Science & Technology Current
March 1st week 2015 current affairs
Category : Science & Technology Current
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1) NASA’s rover completes its 11-year Mars marathon

  • Nasa`s Opportunity Mars rover has become the first human-made vehicle to complete a marathon on another planet - a feat accomplished in a record time of no less than 11 years.
  • Opportunity passed the 26-mile (42-kilometer) mark Tuesday after approximately 11 years and two months traveling the Martian terrain, where it surpassed scientists` original expectations for a mission lasting just several months. The solar-powered robot, which landed on Mars` Eagle Crater in January 2004, completed the marathon in the course of a 153-foot (46.5-meter) drive.
  • During its mission, Opportunity and its twin rover, Spirit - now defunct - have discovered wet environmental conditions on ancient Mars, some of which are mild enough to have been favorable for life. Opportunity was given the long-term task of exploring the rim of the Endeavour Crater after its lifespan far exceeded scientists` expectations.


2) Norway declared climate action plan

  • Norway on 27th March jointed the race of rich nations including Switzerland and European Union (EU) countries in submitting their respective `climate action plans` well in time. Norway submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the UNFCCC promising to cut at least 40% of its greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030 compared to 1990 level.
  • Norway`s INDC is at par with the EU`s promise but less than that of Switzerland that promised to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030 from its 1990 level. Switzerland was, in fact, the first country that had submitted its climate action plan to the UN body.
  • Norway, however, promised that the country will consider taking a commitment "beyond an emission reduction of 40% compared to 1990 levels" if it can contribute to a global and ambitious climate agreement in Paris..
  • The country also noted that the solution with the EU means that the 40% emission reduction will be implemented in Europe, without the use of international market mechanisms outside of the EU and Norway.
  • The EU had in its INDCs, submitted in the March 2015 pledged that this group of 28 countries would work to reduce domestic emission of greenhouse gases by 40% from their 1990 level by the year 2030.
  • Besides, the EU had also committed for a regular review and strengthening of its mitigation commitments consistent with a long-term goal to curb emissions.
  • Under the INDCs, all countries are expected to submit their `nationally determined contribution` in terms of their mitigation (emission cut) and adaptation goals well in advance ahead of the Paris climate talks, scheduled for December, where a new climate deal is expected to be signed.

3) AWACS develop responsibility to DRDO

  • Indigenous technology is going to play key role in Defence technology, as the Defence Research Development Organization will soon develop indigenous Airborne Warning and Congrol Systems. The decision was taken in the Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on 28th March
  • The council allocated Rs. 5,113 crore for two systems based on the A-330 aircraft, which will be procured from Airbus. Eventually, six systems will be built for use by the Air Force. In all, the DAC cleared deals estimated at Rs.7,400 crore.
  • The DAC cleared the procurement of 30 weapon-locating radars from Bharat Electronics Limited for Rs.1,605 crore, Defence Ministry officials said. Each system is mounted on two high mobility vehicles.
  • The Navy is set to acquire Harpoon anti-ship missiles for its HDW submarines with the DAC approving certain deviations in the offset requirements for the 22 Harpoon missiles worth Rs.913 crore. The deal was approved last year in a government-to-government deal with the U.S. for around $ 200 million.