Science & Technology Current Affairs April 2016

  • The scientists using the unique ultraviolet (UV) capabilities of Hubble combined images taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 with the unprecedented UV spatial resolution of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) to successfully dissect the young star cluster R136 in the ultraviolet for the first time.
  • The R136 is located in the Tarantula Nebula within the . Large Magellanic Cloud, i.ei, a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way. The research appears in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

ExoMars Spacecraft Launched to Red Planet Searching for Signs of Life

  • The ExoMars spacecraft successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Proton-M rocket on March 14, 2016 with the goal of searching for signs of life on the Red Planet.
  • After settling into orbit around Mars, the spacecraft’s instruments will scan for minute signatures of methane gas that could possibly be an indication of life or of non-biologic geologic processes ongoing these days.
  • The ExoMars 2016 mission is comprised of a joined pair of European-built spacecraft consisting of the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) plus the Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing demonstrator module, built and funded by the European Space Agency (ESA).
  • The cooperative mission includes significant participation from the Russian space agency Roscosmos who provided the Proton-M launcher, part of the science instrument package, the surface platform and ground station support.

ISRO Successfully Launched IRNSS-1F Satellite

  • The ISRO successfully put into orbit India’s sixth dedicated navigation satellite, the IRNSS-1F, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on March 10, 2016. With this launch, India inches closer to having its own navigation system (like a GPS).
  • The satellite was launched on-board India’s workhorse launch vehicle, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The satellite had a lift-off mass of 1425 kg and was powered by two solar panels generating 1660 W and one Lithium-ion battery of 90 Ampere-hour capacity.
  • The IRNSS is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India and the region extending up to 1500 km from the border. The IRNSS-IF carrying two payloads i.e., the navigation payload and ranging payload.

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