MK-III, the integrated module will reach Moon orbit using Orbiter propulsion module. Subsequently, lander will separate from the orbiter and soft land at the predetermined site close to lunar South Pole. Further, the rover will roll out for carrying out scientific experiments on the lunar surface. Instruments are also mounted on lander and orbiter for carrying out scientific experiments. Global plans onLunar mission: The lunar South Pole is believed to contain ice and other minerals, and international space expedition plans are hotting up with NASA planning to land astronauts there by 2024, while China reportedly plans to build a scientific research station on the lunar South Pole within the next decade. Indian Space Research Organisation: Formed on: 15 August 1969 Headquarters: Bengaluru,India Chairperson: Dr.K.Sivan ISRO is the space agency of the Government of India. It aims to harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration. ISRO built India's first satellite, Aryabhata, which was launched by the Soviet Union on 19 April 1975.  

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