Japan Current Affairs - 2019

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Spacex to Launch NASA’s Asteroid-Smashing Mission

NASA has announced that SpaceX will fly its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) planetary-defence mission. The total launch cost for NASA is estimated to be about $69 million.

DART

Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is a planned space probe that will demonstrate the kinetic effects of crashing an impactor spacecraft into an asteroid moon for planetary defense purposes. The mission is intended to test whether a spacecraft impact could successfully deflect an asteroid on a collision course with Earth.

DART Planetary-Defense Mission

  • DART planetary-defence mission will be will launched by the Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in June 2021.
  • The spacecraft will slam into “Didymoon,” the 540-foot-wide (165 meters) satellite of the near-Earth asteroid Didymos which is located at about 4 million miles from Eart in October 2022.
  • Scientists will observe the impact with telescopes and measure the change in the Didymoon’s orbit around the asteroid.
  • Scientists hope to move it by just a fraction of a per cent off its path, which is enough to deflect any future asteroids off course since Didymos poses no threat to Earth.

DART won’t be the first spacecraft to wallop an asteroid. Earlier this month, Japan’s Hayabusa2 probe smashed a copper cannonball into the space rock Ryugu, to unearth pristine subsurface material for study.

Month: Categories: Science & TechnologyUPSC

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India turns out to be Net Steel Importer in 2018-19 Fiscal

For the first time in three years, India was the net importer of steel during the financial year 2018-19. This was attributed to India losing market share among its traditional steel buyers and an increase in imports of higher-quality steel domestically.

Indian Steel Exports

  • Indian steel exports fell by 34 percent to 6.36 million tonnes in the fiscal year that ended in March 2019.
  • India’s exports during the fiscal year 2018-19 declined after rival steelmakers in China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia who were blocked from markets in the United States and Europe by tariffs and other protectionist measures, ate away at the India’s markets in the Middle East and Africa.

Indian Steel Imports

  • During the 2018-19 financial year, India’s finished steel imports rose 4.7 percent to 7.84 million tonnes.
  • Imports from the China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia also increased as they diverted supply into India after the tarrif and other protectionist measures in the US and EU.

The Ministry of Steel has urged local automakers to cut Japanese and South Korean imports to support domestic producers but the automakers who are the biggest importers of the high-quality steel say they cannot get the quality of steel they need locally. On the other hand Indian steel companies have sought imposition of higher duties on imports.

Month: Categories: Business, Economy & BankingUPSC

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