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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY - March 2020

Mar 2020

Aug 02, 2021

Revolutionary Reprogrammable "Chameleon" Satellite Launched

  • A sophisticated telecommunications satellite (Chameleon) that can be completely repurposed while in space was launched.
  • Developed under an ESA Partnership Project with satellite operator Eutelsat and prime manufacturer Airbus, Eutelsat Quantum has pioneered a new generation of satellites with the European space industry.
  • The flexible software-defined satellite – which will be used by governments and in mobility and data markets – was launched in 2021, from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.
  • As the satellite can be reprogrammed in orbit, it can respond to changing demands during its lifetime.
  • The satellite will remain in geostationary orbit for its 15-year lifespan, after which it will be safely placed in a graveyard orbit away from Earth to avoid becoming a risk to other satellites.

Aug 01, 2021

Kaspersky Partners Bharti Airtel for Selling Cybersecurity Software

  • Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has partnered with Bharti Airtel to reach out to its over 34 crore customers for selling its security softwares at lower prices.
  • The collaboration between the two companies will allow Airtel customers to purchase Kaspersky Total Security solutions directly from the Airtel Thanks app exclusive deals on them.
  • According to Kaspersky, mobile threats in India have drastically increased since 2019 and are becoming more targeted and sophisticated in nature. India ranked seventh among the countries attacked with mobile threats in 2020.

ISS Out of Control by Misfire of Russian Module

  • The International Space Station (ISS) was thrown briefly out of control when jet thrusters of a newly arrived Russian research module inadvertently fired a few hours after it was docked to the orbiting outpost.
  • This mishap began about three hours after the multipurpose Nauka module had latched onto the space station, as mission controllers in Moscow were performing some post-docking reconfiguration procedures, according to NASA.
  • The module`s jets inexplicably restarted, causing the entire station to pitch out of its normal flight position some 250 miles above the Earth, leading the mission`s flight director to declare a "spacecraft emergency.

Jul 31, 2021

ISRO-NASA Joint Mission NISAR Satellite to be Launched in 2023

  • The ISRO-NASA Joint Mission NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite, which aims to measure changes in the earth's surface globally using advanced radar images, is scheduled to be launched in early 2023.
  • NISAR is a joint Earth observation mission between ISRO and NASA, used for global observation of the entire earth, including the polar cryosphere and the Indian Ocean region.
  • This is a dual-band (L-band and S-band) radar imaging mission with full polarimetric and interferometric modes of operation for observing small changes in land, vegetation, and cryosphere.
  • NASA is developing L-band SAR and related systems, while ISRO is developing S-band SAR, spacecraft bus, launch vehicle, and related launch services.
  • The main scientific goal of this mission is to improve understanding of the effects of climate change on the planet's changing ecosystems, terrestrial and coastal processes, land deformation, and the cryosphere.

Jul 30, 2021

Geo-imaging Satellite Scheduled for Launch in Q3 of 2021

  • As per Union Minister Jitendra Singh, geo-imaging satellite for earth observation EOS-03, which would enable near real-time monitoring of natural disasters like floods and cyclones, is scheduled for launch in the third quarter of 2021.
  • EOS-03 is capable of imaging the whole country four-five times daily, the Minister of State for the Department of Space said.
  • In addition to natural disasters, EOS-03 would also enable monitoring of water bodies, crops, vegetation condition, forest cover changes.

Intel Launches 'AI For All' Initiative in Partnership with CBSE

  • Chipmaker Intel has collaborated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to launch the 'AI For All' initiative, aimed at creating a basic understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) for people in India.
  • Based on Intel's 'AI For Citizens' programme, 'AI For All' is a 4-hour, self-paced learning programme that demystifies AI in an inclusive manner.
  • The programme aims to introduce AI to one million citizens in its first year.
  • The programme further strengthens Intel's commitment to collaborating with the Government of India to reach the full potential of AI and further the vision of a digitally-empowered India.

Jul 29, 2021

The First Look at Exomoons in the Making

  • New telescope images may provide the first view of moons forming outside the solar system.
  • The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in Chile glimpsed a dusty disk of potentially moon-forming material around a baby exoplanet about 370 light-years from Earth. The Jupiter-like world is surrounded by enough material to make up to 2.5 Earth moons. Observations of this system could offer new insight into how planets and moons are born around young stars.
  • ALMA observed two planets, dubbed PDS 70b and 70c, circling the star PDS 70. Unlike most other known exoplanets, these two Jupiter-like worlds are still forming — gobbling up material from the disk of gas and dust swirling around their star. During this formation process, planets are expected to wrap themselves in their own debris disks, which control how planets pack on material and form moons.
  • Around PDS 70c, ALMA spotted a disk of dust about as wide as Earth's orbit around the sun. With previously reported exomoon sightings still controversial, the new observations offer some of the best evidence yet that planets orbiting other stars have moons.

India among Least Prepared for Automation in Asia Pacific

  • According to a recent research study conducted by Deloitte and commissioned by Autodesk Foundation, India ranks fifth highest in terms of the impact from automation and ninth in terms of level preparedness.
  • The country faces a greater likelihood of being impacted by automation due to larger employment shares in agriculture, manufacturing and construction -- all identified as high-risk industries by the report titled 'The Future of Work is Now: Is APAC Ready?'
  • It explores the state of automation and future of work across 12 Asia Pacific countries including Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • The research finds India, Bangladesh and Pakistan are most at risk and least prepared for the coming wave of automation.
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