Wednesday, May 29, 2013

India to have five rocket launches, including Mars mission, in 2013

India's space agency is planning to have a total of five rocket launches in 2013 from its rocket launch pad at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, around 80 km from here. This will include a mission to Mars later this year.
Four of the launches are expected to happen between June and December, including the launch of communication satellite G-Sat 14 using heavier rocket - Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) - powered with a domestic cryogenic engine.
"Between June 10 and 15 we are planning to launch the first navigational satellite, Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-R1A (IRNSS-R1A) and it will be followed by the launch of G-Sat 14 some time in July," a senior official at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told IANS, preferring anonymity.
According to officials, the assembling of two rockets is going on at a good pace at the rocket launch centre. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-XL (PSLV-XL) version that will carry the navigation satellite is being assembled at the first launch pad.
"The assembling of the first stage/engine and the strap on motors has been completed. The second stage is under preparation. The satellite is expected soon from the satellite centre in Bangalore," officials said.
The IRNSS-R1A satellite will be the first of seven satellites to be launched into earth orbit to provide real-time position, navigation and time services to multiple users. The space agency plans to launch the second navigation satellite three months after in-orbit tests of the first one and the remaining five satellites over a 14-month period by 2014-15.
These two launches will be followed by the mission to Mars later this year. The launch of one more remote sensing satellite is also being planned before the end of this year.
In February this year India launched the Indo-French Saral satellite and six other small foreign satellites using the PSLV rocket.
India started putting into space third-party satellites for a fee in 1999 on its PSLV-C2 rocket. Since then India has been successful in launching medium-weight satellites for overseas agencies. Initially ISRO started carrying third-party satellites atop PSLV rockets as co-passengers of its own remote sensing/earth observation satellites.
In 2007 ISRO for the first time launched an Italian satellite - Agile - as a standalone for a fee.
India has earned a revenue of $17.17 million and euro 32.28 million by launching 35 foreign satellites till date, parliament was told recently by V. Narayanasamy, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office.
"Some customers paid in dollars and some in euros and hence we are giving it separately," an ISRO official said.


First Indian navigation satellite for IRNSS to be launched on June 12


The Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System, IRNSS-1A, the first of the seven satellites of the IRNSS constellation, will be launched next month.

K Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), said the IRNSS would be launched by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on June 12 at 1:01 am.

The Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) is an autonomous regional satellite navigation system being developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which would be under complete control of the Indian government. The requirement of such a navigation system is driven by the fact that access to Global Navigation Satellite Systems, GPS, is not guaranteed in hostile situations. The IRNSS would provide two services, with the Standard Positioning Service open for civilian use and the Restricted Service, encrypted one, for authorised users (military).

The full constellation is planned to be realised in 2014. The IRNSS will help terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation services, along with disaster and fleet management. 

These satellites are positioned in suitable geostationary and inclined geosynchronous orbits to provide regional coverage over India and its surrounding neighbours. 

They are also equipped with high-precision atomic clocks, and continuously transmit navigation signals to users.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

INS Arihant nuke reactor to be activated in 2-3 weeks


Moving towards completing its nuclear triad, India will activate the atomic reactor on-board the indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant in the "next two to three weeks" paving way for its operational deployment by the Navy soon. 

"The nuclear reactor on-board the INS Arihant would be made critical (activated) in next two to three weeks," DRDO chief VK Saraswat told PTI here on Saturday. 

Nuclear triad is the ability to fire nuclear-tipped missiles from land, air and sea. He said after the nuclear reactor is activated, the agencies concerned can work towards readying the warship for operational deployments soon. 

INS Arihant has been undergoing trials at Navy's key submarine base in Vishakhapatnam and would be launched for sea trials after the nuclear reactor goes critical. 

The DRDO has also readied a medium-range nuclear missile BO-5 for being deployed on the Arihant and its last developmental trial was held on January 27 off the coast of Vishakhapatnam. 

The nuclear submarine will help India achieve the capability of going into high seas without the need to surface the vessel for long durations. 

Conventional diesel-electric submarines have to come up on surface at regular intervals for charging the cells of the vessel.