Science and Technology
· The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected spaceflight company, SpaceX to launch its SPHEREx Mission. Through this mission, NASA aims to perform an all-sky survey to measure the near-infrared spectra of approximately 450 million galaxies across the universe and 100 million stars inside our Milky Way galaxy.
· The newly constituted Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) Council has approved for the establishment of the world’s largest radio telescope. The telescope will enable astronomers to monitor the sky in unprecedented detail and survey the entire sky much faster than any system currently in existence. To look into some of the unexplored areas of the universe and seek answers about its history and evolution, study fundamental physics in extreme environments and know about galaxies over cosmic time.
· The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has announced to set up the first ‘Thunderstorm Research Testbed’ of the country at Odisha’s Balasore district. The main objective of the “Thunderstorm Research Testbed” is to minimalise human fatalities and loss of property due to lightning strikes.
· Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has opened its UR Rao Satellite Centre for testing satellites developed by the private sector for the first time in its history. Two satellites, developed by the Indian startups SpaceKidz India and Pixxel (incorporated as Sygyzy) were tested at the UR Rao Satellite Centre.
· Indian astronomers have reported one of the strongest flares from a feeding supermassive black hole or blazar called BL Lacertae, analysis of which can help trace the mass of the black hole and the source of this emission, the Department of Science and Technology said.
· An IIT Madras-Incubated start-up Pi Beam Electric has recently launched a sustainable electric two-wheeler, dubbed as PiMo. The utility e-bike has been developed for personal and commercial use. It does not require a licence or registration.
· Hyundai Motor Company has launched a Transformer-like robocar dubbed as TIGER X-1, that can travel over the most challenging terrains on the Earth as well as on other planets. TIGER stands for Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot, and the X-1 denotes its experimental status.
· The NASA Perseverance rover safely landed on Mars after its 292.5 million-mile journey from Earth. The rover has been on a nearly 300 million-mile journey since it left Earth more than 6 months ago. Indian-American named Dr Swati Mohan, who first confirmed that the rover had survived a particularly tricky plunge into the Martian atmosphere.
· India’s homegrown app MapMyIndia ties up with ISRO to build an alternative to Google Maps. The agreement between ISRO and MapmyIndia is suggested to become an alternative to Google maps and similar platforms. The collaboration with MapMyIndia will turn out to be a benefit for users because it will use digital maps of MapmyIndia and satellite imagery and earth observation data of ISRO.