Satellite, GlobalSat - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

1)   China has launched a global CO2 monitoring satellite called _______.

a. LamSat
b. TanSat
c. ResourceSat
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


On 22nd Dec 2016, China launched a global carbon dioxide monitoring satellite to understand climate change.

This is after it lifted nearly a week-long red alert for the worst smog that engulfed about 40 cities in the country.

The 620-kg satellite TanSat was put into orbit by Long March-2D rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China's Gobi Desert on 22nd Dec morning.

This was the 243rd mission of the Long March series rockets.

Besides TanSat, the rocket also carried a high-resolution micro-nano satellite and two spectrum micro-nano satellites for agricultural and forestry monitoring.

China is the third country after Japan and the US to monitor greenhouse gases through its own satellite.

The satellite was sent into a sun synchronous orbit about 700 kms above the earth and will monitor the concentration, distribution and flow of CO2)in the atmosphere.

The satellite will help understanding climate change and provide China's policy makers with independent data.

On a three-year mission, TanSat will thoroughly examine global carbon dioxide levels every 16 days, accurate to at least 4 ppm (parts per million), the report said.

The new satellite will enable China to obtain emissions data first-hand and share it with researchers worldwide, Yin said.

The satellite can trace the sources of greenhouse gases and help evaluate whether countries are fulfilling their commitments.

This will impact climate change, carbon reduction and in negotiations with a bigger say on carbon trading.

Beijing lifted the red alert for air pollution as cold air dispersed the smog that has affected the city since Dec 17 which drew strong criticism from public as it disrupted the normal life.

Since December 17 emergency measures such as even-odd car restrictions will end and classes will resume at schools, official media reports said.

China's CO2 emissions are to peak around 2030, with emissions per unit of GDP cut by 60 per cent of 2005 levels by the same date.


  • TanSat, Tan being the Chinese word for Carbon, is China’s first mission dedicated to Carbon Dioxide detection.
  • It has a payload of two instruments to track the atmospheric CO2 concentration and variability.
  • Funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the TanSat project was initiated in January 2011.
  • The 500-Kilogram TanSat spacecraft has the main objective of measuring the atmospheric column-averaged CO2 dry air mole fraction with a precision better than four parts per million.

2)   China has launched a new weather satellite on 10th Dec 2016. What is it called?

a. Fengyun-4
b. Shengyun-4
c. Tengyun-4
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Fengyun-4

China has launched new weather satellite Fengyun-4 marking an upgrade of its meteorological satellites in geostationary orbit.

The Fengyun-4 satellite is the first of China's second-generation weather satellites in geostationary orbit to have been launched.

It is also the country's first quantitative remote-sensing satellite in highest orbit.

Launched Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China's Sichuan Province on Dec 10, 2016, it was taken into orbit by a Long March-3B carrier rocket, state run Xinhua news agency.

About Fengyun-4

  • One of China’s 15 weather satellites.
  • 242nd mission of Long March series of rockets.
  • For high time, spatial and spectral resolution observations of the atmosphere, clouds and space environment of China and surrounding regions.
  • Aims at significantly improving capabilities of weather and climate forecasts.
  • The China Meteorological Administration is the primary user of the satellite.

3)   China on 22nd Nov 2016 launched the Tianlian I-04 satellite. What is this satellite known for?

a. Providing data relay services for country’s medium and low earth orbiting resources satellite
b. Real time communication between ground and spacecraft
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

China on 22nd Nov 2016 successfully launched the Tianlian I-04 satellite from Niching Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan province of Southwest China. Data satellite was launched on the Long March 3C carrier rocket.

The launch of Tianlian I-04 marks the 241st mission of the China Long March series of rockets.

This satellite was developed by China Academy of Space Technology/CAST under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

It will join its three predecessors to attain global network operation

It is based on the DFH-3 or Dongfangghon-3 platform, a medium capacity telecommunications satellite designed and developed by CAST.

The network aims at data relay, measurement and control services for China’s manned spacecraft , space and lab stations .

It will offer data relay services for China’s medium and low earth orbiting resources satellites

It will also provide measurement and control support for spacecraft launches

Know All About Tianlian I satellites

  • Tianlian-I-01 was launched in April 2008- it is currently positioned at 77 degree E
  • Second satellite Tianlian I-02 was launched in July 2011
  • With the launch of Tianlian I-03 in July 2012, the country managed full global coverage for tracking and data relay system
  • These satellites provide real time communication between ground and spacecraft
  • China’s first experimental satellite was launched in 1984
  • It has sent more than 100 spacecrafts in recent decades. This includes 20 BeiDou navigation satellites
  • China has also launched its first lunar probe Chang’e-1

4)   China has launched a pulsar test satellite in NW China. What is it called?

a. VPNAV-1
b. XPNAV-1
c. DPNAV-1
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


China on 10th Nov 2016 has launched a pulsar test satellite XPNAV-1 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in NW China

  • Satellite was carried by Long March 11 rocket
  • It was the 239th flight mission by a Long March carrier rocket
  • The satellite and rocket were designed by academies affiliated with China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp
  • The x-ray pulsar navigation satellite weighs more than 200 kg
  • It operates in a Sun synchronous orbit and will conduct in-orbit experiments using pulsar detectors to showcase new technology
  • When it is in orbit, the satellite will undergo tests on detector functions and space environment adaptability
  • The periodic x-ray signals emitted from pulsars will be used to determine the location of the spacecraft within deep space
  • The pulsar navigation will reduce the reliance of the spacecraft on ground based navigation methods and is expected to lead to autonomous spacecraft navigation within the future

5)   Largest ever survey of stars in the Milky Way has been conducted by which ESA satellite?

a. Rosetta
b. Cassini
c. Gaia
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


The largest ever survey of stars in the Milky Way was made public on 14th Sept, 2016.

  • Data on 1142 million stars was gathered by Gaia a satellite launched by ESA in July 2014
  • The release features the distances and motions across the sky for more than two million stars
  • Gaia is currently a million km from earth
  • It is scheduled to prepare a 3D map of a billion stars
  • There are 100 billion stars in the Milky Way
  • Gaia is at the forefront of astrometry
  • Launched 1000 days ago, it began its scientific work in July 2014
  • The first release encompasses 14 months of scanning the sky up to September 2015
  • Satellite is working wel
  • Transforming raw information into reliable data has been entrusted to a consortium of 450 scientists and engineers called the DPAC or Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium.

6)   Which country launched the world’s first quantum satellite on 16th August 2016?

a. China
b. Japan
c. Indonesia
d. Philippines
Answer  Explanation 


China launched the world’s first quantum satellite on 16th August according to state media; the aim was to harness the power of particle physics to build an unhackable system of encrypted communication.

  • Launch was from south-western Gobi Desert and comes at a time with countries like US and Japan also seeking to develop applications for the technology.
  • Satellite has been called Micius after a fifth century BC Chinese philosopher and scientists.
  • It will be used in experiments to prove the viability of quantum technology to communicate over massive distances.
  • Beijing has invested a lot in this research; China being the world’s second largest economy has pursued advanced scientific research in areas ranging from genetic manipulation to asteroid mining.
  • Meanwhile ISRO has begun the countdown for the launch of 20 satellites.
  • Research by China also seeks to study quantum entanglement, an unusual property of subatomic particles.
  • Term describes Albert Einstein’s description of how particles exert influence on each other at distances including ability of paired particles to mirror each other at speeds faster than light.
  • Unlike traditional secure communication systems, China’s proposed method uses photons to send the encryption keys needed to decode information.
  • Data contained in subatomic particle bursts is impossible to intercept; Why so? Because any attempt to tap them will cause them to self destruct letting users know their communication has been compromised.
  • Scientists have shown that this can be used to transmit information across as much as 300 km.
  • The satellite will also aim to send secure messages between Beijing and Urumqi and developing the new technology is a major goal for Beijing which included this in the recent 5 year plan.
  • Beijing had previously identified the development of quantum technology as a national priority.
  • China is also working on world’s first quantum computer which uses subatomic particles properties in processors to operate at speeds far higher than current technologies permit.

7)   Satellite belonging to London based mobile satellite communication company moved over India. What is it called?

a. 4D2
b. 4F2
c. 4C2
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


Satellite belonging to London based mobile satellite communication company recently moved over India, above the Equator in the space travelling close to 4000 km over previous months.

  • 4F2 is one of the 12 satellites owned by Inmarsat fired from satellite control centre in London for the spacecraft to move from one slot to another.
  • Satellite weighing close to 6000 kg was built at a cost of USD 250 million and launched in 2005.
  • It was placed over Africa providing coverage to Africa and EU.
  • The decision to be moved was at the cost of USD 10 million and Inmarsat 4F2 joined a group of more than 80 satellites belonging to countries in the eastern longitude in the geostationary orbit.
  • Orbital slots are allotted to companies and nations by International Telecommunications Union, part of the UN headquartered in Switzerland.

8)   China on 29th June 2016 launched which satellite?

a. Shijian-16 (2)
b. Shijian- 16 (1)
c. Second Shijian series
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Second Shijian series

China on 29th June 2016 launched the second Shijian 16 series satellite carried by Long March-4B rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.

  • The Shijian-16 satellite will be used for space environment measurements, radiations and technology testing
  • The first in the series of satellites was launched in October 2013

9)   China launched the DAMPE satellite. What does DAMPE stand for?

a. Dark Matter Particle Exponent
b. Dark Material Particle Explorer
c. Dark Matter Particulate Explorer
d. Dark Matter Particle Explorer
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Dark Matter Particle Explorer

China launched the first space telescope in search of signals for dark matter on 17th December 2015. This DAMPE or Dark Matter Particle Explorer Satellite has been given the name Wukong after the kind in the classical Chinese fiction Journey to the West. This satellite was launched on a Long March 2-D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre and will enter a sun-synchronous orbit at a height of 500 km to observe the direction, energy and electric charge of high-energy particles in space.

10)   Which nation on 23rd November 2015 conducted its first dedicated commercial satellite launch?

a. Japan
b. China
c. Singapore
d. Malaysia
Answer  Explanation 


The launch was conducted on 23rd November 2015. Japan launched Canadian communications spacecraft Telstar 12v into orbit abroad the H-IIA rocket that blasted off from Pad 1 of the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre. The launch was jointly organised by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. This is Japan’s first mission to carry a commercial satellite as primary payload and the second to carry a large commercial satellite.

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