Planck, Solar Impulse Project, Spitzer Space Telescope and in Vitro Fertilisation

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Planck (Spacecraft)

Planck is a space observatory designed to observe the universe using high sensitivity and angular resolution. It was launched in 2009. In July 2010, the Planck space satellite released the full map of the entire universe.

Solar Impulse Project

Solar impulse is a European long range solar powered plane project which aims at circumnavigating the world on a solar powered air plane. In July 2010, the plane completed a 24-hour flight, the first solar plane to do so by using batteries charged during the day to keep it aloft overnight.

Spitzer Space Telescope

It is an infrared space observatory launched in 2003. It is the fourth and final of NASA’s Great Observations. The other great observatories are:

  • Hubble Space telescope: It is a NASA space telescope launched in 1990 and the first great observatories. It is one of the largest and most versatile space telescopes. It was built by NASA with contributions from the European Space Agency and is operated by the Space Telescope Science Institute.

  • Compton Gamma Ray Observatory: Launched in 1991 and was deorbited in 2000.

  • Chandra X-ray Observatory: It is a satellite launched by NASA in 1999. Chandra is sensitive X-ray sources 100 times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope.

GPS Aided Geo Augmentation Navigation (GAGAN)

It is a planned implementation of Satellite Based Navigation System (SBNS) developed by Airports Authority of India (AAI) and ISRO. GAGAN is expected to provide a civil aeronautical navigation signal consistent with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices as established by the Global Navigation Satellite System Panel. GAGAN was launched in August 2010. With this India has become the 4th Country in the World to have satellite-based navigation system. It is a system to improve the accuracy of a GNSS receiver by providing reference signals.

In Vitro Fertilisation


It is a weather predicting device that is used to predict a few hours ahead in specific localities. The device was used in the Common Wealth Games 2010 in New Delhi to predict weather over each stadium.

Water on Moon

India’s Chandrayaan had discovered water on the surface of moon. The matter was re-confirmed by the US Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) in 2009. It sent a spent rocket upper stage crashing on the moon’s South Pole and another rocket behind studied the debris thrown up by it. It showed that the debris matter contained about 5 pc of its weight in the form of ice. This could have an important implication in terms of using it as a space fuel.


Stuxnet was a computer worm that was found to affect several computers in Iran (it later spread to India, Indonesia and other countries). The worm affected the computers at the nuclear facility in Iran. It is speculated that it was aimed at destroying the centrifuges at Iran’s nuclear establishment.

El Tor

It is a strain of a cholera causing bacteria. This strain led to a cholera outbreak in Haiti in late 2010

Important Institutes of Science and Technology

Important Institutes of Science and Technology
Important Institutes of Science and Technology



Why in news?


International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

Scientists found out a germ for tuberculosis that helps it remain dormant in host’s body

Human Papillomavirus

Is a member of the papillomavirus family of viruses that is capable of affecting humans. They can cause cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina and anus in women or cancers of the anus and penis in men. HPV was in news recently due to the controversy over medical trials of a drug for treating cervical cancer.

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