Prelim Bits 18-11-2017

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November 18, 2017

Lunar Sample Return Mission

  • India and Japan will collaborate to send a joint mission to the moon, which includes landing a rover and bringing samples back to the earth.
  • This is the second time that Japan and India are teaming up for a moon mission.
  • Team Indus will be the first private firm to land a rover on the moon and will carry a Japanese rover by team Hakuto on its spacecraft.
  • ISRO sent its first orbiter mission to moon, Chandrayaan-1, in 2008 and plans a lander rover mission by March 2018.

Launch Vehicle Production

  • Currently, public and private industries have only supplied devices, components and sub-systems for ISRO’s launch vehicles (PSLV and GSLV).
  • ISRO is preparing to hand over the entire gamut of launch vehicle manufacture to domestic industry by 2020.
  • ISRO already has a partnership with private industry to produce satellites.
  • The IRNSS-1H communication satellite in PSLV C-39 was the first to be produced by a consortium of six companies.


  • PSLV is designed mainly to deliver the “earth-observation” or “remote-sensing” satellites.
  • It can send satellites with lift-off mass of up to about 1750 Kg to Sun-Synchronous circular polar orbits of 600-900 Km altitude.
  • It is also used to launch the satellites of lower lift-off mass of up to about 1400 Kg to the elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
  • The GSLV is designed mainly to deliver the communication-satellites to the highly elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
  • The satellite in GTO is further raised to its final destination, viz., Geo-synchronous Earth orbit (GEO) of about 36000 Km altitude by firing its in-built on-board engines.
  • PSLV is a four-staged launch vehicle with first and third stage using solid rocket motors and second and fourth stages using liquid rocket engines.
  • GSLV has three stages with the only the first stage having solid fuel.
  • The first version, GSLV Mk-II, has the capability to launch satellites of lift-off mass of up to 2,500 kg to the GTO and satellites of up to 5,000 kg lift-off mass to the LEO.
  • GSLV MK-II has first stage using solid rocket motor, second stage using liquid fuel and the third stage using cryogenic engine.
  • The GSLV has 4 liquid boosters while the PSLV has 6 solid boosters to augment the thrust provided by the first stage.

Ban on Pet Coke and Furnace oil

  • The SC has requested all States and UT to move forward towards a nationwide ban on the use of pet coke and furnace oil to power up industries.
  • Their use is already prohibited in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Petroleum coke or Petcoke

  • It is a final carbon-rich solid material that is derived from oil refining.
  • Petcoke is over 90 percent carbon and emits 5 to 10 percent more carbon dioxide (CO2) than coal on a per-unit-of-energy basis when it is burned.
  • It can contain vanadium, a toxic metal which is toxic in tiny quantities, 0.8 micrograms per cubic meter of air.
  • It is sometimes a source of fine dust, which can get through the filtering process of the human airway and lodge in the lungs.

Furnace oil

  • It is a dark viscous residual product used as a fuel in different types of combustion equipment.
  • It is obtained by blending residual products from various refining processes with suitable diluents to obtain the required fuel oil grades.
  • It is used in special applications such as
  1. In marine engines and slow speed engines for power generation
  2. For drying tea leaves
  3. In gas turbines for power generation
  4. As a feed stock for fertilizer manufacturing
  5. In thermic fluid heaters and hot air generators.

UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial

  • UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial was held at Vancouver, Canada.
  • The last meeting was held in London in September 2016.
  • The conference had taken up issues on Women, Peace and Security, Pre and Post Deployment, Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) and Improving Peacekeeping – Rapid Deployment.
  • Delegates from more than 70 countries and international organizations African Union, the European Union, NATO has participated.


Source: The Hindu, PIB

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