ISRO News and Updates

Karthi

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Made in India ‘moon soil’: ISRO gets patent.

The lunar soil simulant can be used for scientific studies of lunar terrain relating to mobility/trafficability of rover for scientific explorations or for the study of geo-technical/mechanical properties of lunar soil for understanding the engineering behaviour of lunar regolith or to carry out fundamental research work (theoretical and experimental) to postulate a broad design philosophy for realising civil engineering structures on the Moon surface, and to make a pathway to lunar locomotive engineering. Lunar exploration requires a full understanding of the physical and chemical properties of lunar surface soil as most of the building materials have to be produced out of the regolith for human settlement on the Moon.

As per the papers filed by ISRO, compositionally, the lunar soils fall into two broad groups: The highland soils, which are developed on anorthositic bedrock, and mare soils, which are developed on basaltic bedrock. Mare soils can be further sub-classified as to high or low titanium content soils. Highland soils are relatively enriched in aluminium and calcium, while mare soils are relatively enriched in iron, magnesium and titanium. The use of lunar simulants is focused on physical characteristics of the lunar regolith for undertaking landing and transportation activities. “There are more than 30 lunar simulants that have been produced to date, some of which have been exhausted,” ISRO said.

Most of the countries produced simulants representing the lunar mare region. The lunar highland crust occupies 83 per cent of the lunar surface. However, only limited number of simulants represent the regolith of the lunar highland region, ISRO said. According to the Indian space agency, most of the future missions propose for soft landing on the lunar highland region. Hence, there is an urgent need for a bulk quantity of lunar soil simulant, which represents the highland lunar crust. The lunar soil simulant of the present invention is exclusively manufactured to represent the lunar highland region. The regolith of the lunar highland region is mainly derived from anorthositic rock formation. The present simulant produced and manufactured in bulk quantity exactly from similar rock samples identified and picked out from the Sittampundi Anorthosite Complex, India. Moreover, the invention satisfied all aspects, including mineralogy, bulk chemistry, grain size distribution and geo-mechanical properties.
 
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ISRO turnover to zoom if units converted into separate entities: Official

Behemoths like ISRO with multiple focus points will be resistant to innovations owing to inertia and occupation of leaders' mind, to run the behemoth industry itself in the present avatar, said Tapan Misra, Senior Advisor, ISRO,
The sum of the turnover of Indian space agency's various divisions if spun off into different business entities will surpass that of its behemoth parent owing to focused leadership and innovation, said a senior official of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
He said the best of the efforts in innovation in such a large industry, the conversion in product outputs are meagre to the extent of 5 to 10 per cent.
"If ISRO is restructured in terms of smaller single-focus business entities like payload, satellite, rocket engine production, launcher integration and launch services, tracking and satellite maintenance services, the sum of turnovers of these individual entities will surpass substantially in comparison to the same by the ISRO behemoth," said Tapan Misra, Senior Advisor, ISRO and former Director, Space Applications Centre, ISRO.
"The reason for improvement will be the encouragement of innovation by single focus leaderships. Many mammoth MNCs like Google, Microsoft, Space X, Boeing, and many others co-opt or fund or usurp innovative startups to create and absorb innovations. In India to reach this level, we may have to wait a few more years," Misra said.
He said every industry will come to a saturation point in terms of product output and even an increase in input resource-capital and manpower, there will be hardly any increase in output beyond saturation point.
"Innovation in business processes or manufacturing methods and strategies can improve efficiency. It means the saturation point can be achieved with lesser input resources. On the other hand, innovation on simplification of product design or bringing in more productive capital goods, i.e., the more efficient machinery to manufacture the products will raise the saturation output at same or lesser resources," Misra said.
Behemoths like ISRO with multiple focus points will be resistant to innovations owing to inertia and occupation of leaders' mind, to run the behemoth industry itself in the present avatar, he added.
Pointing out technology will become stagnant and innovations discouraged in the absence of competition, Misra said that monopoly does not incentivise the emergence of capable, forward-looking and risk-taking innovative leadership.
According to him, many of the monopolies were established, with sagacious minds as leaders, with an aim to bring the country in the front line of strategic sectors.
"Unfortunately, many wise men prefer less competent subordinates and successors in order to satisfy their desire of stranglehold in the organisation when in service and out of service. This leads to the gradual degradation of the leadership quality with successive transitions, leading to stagnation in technology and services," he said.
Market forces can play a role in promoting effective leadership as the profit and expansion are the prime motivation. It leads to re-emphasis of merit and leads to a better innovative environment.
 

Assassin 2.0

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Amid Covid, India-Japan Moon mission takes shape, Isro to lead lander tech
Chethan Kumar | TNN | Updated: Jun 13, 2020, 09:52 IST

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BENGALURU: Even as both the countries continue to battle Covid-19 pandemic, Japan, which will be launching a joint lunar mission with India — Lunar Polar Exploration (LPE) — that hopes to put a lander and rover on Moon’s surface has, for the first time, spelled out details of the project that will see Isro lead the lander development.
As per details shared by Japanese space agency JAXA, the mission will be launched after 2023 — Isro currently has its human spaceflight programme (Gaganyaan) scheduled for 2022 — and will involve a lander and a rover. JAXA diagrams show that the Japanese would be building the overall landing module and the rover, while Isro would develop the lander system.
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The mission will be launched from Japan, and the designated launch vehicle is the H3 rocket, manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
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The first thinking of this mission was made public in 2017, during a multi-space agencies’ meeting in Bengaluru and it was then also part of the inter-governmental discussions during PM Modi’s visit to Japan in 2018. TOI had reported in September 2019, that the project had since moved forward and both agencies were keen on landing on Moon together.
Now, a pre-project team established earlier this year is working on developing a comprehensive management plan for the collaborative mission; investigate the spacecraft system requirements and the various interface specifications in collaboration with Isro.
JAXA ISRO LUNAR MISSION PIC 1 Lunar Polar Exploration Mission Overview

Lunar Polar Exploration Mission Overview | Credit: JAXA
“...Analysis of observational data suggests the existence of water in the polar regions of Moon. JAXA is working with Isro to plan an international collaborative mission to obtain data on the quantity and forms of water resources present, in order to determine the feasibility of utilizing such resources for sustainable space exploration activities in the future,” JAXA said.
The mission’s aim is to obtain actual data regarding the quantity of water from in-situ observations of areas where water is anticipated to exist, based on the available past observational data. It also seeks to understand the distribution, conditions, form and other parameters of the lunar water resources in the polar regions.

Lunar Polar Exploration Mission | Credit: JAXA
“Through this mission, we also seek to improve the technology needed to explore the surface of low-gravity celestial bodies in order to support future lunar activities. These advancements include technology for mobility, lunar night survival and mining excavation,” JAXA added.
While recent observational data suggests that it is highly likely that water does not sublimate at ‘permanently shadowed regions’ (PSRs) — an example of a PSR would be an area that is lower than the surrounding ground, such as the inside of a crater — and remains near the lunar surface, the details about the water quantity, distribution and its form are still a mystery.

Investigation Sequence | Credit: JAXA
The investigation area and observation points (waypoints) with unique environmental and geological conditions will be selected prior to landing. The lander will land at a location near the investigation area that has long sunlit hours, and deploy the rover.
During operation, the rover will observe up to 2m underground, allowing the detection of possible water resources in the area. The rover will simultaneously observe the Moon surface.

Expected Results of Lunar Polar Exploration Mission | Credit: JAXA
“Rover will be equipped to conduct observations of the chemical elements present in areas where water may possibly be distributed. If hydrogen is detected, the rover will mine the surface to collect samples. Samples will then be heated to vaporize the volatile substances in order to determine the chemical composition, analyze the quantity of water and conduct isotopic analysis,” JAXA added.
 

Karthi

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From Nashik to Thiruvananthapuram: Mammoth truck covers 1,700km in 10 months.

A 74-tyre truck carrying machinery weighing 70 tonnes finally reached the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday 10 months after it began its journey from Maharashtra’s Nashik, around 1,700 km away, to the country’s premier research institute.

The lockdown imposed to check the Covid-19 pandemic spread from March 25 delayed its arrival by a month. Usually, regular trucks cover the distance between Nashik and Thiruvananthapuram in five to seven days. The mammoth truck moved at a snail’s pace with each of the five states it journeyed through making special arrangements for it. When it moved, escorted by police teams in each of the five states, the movement of other vehicles was stopped. In some places potholed roads had to be repaired, trees cut and electric poles removed to allow the truck, carrying an aerospace autoclave, to move.

Autoclaves are used to process materials needing exposure to elevated temperature and pressure. Subhash Yadav, an employee of a private firm engaged in transferring the machine, said the lockdown made their movement miserable. “In Andhra Pradesh, our vehicle was detained for a month due to the lockdown. Later our contract agency had to intervene. But still, it was a challenging task. Engineers and mechanics were there in our team of 30 which accompanied the Volvo FM series truck,” said Yadav.

They began their journey on September 1 last year. Yadav said the machinery is 7.5 metres high and 7 metres wide. Since the chassis of the vehicle carrying the machinery had to be very strong, the truck almost covered the entire road at many places. “In some places, roads were widened and trees were cut to make way for it. And at two places, special iron girders were put to strengthen bridges,” he said. Another team member,said on the condition of anonymity, “In Kerala, an aged lady came to us and told us better make a vaccine for Covid-19 than sending rockets. Most of us walked throughout, it was a challenging experience for us.” A VSSC official said the heavy machine could not be dismantled. “The autoclave will be used to manufacture large aerospace products for various programmes and it is expected to be commissioned this month after making necessary modifications,” he said.
 

Varun2002

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Amid Covid, India-Japan Moon mission takes shape, Isro to lead lander tech
Chethan Kumar | TNN | Updated: Jun 13, 2020, 09:52 IST

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BENGALURU: Even as both the countries continue to battle Covid-19 pandemic, Japan, which will be launching a joint lunar mission with India — Lunar Polar Exploration (LPE) — that hopes to put a lander and rover on Moon’s surface has, for the first time, spelled out details of the project that will see Isro lead the lander development.
As per details shared by Japanese space agency JAXA, the mission will be launched after 2023
Just to be absolutely clear, this Indo-Japan mission is quite distinct from Chandrayaan-3, right? India on its own is going to make another attempt at a moon landing sometime in 2021. Then comes the joint misssion.
 

Adrian Corvus

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Just to be absolutely clear, this Indo-Japan mission is quite distinct from Chandrayaan-3, right? India on its own is going to make another attempt at a moon landing sometime in 2021. Then comes the joint misssion.
Yup and india is to provide the lander while the Japanese are to provide the launch vehicle, Chandrayaan 2 itself was to test out our landing capabilities for that mission.
 

Karthi

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Scientists Claim ‘Active Volcanoes On Venus’ Ahead Of ISRO’s Shukrayaan Mission In 2023.

Gaining a deeper understanding into Earth’s neighbouring planet, a research team led by Universities Space Research Association (USRA) has found out that Venus may have active volcanoes still present, according to international reports. The study published in Science Advances on Friday has stated that the team has concluded so due to the presence of lava flowing on Venus surface which may be only a few years old. This would make Venus the only other planet in our solar system apart from the Earth with active volcanoes.

Active volcanoes in Venus?

Explaining the implications of the research, USRA scientist Dr. Justin Filiberto said, “If Venus is indeed active today, it would make a great place to visit to better understand the interiors of planets. For example, we could study how planets cool and why the Earth and Venus have active volcanism, but Mars does not. Future missions should be able to see these flows and changes in the surface and provide concrete evidence of its activity,” at a conference in Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI).

How did they conclude about active volcanoes in Venus? The team reportedly recreated Venus’ hot atmosphere in their lab to study how Venusian minerals react and change over time. Their results showed an abundant mineral in basalt — olivine — reacts rapidly with the atmosphere and within weeks becomes coated with the iron oxide minerals – magnetite and hematite, according to the study. The scientists found that this conversion would take a few years and hence they suggested that the lava flow was recent and hence would mean that volcanoes were active on Venus.

India’s Shukryaan-1 mission in 2023

While the team has stated that future missions will be able to explore further, India’s own mission Shukrayaan-1 is scheduled to the hot planet in 2023. ISRO had invited proposals from the international scientific community to carry out novel experiments on its planned Venus mission in 2018. ISRO aims to explore in its Venus mission include surface, subsurface, and atmosphere of the planet, as well as its interaction with the Sun.
 

scatterStorm

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Chinese can do all of these because they have a 10year focused plan, while nothing changes, the main objective remains to be perused. ISRO on the other hand, let’s launch more PSLVs. Let’s go to Venus in 2023, why shouldn’t you start with landing on moon first. The countries first to reach there will serve for fuel stations for spaceships in future.
:facepalm:
 

Chinmoy

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Chinese can do all of these because they have a 10year focused plan, while nothing changes, the main objective remains to be perused. ISRO on the other hand, let’s launch more PSLVs. Let’s go to Venus in 2023, why shouldn’t you start with landing on moon first. The countries first to reach there will serve for fuel stations for spaceships in future.
:facepalm:
Let us complete the Gaganyan & Chandrayan mission successfully first. Then we should talk about the next step of landing on moon. We were unable to land a probe on moon till now and you are talking of human landing there.

Chinese on their part is sending a probe to mars after even failing to insert a orbiter in its orbit. So if you want to match their monkey trick of ego satisfaction, then its other matter. But I am happy with the systematic approach of ISRO in this regard.
 
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Chinese can do all of these because they have a 10year focused plan, while nothing changes, the main objective remains to be perused. ISRO on the other hand, let’s launch more PSLVs. Let’s go to Venus in 2023, why shouldn’t you start with landing on moon first. The countries first to reach there will serve for fuel stations for spaceships in future.
:facepalm:
Exactly it was so earlier till mid 2010s when ISRO didn't have long term plans.

It holds as of now BTW, and AstroSat-2, Shukrayaan, Aditya L1 etc. are just easy token missions.
The aim will be to master human spaceflight with accumulating more & more Vyomanauts with lot of space hours on space station, and achieving abilities to get on Moon & Mars simultaneously. This broad because have to catch up with world.

Jupiter & ExoWorld (Indian version of Voyager type missions) mission won't progress for even a decade now.
 

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