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May 2nd week 2015 current affairs
Author : uppy
Category : Science & Technology Current
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May 2nd week 2015 current affairs

1) Nod for PSLV programme


  • The Union Cabinet on 21st May gave its approval for Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Continuation Programme of 15 operational flights of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C36 to PSLV-C50. The total fund requirement is Rs 3,090 crore and includes the cost of 15 PSLV vehicles, Programme Elements, Programme Management and Launch Campaign.
  • All the fifteen operational flights would be completed during the period 2017-2020. With the recent successful launch of PSLV-C26 on 16th October 2014, PSLV has completed three developmental and twenty-five operational flights and the last twenty-seven flights have been successively successful
  • In India, the launch vehicle development programme began in the early 1970s. The first experimental Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-3) was developed in 1980. An Augmented version of this, ASLV, was launched successfully in 1992. India has made tremendous strides in launch vehicle technology to achieve self-reliance in satellite launch vehicle programme with the operationalisation of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).
  • PSLV is capable of launching 1600 kg satellites in 620 km sun-synchronous polar orbit and 1050 kg satellite in geo-synchronous transfer orbit. In the standard configuration, it measures 44.4 m tall, with a lift off weight of 295 tonnes. PSLV has four stages using solid and liquid propulsion systems alternately. The first stage is one of the largest solid propellant boosters in the world and carries 139 tonnes of propellant. A cluster of six strap-ons attached to the first stage motor, four of which are ignited on the ground and two are air-lit.
  • The reliability rate of PSLV has been superb. With its variant configurations, PSLV has proved its multi-payload, multi-mission capability in a single launch and its geosynchronous launch capability. In the Chandrayaan mission, another variant of PSLV with an extended version of strap-on motors, PSOM-XL, the payload haul was enhanced to 1,750 kg in 620 km SSPO. PSLV has rightfully earned the status of workhorse launch vehicle of ISRO. As of 2014 the PSLV has launched 71 spacecraft (31 Indian and 40 foreign satellites) into a variety of orbits.4 Some notable payloads launched by PSLV include India`s Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe and the Mars Orbiter Mission.


2) Hidden world of ocean`s tiniest organisms revealed


  • The hidden world of the ocean`s tiniest organisms has been revealed in a series of papers published in the journal Science. An international team has been studying samples of plankton collected during a three-year global expedition.
  • They have so far found 35,000 species of bacteria, 5,000 new viruses and 150,000 single-celled plants and creatures. They believe that the majority of these are new to science. Planktonic organisms are minute, but together they make up 90 per cent of the mass of all of the marine life in the oceans.


3) India @ 24 in environmental index

  • Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Access Initiative on 20 May 2015 released the first Environmental Democracy Index (EDI) for the year 2015. The index evaluates the environmental democracy in 70 countries based on recognised international standards.
  • The index evaluates whether Governments are enacting national laws to promote transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement in environmental decision making. It is assessed and analysed by more than 140 international lawyers and experts.
  • India was ranked at 24th position out of 70 countries in the first Environmental Democracy Index that is topped by Lithuania at the first position, Latvia at the second and Russia at the third position.



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