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March 2018 Science and Technology

  • India successfully launches GSAT-6A communication satellite
    India on 29th March successfully launched GSAT-6A communication satellite from Sathish Dhawan Space Centre, in Sriharikota, about 110 kilometres from Chennai. 

    It was launched at the scheduled time of 4.56 PM from the second launch pad of the Centre. 

    Minutes after the launch, the GSLV-MkII rocket injected GSAT-6A communication satellite into orbit. The lifespan of the orbit is over 10 years. 

    The purpose of the satellite is to provide mobile communication applications in S-band in five spot beams and C-band in one beam during its 10-year lifespan. 

    This is also the first GSLV rocket launch after Director Sivan took over as Chairman of ISRO. The GSLV F 08 is a three-stage rocket. 

    The core of the first stage is fired with solid fuel while the four strap-on motors with liquid fuel. The second is the liquid fuel and the third is the cryogenic engine 

    The 49.1-metre tall rocket weighing 415.6 ton soared into the sky with red and orange flames pushing it from behind. GSAT-6A was injected into the intended orbit 17.46 minutes into its flight. 

    According to ISRO, two improvements- induction of high thrust Vikas engine and electromechanical actuation system - have been made in the rocket's second stage this time. One of the crucial rocket engines is the cryogenic engine which is more efficient as it provides more thrust for every kilogram of propellant burnt. 

    This successful launch also establishes the fact that the performance of its GSLV-MkII rocket technology could fetch more orders commercially. Revenue for launching satellites depends on the weight of the satellite-higher the weight, higher will be the revenue. 

  • Russia says it successfully launches a hypersonic missile
    Russia on 11th March said it successfully launched a hypersonic missile which President Vladimir Putin called an ideal weapon. 

    The Defence Ministry said, the high-precision Kinzhal (Dagger) missile was launched from a MiG-31 supersonic interceptor jet that took off from an airfield in the South Military District in Russia's southwest. 

    The Kinzhal missile is one of an array of new weapons Putin unveiled in his state-of-the-nation address earlier this month. Putin said the missile flies at 10 times the speed of the sound and can overcome air-defence systems. 

  • DRDO conducts successful flight of its Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle Rustom 2
    Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO on 25th February successfully flew its Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle Rustom 2 at its Aeronautical Test Range at Chalakere in Chitradurga district of Karnataka. The flight assumes significance as this is the first flight in user configuration with higher power engine. 

    All parameters were normal. Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development and Chairman, DRDO, Dr. S. Christopher, Director General of Aeronautical System Dr. CP Ramanarayanan and senior scientists witnessed the flight and congratulated the Rustom team.
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