Partnership, ISRO, BHEL - General awareness questions on current affairs

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

a. 12
b. 10
c. 8
d. 5
Answer  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.

2)   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

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.

3)   Where has BHEL commissioned an 800 MW supercritical thermal power plant?

a. Raichur, Karnataka
b. Raipur, MP
c. Ranchi, Jharkhand
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Raichur, Karnataka

The Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) on 30 March 2017 commissioned an 800 MW supercritical thermal power plant in Raichur District of Karnataka.

This is the second unit of the 2×800 MW Yeramarus Thermal Power Station, the first unit of which was successfully commissioned in early March 2017.

The plant which was commissioned on 15 March 2017 is also the BHEL’s first 800 MW Supercritical Thermal Power Plant.

The power station is owned and operated by the Raichur Power Corporation Limited (RPCL), which is jointly owned by the Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. (KPCL) and the BHEL.

BHEL carried out complete design, engineering, manufacture, supply, erection and commissioning of this state-of-the-art supercritical project on turnkey basis.

It has supplied all the critical equipment like boiler, turbine and generators, electrical, key packages of balance of plant, and also carried out the associated civil works.

The major equipment for the project has been manufactured by BHEL at its Haridwar, Trichy, Bhopal, Ranipet, Hyderabad, Jhansi, Thirumayam and Bengaluru plants.

The construction of the plant was undertaken by the company’s Power Sector - Southern Region.

BHEL has supplied and executed 4,010 MW of coal based sets for KPCL and its joint ventures, which accounts for 95 per cent of the utility’s coal-based installed capacity.

It is also presently executing KPCL’s first gas-based combined cycle power project of 370 MW capacity involving a fuel-efficient advanced-class gas turbine at Yelahanka, Bengaluru.

About BHEL

  • The company is the market leader in both the subcritical as well as the supercritical segments in the country.
  • The company has secured orders for 48 supercritical Steam Generators (SG) and 41 supercritical Steam Turbine Generators (STG) – the highest in the country by any power equipment manufacturer. Of these, 12 SG and STG have already achieved capacity addition.
  • BHEL’s contribution of nearly 60% of the total power generated in the country bears testimony to the superlative performance of its equipment.

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

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

ANSWER: Thiruvananthapuram

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.

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

c. China Space Agency
d. SpaceX
Answer  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.

6)   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

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.

7)   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

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.

8)   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

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.


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)

9)   Which former ISRO Chairman was inducted into the 2016 IAF Hall of Fame?

a. UR Rao
b. AR Rao
c. BR Rao
d. NR Rao
Answer  Explanation 


Former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman Udupi Ramachandra Rao,well known as U. R. Rao, was inducted into the 2016 IAF Hall of Fame on 30 Sept 2016 by the International Aeronautical Federation (IAF).

  • Rao became the first Indian to be inducted into IAF Hall of Fame.
  • Currently he is the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad and chancellor of IIST at Thiruvananthapuram
  • He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1976
    He was also inducted into the International Astronautical Federation in Paris becoming the first Indian to do so. He is also the first from the nation to be inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame at Washington
  • IAF was founded in 1951 and has over 300 members from 66 countries across the globe
  • The hall of game honours personalities in the field of astronomy and science

10)   ScatSat is for

a. Communication Satellite
b. Educational Satellite
c. GPS Satellite
d. Weather monitoring
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Weather monitoring


  • ISRO will launch ScatSat, a weather monitoring and forecasting satellite, with polar satellite launch vehicle.
  • SCATSat-1 is an OceanSat-2 follow-up mission, actually a gap-filler mission between OceanSat-2 and -3, under development at ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) with the objective to continue the global ocean wind vector data acquisition started by the OSCAT (OceanSat-2 Scanning Scatterometer).
  • The information of global ocean surface winds is an important ingredient for weather forecasts.
  • The designated primary payload of satellite is a scatterometer which is similar to the payload launched with Oceansat-2.

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