Indian Space Program: News & Discussions

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India prepares for a historic Moon Landing
Saturday, December 02, 2017
By: ET



The last time any country put boots on the moon was in 2013, when China landed its Yutu rover there. Before that, you'd have to look back to the 1970s to find anything built by Earthlings that camped out on the surface of the Moon.

4 months to go ::
ISRO is getting ready to land its very first lunar rover by the end of March 2018, as part of its Chandrayaan-2 mission.

Most ambitious project ::
This is not ISRO's first journey towards moon, but it is the Indian government's most ambitious moon exploration project to date.

Lunar surface ::
Chandrayaan-1 blasted off from Sriharikota island off the East coast of India in 2008, at an estimated cost of $83 million. The ISRO's 5-foot by 5-foot cube made it into lunar orbit, and detected some "magmatic water" on a moon crater.
Then, on November 14, 2008, the probe crashed into the moon and got lost in lunar orbit before NASA found the "derelict spacecraft" again in 2016.
This will be the ISRO's first attempt to get a more delicate and precise up-close look at the lunar surface.

Destination Moon ::
The Indian space team is preparing three unmanned vehicles for the trip: an orbiter craft that will hover above the moon's surface, plus a rover, and a lander that will safely plop that rover on the moon.

Mission Moon ::
If all goes well, this mission on the moon will be completed in 14 Earth days, that's just enough time for the moon to make one full orbit around our planet.

Future Projects ::
The Chandrayaan 2 mission is just one of the projects the ISRO is hoping to launch in the next several years. They're also working on a project called 'Aditya' that will study the sun, and a 5-year satellite, called 'XPoSat' that they want to use to learn more about cosmic radiation.

India is preparing a moon landing for 1st time in country's history - History in making
 

Parthu

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Use this thread to post all news & discussions regarding India's space program - including ISRO, as well as any other Private/Public agencies & institutes involved in space sciences. Starting off:

AstroSat Picture of the Month (November 2017)
NGC 1851: Two star families in one Globular Cluster


Near-UV (left) and Far-UV (right) images of the Globular Cluster NGC 1851, taken by UVIT onboard AstroSat.
The FUV image shows only the hottest stars in the cluster. All colours are artificial. Image credit: Annapurni Subramaniam et al.

NGC 1851 is a Globular Cluster which is almost 40000 light years away from us, in the southern constellation of Columba, near Canis Major. A Globular Cluster is a group of hundreds of thousands of stars tightly bound together by their own gravity. All the stars in these spherical clusters orbit around the centre of our galaxy together. NGC 1851, or Caldwell 73, is one such cluster, visible in a moderate telescope at a magnitude of 7.3, with a size that is a third of the full moon. It was discovered by James Dunlop from Australia in 1826.

The stars in a Globular Cluster are usually born together, and hence share similar properties. However, NGC 1851 is one of the few clusters where two distinct types of stars with different properties seem to co-exist! Many individual stars in this object have been studied before with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), but good ultraviolet images were needed to understand this mystery better. This prompted a group of 18 astronomers, including 12 from India, to use the UVIT on board the AstroSat. They imaged this cluster in the Near and Far ultraviolet wavebands far better than earlier attempts with other telescopes.

The superior resolution of AstroSat allowed them, for the first time, to measure the ultraviolet properties of individual stars in the inner crowded region of the cluster. Using this data, they could show that NGC 1851 does indeed have two distinct families of stars within it, which still retain their separate histories. This tells us that NGC 1851 was probably formed when two smaller clusters merged together some time in the past!

The paper describing these results can be downloaded from [1710.03730] The Horizontal Branch population of NGC 1851 as revealed by the Ultra-violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT)

++++

“AstroSat Picture of the Month” is an initiative of the Public Outreach and Education Committee of the Astronomical Society of India and the AstroSat Training and Outreach Team. All pictures are archived at Astrosat Picture of the Month.

AstroSat Picture of the Month (November 2017) - ISRO

++++

@GSLV Mk III @Aashish
 

Parul

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Dec 2, 2017
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India’s First-Ever Moon Mission to Launch in 2018

ONE GIANT LEAP
In 2013, China landed the Yutu rover on the Moon, but no one has stepped foot (or bot) on our cosmic neighbor since. But this will change in early 2018 asIndia makes its debut appearance on the Moon. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will land its first lunar rover as a part of India’s Moon mission. The agency is currently aiming for a March, 2018 landing.

The three craft that will be a part of the upcoming lunar launch. Image Credit: ISRO
This plan is called the Chandrayaan-2 mission, which roughly translates to “moon vehicle” or “moon journey,” began with the Chandrayaan-1, which made it into lunar orbit and was able to detect “magmatic water” within a crater on the Moon’s surface.
Unfortunately, in 2008 this initial probe crashed into the Moon and was lost in orbit until NASA found it adrift in 2016. But the impending launch of this lunar rover holds even more scientific promise and will hopefully allow for a more precise view of the lunar surface.

LUNAR EXPLORATION
This upcoming launch will include three crewless vehicles. There will be an orbiter craft that will hover above the surface of the Moon, a lunar rover, and a lander craft that will safely land the rover on the surface. After its soft lunar landing — an exciting first for India — the rover will explore the lunar crust and the mantle while the orbiter creates a “detailed three-dimensional map of the lunar surface,” according to the ISRO.

The ISRO will complete this ambitious project on a “shoestring” budget of $93 million, according to Nature. This will make the hopeful success of India’s Moon mission that much more impressive.

The ISRO has other projects in the works as well. They are working on “Aditya,” a mission that aims to study the Sun, and “XPoSat,” a 5-year satellite that will improve working knowledge of cosmic radiation. But hopefully, this upcoming lunar launch will be completed within 14 days without a hitch.

The mission is a positive sign that more and more countries are investing in space exploration and improving our abilities to understand and travel to the cosmos.

India's first-ever Moon mission to launch in 2018
 

Ashwin

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Nov 30, 2017
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The last time any country put boots or, rather, little metal feet, on the moon was in 2013, when China landed its Yutu rover there. Before that, you'd have to look back to the 1970s to find anything built by Earthlings that camped out on the surface of the Moon. But in 2018, India says it'll be ready to join the ranks of the moon lander. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is getting ready to land its very first lunar rover by the end of March 2018, as part of its Chandrayaan-2 mission. 'Chaand' is the word for moon in Hindi, so Chandrayaan literally means 'moon vehicle' or 'moon journey.'

This handout picture provided by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) shows the surface of the moon taken by Moon Impact Probe (MIP), after separating from India's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, November 14, 2008.

This isn't actually the ISRO's first journey towards the moon, but it is the Indian government's most ambitious moon exploration project to date.
India's Chandrayaan-1 blasted off from Sriharikota island off the East coast of India in 2008, at an estimated cost of $83 million. The ISRO's 5-foot by 5-foot cube made it into lunar orbit, and detected some "magmatic water" on a moon crater. Then, on November 14, 2008, the probe crashed into the moon and got lost in lunar orbit before NASA found the "derelict spacecraft" again in 2016.

This will be the ISRO's first attempt to get a more delicate and precise up-close look at the lunar surface.
The Indian space team is preparing three unmanned vehicles for the trip: an orbiter craft that will hover above the moon's surface, plus a rover, and a lander that will safely plop that rover on the moon.


The orbiter craft is designed to make a "detailed three-dimensional map of the lunar surface," the agency says, while the lander will take a closer look at the lunar crust and mantle. NASA says that the craft will be exploring down to "a depth of a few tens of meters."

The more nimble rover will hop a ride aboard the lander, but once the pair has softly landed together on the lunar surface, the small vehicle will wheel off and roll about on its own, checking out lunar rocks and soil. It's all being completed on a "shoestring" budget of $93 million USD, Nature reports.

The Chandrayaan 2 mission is just one of the projects the ISRO is hoping to launch in the next several years. They're also working on a project called 'Aditya' that will study the sun, and a 5-year satellite, called 'XPoSat' that they want to use to learn more about cosmic radiation.

If all goes well, this mission on the moon will be completed in 14 Earth days, that's just enough time for the moon to make one full orbit around our planet.
A more detailed understanding of the moon will be key if more people are going to be heading into space in the coming years. Many are banking on the spot as a kind of celestial pit stop on the way to Mars. The US has promised to get people on the Red Planet by 2033.

India is preparing to land on the moon for the first time in the country's history
 

Amal

GSLV Mk III
Nov 30, 2017
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Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Signs Implementation Arrangement (IA)
with Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)
concerning joint study of Joint Lunar Polar Exploration

December 6, 2017 (JST)

National Research and Development Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) signed the Implementation Arrangement (IA) concerning joint study of Lunar Polar Exploration.
JAXA and ISRO signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote collaboration in space field in November 2016. Under this MOU, both agencies have been exploring the possibility of mutual cooperation in the field of lunar pole surface exploration.
Following the conclusion of the IA, JAXA and ISRO will jointly conduct feasibility study and draft a plan of the Joint Lunar Polar Exploration from both technical and scientific aspects.
The joint study will include possible mission objectives and operation concepts, and both agencies will work out the plan targeting the end of JFY 2018.
 

Vicky

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Dec 1, 2017
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1513132628921.png

Will be capable of putting 500-600 kg satellites in orbits
A low-cost small satellite launcher could be the next item on the menu of the Indian Space Research Organisation.
Preliminary work to design and develop an ambitious small launch vehicle began about three months ago, said K. Sivan, Director of ISRO’s rocket development node, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. Its design will enable a handful of engineers to assemble it within a week. And the launcher should be able to put satellites of up to 500-600 kg in orbits close to the Earth.
VSSC has designed the vehicle using the rocket technology that it already has and is awaiting ISRO’s approval. “We are looking at having a demonstration launch in a year, in the 2018-19 time frame,” Dr. Sivan told The Hindu.
The development cost would be kept low at a few crore as the new launcher’s requirement of advanced electronics is considerably lower.
It could also tremendously cut the launch fee that customers would have to pay. Which is what all space agencies aim at: low-cost access to space, as they call it.
Since 1999, ISRO’s PSLV rockets have launched 209 small satellites from 28 countries for a fee; they have been for experimental, university or remote-sensing uses. In February this year, a PSLV carried a record 104 satellites to space. The next one planned in January 2018 will carry some 30 small customer satellites to space — their weights ranging from 1 kg to 100 kg.

Easy to assemble

Today, it takes 300-plus engineers and about 40 days to assemble a PSLV. A small launcher that can be got up perhaps in three days by a small team would make a big difference in the market as well as to the launch provider, according to Dr. Sivan. For one, satellite operators need not wait one or two years to launch their spacecraft. In shared space rides, satellites going on the same rocket must have compatible sizes and shapes. The thinking, he said, is why waste a big vehicle for a small job?
Secondly, a ride on small launchers could even be a ninth or tenth of the present cost. ISRO, he said, will not be the first to think of a small launcher. “Globally, the small satellites market is booming as they are used for various applications. Some of ISRO’s satellites are also going to reduce in mass. As such, worldwide, operators and private players are developing small launchers to capture the market at a much lower cost,” he explained.
Global space industry consulting firm Euroconsult estimated in July that 6,200 smallsats — many of them constellations — would be launched during 2017-2026 and touch a market value of $30 billion — up from $8.9 billion in the last decade.

ISRO developing a compact launcher for small satellites

And a new spaceport either near SHAR or Kerala would be great too for small and commercial space launches.
 
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Seiko

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10 years after first moon probe, India readies Chandrayaan-2 for early next year

NEW DELHI: A decade after India's maiden lunar odyssey in 2008, India will launch another lunar expedition in early 2018 by sending a lander and a rover to explore the Moon to unravel its origin and present conditions.

The second Moon mission—Chandrayaan-2—is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission. It consists of an orbiter, lander and rover configuration. The orbiter with scientific payloads will orbit around the moon.

The lander will soft-land on the Moon at a specified site and deploy the rover. The scientific payloads onboard the orbiter, lander and rover are expected to perform mineralogical and elemental studies of the lunar surface.

Last year, ISRO conducted tests for Chandrayaan-2 mission at its facility in Challakere in Karnataka, where simulated lunar craters were created for landing mission. Several craters, resembling the terrain of the moon, were created on the ground at the facility to test instruments and sensors on the lander of Chandeayaan-2.

The sensors on Chandrayaan-2 will help ISRO validate, confirm and even make more crucial in-depth discoveries of the moon's topography in continuation to Chandrayaan-1 discoveries. While Chandrayaan-1 found water on the moon, Chandrayaan-2 will help calculate the amount of water on the moon.

Chandrayaan-1 was credited with the first discovery of water on the moon on November 14, 2008. It lost communication with ISRO ground stations on August 29, 2009 due to a technical problem. It was thought to have crashed on the moon.

But nine years since its launch, a new radar technology pioneered by scientists at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) was put into place to trace Nasa's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Chandrayaan-1. Scientists at JPL located the spacecraft still circling some 200 kilometres above the lunar surface.

Chandrayaan-2 will be launched onboard the space agency's heavy rocket—Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark II—from the second launch pad of the space port, located at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

As part of integration, the lander and rover would be configured for soft landing at a designated spot on the Moon and to conduct scientific experiments. The rover will emerge from the lander to observe the lunar terrain and relay the data along with images through radio links.

For launching Chandrayaan-1, the ISRO used PSLV rocket as the spacecraft carried only an impact probe vehicle to crash land on the Moon surface from its orbit.

10 years after first moon probe, India readies Chandrayaan-2 for early next year
 
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Antiguy

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India’s First-Ever Moon Mission to Launch in 2018

ONE GIANT LEAP
In 2013, China landed the Yutu rover on the Moon, but no one has stepped foot (or bot) on our cosmic neighbor since. But this will change in early 2018 asIndia makes its debut appearance on the Moon.The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will land its first lunar rover as a part of India’s Moon mission. The agency is currently aiming for a March, 2018 landing.

The three craft that will be a part of the upcoming lunar launch. Image Credit: ISRO
This plan is called the Chandrayaan-2 mission, which roughly translates to “moon vehicle” or “moon journey,” began with the Chandrayaan-1, which made it into lunar orbit and was able to detect “magmatic water” within a crater on the Moon’s surface.
Unfortunately, in 2008 this initial probe crashed into the Moon and was lost in orbit until NASA found it adrift in 2016. But theimpending launch of this lunar rover holds even more scientific promise and will hopefully allow for a more precise view of the lunar surface.

LUNAR EXPLORATION
This upcoming launch will include three crewless vehicles. There will be an orbiter craft that will hover above the surface of the Moon, a lunar rover, and a lander craft that will safely land the rover on the surface. After its soft lunar landing — an exciting first for India — the rover will explore the lunar crust and the mantle while the orbiter creates a “detailed three-dimensional map of the lunar surface,” according to the ISRO.

The ISRO will complete this ambitious project on a “shoestring” budget of $93 million, according to Nature. This will make the hopeful success of India’s Moon mission that much more impressive.

The ISRO has other projects in the works as well. They are working on “Aditya,” a mission that aims to study the Sun, and “XPoSat,” a 5-year satellite that will improve working knowledge of cosmic radiation. But hopefully, this upcoming lunar launch will be completed within 14 days without a hitch.

The mission is a positive sign that more and more countries are investing in space exploration and improving our abilities to understand and travel to the cosmos.

India's first-ever Moon mission to launch in 2018
what kinds of dumb@$$es write these articles I wonder.
 

GuardianRED

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Dec 2, 2017
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The last time any country put boots or, rather, little metal feet, on the moon was in 2013, when China landed its Yutu rover there. Before that, you'd have to look back to the 1970s to find anything built by Earthlings that camped out on the surface of the Moon. But in 2018, India says it'll be ready to join the ranks of the moon lander. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is getting ready to land its very first lunar rover by the end of March 2018, as part of its Chandrayaan-2 mission. 'Chaand' is the word for moon in Hindi, so Chandrayaan literally means 'moon vehicle' or 'moon journey.'

This handout picture provided by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) shows the surface of the moon taken by Moon Impact Probe (MIP), after separating from India's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, November 14, 2008.

This isn't actually the ISRO's first journey towards the moon, but it is the Indian government's most ambitious moon exploration project to date.
India's Chandrayaan-1 blasted off from Sriharikota island off the East coast of India in 2008, at an estimated cost of $83 million. The ISRO's 5-foot by 5-foot cube made it into lunar orbit, and detected some "magmatic water" on a moon crater. Then, on November 14, 2008, the probe crashed into the moon and got lost in lunar orbit before NASA found the "derelict spacecraft" again in 2016.

This will be the ISRO's first attempt to get a more delicate and precise up-close look at the lunar surface.
The Indian space team is preparing three unmanned vehicles for the trip: an orbiter craft that will hover above the moon's surface, plus a rover, and a lander that will safely plop that rover on the moon.


The orbiter craft is designed to make a "detailed three-dimensional map of the lunar surface," the agency says, while the lander will take a closer look at the lunar crust and mantle. NASA says that the craft will be exploring down to "a depth of a few tens of meters."

The more nimble rover will hop a ride aboard the lander, but once the pair has softly landed together on the lunar surface, the small vehicle will wheel off and roll about on its own, checking out lunar rocks and soil. It's all being completed on a "shoestring" budget of $93 million USD, Nature reports.

The Chandrayaan 2 mission is just one of the projects the ISRO is hoping to launch in the next several years. They're also working on a project called 'Aditya' that will study the sun, and a 5-year satellite, called 'XPoSat' that they want to use to learn more about cosmic radiation.

If all goes well, this mission on the moon will be completed in 14 Earth days, that's just enough time for the moon to make one full orbit around our planet.
A more detailed understanding of the moon will be key if more people are going to be heading into space in the coming years. Many are banking on the spot as a kind of celestial pit stop on the way to Mars. The US has promised to get people on the Red Planet by 2033.

India is preparing to land on the moon for the first time in the country's history
Bengaluru's Team Indus Attempts Record With 2 Rovers To Moon: 10 Points



  • The single mission -- currently called "Har Indian ka Moonshot" -- will carry two rovers that will land on the moon, one from Team Indus and another from Hakuto, another first in the history of moon exploration.
  • The Team Indus rover will not only move 500 meters on the moon surface but also raise the Indian flag on the lunar surface on the Republic Day in 2018.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO is expects to place its own rover on the moon surface in 2018.
  • The Team Indus spacecraft will piggyback on India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or PSLV under a commercial deal.
  • The PSLV will inject the spaceship into an orbit 800 km above the surface of the earth. The spacecraft will then switch on its own engines and set its course for the Moon.
  • It will land on Mare Imbrium -- meaning the sea of rain -- a vast lava plain in the Imbrium basin of the moon. It will then launch the rovers on the moon surface.
  • The spaceship will carry up to 20 kg of payload, of which the Japanese rover weighs 4 kg. Besides, it will carry payloads from international universities and student experiments.
  • So far, only the Russians and Chinese have sent unmanned rovers to the moon. Russia's Lunokhod programme sent the first successful robotic rover to moon in November 1970. The robotic lander Luna 17 still sits in Mare Imbrium. Chinese rover Yutu landed on Moon in December 2013.
  • The Americans have launched a battery-powered Lunar Roving Vehicle, popularly known as moon buggy, thrice during its Apollo programme in 1971 and 1972.
  • Announced in 2007, the Google Lunar XPRIZE challenges scientists and entrepreneurs to develop low cost methods of space exploration through robots.
Bengaluru's Team Indus Attempts Record With 2 Rovers To Moon: 10 Points

The launch for Team Indus is after this mission?
 

Ankit Kumar

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Nov 30, 2017
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Solar Mission

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch the first solar mission, Aditya-L1.

Aditya-L1 mission is aimed at studying the Sun from an orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrangian point 1 (L1) which is about 1.5 million kilometres from the Earth. It would carry seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere and the outermost layers of the Sun, the corona in different wavebands.

Aditya-L1 is a fully indigenous effort with the participation of national institutions. Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru is the lead institute for the development of Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) and Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune is developing the Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUIT) payload for Aditya-L1 mission.

Aditya-L1 can provide observations on the corona and in addition can provide observations on the solar Chromosphere using the UV payload and on the flares using the X-ray payloads. The particle detectors and the magnetometer payload can provide information on charged particles and the magnetic field reaching the halo orbit around L1.

This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

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Ankit Kumar

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Indigenous GPS

India has deployed its own regional navigational system, namely NavIC comprising of a constellation of seven navigational satellites and associated ground segment for providing position, navigation and timing services to Indian region.

The IRNSS (NavIC) enables providing position, navigation and timing information that could be utilised for a large range of civil and strategic applications and services that include terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation; precise timing; disaster management and alert messages; mapping and Geodetic data capture; vehicle tracking and fleet management; visual & voice navigation for drivers, etc.

Seven satellites of NavIC constellation are currently in orbit, the realization of IRNSS-1I, by DOS/ISRO is under progress using a contract to a consortium of private companies for carrying out assembly, integration and testing of this satellite. The satellite is planned for launch during first quarter of 2018.

NavIC provides signals in a space covering India and its surroundings, this could be utilised by using receivers on ground to determine position and time accurately. Signal in space is provided globally by GPS of USA, GLONASS of Russia, Galileo of Europe and Beiden of China. Current global trend is to make use of ground receivers which utilise as many signals as available for providing timing and position solutions.

This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

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Ankit Kumar

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ISRO and NASA Collaboration

ISRO and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)/ NASA are jointly working on the development of Dual Frequency (L&S band) Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging Satellite named as NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR). The L-band SAR is being developed by JPL/NASA, while ISRO is developing S-band SAR. The L & S band microwave data obtained from this satellite will be useful for variety of application, which include natural resources mapping & monitoring; estimating agricultural biomass over full duration of crop cycle; assessing soil moisture; monitoring of floods and oil slicks; coastal erosion, coastline changes & variation of winds in coastal waters; assessment of mangroves; surface deformation studies, ice sheet collapses & dynamics etc.

The data obtained from NISAR mission is not meant for building climate resilience. However, the data acquired from this mission will be useful in developing certain applications, which include - (i) identifying crevasses in the glaciers hidden by fresh snow, where human movement takes place, (ii) identifying the snowpack parameters as an input in Avalanche forecasts, (iii) studying Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) hazards, and (iv) identifying inundated area due to floods/ cyclones. These applications could help in taking measures to minimise loss of human lives.

As per the information received, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) under Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has been working in tandem with National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, USA) for development of high resolution seasonal and long-term climate forecasts through Monsoon Mission and Centre for Climate Change Research (CCCR) Programmes. During 2010 to 2015, IITM and NOAA together developed high resolution models for seasonal predictions of Indian Summer Monsoon and long term climate forecasts under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This MoU, concerning the study of “Dynamical Short range, Extended Range and seasonal Prediction of Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall”, has been extended till 2020, within the framework of the MoES-NOAA Partnership.

This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

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Parthu

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A look at the TeamIndus spacecraft that will take India to the Moon
An overview of the components and their function

TeamIndus is launching its spacecraft to the Moon in 2018. This will be the first time any private entity attempts to land on the lunar surface. We will soon be posting details on how we built our spacecraft to survive the landing. Meanwhile, here’s an overview of our spacecraft.


The TeamIndus spacecraft. Seen here are the solar panels (left) and the mounted rover (right).

The spacecraft has 3 major systems:

  1. Spacecraft Bus: The spacecraft bus consists of the structural skeleton, thermal and propulsion systems.
  2. Avionics: This system houses the on-board computer, power and communications systems.
  3. Payloads: Our rover ECA, the Japanese rover Sorato (which we are also carrying) and all the Lab2Moon experiments are the major payloads onboard the spacecraft.
#1: The Structure and Thermal Systems of the Spacecraft
The spacecraft has optical solar reflectors and heat shields to keep itself cool. The lander structure is designed to withstand the impact forces during the launch and landing. The landing gear uses crushable aluminium honeycomb to absorb the impact forces during touchdown on the Moon.


The main structure of the spacecraft that ensures the safety of the subsystems and payloads.

The spacecraft design thus ensures the safety of the payloads and all the subsystems in the spacecraft. The maximum diameter of the spacecraft is decided by the launch vehicle, which for us is the trusty PSLV from ISRO.

The interface ring as shown in the diagram below will be used to connect to the PSLV for launch.


TeamIndus spacecraft (older version) in the PSLV envelope.


The intersection ring of the spacecraft that docks to the PSLV.

#2: Propulsion System
The primary engine on the spacecraft is a liquid rocket engine with a thrust capability of 440 N for major maneuvers. It is accompanied by sixteen small 22 N thrusters for finer orbital maneuvers and directional control.


Bottom view of the spacecraft showing the primary and the secondary thrusters.

The propellant is provided by the two helium-pressurized tanks onboard the spacecraft. Hydrazine is used as the fuel combined with Nitrogen Tetroxide as the oxidizer. The propulsion is controlled by the Heater Propulsion Card (HPC) onboard the spacecraft.

#3: Power & Communication Systems
The three solar panels on the spacecraft are the primary power source, generating 235 W. A 24 Ah Lithium-ion battery is also present for additional power. Spacecraft communication with the control center is handled via the radio S-band and X-band.


Radio frequency bands (in GHz) used for satellite communication. Source: ESA

S-band is the same channel used by NASA for communication with the International Space Station (ISS). The X-band is used for high frequency transmission as in air traffic control and defense applications. A TM/TC card is used for processing both the data that is sent and received.

#4: The On-Board Computer (OBC)
The on-board computer (OBC) orchestrates the command+telemetry data processing and related operations. The most important job of the OBC is to act as a guidance, navigation and control system (GNC) for the entire mission duration. The lunar descent is controlled through the GNC using data from a host of sensors as detailed in the following post:

#5: Payloads
The TeamIndus spacecraft is carrying two of the world’s lightest rovers to the lunar surface. The Indian rover is the ECA a.k.a. Ek Choti si Asha (Hindi for ‘A small hope’), while the Japanese rover is Sorato. The lander will be used to communicate with both the rovers.


TeamIndus rover ECA


Japanese rover Sorato. Source: GLXP

The six Lab2Moon experiments designed by students across the world will also go onboard the spacecraft. What’s amazing about these soda-can sized experiments is that they can help humanity become a multi-planetary species.

Conclusion
This was an overview of the TeamIndus spacecraft. In the coming weeks, we will be diving deeper into each of the subsystems of the spacecraft. Through these articles, we want you to get familiar with all the technology that goes behind building a mission to the Moon.

We want this mission to be inspiring for the next generation of creators and scientists across the world and beyond.

Space is the final frontier that we all must fight towards, together.

A look at the TeamIndus spacecraft that will take India to the Moon
 

Parthu

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Other news regarding the space sector:

" Glavkosmos, which specialises in rocket and satellite solutions, has said it would be ready for global launch before the end of next year. "It will also find its way to India soon,” said Vitaly Safonov, general director deputy, Glavkosmos. "I think we will come to it, because in a globalized world, co-operation between countries is also important". "

Isro to tap opportunity in global small satellite launch space



Glavkosmos is a Russian launch/space services provider and a subsidiary of their premier space agency, Roscosmos. Not sure what Mr. Safonov is implying here - some sort of Joint Development group or something else? @Aashish @Arpit @Amal

++++

US-based Planet Labs plans development centre in India
Karthik Govindhasamy of Planet Labs says, the firm will continue to work with Isro and its marketing arm Antrix on satellite launch opportunities, it is also keen to market satellite data



Hyderabad: Planet Labs Inc., a US-based integrated aerospace and data analytics company, plans to set up a development centre in India to tap into the technical expertise and business opportunities.

The company last week announced that four of its Dove spacecraft will be launched aboard India’s PSLV-C40 flight, scheduled early January.

In a historic 104 satellites launch conducted by the Indian Space and Research Organisation’s (Isro) rocket in a single mission in February this year, 88 cube satellites belonged to Planet Labs.

The company, founded in 2010, operates a large fleet of earth imaging satellites, collecting a massive amount of information about the planet. It designs, builds and operates satellites, and develops online software and tools that serves data to users.

Karthik Govindhasamy, chief technology officer and executive vice president of engineering at Planet, said, while the company would continue to work with Isro and its marketing arm Antrix on satellite launch opportunities, it is keen to market satellite data.

It (the proposed development centre) is going to be a combination of both technical as well as for business side because we want to reach out to all the states and local governments and businesses,” he told PTI. “I have a couple of options in my mind. Bengaluru and Hyderabad are my top priorities (the development centre may come up at one of these two places),” Govindhasamy said.

The proposed development centre will in particular focus on artificial intelligence, primarily on analytics, and derive information from the data. “We are actually downloading unprecedented amount of data. We have to process that. Automation is not going to be an answer for that. We need to have engineers working with us to identify objects and images so that we can enable faster, real time processing of this data,” he said.

Planet Labs is engaged in discussions with Isro, government and commercial businesses on how to leverage the Planet Labs data to “enable other micro economic applications in India,” Govindhasamy said.

I am in close conversation about creating may be a development place here to work with businesses and governments so that we can put this data to use, and help on bigger vision that India has today on digitalisation, modern cities and urban development...,” he said. “...using data from Planet and other Isro satellites...putting data to big use for supporting government and commercial opportunities like defence and security, urban development, precision agriculture, disaster management, and lot of other applications,” Govindhasamy said.

US-based Planet Labs plans development centre in India

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Also:

Video of the TeamIndus lander's drop-test at their facilities:


" On 7th July, we saw a major event for the qualification of the landing gear design by way of a full-scale drop test at our facilities. A flight type Landing gear system, assembled on to a simulated spacecraft main body, was released from a height to impact a simulated lunar terrain as expected during an actual Moon Landing mission. The spacecraft velocities at impact were simulated as specified by fixing the drop height. "

The vibration & drop-testing of the earlier lander prototype was conducted in 2014 at a National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) facility - proving which got TeamIndus the $1 million grant from Google Lunar X Prize. This test however is of the latest iteration of the lander design.
 

Parthu

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Team StratFront
Dec 1, 2017
945
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Have they released launch dates?
Exact date? Not yet I think - but it appears to be scheduled for March/April of 2018.

We might likely get to see the Chandrayaan-2 rover before that. CDY-2 is currently scheduled for launch sometime in March. There's a chance both launches might occur in the same month.
 
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Guynextdoor

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Dec 19, 2017
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Exact date? Not yet I think - but it appears to be scheduled for March/April of 2018.

We might likely get to see the Chandrayaan-2 rover before that. CDY-2 is currently scheduled for launch sometime in March. There's a chance both launches might occur in the same month.
But they apparently have plans for republic day. I’m under the assumption it’ll be in jan
 
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Parthu

Gessler
Team StratFront
Dec 1, 2017
945
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24
Vizag, India
Other news regarding the space sector:

" Glavkosmos, which specialises in rocket and satellite solutions, has said it would be ready for global launch before the end of next year. "It will also find its way to India soon,” said Vitaly Safonov, general director deputy, Glavkosmos. "I think we will come to it, because in a globalized world, co-operation between countries is also important". "

Isro to tap opportunity in global small satellite launch space



Glavkosmos is a Russian launch/space services provider and a subsidiary of their premier space agency, Roscosmos. Not sure what Mr. Safonov is implying here - some sort of Joint Development group or something else? @Aashish @Arpit @Amal

++++
Prasun K. Sengupta's take on the Glavkosmos venture...

" Glavkosmos was referring to its plans for making use of Sriharikota's launch facilities for its rockets. "

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3545138702780178046&postID=7300599813777015405
 
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Parthu

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Dec 1, 2017
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AstroSat Picture of the Month (December 2017)
NGC 40: A Planetary Nebula with an Ultra-Violet Halo


UV image of NGC 40 taken by UVIT onboard AstroSat.
The red gas cloud is the Bow-Tie nebula, which is being illuminated by the central hot star.The gold coloured diffuse light surrounding the nebula is the newly discovered far ultra-violet halo.

Image credit: Kameswara Rao et.al.

NGC 40, or the Bow-Tie Nebula, is a Planetary Nebula about 3500 light years away from us, in the northern constellation of Cepheus. Discovered by William Herschel in 1788, it can be seen in a moderate sized telescope by amateur astronomers. Earlier optical images of NGC 40 show a central star as hot as about 70000 K surrounded by expanding gas that gives it its characteristic shape. The central hot star is blowing a fast hot wind into this surrounding gas at 1700 km/s, and heating it up.

Kameswara Rao and his colleagues used the AstroSat to image this object in many regions of the ultra-violet. First, however, let us look at what a planetary nebula is. Some old Red Giant stars throw out their outer layers of gas, which expands away from the star. This exposes the hot inner part of the star, whose radiation makes the outer gas layers shine brightly as a planetary nebula. Our Sun too, will meet this same fate. With time, the inner star will evolve to become a White Dwarf, a very strange object indeed. And the heavier elements cooked inside the stars, thrown out into space, go back into forming newer stars and planets like ours.

The astronomers who looked at the ultra-violet images of NGC 40 using AstroSat, were not only able to study the central hot star and the surrounding gas, but also made a new discovery. As the image shows, they discovered, for the first time, a large halo of ultra-violet radiation in the far UV band surrounding the entire nebula. This halo,they figure out, is due to molecules energized due to the light from the central star.

The paper describing these results can be downloaded from [1711.07698] Planetary Nebulae with Ultra-Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT): Far Ultra-violet halo around the Bow Tie nebula (NGC 40)

AstroSat Picture of the Month (December 2017) - ISRO
 
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