Science & Technology Current
September 4th week 2015 current affairs
Category : Science & Technology Current
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1) Microsoft Office 2016 launched in India.

  • Microsoft India has announced the launch of the Office 2016 apps. The apps are the latest addition to Office 365, Microsoft`s cloud-based subscription service that offers the office suite.
  • The company has also announced new and enhanced Office 365 services.
  • The Office 2016 apps are optimized for Windows 10, and include the new Sway to create shareable, interactive stories.
  • It also supports Windows Hello that logs in users into Windows 10 and Office 365 in one step. According to Microsoft, the Office 2016 apps with Office 365 deliver new capabilities for better enterprise
  • Satya Narayana Nadella is an Indian-American business executive. He is the current chief executive officer of Microsoft. He was appointed as CEO on 4 February 2014, succeeding Steve Ballmer.
2) Mangalyaan completed one year of the mission life around Mars on 24 September 2015.
  1. India’s globally acclaimed Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft also known as Mangalyaan has completed one year of the mission life around Mars on 24 September 2015.
  2. During the entire one year, the spacecraft had acquired a large set of data of the red planet using all five payloads mounted on it by completing more than 120 orbits.
  3. To mark first anniversary of MOM, Ahmedabad based Space Applications Centre (SAC) of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) released Mar Atlas mobile application. Mar Atlas contains compilation of photos taken at varying spatial resolutions by the Mars Colour Camera (MCC) fitted on board of the spacecraft. It also contains results obtained by other payload results in a form of scientific atlas.
About Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM):
  1. Mangalyaan is indigenously designed, built and launched by ISRO in record period of less than two years in 450 crore rupees (73 million US dollars) budget which is considered as cheapest inter-planetary mission till date to reach Mars.
Launch Details:
  1. The MOM spacecraft had entered into the orbit of Mars on the night of 23 September 2014 after it was launched on 5 November 2013 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre using a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket C25.
  2. It had reached the red planet just two days after NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution probe (MAVEN) reached Mars orbit.
  1. In September 2014, India created a space history by becoming first nation in the world to successfully launch interplanetary mission to Mars in maiden attempt.
  2. ISRO also become first Asian and fourth space agency in the world to reach Mars orbit after the Roscosmos of Russia, NASA and European Space Agency.
  1. ISRO for its enormous success was conferred 2014 Indira Gandhi Peace Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Develeopment.
  2. The team of ISRO’s Mars Orbiter programme team was conferred with prestigious 2015 Space Pioneer Award in the Science and Engineering category by National Space Society (NSS).
  3. Mars Orbiter programme team based in Bengaluru, Karnataka which is headed by eminent ISRO scientist Mylswamy Annadurai was presented with this award for achieving the rare feat of entering Mars orbit in maiden attempt.

3) Fossils of a dinosaur found in an Australian archaeological site.

  • Fossils of a dinosaur dating back more than 100 million years have been found at an Australian archaeological site first explored in the 1930s.
  • The bones are believed to be from the Austrosaurus mckillopi beast and were found in northwest Queensland, Xinhua.
  • A worker stumbled across some fragments of backbone in 1932. The bones were then sent to Queensland Museum and experts realised they were quite different from all other fossils that had come from the site before.
4) New "snakeskin" mystifying images of Pluto sent by NASA New Horizons probe.
  • New “snakeskin” mystifying images of Pluto sent by NASA’s New Horizons probe had revealed a multitude of previously unseen topographic and compositional details.
  • The images captures a vast rippling landscape of strange, aligned linear ridges that has astonished New Horizons team members.
  • “It is a unique and perplexing landscape stretching over hundreds of miles,” William McKinnon, New Horizons team’s deputy lead from Washington University in St Louis.
  • The “snakeskin” image of Pluto’s surface is just one tantalising piece of data New Horizons sent back in recent days.
5) Facebook to test wireless broadband services in India.
  • From being just a social media platform, Facebook is transforming itself as an enabler of Internet access through various initiatives aimed at reaching the next billion users.
  • Facebook has announced that it has partnershiped with Internet Service Providers in India to launch Wi-Fi enabled broadband services in rural areas.
  1. Called Wi-Fi Express, the initiative is part of Facebook’s platform as it looks to expand its user base beyond the saturated MARKETS in the US and Europe.
  2. The Wi-Fi Express has gone live first in India. The initial Wi-Fi zones have been launched across several locations in North India.
  3. Facebook has developed a low-cost software that will help hotspot operators at the village level do the billing and also alert consumers about data usage. The wi-fi services run on unlicenced free-to-air spectrum in the 2.4 GHz band. Users can get speeds of up to 1.5-2 Mbps within the hotspot zone. To access the service, users have to buy packages, which start at Rs. 10.
6) INS Viraat, world’s oldest active aircraft carrier, in Kochi
  • The oldest operational aircraft carrier in the world, INS Viraat of Indian Navy may decommissioned next year in 2016 in Kochi. The ship started its Journey in 1958.
  • She will be converted into a docked museum when the ship, now in the Indian Navy, decommissions next year.
  • Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) authorities received an in-principle approval from the Ministry of Defence to convert the ship into a museum at the Kakinada port in the Bay of Bengal, on the eastern shore of the country. The Indian Navy intended to decommission Viraat in 2009, but the refurbishment of Soviet-built carrier INS Vikramaditya (R-33) was delayed so Viraat under went additional refits and continued its work.
About INS Viraat:
  1. INS Viraat was the flagship of the Indian Navy before INS Vikramaditya.
  2. She is the oldest aircraft carrier in service in the world.
  3. INS Viraat (R-22) was commissioned in 1959 into the Royal Navy as HMS Hermes (R-12).
  4. It was transferred to India in 1987.
  5. After 57 years, the ship will decommission in 2016.
  6. Motto: Jalameva Yasya, Balameva Tasya (Sanskrit: “He who rules over the seas is all powerful”).
  7. It is last British built ship serving with Indian Navy.
  8. Length: 226.5 m

7) ISRO Launches ASTROSTAT Successfully.

  • ISRO has launched ASTROSTAT, India’s first satellite for astronomical study, successfully from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota High Altitude Range (SHAR) in Nellore.
  • Other than the ASTROSTAT, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C30 (PSLV C-30) carries four satellites from the U.S. and one each from Indonesia and Canada. The total payload weight of PSLV-C30 would be 1,631 kg.
  1. ASTROSAT is ISRO’s milestone mission, the country’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory that will help in understanding the universe.
  2. ASTROSAT will study sources of high-energy UV and X-radiation in the cosmos, typically objects like supernovae, neutron stars and black holes, with a notable ability to make observations on both wavelengths simultaneously.
  3. The mission life of Astrosat is five years.
  4. It is aimed at studying black holes, neutron stars and extra-galactic systems by making observations in the optical, ultraviolet and X-Ray frequencies.
  5. ASTROSAT carries an ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT).
8) Google has announced to provide high-speed public Wi-Fi in 400 Indian railway stations.
  • Search engine giant Google has announced to provide high-speed public Wi-Fi in 400 Indian railway stations. To set up public Wi-Fi hotspots, Google is working with the Indian Railways and RailTel, a government-owned provider of telecommunications infrastructure to the railways.
  • The project will be implemented in phased manner and initially it will cover 100 of the busiest stations in India before the end of 2016. The first stations are expected to come online by end of October 2015.
9) Indian Navy commissioned INS Kochi
  • Indian Navy has commissioned INS Kochi, a Kolkata-class Guided Missile Destroyer in its contingent to showcase India’s indigenous efforts in the field of underwater warfare. The ship was commissioned by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in Mumbai.
  • It is a second ship of the three ships Kolkata-class Guided Missile Destroyer to be inducted. Earlier in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had commissioned INS Kolkata. The third and last ship of Kolkata-class Guided Missile Destroyer INS Chennai is expected to join Indian Navy in 2016.
Top features of INS Kochi:
  1. The ship drives its name from the port city of Kochi (Kerala) which had distinct maritime character and culture and symbolises the special bond between the Indian Navy. It has been built at Mazagaon Docks (MDL), Mumbai and it is the 10th destroyer in India’s combat fleet.
Weapons: It is loaded with state-of-the-art weapons, sensors and advanced stealth features including long-range BrahMos surface-to- surface missile.
10) India-Sri Lanka joint military exercise MITRA SHAKTI 2015.
  • India-Sri Lanka joint military exercise MITRA SHAKTI 2015 has begun at Aundh Military Station in Pune, Maharashtra.
  • It is third edition of the joint training exercise between both countries that seeks to build Military to Military co-operation and interoperability.
Key facts:
  1. Aim of MITRA SHAKTI 2015 Exercise is to share the best military practices between the two Armies and promote healthy military to military relations. It also seeks to develop joint strategies between the two Armies by sharing expertise of conducting operations.
  2. The 14 days exercise’s basic objective is to enhance confidence and trust between the two militaries and engage in anti-terrorism operations including those under the UN mandate. It will contribute immensely in developing mutual understanding and respect between armies of both nations.
11) Microsoft has launched its local datacentres in India.
  • Microsoft has launched its local datacentres in India, which will offer its Azure cloud services. Office 365 services will be available from October 2015. Dynamics CRM Online services will follow suite early next year. The company has opened three data centres in Pune, Chennai and Mumbai.
12) Nasa Scientist find evidence of flowing water on Mars
  • Scientists have for the first time confirmed liquid water flowing on the surface of Mars, a finding that will add to speculation that life, if it ever arose there, could persist now that gives possible niches for life. NASA researchers uses an imager aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter which confirmed the water flows.
Facts About Mars:
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun.
It is also Second smallest planet in the Solar System.
  1. it is often referred to as the “Red Planet” because the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance.
  2. Mars is the site of Olympus Mons, the largest volcano and second highest known mountain in the Solar System, and of Valles Marineris, one of the largest canyons in the Solar System.
  3. Mars has two moons.
  4. Mars can easily be seen from Earth with the naked eye, as can its reddish coloring.
  5. Mars is approximately half the diameter of Earth.
  6. Over 100,000 people have applied for aone-way trip to colonize Mars in 2022.
  7. On Mars sunsets are blue.
  8. A year on Mars has 687 Earth Days.
  9. The average temperature in Mars is -81°F (-63°C).
  10. Mars has a flag. It was designed by a NASA engineer.
13) China has successfully launched 20th new generation satellite for its BeiDou Navigation system.
  • China has successfully launched 20th new generation satellite for its BeiDou Navigation system, moving a step closer to build its own Global Positioning System to compete with the US-operated GPS. Launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan, the satellite was boosted by a Long March-3B carrier rocket.
  • For the first time the satellite featured a hydrogen atomic clock. Named after the Chinese term for the plough or the Big Dipper constellation, the Beidou project was formally launched in 1994, some 20 years after GPS.