Science and Technology Current Affairs – 2017

Latest Science & Technology Current Affairs 2015-2016; current developments in Science and Technology 2015-2016 all important national / international updates in science and tech and events for the year 2015-2016.

NASA tests Supersonic Parachute for Mars 2020 mission

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) successfully tested supersonic landing parachute that will be deployed in its Mars rover mission set to launch in 2020.

The mission will rely on special parachute to slow spacecraft down as it enters Martian atmosphere at over 5.4 kilometres per second. It was first of several tests in support of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission.

Key Facts

The Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE), mission’s parachute-testing series was launched on 17.7-metre-tall Black Brant IX sounding rocket for evaluation of ASPIRE payload performance. The payload was bullet-nosed, cylindrical structure holding supersonic parachute along with parachute’s deployment mechanism, and test’s high-definition instrumentation including cameras to record data.

This payload was carried as high as about 51 km and was successfully deployed from altitude of 42 km and at velocity of 1.8 times speed of sound. Thirty-five minutes after launch, ASPIRE splashed down in Atlantic Ocean about 54 km southeast of Wallops Island. The next ASPIRE test is planned for February 2018. The Mars 2020 team will use data from these tests to finalize design for its mission.

Mars 2020 mission

NASA’s Mars 2020 mission will seek signs of ancient Martian life by deploying rover for investigating evidence in place and by caching drilled samples of Martian rocks for potential future return to Earth. It will carry out search by conducting drills for core samples that may contain proof of microbial life from the past. The rover will also examine different methods to create oxygen from Mar’s atmosphere.

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Improved Samba Masuri: CCMB-IIRR develop low Glycemic Index rice

The Hyderabad based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in association with Indian Institute of Rice Research (IIRR) has developed Improved Samba Masuri (ISM) variety rice with low Glycemic Index (GI).

Rice with low GI is considered suitable for people with diabetics. Consumption of food with low GI results in slow release of glucose into the bloodstream reducing the ill-effects of diabetes.

Improved Samba Masuri (ISM)

ISM has lowest GI of 50.99 against the normal 53 to 70 in several rice varieties. It also has shown better yield and fine grain type, enhancing its market potential and profit for farmers. It is also resistant to bacteria blight. The molecular breeding of ISM was done in CCMB and traditional rice breeding at the rice research institute. The new variety is not a transgenic one, thus improving yield of up to 40%. The ISM has been grown in 1.3 lakh hectares in 7 states including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

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