Year Ender 2020: Top 15 Science & Technology achievements of 2020

We bring you the list of 15 achievements, discoveries, and innovations that took place in the field of science and technology in the year 2020. 

Created On: Jan 1, 2021 16:24 ISTModified On: Jan 1, 2021 16:24 IST
Yearender2020 Science and technology

In 2020,  major achievements in the field of science and technology took place globally. As UAE became the first country to launch the first Arab space mission, the Indian government decided to open the doors of ISRO for private players. 

From the missile testings to the discovery of an Earth-size habitable planet, do not miss the list below consisting of the top 15 scientific achievements.

NASA launches 4 astronauts into space on its own after a decade

On November 15, 2020, a SpaceX spacecraft carried 4 NASA astronauts into outer space. With this mission, NASA hopes that the International Space Station will remain fully staffed.

The US has spent nearly a decade without the ability to send astronauts into space as in 2011 its Space Shuttle Program retired.

NASA earlier had to rely on Russia’s Soyuz Spacecraft to send its astronauts to ISS which also left the laboratory understaffed.

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Aarogya Setu: India launched its first COVID-19 tracking Mobile App

The Government of India on April 2, 2020, launched Aarogya Setu app which is the country’s first COVID-19 tracking app.

The app can be easily downloaded from the Google play store as well as the Apple app store. It had garnered more than 5 million downloads in just 3-4 days of its launch.

The app aims at informing the users about the best practices, risks, and advisories for the containment of COVID.

Read here to know more about the app

Kepler-1649c: Earth-sized habitable zone planet founded by NASA

An earth size exoplanet was founded by a team of scientists. The planet was discovered while reanalyzing the data of the Kepler Space Telescope.

The zone is said to be habitable because of the area around the star where the planet can easily support liquid water.

Of all the exoplanets discovered, this one is located 300 light-years from Earth and is very much similar to Earth’s size and temperature.

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SMART: DRDO successfully test-fires Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo

The Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo- SMART was successfully test-fired by DRDO on October 5, 2020.

SMART is a missile assisted release of the anti-submarine Torpedo system for anti-submarine warfare.

It will help in establishing and strengthening India’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

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Government launches a portal dedicated to Artificial Intelligence

The Indian government on May 30, 2020, launched a portal dedicated to Artificial Intelligence. The portal is called ai.gov.in

The portal is jointly developed by the Ministry of Electronics and IT and NASSCOM, an IT industry body

The platform will provide details for Artificial Intelligence related developments and other related information.

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NASA names its headquarters after its first African-American female engineer

NASA’s headquarter building in Washington, D.C. will be named after Mary. W. Jackson. She was the agency’s first African-American female engineer.

Jackson was an aerospace engineer and a mathematician who had led programs that worked on the upliftment of women within NASA.

W. Jackson also inspired the story behind the non-fiction movie and book ‘Hidden Figures’.

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IN-SPACe: Government welcomes private industries in space activities

The government of India announced IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre) on June 24, 2020. The institution aims at guiding the private industries in the space activities with the help of encouraging policies.

The centre is not a new institution but the government has decided to extend its role into ISRO where they will be supplementing each other’s work.

ISRO will carry out activities or projects and the new facility with the help of the private sector will help in filling the gap and fulfilling the demand.

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The first female head of the Human Space Flight Program of NASA

Kathy Lueders has become the first female head of NASA’s Human Space Flight Program.

She was earlier a commercial crew manager and has been directing the space agency’s efforts of sending astronauts to space on private spacecraft.

Kathy Lueders was able to successfully manage both the commercial cargo and commercial crew program. She began her career in NASA in 1992.

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Successful test firing of Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle by India

DRDO on September 7, 2020, successfully test-fired the Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle, off the coast of Odisha.

The successful flight test enabled the demonstration of Hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology. It is also a major technological breakthrough for India.

This testing has also paved the way for the development of more critical materials, technologies, and hypersonic vehicles.

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Hope Mars Mission: First-ever Arab space mission launched by UAE

The United Arab Emirates on July 19, 2020, launched Hope which is an unmanned space probe to Mars. It was launched from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan.

The mission which aims at studying the atmosphere of the red planet is a historic one as it made UAE the first Arab country to achieve this feat.

The probe is expected to reach Mars by March 2021. It was delayed twice earlier because of the bad weather.

Read here for more details of the mission

Sputnik V: Russia became the first nation to launch a Coronavirus Vaccine

Russia became the nation to launch the world’s first Coronavirus vaccine. It became the first country to officially and successfully register the vaccine.

The vaccine was developed jointly by the Gamaleya Research Institute and the Defence Ministry of Russia.

In a televised call, President Vladimir Putin also informed that one of his daughters was also part of the experiment and took a shot of the vaccine.

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Tianwen-1: China launches its first Mars mission

China on July 23, 2020, launched ‘Tianwen-1’, its first Mars Rover Mission aboard the Long March 5 rocket.

According to the country’s space agency, Tianwen-1 also includes a Mars orbiter, a rover, and a lander which also makes it first in human history.

Tianwen-1 will study Mars and its atmosphere for approx. 687 Earth days.

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'Rudram' Anti-Radiation Missile successfully test-fired by India

Indian on October 9, 2020, successfully test-fired the anti-radiation missile- Rudram.

It has been designed and developed by DRDO- Defence Research and Development Organisation.

The missile is also the country’s first indigenously developed anti-radiation missile that has been developed for Air Force.

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NASA launched it's most awaited Mars Perseverance Rover 2020

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration on July 30, 2020, launched Mars Perseverance Rover 2020 which was also its most awaited space mission.

The rover is a six-wheeled robot that has been tasked to deploy the first-ever interplanetary helicopter and equipment testing for future unmanned missions.

The rover by NASA is expected to reach the planet Mars in February 2021 which is also the same time as China’s and UAE’s Mars Missions.

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The United Kingdom became the first country to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

The UK on December 2, 2020, became the first country to approve the use of the Pfizer vaccine against the COVID pandemic.

The vaccine was approved by the British regulator who also informed that it offers up to 95% of protection against the virus.

Those on priority to receive the vaccines were the people above 80 years of age and social and health care workers.

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