Science & Technology Current
february 1st week 2015 current affairs
Category : Science & Technology Current
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1) Science Cities to be set up in six zones across country

  • ‘Science City’ would cater to scientific institutions/ labs located in different States in that particular zone. The ‘Science City’ would have the required infrastructure and other facilities, including a convention centre, high-end research laboratories and hotels. It would cater to scientific institutions of States covered by that zone and international researchers could also make use of the available facilities.


2) pacewalk on ISS completed

  • NASA astronauts at International Space Station (ISS) have successfully completed the first of three spacewalks to create parking spots for Boeing and SpaceX to deliver astronauts to the orbital laboratory. The 6-hour, 41-minute-spacewalk by Expedition 42 astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts was meant to prepare the ISS for a pair of international docking adapters (IDAs) that will allow future commercial crew vehicles to dock.
  • They rigged a series of power and data cables at the forward end of the Harmony module and Pressurised Mating Adapter—2 and routed 340 of 360 feet of cable.
  • The cable routing work is part of a reconfiguration of station systems and modules to accommodate the delivery of new docking adapters that commercial crew vehicles will use later this decade to deliver astronauts to the orbital laboratory.
  • The spacewalk was the first for Mr. Virts. Mr. Wilmore now has spent 13 hours and 15 minutes in the void of space during two spacewalks.Astronauts have now spent a total of 1,159 hours and 8 minutes conducting space station assembly and maintenance during 185 spacewalks, NASA said.


3) India home to 18% of world’s raptors

  • According to Zoological survey of India, India is home to 106 species of raptors. They are popularly known as ‘birds of prey.’ The publication reveals that more than 18 per cent of the 572 species of raptors spread all over the world can be found in India alone.
  • There are primarily two kinds of raptors — diurnal (day flying) and nocturnal (night flying).
  • Out of the 333 species of diurnal birds of prey found in the world, 101 species can be found in the Indo-Malayan region.
  • India’s bio-geographical regions support 69 species of kites, vultures, eagles, harriers, hawks, buzzards and falcons in different habitats.
  • Among these raptors, the Indian White-backed Vulture, the Long Billed Vulture, the Slender Billed Vulture, the Red headed Vulture and the Forest Owlet are in the ‘critically endangered’ category, and the Egyptian Vulture and the Saker are in the ‘endangered’ list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) ‘Red List.’
  • Some of the interesting and lesser-known species of raptors include Andaman Serpent Eagle and Great Nicobar Serpent Eagle which can only be found in the Andaman and the Great Nicobar islands respectively. Other birds of prey like Amur Falcon, Buffy Fish Owl, Great Spotted Eagle and Chinese Sparrowhawk are also included in the book.

Russia planning its own space station

  • The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) has revealed plans to build an orbiting outpost and land cosmonauts on the moon once the International Space Station (ISS) is mothballed next decade. Roscosmos pledged its support for the ISS until 2024 but outlined plans to disconnect its modules soon after, and use them to build a Russian space station in its place.
  • The creation of a national space station would ensure that Russia has a base to fly cosmonauts to until it has developed its more ambitious plans to send crews on orbiting missions around the moon and land them on its surface by 2030.
  • Since Nasa, the U.S. space agency, retired its fleet of space shuttles, Russia has been the only nation able to ferry humans to and from the ISS aboard its Soyuz rockets.
  • The Russians’ commitment to the ISS was welcomed by some experts, including Chris Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut who covered the David Bowie classic, Space Oddity, from the ISS. “This is excellent news, especially when read between the rhetoric. ISS is a key global symbol,” he tweeted.
  • Other nations involved in the ISS are yet to give assurances that they will keep funding the space station beyond 2020. Moscow had threatened to pull out by that point, but the economic crisis, driven by low oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine, have stymied those plans.