India Successfully Test-Fired ICBM Missile Agni V in Odisha
i. India successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable, Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), the Agni V, on December 26, from Dr Abdul Kalam island, formerly known as Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha.
ii. The three-stage, solid propellant surface-to-surface missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at 11:05 am in Balasore district.
iii. This was the fourth and final test of the missile. With the success of the final development test, Agni-V is now ready for the induction into the strategic arsenal (collection of weapons) of India.
iv. The successful induction of Agni V will give India long-range strike capability.
TeamIndus to Carry Along Japan’s Rover for Google Lunar XPRIZE Competition
i. Bengaluru-based TeamIndus has announced an agreement to carry Japanese team Hakuto’s robotic rover in the Google Lunar XPRIZE, to the moon aboard TeamInduss spacecraft in late 2017.
ii. This is a first-of-its-kind collaboration of two private space enterprises competing in the Google Lunar XPRIZE. The TeamIndus spacecraft, in addition to the Japanese rover, will also be carrying its own indigenously designed and developed robotic rover, ECA (Ek Chhoti si Asha).
iii. TeamIndus can carry up to 20kg of payload of which the Japanese rover weighs four kg.
iv. The goal of the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE is to ignite a new era of space exploration by lowering the cost and inspiring the imagination of the next generation.
v. To win the prize, teams must land their spacecraft on the surface of the Moon, travel 500 metres, and broadcast high definition video, images, and data back to Earth.
vi .Both TeamIndus and Hakuto had already demonstrated their technology by winning Milestone Prizes from Google Lunar XPRIZE in 2015.
vii. TeamIndus won $1 million for demonstrating its landing technology and Hakuto won the $500,000 Mobility Prize for the robotic rover it developed.