Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 27 August 2023

India to celebrate ‘National Space Day

GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)

To mark Chandrayaan-3 success, India will celebrate 23 August as ‘National Space Day’, said PM Modi on 26 August 2023. While addressing a team of ISRO scientists in Bengaluru, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave ISRO scientists the credit of awakening an entire generation and leaving a deep imprint on young minds.

Tiranga point on Moon

  • To commemorate the success of Chandrayaan-3 lander, PM Modi announced that the spot of landing of Vikram lander will be known as ‘Shivshakti’.
  • Moreover, he announced the name of the crash landing site of Chandrayaan-2 as ‘Tiranga point’.
  • He said that Chandrayaan-2 left its footprint on the lunar surface in 2019. He also gave credit to the women scientists of ISRO in the success of India's mission to the moon.

Jawahar point on Moon

  • Chandrayaan-1, India's first mission to the Moon, was launched on 22 October 2008 from Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The spacecraft, carrying 11 scientific instruments built in India, the USA, the UK, Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria, orbited around the Moon at a height of 100 km from the lunar surface for chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the Moon.
  • On 14 November 2008, the Moon Impactor probe of Chandrayaan-1 landed on the lunar surface.
  • The MIP crashed, as planned, near the South Pole of the moon at a point named as ‘Jawahar Sthal’ or Jawahar Point. This came in honor of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru and on this it was also his birthday.


Pragyan investigative sojourn

GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)

In a remarkable feat, Chandrayaan-3 accomplished a flawless soft-landing on the Moon's southern pole on 23 August 2023. The culmination of this achievement heralds the commencement of a pivotal phase of lunar exploration. Chandrayaan-3's grandeur is defined by its impressive heft. Tipping the scales at 3,900 kg, this lunar mission comprises a propulsion module weighing 2,148 kg and a lander module of 1,752 kg, accompanied by a 26 kg rover.

Pragyan rover takes the spotlight

  • Embedded within the Vikram lander, the Pragyan rover has now begun its investigative sojourn on the lunar surface.
  • Over the next 14 days, equivalent to one lunar day, Pragyan will embark on a series of pioneering experiments designed to unlock the Moon's enigmatic secrets.
  • The Pragyan rover will diligently collect a trove of invaluable data during its lunar rendezvous.
  • This data will then be relayed to the Vikram lander, which will act as the intermediary, transmitting it back to Earth for comprehensive analysis by scientists.

Awaiting the lunar night

  • As the 14-day lunar day draws to a close, a profound transformation takes place. The Moon plunges into a 14-day night, characterized by bone-chilling cold.
  • This extreme condition renders both the Vikram lander and the Pragyan rover inert, as their functionality is tied to solar energy.
  • While the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover are designed to endure this lunar cycle, there is an intriguing possibility on the horizon.
  • As the Sun's rays emerge once more, these resilient explorers might awaken from their slumber, infusing new life into India's lunar aspirations.

No return journey for Vikram and Pragyan

  • Although these intrepid explorers have left an indelible mark on the Moon's surface, their journey remains a one-way ticket.
  • Vikram and Pragyan are slated to remain on the lunar landscape, serving as enduring testaments to India's technological prowess and lunar exploration prowess.

Pragyan's quest for lunar knowledge

  • Pragyan's agenda encompasses a constellation of scientific pursuits. From analyzing the Moon's chemical composition to scrutinizing its soil and rocks, the rover's mission promises to illuminate intricate lunar intricacies.
  • Moreover, Pragyan will delve into the density of ions and electrons and unravel the thermal properties of the polar lunar surface, a milestone unparalleled in previous lunar endeavours.
  • Chandrayaan 3 is not just an exploration; it's a testament to India's unwavering commitment to unravel the Moon's mysteries and leave an indelible footprint on the lunar sands.


ICMR study on long Covid

GS Paper - 3 (Health and Diseases)

A study by the Indian Council of Medical Research published said that nearly 6.5% people hospitalised with Covid-19 died in the following year. This is comparable to data from across the world.

What were the major findings of the study?

  • The study is based on the data of 14,419 patients across 31 hospitals. It includes patients who were hospitalised since September 2020, meaning the infections are likely to have been caused by the original, delta, or omicron coronavirus variants. Besides, it looks at outcomes only in those who were hospitalised with moderate to severe disease.
  • Apart from the findings mentioned above, the study found that 17.1% of the participants experienced post-Covid-19 conditions such as lethargy and breathlessness, and cognitive abnormalities like brain fog and difficulty in concentrating.
  • It also said that people were nearly three times more likely to die if they experienced these post-Covid-19 conditions.
  • The study put in a caveat that the exact definition of “post-Covid-19 conditions”, as given by World Health Organization or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could not be used, as they came out after patient enrolment had already begun.
  • The ICMR study defines “post Covid-19 conditions” as persistent or new onset of fatigue, breathlessness, or cognitive abnormalities.
  • The study also showed that even a single dose of the vaccine before the infection reduced the number of deaths in the one-year period by 60%.

Who was at higher risk of mortality?

  • The factors that increased the risk of death later in the year following a Covid-19 infection were comorbidity, age, and gender.
  • The study found that people with one comorbid condition were more than 9 times likely to die during the year following the infection. Men were 1.3 times more likely to die and those above the age of 60 years 2.6 times more likely to die, according to the data.
  • Children between the ages of 0 and 18 years were at a 5.6 times higher risk of death between the first follow-up at four weeks and the follow-up at one-year mark.
  • This risk was 1.7-fold in the four weeks immediately after hospitalisation, meaning more children died later in the year.
  • Our earlier reports have shown that comorbidities among admitted children are more severe, such as malignancies, kidney disorders, haematological disorders and others.
  • This could be hypothesised as one of the reasons for the higher odds of death among these children.

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