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In news:

  • India’s lunar mission Chandrayaan 2, scheduled to launch next month, will carry NASA-owned laser retro-reflector
    arrays that allow scientists to make precise measurements of the distance to the Moon.
  • Israeli lander Beresheet, due to touch down April 11, also carried the same instrument.

In brief:

  • Retro-reflectors are sophisticated mirrors that reflect laser light signals sent from the Earth. The
    signals can help pinpoint precisely where the lander is, which scientists can use to precisely calculate the
    Moon’s distance from Earth.
  • While five such instruments already exist on thelunar surface, they have some flaws.The scientists could see the daily rise and fall of any surface the device is resting on as that surface expands and contracts with the Moon’s dramatic temperature changes.
    About the Mission:
  • Chandrayaan-2 is a 3,890-kg spacecraft, to be launched onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)
    Mk-3, will orbit around the Moon to study its conditions and collect data of its topography, mineralogy and exosphere.
  • Its total cost is expected to be Rs. 800 crore.
  • The lander has been named “Vikram” as a tribute to the pioneer of India’s space programme and former ISRO chairman (1963-71) Vikram
    Sarabhai. It has a mass of 1471 kg, including the 27 kg rover. The rover is a 6-wheeled vehicle which uses solar power.
  • When Chandrayaan-2’s rover lands on the Moon, India will become the fifth country in the world to achieve the feat after Soviet Union in 1959,
    the US in 1969, China in December 2013 and Israel in 2019. ‘Jio-fuelled’ competition to dent telcosrevenue

In news:

  • The Indian telecom industry is expected to see a decline in revenue for the third straight year in 2018-19 amid intense competition.
    Industry revenue, which fell by 11% in FY2018 to Rs.2.1 lakh crore

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