Prelims cum Mains

Prelims Addon 20200821

About: Al-Amal or Hope mission

  • In July 2020, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched its first-ever mission to Mars, an unmanned probe called ‘Al-Amal’ or ‘Hope’.
  • It was launched on a Japanese rocket.

Details of the mission:

  • The Al-Amal Mars Mission is the first ever interplanetary mission to Mars led by any West Asian, Arab or Muslim majority country.
  • Executed by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, UAE’s space agency, the mission was announced in 2015 with the aim of creating first integrated model of the Mar’s atmosphere.
  • “Hope” is expected to enter Mars orbit by February 2021, which will mark the 50th year of the unification of the UAE, an alliance of seven emirates. It will orbit the Red Planet (Mars) for one full Martian year.
  • Amal is expected to begin transmitting information back to Earth in September 2021, and its data will be available for scientists around the world to study.

Objectives of the Mission:

  • The Al-Amal probe will be the first to study the Martian climate through daily and seasonal cycles.
  • It will observe the weather on Mars such as the huge dust storms that cover the Red Planet and examine the interaction between the upper and lower layers of the Martian atmosphere.
  • It will study the cause of surface corrosion on Mars and the reasons why Mars is losing its upper atmosphere.
  • Corrosion is the gradual destruction of materials due to chemical reaction with the environment.
  • The Hope probe is also the foundation for a much bigger goal of building a human settlement on Mars within the next 100 years. The UAE has set a goal to build a human colony on Mars by 2117.

Reasons for exploring Mars

  • Features similar to dry river beds and minerals that can only be formed in the presence of liquid water, have been found on Mars.
  • This indicates that the ancient Martian atmosphere was much warmer, allowing water to flow on its surface.
  • Therefore, scientists want to study the past environments that existed on Mars to understand how a planet’s atmosphere can change over time.
  • Further, if Mars had warmer atmosphere and water in its ancient past (3.5-3.8 billion years ago), it is possible that it exists in some special regions even today.
  • Exploring connections between today’s Martian weather and the ancient climate of Mars will help to understand the past and future of Earth as well as the potential of life on Mars and other distant planets.

About P-Note

  • P- Notes [News – investment Via P-Notes Soars in July]
    • A participatory note, commonly known as a P-note or PN, is an instrument issued by a registered foreign institutional investor (FII) to an overseas investor who wishes to invest in Indian stock markets without registering themselves with the market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)
    • These notes are a unique Indian invention started in 2000 by SEBI to enable foreign corporates and high net worth investors enter the Indian market without having to go through the process of registering as Foreign Institutional Investor (FII)
    • It provides anonymity, ease of trading but vulnerable to money laundering.

Appointment

  • Former finance secretary, Rajiv Kumar, is appointed as the chief commissioner.

Ecology

  • The Mysuru zoo has become the second Indian zoo to house the African cheetah.
    • Hyderabad zoo is the first one to have African Cheetah.
    • Cheetah is fastest land animal capable of 80-120 km/hr
    • It occupy the niche of top predator
    • IUCN Status – Vulnerable
    • CITES List – Appendix I
    • CMS list – Appendix I

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