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September 2019 - Science & Technology



  • NASSCOM DSCI MeitY and Google India launched a nationwide Digital Payment Abhiyan. Nasscom’s Data Security Council of India (DSCI) collaborated with the electronics and IT ministry (MeitY) and Google India to launch a nationwide awareness campaign Digital Payment Abhiyan. Communications and Electronics & IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launched the campaign that will educate end-users on the benefits of making digital payments and urge them to adopt security and safety best practices. The campaign was launched at the Google for India event.


  • A mobile app will be used in Census 2021. It will be a transformation from paper census to digital census. The Census of 2011 conveyed about the country’s population at 121 crore. The centre decided to prepare an NPR by September 2020 to lay the foundation for rolling out a citizens’ register across the country. The basis of a pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise to be rolled out on the lines of the one that was carried out in Assam.

    The Population census is an exercise that helps to provide people the benefits of the government schemes. National Population Register (NPR) will help government solve many issues in the country. The Census 2011 data used for Ujjwala Yojana to increase domestic LPG cylinder coverage. The census helps us plan our social welfare and entitlement schemes better through the NPR, India would have a multipurpose identity document that will have all details like Aadhaar and PAN card.


  • Centre has launched two mobile Apps for the farmers. The mobile applications named CHC Farm Machinery and Krishi Kisan App for Geo Tagging will give easy access to high value and technical agricultural equipment at their doorstep. The mobile app was launched by Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.


  • September 24, 2019 marks five Earth years in the Martian Orbit for Isro's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), bringing subdued cheer at the space agency, amid a lull caused by an unsuccessful attempt at soft-landing Vikram, Chandrayaan-2's lander on Moon.

    MOM was designed for just six months around Mars its long life a feat for Isro, which had failed to achieve to Chandrayaan-1, its first mission to Moon, in 2008. MOM had completed five Earth years around Mars it only amounts to two-and-a-half Martian years. The Mars actually take more than the double of 365.


  • 1969 moon landing lab to be demolished in 2020. Houston building where Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong and his colleagues emerged from quarantine after their 1969 moon mission has fallen into disrepair and will be demolished. The Lunar Receiving Laboratory at Johnson Space Center hasn't been used for two years and will likely be torn down in 2020. It was designed to isolate the astronauts and lunar rock samples.


  • NASA to pay USD 4.6 bn to buy 6 space craft for Artemis moon missions. NASA has partnered and contracted American global aerospace company Lockheed Martin to develop minimum six and as many as 12 spacecraft for its Artemis lunar exploration programme. NASA has designated a total of around USD 4.6 billion for six spacecraft. For the first three vehicles, the deals have been closed with $2.7 billion. An additional $1.9 billion for another three in the 2022 fiscal year. It is suspected that NASA may eventually order another 6 Orion capsules for its Artemis moon missions by 30 September 2030. NASA's Artemis programme aims to land American astronauts on the Moon by 2024. The programme goals to land the first woman and the next man. The mission aims to lay the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy, and eventually sending humans to Mars.


  • The Pentagon has said that it will send four radar systems, a battery of Patriot missiles and about 200 support personnel to Saudi Arabia, in a move that would strengthen the Kingdom's defences in the wake of attacks on its oil facilities earlier this month.

    The deployment will augment the kingdom's air and missile defense of critical military and civilian infrastructure. The deployment was first announced by US Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Washington has been sending a steady stream of military assets to the Kingdom over the past several months, as part of the maximum pressure campaign against Iran.


  • World’s biggest transport space ship launchedJapan launched an unmanned H-2B rocket towards the International Space Station. The H-2B rocket lifted off with cargo vessel Kounotori 8, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The launch took place from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan. This Rocket is considered as the world’s biggest transport spaceship.


  • President Ramnath Kovind unveiled the first Indigenous High-Temperature Fuel Cell System. This system is developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) under New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI). The 5.0 kW fuel cell system generates power in a green manner using methanol / bio-methane, with heat and water as bi-products for further use.


  • Astronomers have discovered a 13-billion-year-old galaxy cluster that is the earliest ever observed. The early-stage cluster called a protocluster is not easy to find Yuichi Harikane, a researcher at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan who led the international team. A protocluster is a rare and special system with an extremely high density.

    The researchers used the wide viewing field of the Subaru telescope in Hawaii to map a large area of the sky in their search. The discovery of the protocluster, a collection of 12 galaxies, suggests that large cosmic structures were present in the very early stages of the universe which scientists believe was born 13.8 billion years ago.

    The 12 galaxies is known as Himiko, a giant gas cloud found in 2009 by using the same telescope.It is reasonable to find a protocluster near a massive object such as Himiko. The Himiko was located on the edge of 500 million light-years away from the center.It is still not understood why Himiko is not located in the center,These results will be key for understanding the relationship between clusters and massive galaxies.


  • China successfully launched three satellites including a resource satellite into planned orbits which will help in disaster prevention, urban construction and monitor Polar Regions and global climate change. The resource satellite and two small satellites were launched on a Long March-4B carrier rocket at 11:26 am local time from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in north China's Shanxi Province. The resource satellite ZY-1 02D is developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) and is an important part of China's space-based infrastructure. It will provide observation data for natural resources asset management, ecological monitoring, disaster prevention and control, environmental protection, urban construction, transportation and contingency management.

    ZY-1 02D will form a network with more satellites to follow. It will work in the solar synchronous orbit at 778-km above the Earth. It carries a near-infrared camera with a coverage width of 115-km. It also carries a 166-band hyper spectral camera that can produce 166 pictures with different colour bands simultaneously. The camera can capture the reflected light information of various minerals, and be used to analyze complicated mineral compositions and distribution. The satellite can also be used to observe chlorophyll concentration, water transparency and total suspended matter concentration in lakes to help monitor the environment and prevent water pollution.

    One of the two small satellites launched on the same rocket belongs to Beijing Normal University, and is named BNU-1, and the other belongs to a Shanghai-based private space technology company. Both have an expected lifespan of one year.
    • BNU-1, developed by a Shenzhen-based company affiliated to CAST, weighs about 16 kilogrammes, and will be mainly used to monitor polar climate and environment, greatly helping research of the polar regions and global climate change.
    • The satellite can report sea ice changes, which could help with ship navigation and make channel risk assessments. This launch is the 310th mission of the Long March carrier rocket series.


  • Astronomer discovered that K2 18b has earth like temperatures. For the first time ever the NASA astronomers have discovered water in the atmosphere of a planet named K2-18b. The researcher said that the planet has earth-like temperatures which can support life.
    • The astronomers used archive data from 2016 and 2017 captured by the ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope.
    • They then developed open-source algorithms which was used to analyze the starlight filtered through K2-18b's atmosphere. The analysis showed the molecular signature of water vapour. It also showed the presence of hydrogen and helium in the planet's atmosphere.


  • Water discovered for the first time in atmosphere of habitable exoplanets K2-18b. The first time discovered water in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting within the habitable zone of a distant star. The finding makes the world is called K2-18b - a plausible candidate in the search for alien life. The new space telescopes might be able to determine whether K2-18b's atmosphere contains gases that could be produced by living organisms.

    The details were published in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy. The lead scientist, Prof Giovanna Tinetti of University College London (UCL), described the discovery as mind blowing. This is the first time that we have detected water on a planet in the habitable zone around a star where the temperature is potentially compatible with the presence of life. The habitable zone is the region around a star where temperatures are considered sufficiently benign for water to exist in liquid form on the surface of a planet.

    The new planet is just over twice the size of Earth - in a planet category known as a super Earth and has a temperature cool enough to have liquid water, between zero and 40C.
    • K2-18b is 111 light-years - about 650 million million miles - from Earth, too far to send a probe. So the only option is to wait for the next generation of space telescopes to be launched in the 2020s and to look for gases in the planet's atmosphere that could only be produced by living organisms. The first exoplanet was discovered in 1992, orbiting a pulsar (a neutron star that emits electromagnetic radiation)
    • The researchers determined some of the chemicals in their atmosphere by studying the changes to the starlight as the planets orbited their suns. The light filtered through the planets' atmospheres was subtly altered by the composition of the atmosphere.
    • K2-18b cannot be classified as a mini-Neptune, it is more likely to be a planet with an interior of rock and ices. These types of planets are sometimes called 'ocean planets'.


  • Russia has terminated the robot called Fedor which was sent to the International Space Station (ISS). The robot was sent to assist the astronauts on spacewalks. But Fedor could not replace astronauts on spacewalks.
    • Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research (Fedor), the humanoid machine, was built to assist space station astronauts. Fedor is a 180 cm and 160 Kg humanoid robot that was sent in a unmanned Soyuz MS-14 vehicle on 22 August.
    • SkybotF850 is a humanoid bipedal robot, which means it resembles a human being and walks like one too. Fedor was designed in a way it has the ability to mirror its controllers’ movements.
    • This facility will enable it to conduct experiments in potentially risky environments while being controlled from a safe distance.


  • Government of India has decided to indigenously build 60 supercomputers in the next three years. The announcement was made by Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary of Department of Science and Technology. The 60 supercomputer systems will be implemented by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). Initially, six machines will be installed by the end of the year.
    Phase I: Two supercomputers are functioning at IIT-BHU and IIT-Kharagpur with 1.6 petaflops. The third supercomputers will be assembled at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune in September. Also, C-DAC has floated Request for Proposal and a company procured material for six supercomputers.
    Phase II: The second phase will begin in 2020. Except chips, most of the parts would be assembled and integrated within the country.
    Phase III: Under phase three, the Centre will be making the supercomputer, except the chips.


  • NASA created CGI Moon kit to help 3D artists. NASA has created a CGI Moon kit that will allow humanity to experience their closest galactic neighbor as never before. Using data and imagery from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) the CGI Moon kit was created. The aim of the CGI Moon kit is to make NASA’s data more accessible to 3-D artists.
    • CGI Moon kit was created by Ernie Wright is a science visualizer. He works at the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
    • Initially, the 3D Moon map was created as a Scientific Visualization Studio (SVS) resource. Later Multiple requests were received which helped in the creation of the Moon visualizations.
    • The Kit will bring the LRO data within reach of lots of other artists who want to do the kinds of things.


  • Tamil Nadu officials to learn highway safety skills from Australia. The Tamil Nadu government has sent a group of senior administrators to Australia for highway safety using Safe System Solution and to emulate the best practice procedures with a workshop. It will start on 16th Sept 2019 in Melbourne.
    • A group of members participating this meeting includes S.K. Prabhakar the Principal Secretary of Highways and Minor Ports, Beela Rajesh the Secretary to Government of Health and Family Welfare, A.
    • Arun is the Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) and A. Arun Thamburaj is the Project Director of Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project left for Melbourne.
    • The aim of this workshop program is to make a piece of the understanding marked by the State government with VicRoads and Highways Department of Australia on how to safeguard the life of people while driving in highway roads with all types of vehicles.
    • The Highway Safety section contains ideas, rules, and computational strategies for life execution of different roadway safety facilities into four sections like
    • Part A – Introduction, Human Factors, and Fundamentals of Safety;
    • Part B – Roadway Safety Management Process;
    • Part C – Predictive Methods; and
    • Part D – Crash Modification Factors.


  • Indian Air Force receives Spice-2000 building blaster buster bombs. India's aerial firepower, the Indian Air Force received the building blaster version of the Balakot air strike-fame Spice-2000 bombs at the Gwalior airbase. The Israeli firm started the delivery of the Spice-2000 bombs to India and the first batch of these bombs received. The weapons have been delivered to Gwalior as it is the home base of the Indian Air Force's Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft fleet and they are the only fleet which can fire the Israeli bombs.

    The Indian Air Force signed an over Rs.250 crore contract with Israel with Mark 84 warhead and bombs which can destroy buildings completely. The IAF had signed a contract with Israel in June this year for acquiring more than 100 Spice-2000 bombs under the emergency procurement powers of the services given by the Narendra Modi government.

    The contract was signed as the Air Force wanted to acquire the bombs after their successful usage in the Balakot airstrikes against a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist camp in Pakistan. During the Balakot strikes, the Air Force dropped Spice-2000 bombs from Mirage-2000 fighter aircraft after a pack of 12 of these fighters crossed the Line of Control (LoC) to strike the Jaish terror camp in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.


  • Defence PSU BEML Ltd and Wipro Infrastructure Engineering signed an MoU to work together in the areas of aerospace, industrial automation, 3-D printing artificial intelligence and hydraulic system engineering. The MoU entails the two firms working together on projects, products, systems, services and projects for DRDO Labs and other government entities in India as well as overseas.

    The key focus areas include aerospace components and parts through SEZ, metal additive manufacturing and design optimization for new critical aggregates, legacy components & spares, and process automation. This partnership will help both companies make a significant contribution to indigenization and the Make in India’ initiatives of the government. BEML has a strong lineage of being a heavy engineering company. The main focus on emerging technologies like 3-D printing and industrial automation.


  • Bharat Electronics Limited to deliver more Akash missiles to Indian Air Force. Bharat Electronics Ltd signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in New Delhi. The main aim is to deliver its surface-to-air Akash missile systems to seven more squadrons of the Indian Air Force. They are at a cost of Rs 5,357 crore over the next three years. The contract with specialist infrastructure, the systems will be commissioned in three years at seven Air Force bases across the country.

    The company supplied the medium-range missile defence system to six Air Force squadrons in 2015-16 against an earlier order by the MoD. The missiles are designed and developed by the state-run Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and produced by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Dynamics.


  • The Telangana government decided to celebrate the year of 2020 as the Year of Artificial Intelligence. The backdrop of the emerging talent pool and renewed focus by industry and other ecosystem players on this space in the last four to five years. The Nasscom announced the setting up of a Centre of Excellence in AI and Data Sciences in Hyderabad. In addition, IIT-Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) selected Hyderabad as the place to set up their regional centre to train students in AI in partnership with the State government.

    The AI and allied technologies like Cyber Security, Drones, Big Data and Blockchain. This can be gauged from the fact that we have policies dedicated to each of these sectors. The programmes into action and have decided to celebrate the year 2020 as the Year of AI. Under this initiative, we will be running hackathons, master classes and other activities throughout the year. The government agencies will give challenges and available data threats to run algorithms for the AI enthusiasts. Telangana was the first State to sign up with NITI Aayog when they prepared the AI for All document and they will be running multiple pilot programmes in the State.


  • Google to launch AI Research Lab in Bengaluru. Google Pay has grown more than three times to 67 million monthly active users, driving transactions worth over $110 billion on an annualized basis across offline and online merchants. The two-thirds of the transactions are coming from tier-II and -III cities and towns.

    Google Pay competes with players like Paytm and PhonePe is introducing the Spot platform that will enable merchants to create branded commercial experiences and reach new customers. Google already on boarded merchants like UrbanClap, Goibibo, MakeMyTrip, RedBus, Eat.Fit and Oven Story through its early access programme.


  • Hyderabad-based incubator T-Hub signed a tripartite memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Choose New Jersey an economic development organization and VentureLink a community hub for technology companies at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) for Northern New Jersey. They will provide growth-stage startups in India with business opportunities, market understanding and access to clients in the USA.

    The two individuals per startup will get complimentary space for two months. The MoU will promote technology and investment exchange between New Jersey and India through this collaboration between T-Hub, VentureLink, and Choose New Jersey. The three organizations will also support joint research and development in the areas of common interest between the parties.

    It will offer reciprocal services, as and when required, to VentureLink which is a community hub for technology companies at NJIT members interested in exploring business and investment opportunities in India. The Hyderabad-based incubator will also initiate the call for applications for startups to participate in this opportunity.

    Only high potential and growth startups will be selected based on the quality of technology solutions, product/solution readiness, revenue model and growth potential, after a thorough screening process. Through the MoU, startups will get an opportunity to tap into one of the biggest fintech ecosystems in the world in New Jersey.


  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) joined hands with Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) for the development of human-centric systems for the Human Space Mission to demonstrate its human space flight capabilities. A delegation of ISRO scientists, led by Director, Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) Dr S Unnikrishnan Nair signed a set of MoUs with various DRDO labs. It aims To provide technologies for human centric systems and technologies specific to the Human Space Mission.
    Mou's Signed By :
    • The MoUs were signed by Directors of Aerial Delivery Research & Development Establishment (ADRDE), Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL), Defence Bioengineering &Electro Medical Laboratory (DEBEL), Defence Laboratory (DL) Jodhpur, Centre for Fire, Explosive & Environment Safety (CFEES), Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences (DIPAS) and Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS) in the presence of Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO, Dr G Satheesh Reddy and Scientist & Director General (Life Sciences), Dr A K Singh.
    Technological Need :
    • The technological capabilities existing in DRDO laboratories for defence applications will be customized to meet the requirements of the human space mission of ISRO.
    • The ISRO medications include space food, space crew health monitoring and emergency survival kit, radiation measurement and protection, parachutes for safe recovery of the crew module and others.
    • ISRO for the human space flight and customization of the required technologies already been initiated to meet the stringent timelines. ISRO aims to demonstrate human spaceflight capability before the 75th anniversary of India’s independence in 2022.
    • The critical technologies to be provided by DRDO to ISRO include space food, space crew health monitoring and emergency survival kit, radiation measurement and protection, parachutes for the safe recovery of the crew module and others.


  • Google partners with BSNL to bring public WiFi to villages. The search engine giant Google has signed a partnership agreement with the state-owned operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL). The partnership aims to bring public WiFi to villages in states namely Gujarat, Bihar, and Maharashtra. The agreement will focus on villages that had no Wi-Fi connection previously.

    The announcement comes after the 5th edition of Google for India event which took place in New Delhi on 19th September. In July 2019 Google collaborated with Cisco for its gStation to provide free and high-speed WiFi at public locations across India.


  • Centre to launch NEAT AI learning scheme to boost higher education. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has announced a new National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT) Artificial Intelligence (AI) scheme. MHRD will start awareness programmes to create awareness of the NEAT solutions to teachers and students. The NEAT AI scheme will be launched and made operational zed in early November 2019. The scheme aims to boost better learning outcomes in Higher Education. The scheme will ensure to use Artificial Intelligence which will make learning more personalized and customized as per the requirements of the learner.


  • Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully flight tested Astra, the Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM). It was launched from Sukhoi Su-30 MKI platform off the coast of Chandipur, Odisha. Indian Air Force (IAF) has completed the user trial phase of the weapon system of Astra successfully.
    • The state-of-the-art BVRAAM was built by DRDO along with IAF. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has modified the aircraft for weapon integration.
    • Apart from this, more than 50 public and private industries have contributed to building the Astra weapon system.
    • The trial tests were held from 16th to 19th September 2019.
    • DRDO conducted 5 trial tests in different configurations.
    • 3 missiles were launched in combat configuration with warhead and manoeuvring targets were neutralized to establish the end game capability of the missile.
    • A direct hit of the target by the telemetered missile at the maximum range was also successfully tested.
    • All the mission parameters and objectives were met as all the subsystems performed accurately as per the specifications.
      As Astra has been successfully induction of the missile system into Indian Air Force, which will certainly be a force multiplier considering its accuracy and effectiveness in neutralizing aerial threats.


  • Chandrayaan-2 orbiter locates Lander Vikram on surface of moon. In a significant development relating to the lunar mission Chandrayaan-2, the Lander Vikram has been located on the surface of the moon. A thermal image of the Lander has been captured by the Orbiter of Chandrayaan-2. He has clarified that there is no communication yet from the Lander, adding, efforts are on to restore contact with it.

    The Lander lost its contact with the ISRO’s Mission Control Centre in Bengaluru in the wee hours on 07 September, 2019, just minutes before its scheduled soft-landing. During its final leg of the crucial powered descent near the lunar South Pole, it went silent after reaching up to 2.1 kilometres above the surface. The thermal image has been captured by the ‘Imaging Infra-Red Spectrometer’ that is fitted on the Orbiter.

    It was made by detecting the naturally occurring infrared waves from the Lander. The spectrometer is one of the eight scientific instruments that are onboard the Orbiter. The Orbiter is meticulously revolving around the moon and has eight important payloads on it including the Infra-Red device.


  • Ministry of Information and Broadcasting announced the implementation of television Programmes for the deaf audience. The announcement was made by the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar on 11 September 2019. It will be effective from 18 September 2019.
    • The plan will be implemented on all TV channels. The service providers were asked to run atleast one program every week with captioning and subtitles.
    • The news channels have been asked to carry a news bulletin with sign language interpretation at least once a day.
    • The channels can either make their own programme with sign language interpretation or carry a bulletin prepared by DD News free of cost. The plan will be carried out in various phases over the next 5 years. The policy will be reviewed after 2 years.


  • The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully test-fired an indigenously developed Man Portable Anti-tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh on 9 September 2019. It was launched from a tripod launcher. The test aims to pave the way for the Indian Army to develop the third generation MPATGM. The anti-tank missile will be used for army purpose. The MPATGM has been successfully tested for the third series.
    Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM):
    • MPATGM is a man-portable anti-tank guided missile
    • The primary aim of the design is to hit and destroy heavily armoured military vehicles
    MPATGMs range varies from:
    1. smaller transportable shoulder-launched weapons and single transported soldier
    2. larger tripod-mounted weapons that require a squad or team to transport and fire
    3. vehicle and aircraft-mounted missile systems.


  • India's second Scorpene-class attack submarine INS Khanderi will be commissioned into the Navy by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Mumbai on September 28, 2019. The conventional diesel-electric submarine has been manufactured by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd in Mumbai. The first Scorpene-class submarine INS Kalvari had been commissioned into the Indian Navy in December 2017.


  • Scientists in the field of photonic crystals have created a flexible smart skin that can change colour like a chameleon. The colour will change in response to the environment without changing shape.
    • The smart skin is fragile and buckles after being exposed to varying temperatures. The researchers created it by studying time-lapse videos of chameleons' phase-shifting skin.
    • This is achieved by embedding photonic crystal arrays into flexible, water-containing polymers. The colour change was achieved by expanding or contracting the hydrogel that changed the spacing in the arrays.
    • The smart skin has its applications in various applications like camouflage, signaling, and anti-counterfeiting. MIT's color-changing ink, on the other hand, let the users change the patterns and colors of their shoes, cars and more.


  • The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has announced that it is to exchange notes with Israel’s private space center, SpaceIL. In February 2019, Israel SpaceIL’s Beresheet mission lost robotic lunar lander in a manner similar to Chandrayaan-2’s lander Vikram.
    • ISRO committee the analyzed Chandrayaan's failure concluded its inquiry into how and why lander Vikram lost the communication link with the master control room.
    • Now the two countries rea planning to exchange notes and discuss the factors that led to the failure of the Lander's landing.
    • Beresheet Lunar Mission was an Israeli mission that was launched in February. It was launched by a partnership between nonprofit SpacelL and government-owned aerospace company Israel Aerospace Industries. Beresheet crashed during an attempt to land on the lunar surface.


  • Tourism and Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel flagged off the first Mobile Science Exhibition at Leh Palace, in Leh. For the first time, a national programme is being launched from Leh. The Mobile Science Exhibition will be moving to various schools in the Leh district.

    The Mobile Science Exhibition (MSE) is specially designed in a bus so that it can reach the doorsteps of people. The bus will travel from school to school in rural areas and organize exhibitions throughout the year. Along with the exhibition, some other programmes like Sky Observation Programme through telescope, science film show, Science Demonstration Lectures etc will also be organized. The programme carries a number of interactive exhibits related to everyday science. Leh Hill Council CEC Gyal Wangyal, Senior officials from Culture ministry and local administration were also present on the occasion.


  • Communications from lander ‘Vikram’ lost: ISRO. 
    In a huge disappointment, communications from Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander to ISRO’s ground station here was lost before touchdown while the nation eagerly awaited its soft landing on the hitherto unexplored lunar south pole in the early hours of 07th September 2019.

    Addressing the scientists after the link was snapped, Prime Minister Narendra Modi “Nation is proud of you, be courageous.” As the powered descent of the lander began at around 1.38 am, scientists at ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) were glued to their terminals, anticipating the soft landing.

    ISRO Chairman K Sivan was seen engaged in intense discussions with some scientists. Soon he announced that the Vikram lander descent was as planned and normal performance observed upto altitude of 2.1 km. Subsequently communications from lander to ground station was lost, he said, adding the data was being analysed.



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