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Showing posts from April, 2008

Manned space mission possible in 7 years

In about seven years from now, India will be able to send two of its astronauts into space aboard its Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), said K. Radhakrishnan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, on Monday. The Centre’s go-ahead to the manned mission project is awaited. The manned mission will be preceded by three unmanned ones to the moon. The Indian Space Research Organisation’s first unmanned mission to the moon — sending Chandrayaan-1 into lunar orbit — will take place in the third quarter of 2008. Dr. Radhakrishnan, who answered questions from reporters after the successful PSLV-C9 flight from Sriharikota, said ISRO had been conducting studies for the past four years on putting an Indian into orbit. The GSLV would be able to take a crew of two astronauts into low-earth orbit. In a manned mission, important factors such as reliability, the safety of the crew and their module, the reliability of their ejection systems in case of any problem …

“PSLV has got a good brand value”

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) earned $0.6 million when its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C9) put in orbit on Monday eight nano satellites from abroad, according to K.R. Sridhara Murthy, managing director, Antrix Corporation. The launch was executed under a commercial contract among the University of Toronto, Canada; Cosmos International, Germany; and Antrix Corporation, ISRO’s marketing agency. Antrix Corporation charged about $12,000 for a kg for these nano satellites because they were built by the universities. Otherwise, the international rates charged for putting satellites in orbit were between $20,000 and $30,000 a kg, Mr. Sridhara Murthy said. The eight nano satellites together weighed 50 kg. The PSLV-C9 also put in orbit Cartosat-2A and the Indian Mini Satellite (IMS-1), which were built by the ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore. Six of the eight nano satellites are clustered under the name NLS-4. The University of Toronto developed the NLS-4. It consi…

Moon mission in 3rd quarter of '08: ISRO

Indian space scientists are aiming to launch their ambitious Moon-mission Chandrayaan-I in the third quarter of this year. It will launch a 500 kg satellite that will orbit Earth's only natural satellite for two years for terrain mapping and lunar surface mapping. "It is too early to attempt a human-landing mission on Moon. We will be sending a 500 kg satellite for terrain mapping and lunar surface mapping. The satellite will survey the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics and 3-dimensional topography," ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair told a press conference at Sriharikota on Monday after India successfully placed a record 10 satellites into 'precise' orbit. "All the instruments for Chandrayaan-I are ready. A few tests have to be conducted, following which we will be ready for the launch in the third quarter of this year. A special vehicle of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) called the PSLV-XL is being prepared for…

India to test Agni III+ ballistic missile in 2009

India will test indigenously built Agni III+ ballistic missile with a strike range of more than 5000 km in 2009. The long-range missile is currently in the design stage, VK Saraswat, Chief Controller (R&D) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said in Visakhapatnam on Monday. "We are looking for trial in early 2009," he told reporters on the sidelines of the 95th Indian Science Congress in Visakhapatnam. After the induction of the surface-to-air missile Akash by the Air Force, the Army is starting user trials for the sophisticated anti-tank Nag missiles this summer. "User trials for Nag will be held in May-June in the Rajasthan desert," Saraswat said. Nag is an all weather anti-tank guided missile. Design work on the missile started in 1988 and the first tests were carried out in November 1990.

India's growing strides in space : BBC Report

Monday's launch was carried live on state television India is well known today for its software and information technology industry.Less well known is that in a nation where more than 300 million people live on less than $1 a day, it is also a real force to reckon with when it comes to top class rocket and satellite technology. On Monday the Indian space agency created a world record by successfully launching 10 satellites in one go. That shattered the previous record of a Russian rocket that successfully launched eight satellites last year. Launching 10 satellites requires immense precision. When the tricky operation starts the rocket is already travelling at 7.5 kilometres per second. Jean-Yves Le Gall, CEO of Arianspace, Paris, says "simultaneously launching 10 satellites is a great achievement". The Indian space agency, set up 35 years ago, is still really a baby among the world's space-faring nations. This was its 26th launch of a rocket from India's on…

Bigger rockets to help ISRO tap $3 bn global launch biz

The perfect launch of 10 satellites, two Indian and eight foreign, simultaneously by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C-9 has catapulted the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) into a new orbit. The world record mission not only demonstrates capability to launch small satellites but also puts ISRO’s commercial arm, Rs 660-crore Antrix Corporation, in a competitive position to capture a portion of the over $3-billion global satellite launch business. But if ISRO seeks to tap this market aggressively, it will have to shift focus to launch bigger rockets and heavier satellites. Satellite launch for applications spanning direct-to-home (DTH) services, global positioning systems (GPS), education, telecom, weather monitoring and others is increasing worldwide. But the launch costs are prohibitively-high. Here, ISRO’s satellite launch services at about 60-70% cheaper costs could provide a boost to India’s space programme. “Today, PSLV is one of the proven vehicles to carry satellite…

ISRO to launch 10 satellites in one go

For the first time in ISRO's four-decade history, it will launch an Indian mini-satellite — IMS-1 — on April 28. The highly-proven polar satellite launch vehicle will also carry a 690-kg Cartosat-2a remote sensing satellite and eight nano satellites—-a first for simultaneous launch of 10 satellites. "ISRO has developed and designed the 83-kg mini satellite. The launch is to try new technologies and also miniaturisation," an ISRO official told TOI from Bangalore. "It will have a two-year life span and will operate at an altitude of 635 km. The data will be available to developing countries." The eight nano satellites are built by universities and research institutions in Canada and Germany. The satellites weigh 3 kg to 16 kg, the total weight being about 50 kg. The much-awaited lift-off is scheduled for 9.20 am on April 28 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. It will be the 13th flight of the PSLV. The mini satellite carries two optical payload…

India to blast satellite into space

An Indian rocket will next week launch an advanced remote-sensing satellite that will help plan and implement urban and rural development projects, the space agency said Thursday. Cartosat-2A, an all-weather, reconnaissance satellite, will be lifted into space on Monday morning from the Sriharikota space centre in southern India, the Indian Space Research Organisation said. "The launch campaign is progressing satisfactorily," the Bangalore-based agency said in a statement. "The satellite has already been integrated with the launch vehicle." The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, or PSLV, the workhorse of the Indian space programme, will carry the 690-kilogramme (1,518-pound) payload equipped with a high-resolution camera and advanced scientific instruments. The PSLV's 13th flight will also carry an Indian mini-satellite weighing 83 kilogrammes and eight so-called nanosatellites developed by German and Canadian research institutions that weigh between three and…

HAL, IAI developing unmanned helicopter

India and Israel have begun joint development of an unmanned helicopter capable of operating in severe weather conditions, according to reports in the Israeli media. The unmanned rotary wing aircraft will have automated takeoff and landing systems for use on unprepared fields on land and from ships at sea. Being developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Israel Aerospace Industries' (IAI) unmanned air vehicle division, Malat, the helicopter will also have a dual automated sophisticated operating systems for enhanced safety, said a report in Israeli business daily, Globes. The unmanned helicopter meant primarily for use by the navy will carry payloads such as day-and-night-imaging systems and various radar systems. Its main advantage over unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) is its ability to takeoff from and land anywhere, including from ships, the report added.  The prototype being developed is based on the HAL-built Chetak airframe, a derivative of the French Alouette, and so…

3,500km range Agni-III to be testfired this month

NEW DELHI: India plans to test-fire its most ambitious strategic missile Agni-III, which can hit high-value targets deep inside China with a strike range of 3,500-km, towards April-end. Sources said the test-firing is likely to take place in the "window" between April 20 to 30, but the exact launch date will depend on technical, environmental and other parameters. This will be the third test of the rail-mobile Agni-III — which can carry a 1.5 tonne nuclear payload — from the integrated test range on Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa. While the first test of the two-stage, solid-fuelled Agni-III in July 2006 had flopped, with scientists losing control of the missile over the Bay of Bengal barely 65 seconds into its flight, the second test in April 2007 had proved successful during its entire flight path of 15 minutes. "If the third test is successful, then the ballistic missile will require just one or two more tests before it can go for limited series production…