Science & Technology Current Affairs - 2019

Science & Technology Current Affairs 2019-2020 category comprises current affairs with all important national / international updates in science and tech and events for the year 2019-2020 for UPSC, States, Civil services, SSC and other competitive examinations of India and States.

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FEDOR: Russia launches its 1st humanoid robot in space

Russia launched life-size humanoid robot called Fedor to International Space Station (ISS). It is the first ever life-size humanoid robot sent into space by Russia. It was launched onboard of unmanned Soyuz MS-14 rocket from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

About Fedor

Fedor stands for Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research. It is also known as Skybot F850. It will spend 10 days learning to assist astronauts on the ISS. Its main purpose is to be used in operations that are dangerous for humans onboard spacecraft and in outer space. During its 10 days at ISS, it will learn new skills such as connecting and disconnecting electric cables, using standard items from screwdriver and spanner to a fire extinguisher.

Features:

It is size of human i.e. 1.80 metres (5 foot 11 inches) tall and weighs 160 kilograms.

It can emulate human body movements. This key skill will allow it to remotely help astronauts or even people on Earth to carry out tasks while humans are strapped into exoskeleton.

Note: US space agency NASA had sent world’s first humanoid robot Robonaut 2 (R2) to space in 2011 to work in hazardous environments.

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NASA takes first high-resolution measurements of Interplanetary Shock

NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission took first high-resolution measurements of an interplanetary shock.  These shocks are made of particles and electromagnetic waves launched by Sun. These interplanetary shocks provide ideal test beds for learning about larger universal phenomena.

About Interplanetary shocks

They are type of collisionless shock — ones where particles transfer energy through electromagnetic fields instead of directly bouncing into one another. These collisionless shocks are found throughout the universe, including in supernovae, black holes and distant stars. These shocks are made of particles and electromagnetic waves launched by the Sun, which continually releases streams of charged particles called solar wind.

About Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission

It is NASA’s robotic space mission launched in March 2015 to study Earth’s magnetosphere. It consists of constellation of four identical spacecraft that orbit/fly in tetrahedral formation around Earth through dynamic magnetic system surrounding our planet to study Magnetic reconnection. It is also designed to gather information about microphysics of energetic particle turbulence and acceleration, processes that occur in many astrophysical plasmas.

Records: In November 2016, it had set Guinness world record for highest altitude fix of Global Positioning System (GPS) signal at 70000 kilometers above the surface of the Earth. It also had achieved closest flying separation of multi-spacecraft formation with only 7.2 km between the four satellites.

Magnetic reconnection: It is phenomenons unique to plasma i.e. mix of negatively and positively charged particles that make up stars, fill space and account for an estimated 99% of the observable universe.

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