UPSC MAINS SYLLABUS GS3 PAPER: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-technology, Bio-technology and issues relating to Intellectual Property Rights


  1. The year 2023 proved to be a milestone in India’s space policy as India became the first and only country to achieve “soft landing” on the South pole of the moon through Chandrayaan 3. In the same year, NASAs OSIRIX mission extracted sample from asteroid Bennu. 
  2. With important missions of ISRO such as “Gaganyaan” & “Aditya L-1” missions & a joint mission with NASA i.e; NISAR planned for the year 2024, the important space missions around the world hold grave importance from the examination perspective.



  1. It is a mission by the US Space agency NASA which aims to explore the Europa i.e; one of the largest moons of the planet Jupiter.
  2. Europa is slightly smaller than the earth’s moon, with a surface that is made of ice.
  3. The interest of scientific community lies in the prospect of Europa harbouring a saltwater ocean which may contains more than twice the volume of water contained in the oceans of the Earth
  4. Thus Europa can act as a suitable habitat for extra-terrestrial life.
  5. The mission will be launched on the private space agency SpaceX’s Falcon heavy rocket.


  1. With the launch of Artemis 2, NASA plans to send humans again to the moon after a gap of 51 years (last time a man landed on the moon was in 1972).
  2. Astronauts on their first flight aboard NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft will venture around the Moon. 
  3. It will launch the crew from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
  4. The mission also holds socio-cultural significance as it aims to ensure the landing of the first women and first person of colour, on the moon.
  5. It follows the mission Artemis 1 which sent an uncrewed capsule into orbit around the moon in late 2022


  1. Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) is a robot the size of a golf cart that NASA will use to explore the moon’s south pole in late 2024. 
  2. It aims to study the origin and distribution of water on the Moon and help determine how humanity can harvest the Moon’s resources for future human space exploration.
  3. It will also analyse where the Moon’s ice is most likely to be found and easiest to access, making VIPER the first-ever resource mapping mission on another celestial body. 
  4. It will search for volatiles, which are molecules that easily vaporize, like water and carbon dioxide, at lunar temperatures.


  1. Like VIPER, NASA’s Lunar Trailblazer will also look for water on the moon. 
  2. But while VIPER will land on the moon’s south pole, Lunar Trailblazer will only orbit the moon
  3. It will measure the temperature of the surface and mapping out the locations of water molecules across the globe.


  1. NASA’s PRIME-1 will help scientists search for water at the lunar South Pole, and will be the first in-situ resource utilization demonstration on the Moon.
  2. PRIME-1, which will be mounted to a lunar lander, is made up of two components – The Regolith and Ice Drill for Exploring New Terrain (TRIDENT) and the Mass Spectrometer for Observing Lunar Operations (M-Solo)


  1. It is a Martian Moon exploration mission of the Japanese Space agency  (JAXA)
  2. It aims to study the origin of the Moons of Mars named: Phobos and Deimos
  3. The scientists are intrigued wether Phobos and Deimos are former asteroids that Mars captured into orbit with its gravity or if they formed out of debris that was already in orbit around Mars.
  4. The MMX will land on the surface of Phobos & collect a sample before returning to Earth.


  1. It is a mission by the European Space Agency (ESA) to replicate NASAs DART mission which studied the physical properties of the asteroids Didymos & Dimorphos. 
  2. The DART mission of NASA also tested a planetary defense technique called “kinetic impact” when it collided with Dimorphos to change its orbit. 
  3. “Kinetic impact” technique can prove useful if humanity ever finds a potentially hazardous object on a collision course with Earth and needs to redirect it. 


India needs to strictly implement the Space Policy 2023 to realise the vision of the Prime Minister i.e; “Space is the space to be in” and further cooperate with other space agencies such as NASA to expand the Research & exploration to cement its position as “Space power”. 



Q: Consider the following statements regarding “Europa” mission recently seen in the news:

  1. It is a mission by European space agency to explore one of the largest moons of the planet Jupiter
  2. While the Jupiter’s moon is smaller than the earth’s moon, it contains more volume of water than contained in the oceans of the Earth
  3. The mission will be launched on Space X’s Falcon rocket

Which of the above statement is/are correct? 

a. 1 only

b. 2 and 3

c. 3 only

d. 1 and 2



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