Science & Technology Current
Science & Technology Current Affairs April 4th Week 2016
Category : Science & Technology Current
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1) The `Pink Moon` lights up the night sky across America.
  • The Full Pink Moon was seen in the skies of North America. However, the moon appeared normally white and smaller than usual.
  • The moon appeared to be smaller than usual because it was at its furthest point from the Earth, or apogee
  • This full moon comes less than one day after reaching lunar apogee, the moon’s farthest point in its monthly orbit. It lies around 50 thousand km farther from Earth than 2016’s closest full moon.
  • The Pink Moon is also called as mini-moon and micro-moon. The terms mini-moon and micro-moon originate from popular culture.
  • The NASA Astronomy Photo of the Day calls the year’s smallest full moon as a micro-moon.
  • The moon will be full when it is at its closest to the Earth and will be known as a Supermoon.
2) Japanese stealth jet fighter completes its maiden flight.
  • Japan joined the exclusive stealth jet club with the successful test flight of its first radar-evading aircraft a prototype called the X-2.
  • The prototype X-2 jet took off from Nagoya airport in central Japan.
  • Japan becomes fourth country in the world to have indigenous full-size stealth combat aircraft. Other three countries viz. United States, Russia and China have successfully developed and flown manned stealth jets.
About X-2 jet:
  1. It is jointly developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and 200 other firms. It was built as a successor to F-2 fighter jets developed jointly with the help of US.
  2. The aircraft is widely known in Japan as Shinshin (meaning spirit of the heart), but is not officially in use and generally its code name is used.
  3. The fighter jet is 14.2 metres long, 9.1 metres wide and has wingspan of 9.099 metres. It has maximum speed of mach 2.25 (2,475 Km/h) and is powered by 2 × IHI XF5-1 low-bypass turbofans.
  4. It has range 2,900 km and combat range of 761 km and ferry range of 3,200 km.
3) INS Karmuk Corvette participated in Indo-Thai Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT).
  • INS Karmuk, an indigenously built Missile Corvette based at the Andaman and Nicobar Command, alongwith a Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft, are participating in the 22nd Indo-Thai Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT).
  • The 22nd edition of CORPAT would bolster the already strong bilateral relationship between the two nations and contribute significantly to enhancing maritime security in the region.
  • It would include participation of one warship and one Maritime Patrol Aircraft of India and Thailand with the closing ceremony being held at Port Blair.
  • Maritime interaction between India and Thailand has been growing steadily with frequent port visits, participation in multilateral exercises and training exchanges.
  • It was with an aim of keep the vital part of the Indian Ocean Region safe and secure for commercial shipping and international trade. 
4) Scientists to explore Saturn`s icy moon for alien life.
  • NASA scientists have proposed deploying a robotic system to explore the exotic environment of the subsurface oceans of Saturn’s icy moons that may potentially harbour life.
  • The proposed concept is to deploy a surface-to-subsurface robotic system, namely Icy-moon Cryovolcano Explorer (ICE), which will land on the surface of an icy moon.
  • ICE involves three modules Descent Module (DM), Surface Module (SM), and AUVs.
  • DM carries AUVs and descends into a vent by using a combination of roving, climbing, rappelling, and hopping, like an experienced human alpinist.
  • SM stays on the surface, generates power by radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) and solar cells, and communicates with Earth.
  • Once DM reaches the subsurface ocean, it launches the AUVs to explore the exotic environment that potentially harbours life.
5) Navy’s new detachment at Androth Island in Lakshadweep.
  • The Southern Command of the Indian Navy has inaugurated a naval detachment at Androth Island of the Lakshadweep archipelago
  • Lakshadweep archipelago comprising of Kavarat.ti, Minicoy, Agatti and Androth islands occupy a strategic location in the Arabian Sea.
  • A number of shipping lanes pass close to these islands as they provide the sea link between Asia and Europe.
  • The naval detachment seeks to strengthen maritime security in and around Arabian Sea and enhance surveillance of crucial shipping lanes.
  • The detachment would extend the naval presence at Androth Island, part of the Lakshadweep & Minicoy group of islands in the Arabian Sea.
  • It will provide communication network connectivity with mainland, enable Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOC) monitoring and function as an observance and reporting post, besides radar surveillance.
6) GSAT-11 spacecraft to launch by end of 2016 or early 2017.
  • India has plan to realise GSAT-11 spacecraft for launch during the end of 2016 or first quarter of 2017.
  • GSAT-11 is a first generation high throughput communication satellite with a lift-off mass of about 5600 kg, operating in Ka/Ku bands.
  • At present, the indigenous capability to launch this weight class of satellite is not available.
  • The test of GSAT-11 satellite is planned to be conducted from the Master Control Facility (MCF) in Hassan, Karnataka and other suitable locations of ISRO Centres.
  • GSAT-11 spacecraft at a cost of Rs. 1117 crore (Rs. 11.17 billion).
  • The spacecraft capability includes providing broadband connectivity to rural areas with higher bandwidth as compared to traditional communication satellites.
7) China successfully launches Kunpeng-1B sounding rocket.
  • China successfully launched the Kunpeng-1B sounding rocket from a launch pad in Danzhou City in the southern Chinese Hainan Province.
  • Kunpeng-1B sounding rocket is research rocket for carrying measurements in the upper atmosphere and to help in high-speed flight and space tourism research.
  • The head of the rocket was equipped with a new altitude control system. New materials of flexible carbon fibre were also used in the rocket to enable easier flight.
  • The rocket reached a maximum height of 316 kilometres (196 miles).
  • Its falling ball experiment detection has important scientific significance as it will further help to study of low latitudes in the ionosphere and in the upper atmosphere. 
8) China develops graphene electronic paper.
  • Chinese researchers have developed world’s first graphene e-paper that will catapult the material to a new level. It was developed by The Guangzhou OED Technologies in partnership with a company in Chongqing Province of China.
  • Graphene is the worlds strongest and lightest known material; a single layer of graphene is only 0.335 nanometers thick, and it can conduct heat and electricity.
  • Graphene e-paper is more pliable and has more intensity as compared to traditional e-papers. It has high-light transmittance means optical displays will be much brighter.
  • Compared with liquid crystal displays (LCDs), e-papers are thinner, bendable and energy efficient.
  • Mass production cost is much lower compared to traditional e-papers, which use the rare, expensive metal indium.
9) PSLV-C33 Successfully Launches India`s Seventh Navigation Satellite IRNSS-1G.
  • The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully launched India’s 7th navigation satellite IRNSS 1G of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).
  • Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C33 carrying IRNSS-1G (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) lifted off from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
  • IRNSS 1G satellite is last space segment satellites of the IRNSS system. With this India joins elite group of selected nations that have their own GPS (Global Positioning System) or navigation system.
About IRNSS-1G:
  1. IRNSS 1G satellite has a lift-off mass of 1425 kg.
  2. Its configuration is the same as IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E and 1F. It equipped with two types of payloads viz. navigation payload and ranging devices.
  3. The navigation payload will be mainly used to transmit navigation service signals to the users.
  4. The ranging payload consists of a C-band transponder that will facilitate accurate determination of the range of the satellite
  5. IRNSS System consists of constellation of seven satellites of which three are geostationary and four are non-geostationary.
  6. Four Geosynchronous satellites: They will be orbiting in pairs in two inclined geosynchronous orbits. When observed from the ground, these 2 pairs of satellites will appear to travel in figures of ‘8’.
  7. Three Geostationary satellites: They will be placed in the geostationary orbit over the equator.
  8. It would provide two types of 24/7 standard services . Restricted Service (RS): an encrypted service provided to authorised users. It will be used for military and missile-related applications. Standard Positioning Service (SPS): to all users.
  • Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Navigation
  • Disaster Management
  • Vehicle tracking and fleet management
  • Integration with mobile phones
  • Precise Timing
  • Mapping and Geodetic data capture
  • Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travellers
  • Visual and voice navigation for drivers. 
10) Indian Navy Corvettes INS Veer And Nipat Decommissioned.
  • Two Indian Naval Ships (INS) Veer and Nipat were decommissioned at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The ships belonged to the 1241 RE class missile vessels.
  • Both Ships had served under 22nd Killer Squadron and have completed 29 and 28 years of commissioned service respectively.
  • The ships played a significant role as the guardian of International Maritime Borderline off west coast of India and were extensively deployed during the Operations Vijay and Parakram.
  • These ships are also the first of Veer Class of ships to be decommissioned from the Indian Navy.
11) Russia launches rocket from new Vostochny cosmodrome.
  • Russia has successfully launched the first rocket from its newly built Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur Oblast, Russia
  • The unmanned Soyuz-2.1a rocket is carrying three satellites as payloads namely Mikhailo Lomonosov (scientific satellite), SamSat-218 (an experimental nanosatellite) and Aist-2D (a civilian distance viewing satellite).
  • The Vostochny spaceport, the first civilian rocket launch site on Russian territory, is intended to phase out the nation`s reliance on the Baikonur cosmodrome it leases from Kazakhstan at a cost of nearly $151 million a year.
  • Presently, Russia has the large military launch facilities but it relies primarily on the Baikonur Cosmodrome for the civilian launches.