ISRO, SAC - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

1)   Who is the former ISRO chairman who initiated the development of the Geo Stationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991?

a. G. Madhavan Nair
b. KK Radhakrishnan
c. UR Rao
d. Shailesh Nayak
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: UR Rao

Explanation:
Eminent space scientist and former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Udupi Ramachandra Rao passed away in Bengaluru on 24th July 2017 due to age related ailments. He was 85.

Rao is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

Born in Adamaru area of Karnataka’s Udupi district, Rao was involved in all ISRO missions till date in one capacity or the other.

He is credited on account of contributions to the development of space technology in India and its extensive application to communications and remote sensing of natural resources.

Before his death, he was serving as the chairman of the governing council of the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad and the chancellor of the Indian institute of science and technology in Thiruvananthapuram.

Rao served as the chairman of ISRO for 10 years from 1984 to 1994.

After taking charge as chairman of the space commission and secretary, department of space in 1984, he accelerated the development of rocket technology which led to the successful launch of ASLV rocket and the operational PSLV launch vehicle.

He was also instrumental for the launch 2.0 ton class of satellites into polar orbit.

He also initiated the development of the Geo Stationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991.

Rao was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1976 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2017 for his contribution to Indian space technology.

He has published over 350 scientific and technical papers covering cosmic rays, interplanetary physics, high energy astronomy, space applications, satellite and rocket technology and authored many books.

Rao also became the first Indian space scientist to be inducted into the prestigious ‘Satellite Hall of Fame’ in Washington DC on March 19, 2013, and the ‘IAF Hall of Fame’ in Mexico’s Guadalajara.


2)   Which scientific organisation has developed India's first indigenous solar hybrid electric car?

a. DRDO
b. CSIR
c. TIFR
d. ISRO
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: ISRO

Explanation:
ISRO demonstrated its solar hybrid electric car and there's a strong reason behind working on it.

Vehicles using fossil fuels persistently bring serious problems to environment and life.

In this perspective, Solar and Electrical energy based hybrid vehicles provide the most effective and viable long-term solution by using renewable energy sources for mobility.

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), ISRO, Thiruvananthapuram, demonstrated the running of a solar hybrid electric car using in-house expertise and resources within ISRO.

Considerations involved the right solar panel to suit the roof top of car, a super-capacitor to meet the high peak current of beyond 100 A level, an integral gear box to augment the performance of the Brushless DC (BLDC) motor.

It also involved control electronics for the battery and solar panel interface and drive electronics for running the motor in a smooth way.

The biggest one of course was the conversion of the internal combustion engine (ICE) based vehicle, which was a Maruti Suzuki Omni, to fit in with the electric motor.

The Brushless motor had to be modified to improve torque

To drive the car, energy was supplied to the vehicle by energy density Lithium ion batteries connected across high power density super-capacitors.

The battery delivered the sustained energy requirement while the super-capacitor supported the peak power demand during high torque conditions.

This arrangement of power sharing helped in enhancing the life of power-restricted batteries.

Energy was supplied to the vehicle by energy density Lithium ion batteries.

A solar panel fitted on rooftop of the car charges the battery by absorbing the sunlight.

How it Works

  • This electrical energy needed to be converted to mechanical energy to drive the wheels.
  • This was achieved by integrating an efficient power conversion module between energy system and electric motor.
  • The usage of a Brushless type motor helped in improving the torque and reducing energy input while also helping in weight savings.
  • Concerted efforts were made to ensure that the associated safety aspects are not compromised while combining various active subsystems of different behaviour for a focused objective.


3)   How many communication satellites is SRO going to launch by the end of 2017?

a. 4
b. 5
c. 6
d. 7
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 5

Explanation:
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is going to launch five communication satellites by the end of 2017.

The main aim behind the launch is to improve the communication system within the country.

The specific use of the satellites would be to improve the number of available transponders for communications.

The move is expected to significantly enhance India’s communication capability.

An overview of the number of satellites launched by the space organisation and the purpose of each satellite in the areas of disaster management, weather forecasting, space exploration, education, agriculture and geo-spatial applications was also provided.

India is the only country to achieve the feat of having a large number of satellites.

ISRO along with the government has made it mandatory for all aircrafts to have a GPS-aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system by 2019 to ensure safety and precision landing.

Apart from this, ISRO plans to make an inventory and site management plan for 4000 heritage sites in India.

The organisation also helped India break the record for launching most satellites from a single rocket by launching 104 satellites in one go in February 2017.

GAGAN: Know More

  • The GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) is an implementation of a regional satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) by the Indian government.
  • It is a system to improve the accuracy of a GNSS receiver by providing reference signals.
  • Project cost?: ?INR 7.74 billion (US$120 million)
  • Fully operational by?: ?2013-14
  • Launched?: ?2011-2012


4)   How many launches per year is ISRO trying to achieve?

a. 12
b. 10
c. 8
d. 5
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 12

Explanation:
The Indian Space Research Organisation is trying to increase its capacity to deliver by scaling up the frequency of launches to 12 per year from the seven at present.

This is building more satellites and lowering the cost of access to space.

ISRO is trying to go up to 8-9 PSLV per year, two GSLV-Mk II and one GSLV-Mk III. Total about 12 per year,.

ISRO is trying to increase its capacity to deliver by scaling up the frequency of launches by building more satellites, lowering the cost of access to space and also to do heavier satellite launches.

The space agency is in the process of constructing a second vehicle assembly building to improve the turnaround time and throughput for the PSLV so that with the same launch pad ISRO can do more launches, he said.

ISRO plans to undertake the Chandrayaan-2 mission in the first quarter of the next calendar year.

ISRO has identified its next steps in terms of air-breathing propulsion system.


5)   Which type of high power batteries for e-vehicles and automobiles have been indigenously developed by ISRO?

a. Carbon
b. Lithium ion
c. Nickel Cadmium
d. Lead Acid
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Lithium ion

Explanation:
The government has asked Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to allow manufacturers interested in producing indigenous lithium-ion batteries.

This is including those from private sector, to obtain the technology for its mass production.

ISRO will now come up with a framework to make this process smooth.

The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre under ISRO has developed indigenous technology to manufacture such high-power batteries for automobiles and e-vehicles and their feasibility tests in vehicles have been successful.

Over half a dozen major automobile companies, battery manufacturers and public sector undertakings have already approached ISRO.

This include Mahindra Renault, Hyundai, Nissan, Tata Motors, High Energy Batteries, BHEL and Indian Oil.

The aim is to develop indigenous technology for lithium-ion batteries so that their prices are within the reach of Indian customers.

ISRO had earlier developed similar batteries for satellite and the launch vehicle applications.

The government has set an ambitious target for pushing more use of electric vehicles to reduce air pollution, which has become one of the biggest health concerns.

Batteries are the key component of any electric vehicle.

At present, all lithium-ion batteries are imported and it's very expensive.

Such batteries have high-power, but these weigh less and their volume is much less as well in comparison to conventional batteries.

Government documents show the cost of lithium-ion batteries is high because of small volume of procurement.

Bulk procurement and mass production can reduce the cost by 80%, which is key to push demand.

Lithium Ion Batteries: Know More

  • Specific energy: 100–265 W·h/kg (0.36–0.875 MJ/kg)
  • Energy density: 250–676 W·h/L (0.90–2.43 MJ/L)
  • Specific power: ~250-~340 W/kg
  • Charge/discharge efficiency: 80–90%
  • Self-discharge rate per month: 8% at 21 °C/15% at 40 °C/31% at 60 °C
  • Cycle durability:400–1200 cycles
  • Nominal cell voltage: NMC 3.6 / 3.85 V, LiFePO4 3.2 V
  • A lithium-ion battery or Li-ion battery (abbreviated as LIB) is a type of rechargeable battery.


6)   Where is the world's third largest hypersonic wind tunnel?

a. Thrissur
b. Trichi
c. Thiruvananthapuram
d. Travancore
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Thiruvananthapuram

Explanation:
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) created history by commissioning the world’s third largest hypersonic wind tunnel at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram.

A wind tunnel is used to study the effects of air flowing past a solid object - in ISRO’s case, space vehicles.

With the space agency lining up big missions like the ‘Reusable Launch Vehicle’ (RLV), ‘Two Stage to Orbit’ (TSTO) rockets, air breathing propulsion systems, and the human space flight programme for the future, the aero-thermodynamic modelling of these in a hypersonic environment is vital for optimal designs.

These facilities, indigenously designed, developed and ‘Made in India’ with the support of Indian industries, are the third largest in terms of size and simulation capability in the world.

A few critical technologies, which are under embargo, have been jointly developed by Isro and industries for realisation of these facilities.

There is no replacement for wind tunnel testing for aerodynamic characterisation.


7)   ESA is collaborating with which space agency in space missions?

a. NASA
b. ISRO
c. China Space Agency
d. SpaceX
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: ISRO

Explanation:
While the European Space Agency (ESA)'s Gaia satellite mission is on its multi-dimensional space probe, mapping a billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, ESA's Senior Scientific Advisor Mark McCaughrean reveals ESA's plan for further collaboration with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in space missions.

On ISRO's historic launch of 104 satellites at one go, he says it's the precision in placing satellites and cost reduction.

ESA is planning 15 space missions including Bepe Colombo to Mercury in 2018 and JUICE to Jupiter in 2022.

Earlier, ESA had collaborated with ISRO on Chandrayaan-1 mission to Moon.

In its space mission, ESA has collaborative efforts with 22 countries including the US, Russia, China, India and Japan.

It is expected to increase with the commercial launches.

ON ESA's plan for 15 space missions, the Bepe Colombo will be the first probe to Mercury in 2018.

It is a joint mission between ESA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Sun's enormous gravity poses a challenge to place the spacecraft into a stable orbit around Mercury.

Then, the ambitious Jupiter Icy moons Explorer (JUICE) to Jupiter in 2022.

The explorer will spend at least three years making detailed observations of the giant gaseous planet Jupiter and three of its largest moons–Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.

The ice crust is much deeper and there may be forms of life in these moons.

Missions to Neptune and Uranus haven't been planned yet as it would take about 20 to 30 years to reach there, he said.

To probe the possibility of life on other planets, humans have begun space exploration since the first human spaceflight of Russia in 1961 and now plans are afoot by NASA and SpaceX to colonise Mars to help humanity establish a permanent colony in Mars in the next 50 to 100 years.

On ESA's human space flight to Mars, he said it could be after 10 to 20 years. Now it plans robotic exploration to Mars with NASA.

ESA Gaia & Other Missions: Know More

  • It ambitious space mission to scan a six-dimensional map of our Milky Way galaxy of about one billion stars, which is about one percent of the Galactic stellar population.
  • ESA is also preparing for Euclid mission to observe billions of galaxies, to map and measure dark matter and dark energy which constitutes roughly about 80 percent of the mass of the Universe.
  • Studies on dark matter reveal that the universe today is expanding faster than in the past.
  • Such expansion is possible only if the universe contained enough energy to overcome gravity.
  • ESA has a program to build a gravitational wave detector by 2030, it's the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission to observe and measure gravitational waves directly by using laser interferometry.


8)   ISRO will launch India's second mission to moon called _________

a. Chandrayaan 2
b. Chandrayaan 3
c. Chandrayaan 4
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Chandrayaan 2

Explanation:
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to deploy a rover on the lunar surface in the Chandrayaan-2 mission.

The Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the Moon, is a totally indigenous mission comprising of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover.

After reaching the 100 km lunar orbit, the Lander housing the Rover will separate from the Orbiter.

After a controlled descent, the Lander will soft land on the lunar surface at a specified site and deploy a Rover.


9)   ISRO has signed an agreement with a consortium of 6 companies led by whom?

a. Alpha Design Technologies Pvt. Ltd
b. Newtech Solutions
c. Vinyas Technologies
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Alpha Design Technologies Pvt. Ltd

Explanation:
The Indian Space Research Organisation in Dec 2016 signed an agreement with a consortium of six companies to deliver India's first industry-built satellite by late 2017.

Agreement was signed between Director of ISRO Satellite Centre and consortium led Alpha Design Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

This marks the first time ISRO has outsourced the construction of an entire satellite.

ISAC assembles satellites for communication, remote sensing and navigation.

Agreement includes assembly, integration and testing (AIT) of two spare navigation satellites in a row in around 18 months.

The consortium is led by Alpha Design Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a defence manufacturing contractor and 6 companies namely Newtech Solutions, Aidin Technologies and DCX Cables of Bengaluru, Vinyas Technologies of Mysuru and Avantel Systems of Hyderabad.

The development work will start around January 2017 and the first satellite will be out in around late 2017.

The outsourcing of the manufacture of 2 navigation satellites will provide India a chance to be a market leader in space technology.

ISRO also aims to facilitate greater participation of Indian industries.

For this purpose, it has already passed on 300 technologies to industries in various fields- electronics, speciality polymer chemicals and materials, electro-optical instruments etc.


10)   Which aerospace company has announced the first private mission to moon from India?

a. TeamIndus
b. Team Sutlej
c. TeamBramhaputra
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: TeamIndus

Explanation:
Bengaluru based private aerospace company TeamIndus has announced it will send a spacecraft to the moon on Dec 28, 2017 abroad an ISRO rocket. The mission’s aim is to land this spacecraft on the moon.

It needs to travel at least 5000m and the beam high resolution video, data and images back to earth

In 2008, the Chandrayaan 1 became the first India space mission to send a spacecraft that circled the moon.

Except for the launch vehicle, all the technology powering the rover and the lander is developed in-house by Team Indus.

The company has high profile investors like Ratan Tata (Chairman Emeritus of the TATA Group) Sachin and Binny Bansal (Flipkart) and Nandan Nilekani (co-founder of Infosys Ltd)

It is staffed by a 100 member team of engineers, space enthusiasts, former Air Force pilots and ex ISRO employees

It is one of the 4 international teams and the only one from India to run the Google LunarXPrize a, USD 30 million or INR 200 crore competition to encourage private companies to launch space missions

Two US based companies Moon Express and Synergy Moon and Israeli company SPACE 1L have announced agreements with space launch vehicle companies like SpaceX

Other than technical requirements, prize rules also require the companies to be 90 percent privately funded.

Chandrayaan-1

India’s first mission to the moon.
Launched from SDSC, SHAR, Sriharikota
Date of launch: Oct 22, 2008
Spacecraft carried 11 scientific instruments built in: India, US, UK, Germany, Sweden, Bulgaria
Weight: 1380 kg (Mass at lift off)
Onboard power: 700 Watts
Mission Life: 2 years

Scientific Payloads from India:

1. Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC)
2. Hyper Spectral Imager (HySI)
3. Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument (LLRI)
4. High Energy X - ray Spectrometer (HEX)
5. Moon Impact Probe(MIP)

Scientific Payloads from abroad:

1. Chandrayaan-I X-ray Spectrometer (CIXS)
2. Near Infrared Spectrometer (SIR - 2)
3. Sub keV Atom Reflecting Analyser (SARA)
4. Miniature Synthetic Aperture Radar (Mini SAR)
5. Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3)
6. Radiation Dose Monitor (RADOM)


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