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Indian Space Program Presses Ahead

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posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 08:03 AM
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Hi,

Recently NewScientist.com has put out a special feature on the Indian Space Program.

These articles do very well to explain the history, aims, successes and future of the Indian Space Program and the Indian Space Resarch Organization (ISRO).

Though I reccomend those interested check out the full article, here are some notable excerpts from:


------==--=--==------

India special: Space programme presses ahead

NESTLED amid the eucalyptus, cashew and coconut trees of Sriharikota Island on the eastern coast of India, north of Chennai, is a 76-metre steel tower. If all goes to plan, some time in late 2007 the tower will be engulfed in flames as India's first mission to the moon blasts off. Sriharikota will also be the launch site for India's most advanced scientific research satellite, Astrosat. The satellite will measure, among other things, X-ray radiation emitted by matter sucked into black holes and given off at the birth and collision of stars.

But why is India, a country that still has so many development problems on the ground, aiming for the heavens? To Indian scientists, the question is not only patronising of their scientific aspirations, it betrays an ignorance of the Indian space programme's greater purpose and successes against the odds.

India's political leaders say the country cannot afford not to have a space programme. Indira Gandhi, who was India's longest-serving prime minister, believed it was not only important for science, but also vital to India's development.


[...]

Take, for example, India's six remote-sensing satellites - the largest such constellation in the world. These monitor the country's land and coastal waters so that scientists can advise rural communities on the location of aquifers and where to find watercourses, suggest to fishermen when to set sail for the best catch, and warn coastal communities of imminent storms (see "Eyes in the sky"). India's seven communication satellites, the biggest civilian system in the Asia-Pacific region, now reach some of the remotest corners of the country, providing television coverage to 90 per cent of the population. The system is also being used to extend remote healthcare services and education to the rural poor.

[...]

In the long run this has given India an advantage over other countries with aspirations to reach space. Its space programme is already largely self-sufficient and aims to soon be completely independent of foreign support.

[...]

One of the GSLV's rocket boosters is a Russian-made cryogenic engine. International sanctions meant India was only allowed to buy engines, not the know-how to design and build them. So for future rockets ISRO engineers are developing their own. Ground tests have been completed and the plan is to launch a completely home-made GSLV-Mark 2 by the end of this year, Nair says.

ISRO is already planning the next-generation GSLV, the Mark 3, which will be powerful enough to launch India's biggest satellites. Nair now has his sights on the commercial market. A launch on GSLV-Mark 3 should cost about half the rate charged by France, the US and Russia, he says.

[...]

India's space programme is already a money-earner. ISRO sells infrared images from its remote-sensing satellites to other countries, including the US, where they are used for mapping. And the Technology Experiment Satellite, launched in October 2001, is beaming back images of the Earth's surface with a resolution of 1 metre, though they are not yet available commercially.

[...]

Three per cent of ISRO's $3.3 billion 5-year budget is devoted to the planned moon mission. A reconfigured PSLV rocket will lift Chandrayan - "moon vehicle" in Hindi - to 36,000 kilometres, after which the craft's own engines will take it to the moon.

[...]

Chandrayan will create 3D maps of the moon's surface at a resolution of between 5 and 10 metres, something that has never been done before. It will also map the distribution of ilmenite, a mineral that traps helium-3, a possible source of energy for future bases on the moon.

[...]

According to Nair, the Madras School of Economics in Chennai has estimated that ISRO's projects have added between two and three times the organisation's budget to the nation's GDP. Several countries in Africa and Asia are seeking ISRO's help to emulate the model. "India is perhaps the only country where societal needs are met by the space programme in a cost-effective manner and the services are reaching the needy," says Nair.

------==--=--==------


[From issue 2487 of New Scientist magazine, 19 February 2005, page 33]

[edit on 14-3-2005 by rajkhalsa2004]




posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 08:06 AM
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Another article from NewScientist.com

Ecerp0s from:


------==--=--==------

Eyes in the sky

THOUGH Astrosat and the moon mission are the headline-grabbers, using imaging satellites for development remains at the top of the agenda for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

For instance, when the skies are relatively clear between January and March, infrared images are used to measure the reflectance of plant-covered surfaces to check how well watered the crops are.

[...]

"We are able to forecast the yield one month before the harvest," says Venkatakrishna Jayaraman, the director of ISRO's Earth Observation System. In this way the government can be forewarned of possible food shortages.

Ensuring a supply of clean drinking water is a problem in many parts of rural India. Villagers often resort to guessing the right spot to drill a well based on experience, but it is a hit-and-miss affair. Topographic and hydrological maps produced from satellite images allow Jayaraman's team to help rural communities locate areas most likely to yield underground water. "The success rate for drilling wells has gone up from 45 to 90 per cent," says Jayaraman.

[...]

Besides remote sensing, ISRO operates eight communications satellites. These are now used by 35,000 commercial customers, all based in India. "If we didn't have the satellites, they would have gone and hired a satellite from somewhere else," says Appana Bhaskarnarayana, director of ISRO's satellite communications programme.

ISRO has also used these satellites to implement disaster-warning systems. In 1977 a cyclone killed 10,000 people on the coast of Andhra Pradesh in south-east India. In the 1990s data from meteorological satellites was used to warn of a similarly devastating cyclone, dramatically reducing the loss of life to 900. "The technology has helped to predict cyclones maybe a few hours in advance," says Bhaskarnarayana. "Lots of lives have been saved."

[...]

ISRO is becoming more ambitious in how it plans to use these satellites. It has already linked 69 hospitals in remote areas of India such as the Andaman Islands to 19 hospitals in India's main cities. A health worker in a remote location can then transmit a patient's medical information to a specialist in seconds and, in many cases, a video consultation is sufficient for diagnosis. This means the patient can avoid travelling huge distances unless it is absolutely necessary.

------==--=--==------


[From issue 2487 of New Scientist magazine, 19 February 2005, page 33]



posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 08:09 AM
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Another article from NewScientist.com

Excerpts from:


------==--=--==------

India special: Radio telescope offers dishes to savour

"I'M IN love with this," says Subramaniam Ananthakrishnan, sweeping his arm over a rural landscape dominated by giant dishes. The radio astronomer has reason to be besotted. He and his colleagues spent 15 years transforming this once desolate region of Khodad, 90 kilometres from Pune in western India, into a home for the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) - the world's largest, low-frequency radio telescope and India's biggest basic science project.

This is Big Science on anyone's scale. The telescope consists of 30 antennas, each one 45 metres across. Twelve of them sit in a 1-kilometre-square central region, while the remaining 18 stretch out along three arms, each 14 kilometres long. The central cluster allows the telescope to pick up extremely faint signals, and the arms give it high resolution.

[...]

India is a good spot for this world-class facility. The country has a long tradition of radio astronomy and, compared with many rich nations, its airwaves are relatively uncluttered. Through clever innovation, such as using a mesh of fine wires to form the reflecting surface of each dish, Ananthakrishnan and his colleagues, led by NCRA's Govind Swarup, have created a revolutionary, low-cost design. The entire telescope cost $12 million.

[...]

One of the GMRT's main tasks is investigating the clouds of hydrogen gas thought to be the precursors of galaxies. Its biggest asset is its ability to detect a 1420-megahertz radio signal emitted by excited hydrogen gas. In distant galaxies, which are moving swiftly away from us because the universe is expanding, this "spectral line" is shifted to a lower frequency by the Doppler effect. The shifted frequency is well within the telescope's range, allowing astronomers to use it as a probe for studying the dynamics of evolving galaxies.

[...]

Today, radio astronomers around the world are planning the next-generation radio telescope, which they are calling the Square Kilometre Array. "Everyone is looking at GMRT as a test area for the SKA," says NCRA astrophysicist Pramesh Rao. Radio astronomer Paulo Freire of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, agrees: "The beauty of GMRT's design is deeply influencing the construction of the SKA."

------==--=--==------


[From issue 2487 of New Scientist magazine, 19 February 2005, page 43]


Cheers,
Raj



posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 08:14 AM
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Here's a diagram of Indian Launch Vehicles from NewScientist.com


(fair usage)

[edit on 14-3-2005 by rajkhalsa2004]



posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 09:20 AM
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As much as I dislike New Scientist (for their usual lack of the science), these articles were surprisingly informative. It only lacks one thing: a link to the Indian Space Reasearch Organization.

Hope that helps.



posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 09:39 AM
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Too bad they didn't turn their attention to forecasting tsunamis, eh??
Well, maybe now they will....



posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 10:00 AM
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Before last year's disaster, Tsunamis were virtually unheard of in the IOR.

India's IRS remote sensing constellation has been reconfigured to also give a heads up on Tusnamis. The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System will be comprised of mainly ground-based sensors, iirc.



posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 12:12 PM
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Countries with space programs can use what they learn to improve the lives of everyone. God knows how much we Americans and everyone use's today that was a byproduct of NASA.



posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 02:29 PM
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India is well known for 'licensing' or other forms of copying aircraft designs from countries (such as the U.S. and Russia) with more advanced programs. It looks like the Indian space program will be no different.

Here is a link to a potential source of technology for the Indians to incorporate into their program.

Link



posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 10:49 PM
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My my, we are bitter that our feeble attempts have humor in other threads have gone unappreciated, aren't we Centurion.



posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 10:52 PM
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Originally posted by centurion1211
India is well known for 'licensing' or other forms of copying aircraft designs from countries (such as the U.S. and Russia) with more advanced programs. It looks like the Indian space program will be no different.

Here is a link to a potential source of technology for the Indians to incorporate into their program.

Link


What is it with americans and thier belief that copied technology never works properly...
That is how it all starts. Copying is the best form of flattery and I think you're just mad because the Indians are going with Russian designs more then American ones.


Remember Americans were once the copycats. They got alot of thier tech from England and the Nazi's.
to your Billigerant Nationalism...

Ha looks like I was wrong too...




But it has been a long time coming. When India first detonated a nuclear device in 1974, the US and European nations imposed widespread sanctions to restrict India's access to technologies that could be used to make a nuclear missile. This hobbled the country's rocket development programme and forced the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to reinvent technologies it could no longer buy. In the long run this has given India an advantage over other countries with aspirations to reach space. Its space programme is already largely self-sufficient and aims to soon be completely independent of foreign support.


Looks like they did develop a good portion of thier own tech


[edit on 14-3-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by rajkhalsa2004
My my, we are bitter that our feeble attempts have humor in other threads have gone unappreciated, aren't we Centurion.


Think of me as a reality check.

Actually, the humor in all this is you posting every other day about some wonderful, new Indian aerospace achievement.

OK, OK, OK, we all get it. You're really proud of what you see as India's 'accomplishments' in this area. Real question is how many people actually care whether India copied it's latest airplane from the Russians or the Albanians? Plus, you've really got to appreciate the absolute ingenuity India uses in naming it's new prototypes - LCA = large combat aircraft. Were the U.S. to adopt a similar naming convention, we might see something like F-22 called the VESFTICODOH (very expensive stealthy fighter that India can only dream of having). The Aurora might be called ASPCFOIRNATDEKI (advanced spy plane currently flying over india right now and they don't even know it).


Before you ask, I read these types of threads hoping to find something new and interesting. So far, though, it's been all drawings and dreams and hype by wannabes.



posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 12:31 PM
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I've made it a point a couple months ago never to waste my time arguing with people who have scant regard for the truth.

Considering how all your posts are bereft of a single fact, forgive me if I don't indulge your trolling.



posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by rajkhalsa2004

I've made it a point a couple months ago never to waste my time arguing with people who have scant regard for the truth.

Considering how all your posts are bereft of a single fact, forgive me if I don't indulge your trolling.


Glad you dealt with that like an adult
centurion1211 here is a reality check. Nasa is broken beyond repair. They are giving up thier spot to China and India because the US politicians are so corrupt they do not see a good thing when they see it. The only hope for US space exploration now is the private sector. Go Rutan Go! fyi centurion don't bother replying you've been ignored ..



posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 03:04 PM
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That's right, run and hide - just because I don't agree with your hype. And just like the militaries of all those countries that start with an "I" do when there is a real fight. And just like your vaunted Canadian military (all 5 of them, eh?) does before a fight.

Reminds me of a story. A Frenchman and a Canadian were out hunting and camping in the north woods. One night a huge grizzly bear came crashing into their camp. As you might expect, both men threw down their rifles and got ready to run. However, the Frenchman first stopped to put on his shoes. "Those won't help you out run a bear", cried the Canadian. "I know that", responded the Frenchman, "But I'll be able to out run you!"


P.S. NASA is a disgrace from a purely American persprective. I say it that way because the rest of the world would still love to be able to do what NASA has done and can still do. I also say wait until U.S. commercial interests get involved in space big time, because there will be no looking back from that point on.

Here's how to tell if you are objective about your subject or just hypsters. Can you find and state anything wrong (as I just did regarding NASA) with your programs, or just hype them on an almost daily basis?



[edit on 3/15/2005 by centurion1211]



posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 05:44 PM
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Reality check, Centurian, in every thread you've come at me with this trolling bit in the past, you've done nothing but make ridiculous claims, and I've done nothing but debunk them with fact... to which you again degenerate into your usual whining.

It's quite simple. I'm not going to bite. This is my last post addressing you. Take it for what your deluded little mind can comprehend it as.



posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 10:49 PM
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centurion1211 I'm going to have to ask you to cut the crap and stop causing this thread to miander down the path of your own personal grudge against India and its achievements.



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