China’s Chang’e-4 mission spacecraft landed on the far side of the moon. Unlike the near side, the far side of the moon is shielded from radio transmissions from earth. The Chang’e-4 mission got around the problem of lack of communication with those on earth by using a relay satellite. Unlike earth, the moon has an abundance of helium-3 (a rare substance on earth that can be used as a fuel in nuclear fusion power generation). In the far future, this can serve as the ideal fuel to power a new generation of spaceships, with the moon as the launchpad, instead of earth.
The Yutu-2, the rover of the ongoing Chang’e-4 mission, is programmed to explore the South Pole-Aitken Basin. This vast impact region, 13 km deep and 2,500 km wide, has copious reserves of ice. The rover has been programmed to launch ground penetration radar that would help map the moon’s inner structures. It would also analyse soil and rock samples for minerals, apart from activating a radio telescope to search for possible signals from deep space.
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is a space telescope for NASA’s Explorers program, designed to search for exoplanets using the transit method in an area 400 times larger than that covered by the Kepler mission. It was launched on April 18, 2018 atop a Falcon 9 rocket.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up a five-member committee headed by Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani to suggest a strategy for deepening of digital payments in the country.
A high-level panel led by former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan has been constituted to decide on an appropriate size of reserves that the central bank should maintain and the dividend it should give to the government.
INS Kohassa – situated 100 miles north of Port Blair – will be India’s fourth air base the third naval air facility in the archipelago, which are more closer to Southeast Asia than to the Indian mainland, overlooking key sea lanes of communication and strategic choke points. The Navy currently operates air strips at Port Blair and INS Baaz at Campbell Bay, while the Air Force has a base in Car Nicobar. With increased contestation in the region and in an effort to keep an eye on movements, India has considerably upgraded military infrastructure and facilities and deployed long range assets to monitor the region including the Malacca Strait. The islands also houses India’s only tri-service command.
B.P. Katoki committee appointed by the NGT for looking into operation of the illegal mines in Meghalaya.
Dalwai Committee Report relates to doubling of farmers’ income.
Hangul is a critically endangered Kashmir stag. It is found in Dachigam National Park near Srinagar. The national park is considered the last undisturbed home of the hangul. The animal was classified as ‘critically endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The Centre recently had sounded an “Orange” alert for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. An “orange” alert means an increased likelihood of bad or extreme weather, which may disrupt road and air travel and threaten life and property.