Thursday, December 31, 2009

Isro develops cryogenic engine

Isro’s 2010 space dream should be a technological leapfrog. It will soon launch the GSLV-D3 rocket with an indigenous (Indian) cryogenic stage and engine for the first time in the country’s space history. The space agency has so far been launching GSLV rockets on borrowed Russian technology.
The GSLV launch, if successful, will make India only the fifth or sixth country in the world to launch a rocket with indigenous cryogenic technology. The cryogenic stage is the upper stage of the rocket that will house the cryogenic engine within it.
“Cryogenic technology involves the use of super-cooled liquid fuel to launch heavy rockets like GSLV with the fuel being a mix of liquid hydrogen and oxygen. Launching rockets with liquid fuel of the cryogenic kind has never been easy and Isro will do it this time on its own with the stage and engine developed by itself,” Isro officials said.
Isro achieved a significant milestone recently when it successfully tested the cryogenic stage. The test was conducted for full flight duration of 720 seconds at the liquid propulsion test facility at Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu. The indigenous cryogenic stage now remains to be tested in actual flight - on the GSLV-D3. The ground test has validated the design robustness and performance adequacy for its use in GSLV.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Russia to help make 'Indian Soyuz' for manned flight news

Russia will help India build a manned spacecraft and send an Indian into space by 2020 under a 10-year cooperation programme using the technology it uses to build its Soyuz spacecraft, an official of the Russian space agency Roskosmos said in Moscow on Wednesday.

"The Indian side intends to use the experience of building the manned spaceship Soyuz to advance in building their own spaceship. We will build this spaceship on a similar technical scheme, but it will not resemble Soyuz," Alexei Krasnov, chief of the department of piloted programmes at Roskomos, said.

The spaceship would be smaller than the Soyuz, as Indian launch vehicles are too light to deliver a full-size Soyuz into orbit. "With Roskosmos's appropriate support we will be able to reequip technically and increase the production of the spaceships," Krasnov said.

Krasnov noted, ''It is not surprising that India has turned to Russia for help in its space programme, as we have been cooperating since Soviet times.'' India's first astronaut Rakesh Sharma travelled into space aboard a Soyuz in 1984.

He spent eight days on the Salyut-7 orbital station and did various scientific experiments. Subsequent plans to send two Indian astronauts to space on a US shuttle were scrapped after the Challenger disaster in 1986.

The project is in the early stages at the moment and will take at least a decade to complete, according to Krasnov.

Russia and India have a number of joint space and military projects, including a moon exploration programme and a fifth-generation fighter jet.

Monday, December 14, 2009

DRDO to take up indigenous development of UAV

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will take up the indigenous development of a medium altitude long endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

Defence Minister A K Antony told the Lok Sabha in a written reply to a question today that the development would be undertaken against against confirmed Qualitative Requirements (QRs) to meet the requirements of the three Services.

Mr Antony said the UAV had been named Rustom-H. The Indian industry would be the development-cum-production partner for the project, which is expected to be completed in 78 months after formal sanction

Sunday, December 13, 2009

India has credible thermo-nuclear bombs in its arsenal: claims Kakodkar

Dr. Anil Kakodkar, who has recently relinquished charge as Chairman Atomic Energy Commission claimed on Sunday that India had credible thermo-nuclear bombs in its arsenal.“I think that is guaranteed. The Army should be fully confident and defend the country. There is no issue about the arsenal at their command,” Kakodkar said in an interview with Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN Devils Advocate programme.

When Kakodkar was asked about low yield of 1998 thermo-nuclear tests as pointed by four leading Indian scientists and international experts, Kakodkar claimed the yield of thermo-nuclear tests was verified, not by one method but several redundant methods based on different principles, done by different groups.

Review was made and “I had described the tests in 1998 as perfect and I stand by that,” he said.

Indian scientists Dr Santhanam, Dr Iyengar, Dr Sethna and Dr Prasad·have raised serious doubts about India’s thermo-nuclear tests of 1998 while Dr Santhanam said “we have hard evidence on a purely factual basis that not only was the yield of the thermo-nuclear device far below the design prediction, but that it actually failed”.

Dr. Santhanam had also said that the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) seismic instruments measured the yield as something between 20-25 kilotonnes which is hugely different from the claim put out by the Atomic Energy Commission that it was 45 kilotonnes.

Kakodkar said the instruments used by DRDO to measure the yield of the tests at that time did not work. “I myself had reviewed this immediately after the test and we concluded that these instruments did not work.”

“Well, let me first of all say that that DAE and DRDO - we both work together as a team. DRDO did deploy some instruments for measurements but the fact is that the seismic instruments did not work. I myself had reviewed all the results immediately after the tests and we concluded that the instruments did not work,” he said.

However, Dr Santhanam had said the Bhabha Atomic Energy Center accepted the DRDO’s instruments.

When asked in an article that Dr Santhanam had written recently on November 15, 2009 for the Tribune, he says: The Department of Atomic Energy - the department to which you were ex-officio secretary - is in fact hiding facts from successive Indian governments, from Parliament and from Indian people, Kakodkar said “well, as I said earlier, we are perhaps unique in giving out the maximum information and that too very promptly - immediately after the tests.”

When asked after raising doubts by senior Indian scientists is there any need to form a peer group to review the data of the tests, he said there was no need for a peer group review yet again.

India successfully tests nuclear-capable missile Dhanush

 

Balasore: India Sunday successfully tested a nuclear-capable ballistic missile Dhanush from a warship in the Bay of Bengal, an official said.

missile Dhanush

Dhanush, the naval version of the Prithvi missile, was launched from INS Subhadra that was anchored about 35 nautical miles offshore from the test range of Chandipur in Balasore district, 230 km from Bhubaneswar.

The missile, which has a range of 350 km and carries a nuclear warhead of about 500 kg, was fired at 11.31 a.m. All the operations for the launch were carried out by Naval personnel.

"It has met all the mission objectives. All the events occurred as expected and were monitored by the range sensors. It was a text book launch and a fantastic mission accomplished," the official said.

missile Dhanush

V.K. Saraswat, scientific advisor to the defence minister, and director general and secretary, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was on-board the ship during the mission.

Prithvi is part of India's ambitious integrated guided missile development programme launched over 20 years ago.

Dhanush (meaning bow), which was tested several times in the past, is designed and built by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

It was first test-fired on April 11, 2000 from the Chandipur range

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Astrosat all set to be launched next year: ISRO

India’s first science satellite Astrosat is all set to be launched next year, former chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) Madhavan Nair said today.

One more satellite ‘Aditya’ to study Sun’s coronal mass ejection (CME) would be launched in two years while the science mission to planet Mars by 2013, Nair said, addressing a galaxy of scientists from India and abroad and the student community at the Grand Finale function of Bhabha Centenary celebrations, which concluded today.

The multi-wavelength astronomy mission Astrosat on an Indian remote sensing satellite-class satellite in a 650-km, near-equatorial orbit would be launched next year, he said, adding it will be launched by the Indian launch vehicle PSLV from the Sriharikota launchpad. The expected operating life time of the satellite will be of five years.

‘Adiyta’ will be launched in next two years to study the properties of CMEs, that are gigantic bubbles of electrified gas that billow away from the Sun.