• 16 February 2023
  • By GyanOk

Daily Current Affairs Notes for 16 February 2023

First-Ever Woman Astronaut from Saudi Arabia to go on Space Mission in 2023

The first-ever woman astronaut of Saudi Arabia will go to space this year, Rayyana Barnawi will join fellow Saudi Ali Al-Qarni on a 10-day mission to the International Space Station.

The first-ever woman astronaut of Saudi Arabia will go to space this year, Saudi woman astronaut Rayyana Barnawi will join fellow Saudi Ali Al-Qarni on a 10-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS) this year. Barnawi and Al-Qarni will fly to the ISS aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft as part of a mission by the private space company Axiom Space.

First-Ever Woman Astronaut from Saudi Arabia to go on Space Mission in 2023- Key Points

  • The Ax-2 will be launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
  • Axiom Space carried out its first private astronaut mission to the ISS in April 2022 under which four private astronauts spent 17 days in orbit.
  • In 2019, Saudi’s neighbor the United Arab Emirates became the first Arab country to send one of its citizens into space.
  • Astronaut Hazzaa al-Mansoori spent eight days on the ISS. Another fellow Emirati, Sultan al-Neyadi, will also make a voyage to the space station in February this year.
  • Neyadi, also known as “Sultan of Space”, will become the first Arab astronaut to spend six months in space when he blasts off for the ISS aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.
  • Saudi de facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been trying to shake off the kingdom’s austere image through a push for reforms.
  • During his regime since 2017, Saudi women have been allowed to drive and travel abroad without a male guardian. Women’s proportion in the workforce has more than doubled since 2016, from 17% to 37%.
  • In the oil-rich country in 1985, sent country’s royal Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, an air force pilot on a US-organised mission. It became the first Arab Muslim country to travel to space.
  • Years later in 2018, the country set up a space program and last year launched another to send astronauts into space as part of Prince Salman’s Vision 2030 agenda for economic diversification.

IIT Indore Students Awarded with Global Best M-GOV Awards by Egyptian President

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Indore Students won AED 1 million by winning the gold medal at the World Government Summit in Dubai. Niyati Totala and Neel Kalpeshkumar Parikh of The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Indore, were awarded the prestigious medal by Egyptian President Abel Fattah Al-Sisi.

IIT Indore Students Awarded with Global Best M-GOV Awards by Egyptian President- Key Points

  • The IIT students were the creators of the ‘Blockbill’ app. Blockbill is a blockchain-based receipt generation app that generates digital receipts for all of its users’ transactions.
  • This app solves multiple problems, which aids the transition away from the production of thermal papers for printing receipts.
  • Thermal papers which are ubiquitous and found in most retail locations cannot be recycled because of the chemicals that are used to create them. Blockbill is conceptualized to solve this issue.
  • The “M-Gov Award” and the “GovTech Award” are annual awards organized by the UAE government as part of the World Government Summit.
  • These awards are designed to encourage pioneering students, researchers, government agencies & institutions, private sector companies, and startups to develop innovative solutions using the latest technologies to address evolving local and global challenges and explore new opportunities for a better future for humanity.

Discovery of New Quasicrystal

A US scientist recently discovered quasicrystals. The major difference between an ordinary crystal and a quasi-crystal is that the atomic patterns in quasi-crystals do not repeat themselves as that of an ordinary crystal. They are rare to occur naturally. However, can be created artificially. So far, we have discovered only two naturally occurring quasicrystals. The recently discovered is the third naturally occurring quasicrystal and was formed accidentally from an electric discharge. This would have happened due to lightning strikes or power line downing. 

What is a Quasicrystal?

Scientists believed that the atomic patterns in crystals repeat and are symmetrical. This assumption changed in 1982 when Dan Shechctman found that atomic structures in crystals are mathematically identical but may or may not repeat themselves. Schechtman found this by passing X-rays through crystals. He received Nobel Prize for this in 2011. Such crystals whose atomic structure does not repeat are called quasi-crystals.

What is the new discovery?

The quasi-crystals are usually laboratory made. Quasi crystals require high pressure and temperature to form such patterns where the atomic structures do not repeat themselves. It is very rare to occur naturally. However, scientists have discovered a naturally occurring Quasi crystal; twice before. The first discovery was in 2009 in Russia. The second discovery was in 2021 in Mexico from a nuclear explosion. The recent and third discovery is from a meteorite near Nebraska. The meteorite rock that hit the earth’s surface millions of years ago has been hit by a lightning strike and the quasi-crystal was formed.