Space exploration and technology

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  1. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    another story about the same

    It's official: There's water ice on the moon, and lots of it. When melted, the water could potentially be used to drink or to extract hydrogen for rocket fuel.

    NASA's LCROSS probe discovered beds of water ice at the lunar south pole when it impacted the moon last month, mission scientists announced today. The findings confirm suspicions announced previously, and in a big way.

    "Indeed, yes, we found water. And we didn't find just a little bit, we found a significant amount," Anthony Colaprete, LCROSS project scientist and principal investigator from NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif.

    The LCROSS probe impacted the lunar south pole at a crater called Cabeus on Oct. 9. The $79 million spacecraft, preceded by its Centaur rocket stage, hit the lunar surface in an effort to create a debris plume that could be analyzed by scientists for signs of water ice.

    Those signs were visible in the data from spectrographic measurements (which measure light absorbed at different wavelengths, revealing different compounds) of the Centaur stage crater and the two-part debris plume the impact created. The signature of water was seen in both infrared and ultraviolet spectroscopic measurements.

    "We see evidence for the water in two instruments," Colaprete said. "And that's what makes us really confident in our findings right now."

    How much?

    Based on the measurements, the team estimated about 100 kilograms of water in the view of their instruments — the equivalent of about a dozen 2-gallon buckets — in the area of the impact crater (about 66 feet, or 20 meters across) and the ejecta blanket (about 60 to 80 meters across), Colaprete said.

    "I'm pretty impressed by the amount of water we saw in our little 20-meter crater," Colaprete said.

    "What's really exciting is we've only hit one spot. It's kind of like when you're drilling for oil. Once you find it one place, there's a greater chance you'll find more nearby," said Peter Schultz, professor of geological sciences at Brown University and a co-investigator on the LCROSS mission.

    This water finding doesn't mean that the moon is wet by Earth's standards, but is likely wetter than some of the driest deserts on Earth, Colaprete said. And even this small amount is valuable to possible future missions, said Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist for Exploration Systems at NASA Headquarters.

    Scientists have suspected that permanently shadowed craters at the south pole of the moon could be cold enough to keep water frozen at the surface based on detections of hydrogen by previous moon missions. Water has already been detected on the moon by a NASA-built instrument on board India's now defunct Chandrayaan-1 probe and other spacecraft, though it was in very small amounts and bound to the dirt and dust of the lunar surface.

    Water wasn't the only compound seen in the debris plumes of the LCROSS impact.

    "There's a lot of stuff in there," Colaprete said. What exactly those other compounds are hasn't yet been determined, but could include organic materials that would hint at comet impacts in the past.

    More questions

    The findings show that "the lunar poles are sort of record keepers" of lunar history and solar system history because these permanently-shadowed regions are very cold "and that means that they tend to trap and keep things that encounter them," said Greg Delory, a senior fellow at the Space Sciences Laboratory and Center for Integrative Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. "So they have a story to tell about the history of the moon and the solar system climate."

    "This is ice that's potentially been there for billions of years," said Doug Cooke, associate administrator at Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

    The confirmation that water exists on the moon isn't the end of the story though. One key question to answer is where the water came from. Several theories have been put forward to explain the origin of the water, including debris from comet impacts, interaction of the lunar surface with the solar wind, and even giant molecular clouds passing through the solar system, Delory said.

    Scientists also want to examine the data further to figure out what state the water is in. Colaprete said that based on initial observations, it is likely water ice is interspersed between dirt particles on the lunar surface.

    Some other questions scientists want to answer are what kinds of processes move, destroy and create the water on the surface and how long the water has been there, Delory said.

    Link to Chandrayaan?

    Scientists also are looking to see if there is any link between the water observed by LCROSS and that discovered by Chandrayaan-1.

    "Their observation is entirely unique and complementary to what we did," Colaprete said. Scientists still need to work out whether the water observed by Chandrayaan-1 might be slowly migrating to the poles, or if it is unrelated.

    Bottom line, the discovery completely changes scientists' view of the moon, Wargo said.

    The discovery gives "a much bigger, potentially complicated picture for water on the moon" than what was thought even just a few months ago, he said. "This is not your father's moon; this is not a dead planetary body."

    Let's go?

    NASA plans to return astronauts to the moon by 2020 for extended missions on the lunar surface. Finding usable amounts of ice on the moon would be a boon for that effort since it could be a vital local resource to support a lunar base.

    "Water really is one of the constituents of one of the most powerful rocket fuels, oxygen and hydrogen," Wargo said.

    The water LCROSS detected "would be water you could drink, water like any other water," Colaprete said. "If you could clean it, it would be drinkable water."

    The impact was observed by LCROSS's sister spacecraft, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, as well as other space and ground-based telescopes.

    The debris plume from the impacts was not seen right away and was only revealed a week after the impact, when mission scientists had had time to comb through the probe's data.

    NASA launched LCROSS — short for Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite — and LRO in June.

    both stories from space.com
     
  2. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    pictures form the event

    [​IMG]
    The visible camera image showing the ejecta plume at about 20 seconds after LCROSS's impact on the moon. Credit: NASA
    [​IMG]
    Data from the down-looking near-infrared spectrometer. The red curve shows how the spectra would look for a "grey" or "colorless" warm (230 C) dust cloud. The yellow areas indicate the water absorption bands. Credit: NASA
    [​IMG]
    Images from LCROSS Visible Light Camera reveal a plume reaching 3.7 miles to 5 miles (6 km to 8 km) high just seconds after the spacecraft crashed into our moon. Credit: NASA.
    [​IMG]
    Data from the ultraviolet/visible spectrometer taken shortly after impact showing emission lines (indicated by arrows). These emission lines are diagnostic of compounds in the vapor/debris cloud. Credit: NASA


    link to impact video
    http://www.space.com/common/media/video/player.php?videoRef=SP_091009_LCROSS-impact
     
  3. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Italy dismisses participation in Iran satellite launch project

    ROME, November 11 (RIA Novosti) - Italy's foreign ministry has dismissed media reports about the country's participation in the Iranian project to launch a low orbiting research satellite, the ANSA news agency has said.

    Gen. Mahdi Farahi, the head of Iran's Aero Space Industries told the Mehr News Agency on Tuesday that Italy would cooperate with Aerospace Industries Organization to send the 63.5-kg Mesbah (Lantern) satellite into space in 2011.

    A spokesman for the Italian foreign ministry dismissed "any assistance from Italy to Iran in orbiting the satellite."

    The satellite, with a lifespan of three years can gather information from various parts of the planet and transmit it back to Earth. Israeli media have said the satellite will be used for spying purposes.

    Iran had earlier planned to use Russia for the satellite's launch. The project was started in 1977, but abandoned and restarted in 1996.
     
  4. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    U.S. and China agree to explore space cooperation

    JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, Houston--The United States and China have agreed to discuss expanded cooperation in space science and to start a "dialogue" on human space flight and exploration, according to a joint statement released in Beijing on Tuesday. The U.S.-China Joint Statement said both nations looked forward to reciprocal visits by the NASA administrator and appropriate Chinese space leaders in 2010.

    "The United States and China look forward to expanding discussions on space science cooperation and starting a dialogue on human space flight and space exploration, based on the principles of transparency, reciprocity, and mutual benefit," the joint statement said. "Both sides welcome reciprocal visits of the NASA administrator and the appropriate Chinese counterpart in 2010."


    President Obama visits the Forbidden City in Beijing.

    (Credit: Pete Souza/White House) John Logsdon, a space policy analyst at George Washington University, said expanded cooperation makes sense, but only if both sides are open with each other and share the technical data necessary to ensure safe operations.

    "I think it's great," he said in a telephone interview. "It opens the door to see whether, in fact, there's a basis for cooperation. I think the operative word in there is 'transparency.' If China is willing to provide the information we need to work with them and vice versa--they were the ones who have been somewhat reticent to do that--I think it makes total sense."

    The future direction of the U.S. manned space program is unclear as NASA waits for the Obama administration to make a decision on how the agency should proceed after the space shuttle is retired next year.

    The Bush administration directed NASA to finish the space station and retire the shuttle by the end of 2010 and to develop a new family of safer, less expensive rockets to service the International Space Station and to help launch manned moon missions by the early 2020s.

    NASA developed the Constellation program and the Ares family of manned and unmanned rockets to meet that challenge, but the agency has not been given the funding needed to carry out the program under the original schedule.

    An independent review of manned space options was carried out this summer at the request of the Obama administration. The panel concluded NASA would need an additional $6 billion a year to fund the Constellation program and extend the International Space Station program through 2020.

    The panel presented four other options as well, including one to encourage private industry to take over launching astronauts to low-Earth orbit while NASA focuses on long-term deep space exploration.

    The Obama administration has not yet indicated a favored option. In the meantime, NASA is proceeding with plans to finish the space station and retire the shuttle next year.

    No matter what happens, it appears the United States will not have a shuttle replacement ready to fly for at least five to seven years. In the interim, NASA plans to pay the Russians to launch U.S. astronauts to the space station aboard Soyuz capsules at $50 million a seat.

    The International Space Station is operated as a cooperative venture among the United States, Russia, the European Space Agency, Canada, and Japan. Complex inter-agency agreements govern the lab's operation, the nationalities of the international crews, and how data is exchanged.

    The Chinese have launched three manned space missions since 2003, boosting one, two, and three crewmen into orbit respectively, and staging a spacewalk during the most recent flight in 2008.

    Responding to a query from CBS News, a NASA spokesman said "adding any international partner to the International Space Station program would require a formal decision by the U.S. government and consultation and agreement among the governments of all of the International Space Station partners. To date, discussions of any type of human space flight cooperation with China has been outside the scope of our bilateral discussions."

    Questions about how China might participate in the space station program "need to be discussed, especially since it seems we are going to be operating the station for the next decade," Logsdon said. "If the terms and conditions can be mutually agreed to, I think it would be a great thing."

    As for whether U.S. astronauts might one day ride Chinese rockets and vice versa, Logsdon said "20 years ago, launching U.S. astronauts on Russian rockets was inconceivable. But we're doing it, and it's soon going to be the only way to get to station."

    "The more systems we have to carry people into space, the better off I think the world is," he said.

    Speaking to reporters in Japan, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, a former shuttle commander, said cooperation on the high frontier could pay dividends for both countries.

    "I am perfectly willing, if that's the direction that comes to me, to engage the Chinese in trying to make them a partner in any space endeavor," Bolden said, according to Agence France-Presse. "I think they're a very capable nation.

    "They have demonstrated their capability to do something that only two other nations that have done, that is, to put humans in space. And I think that is an achievement you cannot ignore."

    He said China is a nation "that is trying to really lead" and that if the two space powers cooperate, "we would probably be better off than if we would not," AFP reported.

    UPDATED at 7:55 p.m. CST: Adding NASA response to query about possible Chinese participation in space station program.
     
  5. gokulakannan

    gokulakannan Regular Member

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    Moon-man Buzz Aldrin urges Brazil to invest in space

    Moon-man Buzz Aldrin urges Brazil to invest in space - Yahoo! News UK

    The second man to set foot on the moon, former US astronaut Buzz Aldrin, urged Brazil to start investing in manned space flights if it doesn't want to miss out on their huge economic potential.

    It would be an "unforgivable mistake" if a country in full development like Brazil failed to plan for its future in space, Aldrin, 69 told Globo.com in a telephone interview Tuesday shortly after arriving here for a visit with his wife.

    Aldrin said human space flight holds enormous potential, and Brazil should put its money into beneficial ventures such as monitoring its jungles and climate from space.

    The former astronaut has been invited to attend a commemoration of his visit to the moon aboard Apollo 11 40 years ago in Campos de Goytacazes, in northern part of Rio de Janeiro state.

    During his visit, Aldrin was accompanied by Marcos Pontes, who became Brazil's first astronaut in 2006 during a joint US-Russian space mission.

    Aldrin also said the orbiting International Space Station should increasingly serve as a technology cooperation platform with developing countries like Brazil and South Korea.

    He criticized US plans to send people again to the moon, saying "we've already done that."

    On July 20, 1969, Aldrin became the second human being to set foot on the moon after Neil Armstrong.
     
  6. gokulakannan

    gokulakannan Regular Member

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    Shuttle Atlantis docks with space station

    Shuttle Atlantis docks with space station - Yahoo! News UK

    The space shuttle Atlantis successfully docked Wednesday with the International Space Station and the hatch separating the crews was opened for the traditional welcoming ceremony, NASA said.

    The shuttle and its six astronauts left Florida's Kennedy Space Center without a hitch on Monday on a 11-day voyage to deliver a 20,000-pound (9,071-kilogram) haul of spare parts to the ISS.

    The shuttle's final approach towards the orbiting station was manually completed by the commander Charlie Hobaugh as the two spacecraft hurtled towards each other at 28,000 kilometers (17,000 miles) an hour.

    Just before docking two minutes later than planned at 1651 GMT, soaring 220 miles (354 kilometers) above Australia at the time, Atlantis approached the space station at a quarter of a centimeter per second, NASA said.

    Atlantis is carrying assorted gyroscopes, ammonia tanks and other equipment too large to be launched into space aboard any other vehicle, NASA said.

    With only five launches left before the 2010 retirement of the shuttle fleet, NASA officials said the parts were essential for extending the life of the space station.

    "This flight is all about spares, basically, we're getting them up there while we still can," said mission director Brian Smith ahead of the mission. "You'll see this theme in some of the flights that are going to come after ours as well."

    This fifth and final shuttle mission for 2009 is scheduled to include three space walks to store hardware on the exterior of the space station and bring US astronaut Nicole Stott, who has been on the ISS since August, back to Earth.

    The crew will also be conducting science experiments with the help of some ground-breaking worms that could explain muscle loss in space.

    Thousands of the microscopic creatures have been sent from Britain's University of Nottingham to study the effect of zero gravity on the human body's muscle development and physiology.

    The worms will be stashed inside the Japanese Kibo laboratory on the ISS where they will be tested with several potential treatments for muscle loss.

    Ahead of the September 2010 retirement, the White House could still decide to extend the shuttle program through 2011 to reduce US reliance on Russia's Soyuz craft for astronaut transport to the ISS as the future Orion capsules are being built.

    NASA's human space flight program, however, is at great risk of being grounded as it remains too underfunded to keep aloft.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's yearly budget is about 18 billion dollars, 10 billion dollars of which are plowed into the human space flight program, chiefly in developing the successor of the space shuttle: the Ares 1 rocket and the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle.

    The Augustine Committee, a panel tasked with assessing the future of US human space flight, has said an additional three billion dollars a year is needed for NASA to meet Constellation program goals or take human space flight the next step beyond the existing ISS.

    Late last month NASA successfully launched the prototype Ares I-X rocket as part of its effort to build a new generation of space rocket to transport the Orion capsule.

    Orion, which won't be ready at least until 2015, is initially being designed to take a crew of up to six astronauts on flights to the International Space Station, or a crew of four on lunar missions lasting up to 210 days.
     
  7. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Sri Lanka signs agreement to set up space agency


    Sri Lanka has embarked on setting up a space agency yesterday with the signing of an agreement with the Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) that would pave the way for launching a local space agency which will lead the country to launch a geo satellite in three years.

    Sri Lanka Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (STRC) Director General Priyantha Kariyaperuma told Daily Mirror that the he had signed the agreement with SSTL Head Professor Martin Sweeting thus bringing a national space capability to Sri Lanka.

    One of the major activities of the space agency is to launch a satellite. SLTRC Chief said there is a possibility of launching a satellite through a public partnership. “This may be a better option as the government may not have enough funds for it,” he said.

    Mr. Kariyaperuma said the setting up of the agency should be done as quickly as possible as the country needs this. He said an act was to be passed in Parliament to set up the agency. The cabinet nod was given for the agreement last month according to the SLTRC chief.

    SLTRC Chief said the agreement is based on transfer of technology under which SSTL will provide an Earth observation capability. It will also help Sri Lanka become an important member of the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) and the ability to participate in international disaster relief support activities coordinated by the United Nations through the International Charter.

    He explained that many countries in the Asian region including immediate neighbours India and Pakistan while countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and Indonesia also have such agencies. Sri Lanka also expects to work closely with India Space Research Organization (ISRO) as well.
     
  8. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Russia launches Eutelsat satellite

    [​IMG]

    After a one-day delay, Russia on Tuesday finally launched a Proton-M rocket carrying the European Eutelsat W7 satellite, the Federal Space Agency said.

    The launch was delayed over serious disagreements between Russia and Kazakhstan, which owns the Baikonur space center used by Russia under a long-term contract.

    Kazakh space agency Kazcosmos on Monday accused its Russian counterpart, Roscosmos, of constantly changing launch plans. Roscosmos, however, said that it had submitted all necessary documents to its Kazakh partners on time.

    The Russian-American joint venture International Launch Services (ILS) had signed a contract with the Eutelsat satellite operator to launch the Eutelsat W7 to upgrade its existing satellite grouping.

    The launch is the Proton's eighth in 2009 and the 349th overall for Russia's famed carrier.

    Eutelsat W7 was manufactured by Thales Alenia Space on a Spacebus 4000C4 platform.

    The 5.5-ton satellite features up to 74 Ku-band transponders (12 kW) and has a lifetime of about 15 years.

    It will provide digital broadcasting for customers in Europe, including Russia, as well as Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East.

    Eutelsat W7 is designed to replace the SESAT 1 satellite, which has been in orbit since 2000.
     
  9. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Bangladesh to launch its own satellite

    Dhaka, Nov 26 (bdnews24.com)—The government has decided to launch Bangladesh's own satellite in space very soon, post and telecommunication minister Rajiuddin Ahmed said on Thursday.

    Talking to reporters at his secretariat office, he said the government has already discussed the technical aspects of the venture with some foreign countries having experience in satellite technologies.

    He said: "The government has initiated the move to launch its own satellite in space, which should help the country improve its communication systems. We have discussed the technical aspects of it with a number of countries, including China and Germany."

    The minister said that all Upazilas and growth centres across the country would have telecommunication facilities within next three months.

    In July this year, he said, the government gave free telephone connections in all the districts excepting capital Dhaka.

    He said: "The number of land phone connections has increased from eight and a half lakh to over nine and a half lakh. The government has a target of giving one crore connections by 2012."

    To increase the number of Internet users, the monthly charges for using broadband Internet has been reduced to Tk 800, Rajiuddin Ahmed said.

    He further said that TeleTalk, the state-owned mobile phone operator, will float its shares in the stock market within next two years.
     
  10. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    NASA seeks help for a robotic-plane to explore Mars

    fullstory

    London, Nov 26 (PTI) NASA has invited private companies for creating a robotic rocket-plane to explore Mars from its air.

    The space agency has issued a "teaming opportunity", offering private firms and designers the chance to help create the aircraft, Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Surveyor (ARES), which would be the first plane to fly over the Red planet.

    The idea behind the proposed plane is that an atmospheric craft like ARES can explore far more ground than existing rovers such as Spirit and Phoenix in much more detail.

    The NASA team working on the project hopes that it will be accepted as one of the space agency's "Discovery" missions, aimed at swiftly and (relatively) inexpensively exploring other worlds in our solar system, The Telegraph reported.

    The proposed rocket-plane, of the size of a small plane, would be folded into a rocket and launched to the red-planet.
     
  11. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    China to help Lanka launch satellite

    The Chinese have agreed to provide financial and technical assistance to help Sri Lanka launch a communications satellite, despite the fact that many think it is beyond Sri Lanka’s capacity to enter the space-race.

    "Since 2007, Sri Lanka has been trying to launch a communications satellite. China has agreed to provide financial and technical assistance," Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies, Dr. Saman Kelegama said yesterday.

    Dr. Kelegama said negotiations between the two governments were ongoing with regard to reaching an agreement on the project.

    Dr. Kelegama made these comments addressing the Sri Lanka-China Business Forum.

    Last May we reported that the government has begun work on a space programme hoping to launch two communication satellites quoting the Director General of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) of Sri Lanka Priyantha Kariyapperuma.

    "The University of Surrey specializes in satellite technology having created about 35 satellites. They have made a presentation to President Mahinda Rajapakse and have entered into an agreement to transfer technology and knowledge to our universities," he told the Island Financial Review.

    Kariyapperuma said a consortium of vice chancellors from universities with engineering faculties have been formed for this purpose.

    He said the government was aiming at launching two communication satellites—a lower earth orbit satellite used mainly for images and a geo stationary communication satellite.

    The two satellites will be used not only for communication purposes but also for disaster management, agriculture planning, irrigation planning, town/urban planning and coastal conservation.

    "We hope to embark on these two projects by this year. However, the focus of the government right now is to stabilize the North and East so we have not worked out a tentative schedule as yet," Kariyapperuma said.

    He said the low earth orbiting satellite could be financed with domestic funds particularly from the Telecommunication Development Fund. The private sector will also be called to contribute to the development of the two satellites.

    China ‘s economic growth has been phenomenal and global and local analysts expect China to be the most powerful economy in years to come—in fact many pin their hopes on China (and to some extent India) to take the world out of the global financial crisis.

    According to Dr. Kelegama, China could soon replace Japan as the biggest aid donor.

    "China increased its aid to Sri Lanka from a few million dollars in 2005 to about one billion dollars in 2008," he said.

    In terms of FDIs, China is ranked fourth with US$ 101.2 million in 2008.

    The Chinese are also funding many of the large scale infrastructure projects—notably the Hambantota Port under construction by the Chinese themselves.

    Trade between the two countries has doubled over the last 5 years from US$ 660 million to US$ 1.13 billion, making China the second largest importer and the 13th largest export destination for Sri Lanka’s exports.

    Economists in Sri Lanka say Sri Lanka should latch on to India and China and move away from over-relying on traditional export markets in Europe and the US.

    "We have paid far too much attention to the export markets in the US and now we need to move towards the Asian giants, India and China. We have had an over dependence in the US market for our exports for too long," Prof. A. D. V. De S. Indraratna, President, Sri Lanka Economic Association told press recently.
     
  12. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Printed from ISRO plans 36 launches during 11th plan- ET Cetera-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times

    ISRO plans 36 launches during 11th plan

    26 Nov 2009, 2032 hrs IST, PTI
    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: ISRO is planning 36 launches during the 11th plan with more than six a year, a top space official said here on Thursday.


    The expanding horizon of the Indian Space Programme, with more number of launches annually and missions like reusable launch vehicle on the anvil, calls for increased productivity with consistent quality and at a competitive cost, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Director P S Veeraraghavan said.

    Partnership with aerospace Indian industries was likely to grow multifold with the expanding activities of Indian Space Programme and ISRO's foray into International Space market, Veeraghavan told a 'National Aerospace Manufacturing Seminar'. Presently more than 500 small and medium industries partnered with ISRO, he said.

    Stating that the aerospace industry faces tough challenges, he said it should adapt to advanced manufacturing methodologies to suit the design function flawlessly.

    Referring to the human resource shortage in aerospace engineering field, he said the industry should bring out innovative programmes in tie-up with academic institutions to ensure required number of manpower.
     
  13. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    fullstory

    Russia launches US satellite after delay: report

    Moscow, Dec 1 (AFP) Russia launched a US telecommunications satellite from Kazakhstan after a 24-hour delay for unspecified technical reasons, Interfax news agency said today.

    "The launch went as planned," an official from Russia's Roskosmos space agency was quoted as saying, adding that the Zenit rocket took off at precisely 0230 IST.

    The Intelsat-15 satellite, produced by US-based Orbital Sciences Corporation, is due to provide communications service for customers in the Middle East and Russia.
     
  14. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Japan launches 5th spy satellite

    Japan launched its fifth spy satellite on Saturday in a bid to boost its ability to independently gather intelligence, the government said.

    The domestically developed H-2A rocket carrying the $ 565 million satellite lifted off from a space centre on the southern island of Tanegashima, said Hisashi Michigami, an official at the Cabinet Office.

    “The satellite will gather intelligence for our defence and diplomatic purposes,” Mr. Michigami said.

    Japan has long relied on the United States for intelligence. But it launched its first pair of spy satellites in 2003, prompted by concerns over North Korea’s missile programme.

    North Korea shocked Tokyo in 1998 when it test-fired a missile over Japan. Since then, Japan has launched spy satellites primarily to watch developments in North Korea.

    In April this year, a North Korean long-range rocket flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean.
     
  15. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    India to utilise assets to take on China in space: Rediff.com India News



    India to 'utilise assets' to take on China in space


    India [ Images ] is conscious of the Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean region and is taking 'adequate measures' to make sure that its neighbourhood is not threatened, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said on Thursday.

    "China being a regional power will make its moves and if we sense a threat to our internal security we will do some counter measures," he told media persons in New Delhi [ Images ] on the sidelines of homeland security seminar.

    "However, we need to give China the benefit of doubt that they are also in their quest to safeguard their sea lanes of communication because they have their energy resources passing through this (Indian Ocean)."

    "They are taking some steps. We have to make sure that that it is not intrusive and they will not come into our space. Towards that end we are conscious of what China is doing and we are making adequate measures to make sure that our neighbourhood is not threatened," Raju said.

    On Beijing [ Images ] acquiring anti-satellite capabilities for space-age warfare, he said India was against militarization of space.

    But space assets would have to be utilised in warfare in the years to come and India was also preparing itself for taking adequate counter measures to this Chinese capability, he said.

    "The frontier of space, which includes utilisation of satellites, will continue to be a growing area of warfare. India has stated in the past that it is against militarization of space. But space assets have to be utilised in warfare in the years to come and we are also preparing for it to take adequate counter measures," Raju said.

    He also pointed out to the growing trade between the two Asian giants and said China would not be a problem because of economic factors.

    "The emphasis and focus is on (bilateral) trade, which is increasing at a rapid rate. Although we share a large border, we have not had any skirmishes. So I do not see any reason why they should be a problem on that front. As a regional power, they will take steps to increase their military prowess and we will do in our case," he said.

    On the nearly $140-million US military aid to Pakistan, with which Islamabad [ Images ] may acquire Predator drones used by NATO forces in Afghanistan against Taliban [ Images ], Raju said when technology was being used for countering Taliban forces, there was a chance it may fall into wrong hands.

    "I am sure they will take adequate steps to prevent this," he added.

    The minister also warned about the danger of nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons falling into the hands of terrorists who have become more sophisticated and complex.

    "In the future, there is the potential of terrorists acquiring advanced technology including NBC weapons and communication equipment. We may even see insurgents armed with nuclear devices or biological and chemical weapons, capable of massive destruction in localised areas.

    After the horrific attacks on Mumbai [ Images ] last November, we have taken up the challenge to modernise and upgrade our security forces in a comprehensive manner. India should take precaution against the NBC threats," Raju said.

    "We have to be prepared for any eventuality and NBC warfare is something for which we are also preparing for," he said.

    He said the terrorists' objectives were becoming more ambitious with the intention of inflicting maximum damage. "Therefore, the task ahead is formidable."

    The minister said the nation faced threats to its internal security from abroad, while confronting militants in 160 districts across eastern and southern parts of the country.

    He said paramilitary forces were being further strengthened and modernised.
     
  16. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Ok. Here are first details of the manned space mission, courtesy of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center in Trivandrum. The major scoop was: that ISRO is also considering missions to Venus (a major technological feat if it were) and some asteroids like Toutatis, Apollo, Eros, Itokawa and Vesta.


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  17. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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  18. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    Russia to help India build manned spaceship

    BY : PTI
    [​IMG]
    Russia will help India build a domestic manned spaceship by 2020, sharing the technology used in developing Soyuz spacecraft, a senior official said today.
    “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,” he said.
    Chief of the department of piloted programmes of the federal space agency (Roskosmos) Alexei Krasnov told Itar-Tass news agency that the Soyuz is heavier and cannot be launched by a light Indian booster.
    “These plans are outlined until 2020,” he said.
    President and designer general of the Russian Aerospace Corporation Energia Vitaly Lopota said the corporation’s specialists “possess all space technologies,” which they can share with Indian partners.
    “With Roskosmos’s appropriate support, we will be able to reequip technically and increase the production of the spaceship Soyuz,” he noted.
    New spaceship Soyuz can also be used for the spaceflights of the first Indian astronauts. This issue has already been discussed with India, Krasnov said.


    Russia to help India build manned spaceship IDRW.ORG
     
  19. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    some substantial confusion here

    at the moment i believe india launches from sri harikota , but is there an alternative launch site in case of emergencies - i know the expenses involved are phenomenal but that could be a strategic decision .
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  20. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    well done - do we have an actual target date for the manned moon shot ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010

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