Science & Technology - 2018 JUNE

June 1

India hits strategic milestone with successful test of surface-to-air missile
In a major breakthrough in missile technology, India successfully carried out the first test of a new surface-to-air missile with nozzle less booster making its mark as a military superpower in South East Asia region. Indigenously designed and developed by the country’s premier research agency - Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the fastest missile in its class is capable of neutralising fast moving aerial targets.
The missile, which is yet to get a formal name, was flight tested from launching complex-III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off Odisha coast. The missile, powered by Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR), was fired from a static launcher meeting all mission objectives.

June 2

China successfully launches new earth observation satellite
China successfully launched a new Earth observation satellite which will be mainly used in agricultural resources research and disaster monitoring.
The Gaofen-6 satellite was launched on a Long March-2D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China.
A scientific experiment satellite named Luojia-1 was sent into space at the same time.It was the 276th mission of the Long March rocket series.

June 4

NASA’s mini-satellites successfully steer towards Mars
The world’s first mini-satellites to venture into deep space – designed to monitor NASA’s InSight Mars lander – have successfully oriented themselves towards the Red Planet. Over the last week, two CubeSats called MarCO-A and MarCO-B have been firing their propulsion systems to guide themselves toward Mars.
This process, called a trajectory correction manoeuvre, allows a spacecraft to refine its path to Mars following launch. Both CubeSats successfully completed this manoeuvre.
The pair of CubeSats that make up the Mars Cube One (MarCO) mission were both launched, along with the InSight lander, which is headed toward touchdown on the Red Planet. They were designed to trail InSight on the way to Mars, aiming to relay back data about InSight as it enters the planet’s atmosphere and attempts to land. The MarCOs were never intended to collect any science data; instead, they are a test of miniaturised communication and navigation technology that can blaze a path for future CubeSats sent to other planets.

India successfully test-fires nuclear capable Agni-5
India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear-capable Long Range Ballistic Missile Agni-5, which has a strike range of 5,000 km, off the Odisha coast.
The surface-to-surface missile was launched with the help of a mobile launcher from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Dr Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal.
This was the sixth trial of the state-of-the-art Agni-5. The missile covered its full distance during the trial which was a total success.
The flight performance of the missile was tracked and monitored by radars, tracking instruments and observation stations all through the mission.
Unlike other missiles of the series, Agni-5 is the most advanced with new technologies in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine.
Many new technologies developed indigenously were successfully tested in the Agni-5 trial. Navigation systems, very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and the most modern and accurate Micro Navigation System (MINS) had ensured the missile reached the target point within few meters of accuracy.

June 6

China approves first home made anti-HIV drug
China has approved the first domestically developed, long-acting injectable HIV drug Albuvirtide which could be a boon to tens of thousands of HIV/AIDS patients in the country.
The drug, approved by the China Food and Drug Administration, can block the fusion of the virus and host cell membranes, interrupting the HIV life cycle in its earliest stage.
Albuvirtide is injected once a week and is secure; Compared to imported anti-HIV drugs, Albuvirtide has fewer side effects, especially on the liver.
The drug is a fusion inhibitor that should be used with antiretroviral drugs to treat people with HIV condition who have received antiviral therapy.

June 9

Dhanush, India's first indigenous artillery gun clears final test, ready for induction into Army
India’s first indigenous, long-range artillery gun "Dhanush" has passed its final test at Pokhran, paving the way for its induction into the Army.
Between June 2-6, fifty rounds of shells each were fired from six Dhanush guns.
Dhanush is a 155mm x 45mm calibre artillery gun and is also called the "desi Bofors".
The gun has passed tests under severe cold conditions in Sikkim and Leh and in hot and humid weather in Balasore, Odisha, Babina in Jhansi and in the desert of Pokhran in Rajasthan.
Besides features like electronic gun-laying and sighting systems, the indigenous gun's hitting range was 11 km more than the imported Bofors guns.

June 10

Indian PRL scientists discover an 'EPIC' planet
In an epic Indian discovery, a team from the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, has spotted for the first time a distant planet six times bigger than Earth and revolving around a Sun-like star about 600 light years away. Both the planet and the star have been named EPIC.
"With this discovery India has joined a handful of countries which have discovered planets around stars'', PIndian Space Research Organisation has announced. PRL is supported mainly by the Department of Space, whose arm ISRO is. Significantly, the discovery was made using a PRL-designed spectrograph, PARAS, to measure and confirm the mass of the new planet.
EPIC 211945201b (or K2-236b) is the name given to the planet by the discovery team led by PRL's Abhijit Chakraborty. The host star is named EPIC 211945201 or K2-236.

June 15

ISRO offers transfer of e-vehicle cell technology to firms for Rs 1 crore
To give push to the Centre’s e-vehicle green project, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has offered the industry its indigenously developed lithium ion cell technology at a cost of Rs 1 crore for its use in automobiles. The initiative is expected to promote the government’s zero emission policy.
ISRO’s Thiruvananthapuram-based Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, which has developed lithium-ion cells, will transfer the technology to the successful company to help it establish production facilities that can produce cells of varying size, capacity, energy density and power density catering to the entire spectrum of power storage requirements.

June 17

Russia launches Glonass-M navigation satellite
Russia successfully launched a Glonass-M positioning satellite using a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket.
The Space Forces, a branch of the Aerospace Forces, launched the satellite from the Plesetsk space center at 00:46 local time (2146 GMT).The pre-launch procedures and the launch itself went as planned.
The Glonass network provides real-time positioning data for surface, sea and airborne objects around the globe, at an accuracy reportedly on par with the U.S. Global Positioning System.

June 18

Dhanush artillery gun clears 3rd and final trials and soon to be inducted in the army
The indigenously upgraded artillery gun Dhanush has successfully completed final user trials and is ready for induction into the Army. Dhanush is an upgraded version of the Swedish Bofors gun procured by India in the mid-1980s.
This was the third and final phase of user exploitation firings in which six Dhanush guns were fired in battery formation at the Pokhran field firing range. A total of 301 rounds were fired from the six guns, including burst fire.
The first phase of trials were conducted between July and September 2016 at the Pokhran and Babina ranges and the second phase was conducted between October and December 2016 at the Siachen base camp with three guns. A total of 1,520 rounds have been fired in all the three phases.

June 19

World's most powerful supercomputer unveiled
US scientists have unveiled the worlds most powerful and smartest scientific supercomputer that can complete over 200,000 trillion calculations per second - providing unprecedented computing power for research in energy, advanced materials and artificial intelligence (AI).
The US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) supercomputer called Summit will be eight times more powerful than its previous top-ranked system, Titan.
For certain scientific applications, Summit will also be capable of more than three billion billion mixed precision calculations per second, or 3.3 exaops.

Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Rani Rashmoni’ commissioned in Visakhapatnam
The last of the five Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) project of Indian Coast Guard ‘Rani Rashmoni’ was commissioned into the Indian Coast Guard.
So far four such ships such as ICGS Rani Abbakka, ICGS Rani Avanti Bai, ICGS Rani Durgavati and ICGS Rani Gaidinliu, have been commissioned and are in active service at various locations on the eastern seaboard.‘Rani Rashmoni’ was the last in the first phase of five FPVs.
The FPVs are equipped with advanced sensors and state-of-the-art equipment and are designed to perform multifarious tasks such as surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue, anti-smuggling and anti-poaching, operations. The 51 mtr ship is propelled by three MTU 4000 series diesel engines of 2720 capacity each, coupled with Rolls Royce Kamewa jets.

June 21

Google introduces offline mode for Chrome on Android
Contributing to the idea of Chrome for "everyone, everywhere'', tech giant Google announced the rollout of an offline mode for users on Android.
The company further noted that users who are signed into Chrome can also access relevant articles, based on browsing history. This downloaded content is then available at any point in time, sans internet connection.
Chrome's goal is to make the web work well for everyone, everywhere. From building offline capabilities to an automatic data saver.

June 23

150-million-year-old turtle fossil discovered in China: Report
A turtle fossil dating back 150 million years to the Jurassic period has been found in southwest China's Chongqing municipality.
Farmer Liu Changyu found a turtle-shell-shaped "rock" while in Qijiang district.
Liu's daughter uploaded photos to 'WeChat', which were spread and spotted by the district's land resources and housing management bureau.
Invited by the department, paleontologists from the municipal exploration bureau confirmed it was a fossil of a snake-necked turtle from the Jurassic period, state-run.
The fossil will be displayed at the geological museum of Qijiang district.
Qijiang is rich in geological resources, including a cluster of dinosaur and primitive fish fossils.
Jurassic turtle fossils were previously found in Chongqing and in the neighbouring Sichuan province, but it is the first time for a snake-necked turtle fossil to be found in Qijiang District.