Expected Questions for Science Technology & Space 2018 - Part 2 (Set - 2) (Download PDF)

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TOPEX/Poseidon - Joint satellite mission launched by NASA and French space agency in year 1992 to map ocean surface topography, First satellite to precisely measure the rising sea levels. It mapped global currents for the first time and monitored effects of currents on global climate change.

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Expected Questions on Science & Technology 2018 - UPSC IAS Prelims (Part 2) (In English)

Dr. Manishika Jain discusses Expected Questions on Science and Technology 2018 for IAS Prelims Part 2

NASA Launches Joint Polar Satellite System-1

  • NASA launched a next-generation satellite called Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) into space.

  • JPSS-1 is a joint venture between NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

  • Launched into orbit atop United Launch Alliance-built Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

  • Renamed: NOAA-20 when it reaches its final orbit.

ISRO Losses Contact with Communication Satellite GSAT-6A

  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has lost contact with India’s most powerful communication GSAT-6A satellite in less than 48 hours after it was launched.

  • Loss in contact is believed to have been caused by power system failure or short circuit on the satellite.

  • Orbit-raising refers to maneuvers by which satellite is taken to its final orbit in stages.

  • GSAT-6A is high power communication satellite which was to have a mission life of about 10 years.

As ISRO Launch Fails, Glitch in Space Waits for Fix

  • ISRO declared IRNSS - 1H launch a failure after a heat shield failed to separate, preventing the satellite from being deployed in space by PSLV - C39, the launch vehicle.

  • IRNSS - 1H was the 8th in a series of IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite Systems) satellites to get launched by ISRO since July 2013.

  • IRNSS - 1H was among nine satellites (seven for the navigation service, two backup) indented at Rs. 1,420 crore for IRNSS.

  • One primary reason for the development of the indigenous Indian system is the reliability that it offers when used for defence purposes.

Aditya L1 Mission: ISRO’S First Sun Mission to Take off in 2019

  • ISRO is set to launch first solar mission Aditya-L1 in 2019.

  • It will be India’s first dedicated scientific mission to study sun.

  • Mission aims to put 1,500-kg heavy class Aditya-L1 satellite into halo orbit around Lagrangian point L1, a point between Sun and Earth.

  • Aditya-L1 mission will carry seven payloads:

    • Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC)

    • Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS)

    • High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS)

    • Solar Ultraviolet Image Telescope (SUIT)

    • Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA)

    • Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX)

    • Magnetometer

IRNSS-1I: ISRO Successfully Launches Navigation Satellite

  • ISRO successfully launched IRNSS-1I navigation satellite from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

  • Satellite was launched on board of PSLV-C41 (height of 44.4 meters and weight of 321 tons) after the normal lift-off and was successfully placed in in the designated orbit.

  • Overall 20th flight of PSLV-XL version and 41st successful mission of total 43 of PSLV.


  • It was ISRO’s second attempt to send replacement satellite.

  • Previous mission of a PSLV carrying IRNSS-1H in August 2017 failed after the heat shield covering satellite failed to separate in space after the launch.

ISRO–BHEL Tie up for Production of Space Grade Lithium-Ion Cells

  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) entered into Technology Transfer Agreement (TTA) with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) to transfer technology for manufacturing space grade Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) cells.

  • Technology transfer will enable BHEL to produce space grade Li-Ion cells which can meet country’s space program requirements.

  • It can also be adopted to cater Li-Ion cell requirement for other national needs.

ISRO’S Mars Orbiter Mission Completes 3 Years in Orbit

  • ISRO’s globally acclaimed Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) also known as Mangalyaan.

  • It’s completed 3 years in Martian orbit.

  • It has outlived its original lifespan and is still in good health and continues to work as expected.

  • ISRO released MOM second year science data from September 24,2014 to September 23,2016.

ISRO’S GSAT-17 Launched Successfully from French Guiana

  • Latest communication satellite GSAT-17.

  • Heavy duty rocket of Arianespace from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana (Flight VA238), 3,477 kg Launched into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

  • Carries payloads in Normal C-band, Extended C-band and S-band.

  • Carries equipment for meteorological data relay.

  • Satellite-based search and rescue services.

  • Strengthen current fleet of 17 telecommunications satellites.

ISRO Earns 6.1 Million Euros from 29 Nano Satellite Launches on June 23

  • Indian Space Research Organization’s commercial arm Antrix earned 6.1 million euros from the launch of 29 Nano satellites from countries on June 23, adding to the 157 million euros it earned from foreign launches in the last four years.

  • Space agency launched 130 satellites in the first six months of 2017.

  • All the foreign satellites it has launched have been small in size.

  • Aim: To provide Antrix with at least two complete launch vehicles per annum in a few years.

  • Presently, Antrix only sells additional space available on launch vehicles to foreign customers.

  • In this launch, India’s Cartosat-2 was the main cargo.

ISRO, NASA for 2021 NISAR Mission

  • ISRO and NASA launched NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission to co-develop and launch a dual frequency synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite by 2021.

  • Satellite to be most expensive earth-imaging satellite costing around $1.5 billion.

  • Aims: to study global environmental change and natural disasters.

  • NISAR a dual frequency (L & S Band) Radar Imaging Satellite. First radar imaging satellite to use dual frequency.

  • Synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) is a radar that can create two- or three-dimensional images of objects, such as landscapes.

ISRO Developing Hyperspectral Imaging Earth Observation Satellite

  • ISRO launching a full-fledged Earth observation (EO) Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite (HySIS).

  • ISRO’s HySIS satellite can observe 55 spectral or colour bands from 630 km above ground.

  • Typical EO satellites can only observer or collect data in a few bands of frequency.

  • ISRO’s HySIS satellite can observe 55 spectral or colour bands from 630 km above ground.

  • Hyperspectral imaging, or imaging spectroscopy, combines the power of digital imaging and spectroscopy.

Indian Global Positioning System

  • ISRO deployed an indigenous regional positioning system- “Navigation with Indian Constellation” (NavIC). – indigenous GPS

  • Consists of 7 satellites providing Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services in Indian mainland and surrounding region up to 1500 Km.

  • Provides two types of services:

    • Standard Positioning Service (SPS)

    • Restricted Service (RS)

  • Budget of Rs. 1420 Crore approved for the realization- including 7 in-orbit satellites, 2 satellites ground spares and associated ground segment.

  • Space and ground segment of NavIC system established.

ISRO Launch 31 Satellites with PSLV Rocket

  • ISRO successful launched the Cartosat-2 series and 30 co-passenger satellites of other countries by PSLV.

  • Weight of the Cartosat-2 series is 712.

  • In 30 co-passenger satellites 29 satellites are of foreign and one is Indian.

  • 29 satellites belongs to 14 different countries and they are: Austria, Belgium, Britain, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and the US.

  • Total weight of 30 satellites was 243kg.

  • It including Cartosat with about 955kg weights.

Upgrading of Aerospace Technology, ISRO’S Successful Experimental Missions

41st flight of PSLV (PSLV-C39) that took place on August 31,2017 with Indian Regional Navigational Satellite (IRNSS-1H weighing 1425 kg) could not reach the designated orbit, is considered as a failure.

Reason for the Failure:

  • Failure was because of non-separation of payload fairing (also known as heat shield) during the 2ndstage of the flight.

  • Root cause was understood after analyzing the flight and ground test data.

How ISRO & Antrix Became International Go-To Agencies- ISRO’S ‘Small is Beautiful’?

  • In February 2017, ISRO launched 104 satellites in one go beating Russia’s record.

  • Barring the 714-kg Cartosat, all others were nano-satellites.

  • This is a big achievement and marks a feather in the cap of ISRO’s commercial venture.

  • ISRO’s mastery in perfecting PSLV propelled this journey and its commercial arm, Antrix, ensured steady growth of customers and raked in the revenue.

  • The spare space in the rocket is used to carry other satellites.

  • Therefore, ISRO follows the mantra ‘small is beautiful’.

What is PSLV?

  • Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is an expendable launch system developed and operated by ISRO.

  • Some notable payloads launched by PSLV include:

    • India’s first lunar probe Chandrayaan -1

    • India’s first interplanetary mission

    • Mangalyaan (Mars orbiter) & India’s first space observatory

    • Astrosatat

What is Antrix?

  • Antrix Corporation Limited is the commercial arm of ISRO.

  • On 15 February 2017, India successfully launched a payload of 104 foreign satellites.

What is the Commercial Arm of ISRO? What is Commercial Use of Space?

  • Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of ISRO, successfully launched 209 foreign satellites from 29 countries under a commercial arrangement.

  • Antrix Corporation Limited enabled launches of satellites belonging to many companies of various countries under a commercial arrangement.

  • Commercial use of space is the provision of goods or services of commercial value by using equipment sent into Earth orbit or outer space. ex. Satellite navigation

ISRO to Align with 170 Government Projects to Benefit Common Man

  • ISRO to bring socio-economic transformation in the country.

  • It is set to act as a force-multiplier in implementing as many as 170 projects where space technology can be used for a better life.

  • ISRO receives the Gandhi Peace Prize for its contribution in many areas.

  • Recently, ISRO diversified its ‘Bhuvan’ (geo-spatial platform) application service, which can be a key tool to implement India’s smart city programs.

  • It reduces workload of flight crew and Air Traffic Controllers.

What Was ISRO’S 100Th Satellite?

  • India successfully launched weather observation satellite Cartosat 2 Series and 29 other spacecraft from Sriharikota with the help of PSLV-C40.

  • This launch was 100th launch by ISRO.

  • Cartosat-2 Series Satellite is the primary satellite carried by PSLV-C40 (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle).

  • Cartosat-2 is an earth observation satellite in a sun synchronous orbit.

  • It was first launched by a PSLV_G rocket on 10 January 2007.

  • Imagery sent by the remote-sensing satellite will be useful for:

    • cartographic applications

    • urban and rural applications

    • coastal land use and regulation

Summary of Space Science Developments from 2014 - 2017

2014 - 15 Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM):

  • Launched on September 24,2014

  • Made ISRO, the fourth Space agency in the world to reach Mars orbit

  • Initially designed for six months, MOM is still continuing and sending important data for scientific studies

2015 - 16 AstroSat:

  • Launched on September 28,2015

  • Unique satellite providing common platform for simultaneous multi-wavelength observations of celestial sources.

  • Completed more than two years and performing.

2016 - 17 RLV-TD:

  • Successfully flight-tested on May 23,2016.

  • The most technologically challenging endeavors of ISRO towards developing essential technologies for a fully reusable launch vehicle to enable low cost access to space.

2016 - 17 Scramjet:

  • The first experimental mission of ISRO’s Scramjet engine towards the realization of an Air Breathing Propulsion System was successfully conducted on August 28,2016.

  • Reusable launch vehicle together with Air Breathing propulsion system will bring down the cost of access to space far low.


Which of the following is not a potential 2G Biofuel?

A) Jatropha

B) Woodchips

C) Switchgrass

D) Algae

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Expected Questions on Science & Technology 2018 - UPSC IAS Prelims (Part 2) (In Hindi)

Dr. Manishika Jain discusses Expected Questions on Science and Technology 2018 for IAS Prelims Part 2

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- Published/Last Modified on: May 23, 2018


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