सामयिक विषय: Defense/Science Short Notes

NASA’s soundless supersonic aircraft

Question: Which of the following is a NASA’s soundless supersonic passenger aircraft?
(a) X Plane
(b) Bell X-2
(c) Delta 2
(d) BAC-221
Answer: (a) 
Related Facts: 

  • In April 2018, the American Space Agency ‘NASA’ entered into an agreement to create an unmanned supersonic passenger aircraft.
  • The X-plane’s mission is to provide crucial data that could enable commercial supersonic passenger air travel over land.
  • NASA has awarded a USD 247.5 million contract to US-based Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company to build the X-plane and deliver it to the agency by the end of 2021.
  • The X-plane’s configuration will be based on a preliminary design developed by Lockheed Martin under a contract awarded in 2016.
  • The proposed aircraft will be 94 feet long with a wingspan of 29.5 feet and have a fully-fuelled takeoff weight of 32,300 pounds.
  • The X-plane’s configuration will be based on a preliminary design developed by Lockheed Martin under a contract awarded in 2016.
  • The proposed aircraft will be 94 feet long with a wingspan of 29.5 feet and have a fully-fuelled takeoff weight of 32,300 pounds.
  • The design research speed of the X-plane at a cruising altitude of 55,000 feet is 1,512 kilometers per hour. Its top speed will be 1,593 kilometers per hour.
  • A single pilot will be in the cockpit, which will be based on the design of the rear cockpit seat of the T-38 training jet famously used for years by NASA’s astronauts to stay proficient in high-performance aircraft.
  • Jim Less is one of the two primary NASA pilots who will fly the X-plane after Lockheed Martin/s pilots have completed initial test flights to make sure the design is safe to fly.


A successful launch of the Navigation Satellite IRNSS-1I

Question: On April 12th, 2018, by which of the following polar launcher the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched a successfully ‘IRNSS-1I’ Navigation Satellite from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota?
(a) PSLV-C32
(b) PSLV-C41
(c) PSLV-C38
(d) PSLV-C40
Answer: (b) 
Related Facts: 

  • On 12th April, 2018, in its forty third flight, ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C41 successfully launched the 1425 kg IRNSS-1I Navigation Satellite from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.
  • PSLV-C41 lifted off at 0404 hrs (4:04 am) IST, as planned, from the First Launch Pad.
  • After a flight lasting about 19 minutes, the vehicle achieved a Sub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit with a perigee (nearest point to earth) of 281.5 km and an apogee (farthest point to earth) of 20,730 km inclined at an angle of 19.2 degree to the equator following which IRNSS-1I separated from PSLV.
  • After separation, the solar panels of IRNSS-1I were deployed automatically. ISRO’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan, Karnataka took over the control of the satellite.
  • In the coming days, orbit manoeuvres will be performed from MCF to position the satellite at 55 deg East longitude in the planned Geosynchronous Orbit with an inclination of 29 deg to the equator.
  • IRNSS-1I is the latest member of the ‘Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC)’ system.
  • NavIC, also known as Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and1500 km around the Indian mainland.
  • A number of ground facilities responsible for IRNSS satellite ranging  and monitoring, generation and transmission of navigation parameters, satellite control, network timing, etc., have been established in many locations across the country as part of NavIC.
  • Till now, PSLV has successfully launched 52 Indian satellites and 237 customer satellites from abroad.


Joint bilateral Naval Exercise ‘Varun’ – 2018

Question: Recently between which two countries ‘United bilateral naval exercise ‘Varun-2018’ was concluded?
(a) India and France
(b) India and Australia
(c) India and Vietnam
(d) India and Israel
Answer: (a)
Related Facts:

  • In the year 2018, joint bilateral naval exercise ‘Varun-2018’ between India and France’s navies is to be conducted in three segments – Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and South-Western Indian Ocean.
  • Under the first phase of this exercise, the port phase was organized during 15-19 March, 2018.
  • While the marine phase of exercise took place during 20-24 March 2018, Goa coast (concluded in the Arabian Sea).
  • The second phase of this exercise is to be held in Chennai (Bay of Bengal) in April 2018 and the third phase in May, 2018 in La Reunion Island (France, South West. Indian Ocean).
  • Submarine Kalwari, P8-1 and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft and MiG-29K fighter aircraft of Indian Navy participated in this naval exercise.
  • Significantly, the Indian Navy and the French Navy are doing bilateral marine exercises since May, 1993. In the year 2001, this exercise began to be called ‘Varuna’. So far there have been 15 editions of this exercise. The previous version was held on the coast of France in April, 2017.



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