Science & Technology Current
October 2nd week 2015 Current Affairs
Category : Science & Technology Current
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1) The Indo-China Combined Military Training Exercise HAND-IN-HAND 2015.

  • India-China Joint Military Training Exercise HAND-IN-HAND 2015 will be conducted at Kunming Military Academy of Yunnan province in China from 12 to 23 October 2015.
  • It will be the fifth joint military exercise in the Hand-in-Hand series between armies of both countries which had started in 2007.
Key facts of the exercise:
  1. Broaden and strengthen interoperability and cooperation between armies of both countries as well as complement a number of other exchanges between the two forces.
  2. This edition of exercise will lay emphasis on joint handling of insurgency at sub-unit level and related issues. It will also cover aspect of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief at formation headquarters level.
  3. The curriculum of exercise has been planned progressively in order to make participants to get familiar with each other’s organisational structure, weapons, equipment and tactical drills.
2) China launches commercial remote sensing satellites.
  • China launched four satellites for commercial remote sensing services. The "Jilin-1" satellites, launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in China’s Gansu province, include one optical remote-sensing satellite, two satellites for video imaging and another for imaging technique testing.
  • All four satellites were developed and produced by Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co. Ltd. The satellites were carried by a Long March-2D rocket. It is the 213th mission carried out with Long-March-series carrier rockets.
3) The first colour images of Pluto`s atmospheric hazes beamed by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft.
  • In a major finding, the first colour images of Pluto’s atmospheric hazes beamed by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft show that the icy-dwarf planet has blue skies similar to Earth and frozen water on its surface.
  • A blue sky often results from scattering of sunlight by very small particles. On Earth, those particles are very tiny nitrogen molecules. On Pluto they appear to be larger but still relatively small soot-like particles we call tholins.
  • Scientists believe the tholin particles form high in the atmosphere, where ultraviolet sunlight breaks apart and ionises nitrogen and methane molecules and allows them to react with each other to form more and more complex negatively and positively charged ions.

4) NASA released Plan outlining Next Steps in the Journey to Mars with an aim to establish colonies by 2030s.

NASA released a report titled NASA’s Journey to Mars: Pioneering Next Steps in Space Exploration. The document contains plan for establishing permanent settlements and creating deep-space habitation facilities on the red planet Mars by 2030s.
The plan under which, Humans will be living and working on Mars in colonies entirely independent of Earth by the 2030s, will act as stepping stones to Mars.
Three stages of Journey to Mars:
The journey to Mars will cross three thresholds as identified by NASA, each threshold will have its own challenge. The challenges will increase as humans will move farther from the Earth and closer to Mars.
To manage these challenges, NASA is developing and demonstrating capabilities in incremental steps and they are:
Earth Reliant exploration: It is focused on research aboard the International Space Station. From this world-class microgravity laboratory, NASA is testing technologies and advancing human health and performance research that will enable deep space, long duration missions.

Proving Ground: In this, NASA will learn to conduct complex operations in a deep space environment that allows crews to return to Earth in a matter of days. Primarily operating in cislunar space the volume of space around the moon featuring multiple possible stable staging orbits for future deep space missions—NASA will advance and validate capabilities required for humans to live and work at distances much farther away from our home planet, such as at Mars.

Earth Independent activities: It will build on what NASA learn on the space station and in deep space to enable human missions to the Mars vicinity, possibly to low-Mars orbit or one of the Martian moons, and eventually the Martian surface. Future Mars missions will represent a collaborative effort between NASA and its partners to seek the potential for sustainable life beyond Earth.

5) Indian Navy’s INS Trikand reaches Egyptian port Safaga.
  • In continuation of the Indian Navy’s overseas deployment to West Asia, Africa and Europe, Talwar class frigate INS Trikand entered Safaga port on the coast of the Red Sea for a three days visit. The ship will engage extensively with the Egyptian Navy during its stay in the country.
  • A notable recent deployment of the Indian Navy in the region was Operation Rahat for the evacuation of over 6,200 persons of whom 960 were citizens from 41 other countries including 47 Egyptians from strife-ridden Yemen in April 2015.
  • INS Trikand, commanded by Captain Vinay Kalia, is a state-of-the-art warship, equipped with a versatile range of weapons and sensors, capable of addressing threats in all the three dimensions – air, surface and sub-surface.

6) Iran tests new precision-guided ballistic missile `Emad`.

  • Iran tested a new precision-guided ballistic missile in defiance of a United Nations ban, signaling an apparent advance in Iranian attempts to improve the accuracy of its missile arsenal.
  • The Islamic Republic has one of the largest missile programs in the Middle East, but its potential effectiveness has been limited by poor accuracy. A successful launch of the new missile, named Emad, which will be Iran’s first precision-guided weapon with the range to strike its regional arch-enemy Israel.
  • The U.N. Security Council prohibits foreign powers from assisting Iran in developing its ballistic missile program in any way, a ban that will remain in place under the terms of the July 14 nuclear deal that will see other sanctions lifted.
  • Emad would have a range of 1,700 km and a 750 kg payload. It is a variant of the liquid-fuelled Shahab-3 missile, which has been in service since 2003 and has a similar range. The Emad represents a major leap in terms of accuracy.
7) Joint India-Sri Lanka Exercise Mitra Shakti-2015 Culminates.
  • The third India-Sri Lanka Joint Training Exercise Mitra Shakti-2015 has ended after a grand closing ceremony held at Aundh Military Camp, Pune.
  • The 14-day joint training included understanding of transnational terrorism, developing interoperability and conduct of joint tactical operations controlled by a Joint Command Post.
  • Brigadier Tapan Lal Sah of the Indian Army & Brigadier KP Aruna Jayasekera of Sri Lankan Army jointly reviewed the parade commanded by Major Ashish Kumar, of Indian Army. Martial skill display by Indian Army added colour to the impressive parade displayed by the joint contingent.


8) Cochin Shipyard Limited delivers ICGS Arinjay.

  • The 15th vessel in the series of 20 Fast Patrol Vessel, ICGS Arinjay, has been delivered by the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) to the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).
  • The Protocol of Delivery and Acceptance was signed between Sunny Thomas, Director (Technical), CSL and Commanding Officer (Designate) of the vessel Commandant Ajay Kumar Mudgal. The vessel will be operated from the Coast Guard Station at Okha, Gujarat.
  • These Fast Patrol Vessels (FPV) are primarily intended for patrolling within the Exclusive Economic Zone and Coastal Patrol, carrying out anti-smuggling, anti-piracy and search and rescue operations, and for fisheries protection and monitoring.
9) The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) discovered a new species of banana.
  • Scientists at the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) discovered a new species of banana, named Musa Indandamanensis, from a remote tropical rain forest on the Andaman Islands.
  • The species was located about 16 kilometers inside the Krishna Nalah forest in the island. Bananas of this species are very sweet in taste and are eaten by tribal people of the island.
Features of Musa Indandamanensis:
  1. It is a distinct global species with unique green flowers and fruit bunch lux (axis) thrice the size of a regular banana species.
  2. The fruit pulp of the species is orange in colour, which is distinctive from the white and yellow colour of regular bananas.
  3. Trees of this species are about 11 meter high, whereas, the regular species are about three to four meters high.
  4. The fruit lux of the species is about one metres, which is thrice the size of regular species.
  5. The flowers of the species are cylindrical, whereas, the flowers of other banana species are conical.
10) India, United States and Japan navies have started 2015 Malabar Naval.
  • India, United States and Japan navies have started 2015 Malabar Naval Exercise of the eastern coast in Bay of Bengal and India Ocean.
  • The high-end warfighting and complex trilateral exercise is part of annual series of exercises conducted to advance multi-national maritime relationships and mutual security issues.
Key facts:
  1. The five-day exercise includes both ashore and at-sea training exercises, that would share knowledge on carrier strike group operations, anti-submarine warfare, maritime patrol etc.
  2. The joint fleet of 3 navies will include warships, aircraft carriers and fast attack submarines. Total Ten ships, five from India, four from US and one from Japan are participating.

US Ships: Aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt embarked with Carrier Air Wing 1 having 90 fighter aircrafts.
Guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG60), USS Nimitz, Littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS-3), P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft and fast attack nuclear submarine.
Indian Ships: Rajput class destroyer, 2 other ships, a conventional submarine and a P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft. Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force is deploying an Akizuki-class guided missile destroyer.