Science & Tech Weekly Brief: Check out the top 5 events of past week here

Science and Technology Weekly Brief provides you with all the major updates of the past one week in the field of Science and Tech from an exam point of view. Check out the latest events, know all major details in this field below.
Created On: Nov 27, 2020 18:48 IST
Modified On: Nov 27, 2020 19:11 IST
Science and Tech Weekly Updates
Science and Tech Weekly Updates

Listed below are all the events in the field of Science and Technology in the past week. This was a week of satellites and spacecraft launchings apart from the applications launched. Take a look at the most important events of science and technology from the UPSC exam point of view.

  • Sentinel 6 launched by NASA’s ESA

Why in News?

Earlier in November, Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite was launched. It took off from the Vandenberg Air Force base in California and a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was used for the process.

Significance and use 

The mission was launched and directed to measure the height of the ocean, which in turn would help in understanding how the Earth’s climate change is happening. The mission is also called the Jason Continuity of Service Jason CS mission. It would help in understanding how the ocean stores and distributes heat, water, and carbon in the climate of Earth. 

About mission-

It is a joint collaboration of the European Space Agency, ESA, NASA, EUMETSAT, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the USA, NOAA, and the European Union. It also has contributions from France’s National Centre for Space Studies, CNES.

How it would work?

This satellite would be sending pulses to the Earth’s surface to measure how much time they take to return to it, which in turn would help in measuring the sea depth. It will also measure water vapor, ocean currents, heat waves, etc along this path and find its position using GPS and ground-based lasers.

Missions in history

Looking down the history other satellites which are a joint mission of NASA and CNES, launched were in 1992 to track changes in the oceans on a global scale include the TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, and OSTN/Jason-2, etc. 

  • 43 more Mobile Apps banned 

Why in News?

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has banned 43 more mobile apps under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act (IT Act), 2000, which was introduced by an amendment in 2008.

Significance- 

The Government took this action as these apps were speculated for engaging in activities that were prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state, and public order.

The banning of these Apps is yet another indication to China about the Indian disagreement with its Nibble and Negotiate policy and is a blow to its rising ambitions of becoming the digital superpower of the world.

What has happened till now-

This move has lead to a total of 177 Chinese apps being banned till now. Earlier the Indian Government had banned 59 of the widely used Chinese Apps like TikTok, Share It, etc.  

After that, the government introduced the 'Digital India Atmanirbhar Bharat Innovate Challenge' to encourage Indian application developers and innovators to build such products.

Way Forward-

India needs to speed up its indigenization and research work to meet the digital standards of the world. Moreover many reforms in the educational system are required to make the country a digitalized and innovative economy. 

  • IRNSS recognized as a component of WWRNS 

Why in News?

The Maritime Safety Committee, MSC, of the International Maritime Organisation, IMO has given recognition to the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System, IRNSS as a component of the World Wide Radio Navigation System, WWRNS during its 102nd session. It was conducted virtually.

Significance-  

  • India is now the fourth country on the planet to have its own regional navigation satellite system being recognized by the IMO to be a part of the World Wide Radio Navigation System, WWRNS.
  • The other three countries that have their navigation systems recognized by the IMO are the USA, Russia, and China.
  • The navigation system could be used as a replacement to GPS in the Indian Ocean waters up to 1500 km from our boundaries.

What is IMO?

The IMO is the United Nations specialized agency that is responsible for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution caused by ships.

IRNSS - A historical background

  • IRNSS is India's regional navigation satellite system developed by the Indian Space Research Organization, ISRO. 
  • Its objective is to provide position, navigation, and time services across India and its neighboring countries.
  •  Unlike GPS it can pinpoint location to an accuracy of 20 meters. 

Know more about IRNSS satellite here.

  • China’s Chang’e-5 Lunar Mission

Why in News

It is after 40 years that any country has launched a lunar mission to collect samples from the moon's surface and bring them back to earth. Last time the Soviet Union 

Significance 

  • It is an unmanned spacecraft to bring back lunar rocks, the first attempt by any nation to retrieve samples from the Moon in four decades.
  • This mission would make China the third country to have ever brought back lunar samples, besides the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • The spacecraft would attempt to collect 2 kg of samples in a previously un-visited area, which is a huge lava plain known as Oceanus Procellarum, or “Ocean of Storms”.

Historical Background- China's Lunar Missions

  • China had been successful in its first lunar landing in 2013.
  • Last year in January, China's Chang’e-4 probe had a touch down on the far side of the moon. It was the first of its kind activity by any nation’s space probe.

India’s Lunar Missions

India's last Lunar Mission was Chandrayaan-2 and ISRO is simultaneously working on Chandrayaan 3 which would cost around 600 crores and would attempt a soft landing on the southern hemisphere of the moon.  Know all about China's unique Lunar Mission here. 

  • Land attack version of Brahmos Missile

Why in News?

India recently test-fired the land-attack version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile successfully. It was done from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. 

BrahMos Missile's land-attack version- Significance 

The tests put India’s tactical cruise missile triad on a global platform and create deterrence. Now India has launch capability from land, sea, and air platforms.

India has already deployed a sizable number of the original BrahMos missiles and other key assets in several strategic locations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.

Historical Background of BrahMos

The name of the missile is an amalgamation of the Brahmaputra river and Moskva river of Russia respectively. BrahMos missiles are designed, developed, and produced by BrahMos Aerospace which is a joint venture company set up by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and Mashinostroyenia of Russia.

Various versions of BrahMos fired from land, warships, submarines, and Sukhoi-30 fighter jets have been developed and tested in the past many years. 

BrahMos Missile- One of its kind

The missile is a medium-range supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or even land. It is the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world and the fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation.

These were the top 5 events of Science and Technology this week. The students can follow the page for more such weekly briefs. Get to know about the latest events in other fields by clicking here.

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