Science & Technology Current
Science & Technology Current Affairs June 2nd Week 2016
Category : Science & Technology Current
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1) World’s 1st passenger drone cleared for testing.

  • The world`s first passenger drone `Ehang 184`, capable of autonomously carrying a person in the air for 23 minutes flying at up to 100 km/h, has received clearance for testing in Nevada, US.
  • Chinese firm Ehang, which unveiled the electric Ehang 184 passenger drone at CES in Las Vegas, has partnered with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (Goed) to put the drone through testing and regulatory approval.
  • Nevada has been positioning itself as a test bed for advanced transport solutions, being one of the first states in the US to permit the testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads.
  • The vehicle itself features four rotors, is about 5 feet tall and weighs about 440 pounds.
2) Maharashtra Naval Unit NCC Cadets get Sailing Experience Onboard INS Trikand.
  • A visit for NCC cadets of various Maharashtra NCC units (Mumbai, Ratnagiri, Pune, Nagpur) was organized by No. 1 Maharashtra Naval unit NCC (No. 1 MAH NU NCC).
  • Total of 148 NCC cadets comprising 100 senior division boys and 48 senior wing girls along with 09 training staff embarked INS Trikand.
  • The sea sortie for the NCC cadets had been incorporated for the first time in their training schedule.
  • The group comprised of cadets of second and third year, who were currently undergoing the Combined Annual Training Camp - 16 (CATC). The training camp for the cadets is pre-requisite to appear for `B` and `C` certificate qualification respectively.
3) France launches `terror alert` smartphone app.
  • The French government has launched a smartphone app that would alert users to possible terror attacks and provide them with information on how to stay safe.
  • The app, called SAIP (Système d’alerte et d’information des populations), was developed as part of a pilot project following the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.
  • The French Interior Ministry announced the app ahead of the UEFA Euro 2016 soccer tournament, which kicks off outside Paris.
  • The application, which is free to download in both French and English, will send users a warning in case of a suspected attack.
  • It will use geolocation to deliver information tailored to each user’s location, with alerts appearing less than 15 minutes after an incident is confirmed.
4) Google And Tata Trust`s Internet Literacy Program For Rural Women Launched In West Bengal.
  • Google India and the Tata Trust launched their Internet literacy program `Internet Saathi` for rural women in West Bengal.
  • The initiative has been launched as part of Google’s ‘Helping Women Get Online’ campaign, in order to create awareness about the benefits of Internet among women in rural India.
  • The initiative will initially be rolled out with an objective to reach 1 lakh women in over 400 villages in Purulia district.
  • It will focus on training women and larger communities to learn and explore various uses and benefits of the Internet.
  • Tata Trusts will play a crucial role in training women master trainers called ``saathis`` identified from Self Help Groups (SHGs) and Women’s federations.
  • Google will provide the tablet and mobile devices along with training material. It will also train the master trainers.


5) India, Japan and US begin Malabar Exercise near South China Sea.

  • India’s ‘Act East Policy’ and growing relations among India, US and Japan, IN ships Satpura, Sahyadri, Shakti and Kirch are participating in the 20th edition of MALABAR-16 Exercise near to the South China Sea.
  • The scope of MALABAR-16 includes professional interactions in harbour and a diverse range of activities at sea, including complex surface, sub-surface and air operations.
  • The 8-day joint exercises will see in action over 100 aircraft and 22 naval ships including a nuclear submarine.
  • It aims to achieve deeper military ties and greater interoperability amid rising tensions in the region.
  • Malabar has been held alternatively in India and in the Western pacific. It was previously held in Chennai and included the participation of Japan.
  • In addition, one nuclear-powered submarine, carrier wing aircraft, and long-range maritime patrol aircraft will also participate in the exercise. Additionally, the Special Forces (SF) of the three navies will also interact during the exercise.

6) Four New Elements Added to Periodic Table.
  • The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has announced the names proposed for the new elements, whose discovery helped complete the seventh row of the Periodic Table.
  • They are Nihonium (Nh), Moscovium (Mc), Tennessine (Ts), and Oganesson (Og).
  • All of the elements are man-made, created in labs by nuclear researchers. Those researchers are from Japan, Russia and the United States.
  • The chemistry union usually likes names that are easy to translate across major languages. The names must have endings like ``-ium``, ``-ine`` or ``-on``, depending on the grouping of elements they belong to.
7) Scientists turn CO2 into rock to combat climate change.
  • Carbon dioxide has been pumped underground and turned rapidly into stone, demonstrating a radical new way to tackle climate change.
  • The pioneering experiment in Iceland mixed CO emissions with water and pumped it hundreds of metres underground into volcanic basalt rock where it rapidly turned into a solid.
  • The new way was discovered as by Scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and other institutions as part of a pilot program called CarbFix project.
  • Carbon dioxide is a key factor in global warming, and experts have long called for innovative ``carbon capture and storage`` solutions.
  • This technique the speedy carbonation has potential to combat climate change and may provide a safer, faster way to sequester CO2 and limit global warming.
8) Aerospace firm successfully tests solar-powered aircraft.
  • A test pilot successfully flew a solar-powered prototype aircraft for a company that envisions manufacturing a fleet of drones to provide aerial internet service for an estimated 4 billion people worldwide.
  • The test flight by Luminati Aerospace LLC took place at a former Northrop Grumman defense plant on eastern Long Island that once made military aircraft.
  • The white aircraft features wing-mounted solar cells and has a wingspan of about 43 feet.
  • It will build unmanned drones that can fly at 60,000 feet or more.


9) US successfully launches world`s largest rocket.

  • The world`s largest rocket is set to launch a secret spy satellite to space from Florida
  • The exact details of its intelligence agency cargo is something that the US government is keeping a closely guarded secret.
  • The United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint space delivery service by aerospace giants Lockheed Martin and The Boeing Company, carried out the launch of a Delta IV Heavy rocket.
  • It saw the triple engine craft roar from its launch pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, traveling at the speed of sound before soaring beyond the atmosphere.
  • The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is perhaps one of the lesser-known US intelligence agencies, the function of which were only made known to the public back in 1992.
  • The office is largely responsible for producing spy satellites and improving hardware sent out to space.
  • It is believed that the latest Delta IV rocket launch is again part of that bid to have ``eyes and ears`` in difficult to reach places, although the exact purpose or location of the satellite is unknown.
10) China launches 23rd navigation satellite BeiDou Navigation Satellite.
  • China has launched its 23rd satellite it the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS).
  • The satellite was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on board of Long March-3C carrier rocket.
  • The 23rd satellite in the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, which is being developed as an alternative to GPS (Global Positioning System) of US. It was the 229th launch of the Long March carrier rocket.
  • It will help to improve the stability of the BeiDou Navigation system to offer global coverage.
  • The satellite, after entering its designed work orbit and finishing in-orbit testing, will join 22 others already in orbit and improve the stability of the system, preparing for BDS to offer global coverage.
11) Hubble Clicks A Mysterious Solitary Dwarf Galaxy.
  • Hubble telescope of NASA captured the drizzle of stars scattered across this image forming a galaxy known as UGC 4879.
  • The galaxy is smaller and messier than its cosmic cousins and lacks the majestic swirl of a spiral or the coherence of an elliptical.
  • The galaxy UGC 4879 is very isolated and consists of a scattered drizzle of stars.
  • This galaxy is isolated and at a distance of 2.3 million light years from its closest neighbor, Leo A which is in between the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way at the same distance.
  • The scientific studies of this solitary galaxy UGC 4879 will provide ample scientific study material for astronomers looking to understand the complex mysteries of star birth throughout the universe.
12) Apple’s new desktop OS is ``macOS Sierra``.
  • Apple launched a new version of its Mac operating system called `macOS Sierra`.
  • MacOS will also gain enhanced Continuity and iCloud drive support - Apple’s system that allows apps on iOS to link directly to the Mac versions using iCloud so that users can start something on one device and continue it on another.
  • The biggest change will be a proximity-based system called Auto Unlock that allows users to unlock their Mac computers using an Apple Watch, without having to enter in their password.
  • Apple also introduced Apple Pay for the web that allows users to authenticate payments on their Mac via their iPhone or Apple Watch.
  • An update to iCloud Drive will also share files stored on the desktop across Macs and iOS devices, while a new feature called Optimised Storage will remove unnecessary files from computers after they’ve been backed up which should free up space on existing Macs.
13) NASA detects first methane leak on Earth from space.
  • In a first, an instrument onboard an orbiting spacecraft has measured the methane emissions from a specific leaking facility on Earth’s surface.
  • The observation has been done by the Hyperion spectrometer on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1).
  • The leak occurred over Aliso Canyon near Porter Ranch in California.
  • The methane leak was detected successfully by the Hyperion instrument on three separate overpasses during the winter of 2015-16.
  • The orbital observations from Hyperion were consistent with airborne measurements made by NASA’s Airborne/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) imager flying onboard a NASA ER-2 aircraft.
  • This is the first time the methane emissions from a single facility have been observed from space.
14) Scientists find giant new planet orbiting two suns.
  • Scientists have discovered a Jupiter-like planet, Kepler-1647b (part of the Kepler-1647 system), orbiting a system of two stars, making it the largest such cosmic body ever found.
  • Dubbed Kepler-1647b, the Jupiter-like planet lies in the constellation Cygnus. It is 3,700 light-years away.
  • The planet was discovered by astronomers from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre and San Diego State University (SDSU).
  • Kepler1647b’s mass and radius nearly identical to that of Jupiter. This makes it the largest transiting circumbinary planet ever found.
  • It is about 4.4 billion years old i.e. roughly the same age as the Earth.