Science and Technology July 2013 in English

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          Science and Technology July 2013
Science and Technology

     India’s     advanced     meteorological      satellite   INSAT-3D       was
      successfully launched by an European rocket from the spaceport of

      Kourou in French Guiana early today (i.e. on 26th July) giving a
      boost       to   weather     forecasting      and     disaster     warning
      services. European space consortium Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket

      launched INSAT-3D and Alphasat satellites. Alphasat is Europe’s largest
      telecommunication satellite-ever manufactured and results from a large-
      scale public-private partnership between the European Space Agency and

     The workhorse vehicle lifted off exactly on schedule at 1.23 am IST from
      the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone in French Guiana for a nearly 33-

      minute flight. This launch provided an excellent view of the flight’s initial
      trajectory, as the Ariane 5 began its vertical ascent, then rotated East,
      arching over the Spaceport’s main base area as it progressed downrange.
      The flight path was visible between scattered cloud layers and the clear
      meteorological conditions enabled an excellent view of the launch’s first
      phase, including separation of the two solid propellant boosters at an
      altitude of 67 km.

     Alphasat was deployed first in the flight sequence, nearly 28 minutes after
      the liftoff. Some five minutes later, Ariane 5 completed its mission with

      the successful separation of INSAT-3D, which carries a six-channel imager
      and 19-channel sounder, as well as a data relay transponder for satellite-
      aided search and rescue operations. “I am happy to inform you that the

      Master Control Facility at Hassan in India has already received signals
      from INSAT-3D”, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation K.
      Radhakrishnan said minutes after the launch.


   The imaging system of INSAT-3D has significant improvements over that
    of KALPANA and INSAT-3A, the space agency said. INSAT-3D will provide

    continuity to earlier missions and further augment the capability to
    provide various meteorological as well as search and rescue services.
    INSAT-3D had a lift-off mass of 2,060 kg.

   Biological E (BioE) and European biotech company Valneva SE said
    the    World    Health    Organization        (WHO)    has   pre-qualified        its
    Japanese Encephalitis vaccine for global use in adults on 22nd
    July. The company expects that the pediatric indication will also be
    prequalified by the end of 2013.The WHO prequalification was a key step
    for distribution of the vaccine in developing countries. “We are happy that
    our JE vaccine is the first ever WHO prequalified vaccine. It is an
    extremely important achievement for the vaccines community as our
    vaccine’s prequalification is well in time to support GAVI’s plans of

    introducing the JE vaccine in several developing countries,” said Mahima
    Datla, MD, BioE. BioE and Valneva have joined hands in partnership in
    2005    for   the    development   and   commercialization     of     a    Japanese
    Encephalitis vaccine for endemic regions, based on Valneva’s JEV
    technology. The vaccine is being marketed in India under the trade-name
    JEEV and commercialization in other JE-endemic countries is planned.

   Scientists of the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology
    (IICT) Hyderabad developed a software tool that can control and
    reduce the outbreak of Mosquito-borne diseases by data mining

    (Knowledge Discovering). This IT tool has been validated by the
    Central   Government      and   taken    up    for   implementation       by   health
    authorities in five States of States Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur,

    Assam and Mizoram in the initial phase which will be extended to all other
    States in a phased manner. This technology has been developed by Dr.
    U.S.N. Murthy, Chief Scientist, Biology Division at the IICT and his team


    by improvising and customizing Self Organizing Map (SOM), a cluster
    technique in data mining.

   SOM technology would enable health officials to prioritize control
    parameters in endemic zones at village level and initiate measures to
    minimize morbidity and mortality, caused by the onset of vector-borne

    diseases. SOM technology can help to alert health authorities to take up
    larval and adult spraying before the transmission of parasite by the
    mosquito. Mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, Japanese encephalitis
    and dengue are posing a serious public health problem in India and other
    South-East Asian Countries, with some of them were occurring in an
    epidemic form on a periodical basis. The North East of India parts account
    for about 10.5 per cent of malaria cases and 20 per cent of the deaths.
    The technology works on two ways -one relating to the names of the
    villages and the second focusing on mosquito density, infection, infectivity

    and parasitic load. Based on these parameters, a complete mapping of the
    villages could be done in terms of prioritizing control parameters.

   US lawmakers are pushing a plan to establish a new national park
    that would quite literally be out of this world - on the Moon. A new
    bill introduced into the US Congress on 14 July, would create the Apollo
    Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park on the Moon. Called the

    Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act, the bill (House Resolution
    2617) was referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology,
    and   in   addition   to   the   House   Committee   on   Natural   Resources.

    Emphasizing that the Apollo lunar programme was one of the greatest
    achievements in the US history, the bill notes that, as commercial
    enterprises and foreign nations acquire the ability to land on the Moon, "it

    is necessary to protect the Apollo lunar landing sites for posterity. "The
    bill, in part, calls for no later than one year after the date of enactment of
    the act, "there shall be established as a unit of the National Park System

    the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park."Establishing such


    a park will expand and enhance the protection and preservation of the
    Apollo lunar landing sites, the bill states, "and provide for greater

    recognition and public understanding of this singular achievement in
    American history."The bill also spotlights the artifacts on the surface of
    the Moon associated with the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, "which had an

    instrumentality crash land on the lunar surface April 14, 1970," it states.

   NASA,    the   U.S.   space   agency     announced     the   discovery    of
    Neptune’s 14th moon in July, 2013. The Hubble Space Telescope
    captured the moon as a white dot in photos of the planet on the periphery
    of our solar system. The new moon, Neptune’s tiniest at just 19.3 km
    across, and is designated as S/2004 N 1.

   The Neptune 14th moon was actually discovered by the SETI Institute’s
    Mark Showalter while studying the segments of rings around Neptune
    when he spotted the white dot popping out, 1,05,250 km from Neptune.

    He tracked its movement in more than 150 pictures taken from 2004 to
    2009. The method involved tracking the movement of a white dot that
    appears over and over in more than 150 archival Neptune photographs
    taken by Hubble from 2004 to 2009. The considerably bigger gas giant
    Jupiter has four times as many moons, with 67.

   A healthy baby boy in the US has become the world's first test

    tube baby to be born using a new low cost "next-generation
    sequencing" IVF technique that screens the embryo for genetic
    defects, Oxford scientists announced on 8th July. The method,

    through which the baby was born last month, uses the latest DNA
    sequencing techniques and aims to increase in-vitro fertilization success
    rates while being more affordable for couples and lowering the risk of

    miscarriages, researchers say. The international team led by Dr Dagan
    Wells of Oxford University showed how "next-generation sequencing" can
    be used to pick the embryos created by IVF that are most likely to lead to

    successful pregnancies.


   NASA has turned off a decade-old space telescope, a year after loaning
    the orbiting instrument to a university that operated it with private

    funding. The space agency decommissioned its Galaxy Evolution
    Explorer spacecraft, or GALEX, on June 28, NASA officials said.
    During its 10-year career, GALEX peered at hundreds of millions of

    galaxies,   helping   researchers   better   understand   how   these   huge
    collections of stars grow and evolve.

   "GALEX is a remarkable accomplishment," Jeff Hayes, NASA's GALEX
    program executive in Washington, D.C., said in a statement. "This small
    Explorer mission has mapped and studied galaxies in the ultraviolet, light
    we cannot see with our own eyes, across most of the sky."The $150
    million GALEX satellite launched in April 2003 on a 29-month
    mission to study the history of star formation in the universe.
    NASA extended GALEX but eventually stopped funding it in February


   In May 2012, the agency made an unprecedented move, handing the
    spacecraft's reins over to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
    in Pasadena, which kept GALEX going with private funds. Some of the
    mission's highlights include helping astronomers identify the largest
    known spiral galaxy in the universe, a behemoth called NGC 6872;

    catching a black hole in the act of gobbling up a star; and discovering a
    missing link in galaxy evolution, a sort of "teenage stage" between young
    and old.

   ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C22, has successfully
    launched IRNSS-1A, the first satellite in the Indian Regional
    Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) from Satish Dhawan Space

    Centre, Sriharikota on 1 July. This is the 23rd consecutively
    successful mission of PSLV. After a flight of 20 minutes 17 seconds,
    the IRNSS-1A Satellite, weighing 1425 kg, was injected to the intended

    elliptical orbit of 282.46 km X 20,625.37 km. ISRO’s Master Control


Facility   (at   Hassan,   Karnataka)   assumed   the   control   of   the
satellite.IRNSS-1A is the first of the seven satellites constituting

the space segment of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite
System. IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system
designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1,500

km around the Indian mainland. IRNSS would provide two types of
services, namely, Standard Positioning Services (SPS) – provided to all
users – and Restricted Services (RS) provided only to authorised users. As

per ISRO the entire IRNSS constellation of seven satellites is planned to
completed by 2015-16.


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