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    Indian space programme:

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    Russian Patriot
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    Indian space programme:

    Post  Russian Patriot on Sun Dec 26, 2010 2:17 am

    India's GSLV rocket exploded before the Russian-made 12 KRB booster was launched, a source in the Russian research centre that developed the booster said on Saturday.

    "The explosion occurred during the work of the first stage of the Indian rocket and the Russian booster was not even launched," the source at the Khrunichev Centre said.

    Earlier on Saturday, India failed to launch its indigenous GSLV rocket with a communications satellite, the Indian state-run TV channel Doordarshan reported.

    The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle deviated from the designed path several minutes after the liftoff from the Sriharikota space centre in the state of Andhra Pradesh in southeast India, the TV channel said.

    The causes and the circumstances of the rocket failure have not been announced. According to preliminary information, there could have been problems with the rocket's first stage, the TV channel said.

    The previous launch in the spring of this year was also unsuccessful after the rocket fell into the Bay of Bengal 304 seconds after liftoff as its cryogenic engine failed to perform. The rocket tumbled, lost altitude and finally splashed down in the sea.

    India is seeking to become the sixth country to develop its own cryogenic booster sections, necessary for lifting heavy satellites to geostationary orbit. Until recently, only the United States, Russia, France, Japan and China had the technology.

    http://en.rian.ru/world/20101225/161933387.html

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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  Vladimir79 on Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:01 pm

    India has yet to join the heavy payload club. This will certainly hurt their commercial launch sales.

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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  ahmedfire on Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:54 pm

    indians made themselves ajoke lol!

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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  nightcrawler on Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:11 am

    Will love to hear Garrys speculation; from my side its

    Do you think that it was a sudden change in mass that led the rocket astray? Or do you think it was an internal issue?

    It's interesting that something broke-off moments before the destruction. Maybe the sudden delta m resulted in a massive delta a for a short period of time (since thrust cannot match a sudden change in mass due to momentum).

    I'm not so sure the destruct-command was sent. There seems to be too little time between the breaking-off and the explosion for the command to be sent. Maybe the self-destruct talk is an attempt to save face.

    Just speculating.

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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  nightcrawler on Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:19 am

    Weren't engines totally Russian made??

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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  GarryB on Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:35 am

    Commands for self destruction are normally issued to prevent the rocket entering an unauthorised orbit, or if it is not going to make orbit so that you either don't get the payload in the wrong orbit where it could collide with other things already up there, or so that the entire rocket doesn't fall onto something.

    Normally it is a bad trajectory that will demand a self destruct and that is rarely due to rocket failure, most often it is because it has the wrong fuel load or a software error gave the wrong burn time that put the rocket on the wrong angle or at the wrong speed.

    I should point out that once in orbit it is not a case of firing a short rocket burst downwards to climb to a higher orbit, your orbit height is directly related to your speed... so to climb to a higher orbit you need to fire rockets back in the direction you came from to get a higher speed to increase your orbital altitude. Equally to de orbit you need to fire rockets forward in the direction you are travelling to slow down and descend. Obviously you can't fire the rockets too hard and stop completely as you will end up falling straight down through the atmosphere which will be too fast and you will burn up.

    You need to come down at the right angle... too steep and you will be travelling too fast and the atmosphere will vapourise the craft you are in, and too shallow and you will skip off the atmosphere back up into space on a parabola flight path to come down and bounce again like a flat stone skipped over flat water.

    BTW AFAIK the upper stages were Russian, but from the article you posted the rocket deviated from its proper flight path during a very early part of the flight while the Indian main booster was still operating. To get to geosynchronous orbit the rocket need to get very high above the equator and that orbit is very busy so it would be critical that a rocket that wasn't on the right trajectory initially didn't make orbit because there a lot of satellites up there that are pretty important.

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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  Corrosion on Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:44 pm

    ahmedfire wrote:indians made themselves ajoke lol!
    Why do you think so, sir???

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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  ahmedfire on Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:02 pm

    Corrosion wrote:
    ahmedfire wrote:indians made themselves ajoke lol!
    Why do you think so, sir???
    from aday to another,,we always hearing about indian failures,the big failure was Tejas..

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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  GarryB on Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:02 am

    And the countries that never fail never try.

    If designing your own aircraft or space rocket boosters was easy everyone would be doing it.

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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  ahmedfire on Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:55 pm

    GarryB wrote:And the countries that never fail never try.

    If designing your own aircraft or space rocket boosters was easy everyone would be doing it.
    right

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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  Corrosion on Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:24 am

    ahmedfire wrote: from aday to another,,we always hearing about indian failures,the big failure was Tejas..

    Its more complex than this. Every project has objectives some gets filled, some partially, some dont, especially when you have high technology projects which countries regard as state secrets. There is one way and that is to do it your self and other is to get somebody else do it for you. Doing it yourself with failures is always better in long run.

    Tejas is not a failure. Its delayed mainly because DRDO/ADA is always chasing IAF's changing requirements. Which change according to country's threat perception and how much cash they have on their disposal. Indian MoD doesn't force Tejas on IAF. Tejas in current configuration even with GE(US) engine will fit most of the airforces in the world, capability wise. Export doesn't happen because DRDO, HAL and ADA are all Govt. agencies and their main goal is not export/profit making. BTW a squadron is going to be inducted in 2011. Kaveri engine passed the latest test as well although it will only power the AMCA in a decades time.

    As of GSLV, its still work in progress and its launches have been a failure half the time, true. Indigenous cyro engines are still in testing after one failure. There is only one way of fixing this and that is to identify and fix the problem and prepare for next launch. As ISRO's budget is only 1 billion dollars (3% of that of NASA, USA), their expenditure is not back breaking by any extent of imagination and they do some very important work. PSLV record has been almost flawless to start with. I dont think they are a failure.
    PSLV: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_Satellite_Launch_Vehicle
    Chandrayaan-1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandrayaan-1 Cost was only US$90 million

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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  Corrosion on Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:43 am

    Hardware defect caused GSLV failure?

    Source: http://news.in.msn.com/national/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4742902

    "Experts analysing the voluminous data are of the view that a hardware problem or defect has led to the snapping of the four connectors (signal chords) resulting in the blowing up of the rocket in the first stage itself," the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) official told IANS.

    "The signals are transmitted from the flight control system in the equipment bay to various propulsion stages to control the rocket. In this flight, the data shows that signal link got snapped. The moment we noticed the rocket breaking up, the destruct command was given to ensure that the debris did not fall on the land but in the sea," the official said on condition of anonymity.


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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  Corrosion on Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:53 am

    GSLV failure not a worry for Chandrayaan mission, says ISRO

    Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/et-cetera/gslv-failure-not-a-worry-for-chandrayaan-mission-says-isro/articleshow/7164448.cms

    The GSLV failure today may at this stage look like leading to some delay in the 2013-scheduled Chandrayaan-2, India's second unmanned mission to moon, but there is no cause for worry as the ISRO is confident of doing the catch-up act to meet the time-line.

    Chandrayaan-2 would have an orbiter (satellite), a lander and a rover.

    Chandrayaan-2 is planned to be launched onboard Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. While the lander would be provided by Russia, the orbiter and the rover are being built by ISRO.

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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  f-insas on Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:07 pm

    ahmedfire wrote:
    Corrosion wrote:
    ahmedfire wrote:indians made themselves ajoke lol!
    Why do you think so, sir???
    from aday to another,,we always hearing about indian failures,the big failure was Tejas..
    really the latest news it it will be inducted in iaf first batch order is currently 40,and even naval version has been testing ,ps little learning can be dengarous

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    India’s First Satellite Based Navigation System ‘GAGAN’ Coming Soon

    Post  Russian Patriot on Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:16 pm

    Monday, January 28, 2013: Finally India will have its own global positioning system this year! This year will witness the launch of India’s first series of navigation satellites that will aid on providing regional navigation service, independent of the U.S.-controlled GPS (Global Positioning System), S. Ramakrishnan, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) addressed the media. He announced this on the occasion of an international conference on ‘Bio energy, Environment and Sustainable Technologies’, a four-day event organised by the Arunai Engineering College.

    GAGAN, GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation, GPS, ISRO, S. Ramakrishnan, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC)




    Ramakrishnan further said that it is now that India relies on GPS for the navigation service. Europe, Russia and China were either having or evolving their own navigation services independent of the GPS. Reportedly, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was also planning to devise indigenous navigation service for more precise and advanced navigation.

    To offer this service, which will be named ‘GAGAN’ (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation), India needed to launch a number of satellites and the first of this series, the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), would be launched by the PSLV C-22 rocket, probably in the second half of this year, Hindu reported.

    Ramakrishnan also added that after all the required satellites were launched, India would be in a position to provide navigation service through ‘Gagan’ probably in 2014.

    http://www.efytimes.com/e1/fullnews.asp?edid=99158

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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  GarryB on Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:36 pm

    The term regional suggests to me that this is not a world wide system and is just for India and the territory around it.

    It also appears to rely on part of the navstar GPS network, which would be a flaw if the US decided to turn off parts of their system for whatever reason.


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    Contrasting reactions to India’s Mars mission

    Post  magnumcromagnon on Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:38 am

    I agree 100% with the points made in this article:

    Contrasting reactions to India’s Mars mission
    Mangalyaan drew a range of reactions in the global media – from backhanded compliments in the western media to genuine happiness in Russia.



    In 2008 when India’s Chandrayaan spacecraft orbited the moon, Fox News ran this headline: “Whoa, where’d they learn to do that!” To the rednecks at the American television channel, it was news that India had aerospace scientists and engineers. It was, therefore, predictable that when they covered India’s successful Mars mission, Fox News’ view was: “It’s also a major feat for the developing country of 1.2 billion people, most of whom are poor.”

    The statistics about India’s poverty is a stock phrase that is used with uncanny regularity by western journalists whenever India achieves a significant milestone. The Guardian of England writes: “Some have questioned the $70m price tag for a country still dealing with widespread hunger and poverty.”

    The Guardian, in fact, attempts to communalise the event, saying the “Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a hardline affiliate group of (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party, offered ritual prayers in Delhi for the mission. The leader of the group said success would prove that India ‘has regained its status of superpower of the world’.”

    The British Broadcasting Corp, which doesn't miss any opportunity to highlight India's poverty, pontificates: “Many, however, say this bid to reach Mars is a ‘delusional dream’ of India seeking super-power status since 400 million Indians still live without electricity and 600 million people still do not have access to toilets.” Apparently, the British elites still haven’t got over their post-colonial hangover.

    The newswire Reuters headlines its report “India triumphs in maiden Mars mission, sets record in space race” and then offers a parting shot: “Despite its success, India faces criticism for spending on space research as millions go hungry.

    In contrast, countries as different as Russia and Pakistan have reported the event dispassionately, and without editorialising.
    RT's coverage is textbook journalism – you report what you see without peering through coloured filters. "This is India's first mission into such deep space to search for evidence of life on the Red Planet. But the mission's primary objective is technological – if successful, the country will be joining an elite club of nations: the United States, Russia and Europe," it writes.

    The Voice of Russia quotes Russian Academy of Cosmonautics member Andrei Ionin: “For India it is a huge success. This is definitely a gigantic project. India, like many other countries seeks to increase its role in the global technological process and hence pays great importance to space exploration. After all, one of the attributes of a highly technologically advanced super-power is the national space industry.”

    In another article, the radio station says: “In the sprint for the Martian marathon, India has shown its technological capability and resilience to undertake arduous inter-planetary journeys.

    You see, there was no need to reel off hunger statistics when they are not relevant to the topic. The big news is that India did something incredible and at a jaw-dropping low cost. Also, the photograph of a galaxy of “Rocket Women” clad in colourful silk saris launching into celebrations at the mission control facility in Bangalore was a story in itself. But then, that wouldn’t fit in with the western media’s narrative, which depicts India as a brutal place for women.

    One key area in which the western media excels is in constantly referring to any Indian advance in space as part of a tit-for-tat race with China. The Economist, the western mouthpiece, nonchalantly dismisses the event, saying, “Mangalyaan carries few sensors and will discover little of scientific merit.” But it quickly agrees that “to point that out is both petty and beside the point. The main purpose was to get a craft there quickly (ie, before the Chinese) — and cheaply”.

    This is plain ridiculous. First up, the Chinese mission was planned a lot earlier but unfortunately became a nonevent when the Russian rocket carrying it failed to place it high enough, causing it to plummet back to earth. Secondly, the Indian mission was launched after the Chinese spacecraft was lost. So how is it a race when nobody was chasing anyone?

    In fact, the only race – if at all – was between Mangalyaan and NASA’s Maven, which arrived over Mars just two days the Indian spacecraft. However, the western media never talked about that as a race because to do that would be hyphenating the US with India whereas they would rather club India-China together and project it as an Asian version of the Space Race.

    Again, RT puts things squarely in perspective. “Many analysts argue that India is engaged in a space race specifically with China, and that the former’s Mars orbiter was spurred on by the failure of China’s Yinghuo-1 mission to Mars in November 2011.”

    “Yet, unlike in the Cold War era, when the USSR and the US engaged in a spectacular tit-for-tat space race while remaining economically and politically estranged from each other, China and India today have a booming trade relationship and are not engaged in any outright ideological confrontation. If there is a “new Cold War” rivalry now, it is more between a whole group of powers led by Russia and the US.”
    “There are elements of a Cold War mindset when China and India square off in strategic competition, but it remains embedded within the liberal framework of economic globalization and cooperation. The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s call for “joint efforts” in space exploration after India’s Mars orbiter launch underlines the complexity of this key bilateral relationship in Asia.”

    RT also adds considerable value to the coverage, offering this interesting nugget of information: “India is mindful that the strides it’s making in space science can also be a medium for enhancing international cooperation. For instance, its Moon mission in 2008 won the International Cooperation Award from the International Lunar Exploration Working Group for carrying a payload of as many as 20 countries.”

    Basically, the western media is so predictable in its coverage of India’s successes in the aerospace and defence sectors that you could almost set your watch to it. Space being the next frontier of colonisation, it touches a raw nerve in the West. Having colonised most of the planet in the past 300 years, western nations – especially of English origin – instinctively react with hostility when other nations reach for the final frontier.

    Those who argue that India shouldn’t embark upon space exploration because it has lots of poor people miss the point entirely. The $1 billion (India’s annual space budget) saved would not be of much help in removing poverty. Plus, India’s space programme has brought huge benefits to Indian farmers, the fishing industry, the telecom sector, disaster management agencies and the military, to name just a few.

    Take Cyclone Phailin, which struck both India and the Philippines last year. India, which depended on ISRO’s weather satellites, had casualties in the single digits; in Philippines, which had no such satellites and resorted to mass prayers in churches, over 10,000 people died.

    Critics of the Indian space programme need to be told that if the US had waited until there were no poor Americans before sending astronauts to the Moon, then the Apollo rockets would still be sitting on the launch pad. For, there are over 50 million Americans suffering from chronic hunger today.

    http://in.rbth.com/blogs/2014/09/26/contrasting_reactions_to_indias_mars_mission_38613.html

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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  Mike E on Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:03 am

    - This could be the worst offender; http://io9.com/is-the-focus-on-indias-cheap-mission-to-mars-missing-1639082635/+spacemika

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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  George1 on Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:44 am

    India’s Space Program to Launch Its Heaviest Commercial Mission to Date


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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  George1 on Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:07 pm

    Indian Space Research Successfully Launches Five Commercial UK Satellites

    India has successfully launched five UK satellites, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said Friday.

    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — The launch took place at 9:58 p.m. local time (16:28 GMT) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The rocket reached orbit 20 minutes after launch.

    "The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), in its thirtieth flight (PSLV-C28), launched three identical DMC3 optical earth observation satellites built by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), United Kingdom (UK). The PSLV-C28, in addition to the three DMC3 satellites, also carried two auxiliary satellites from UK," ISRO said on their website.

    The Indian PSLV-C28 rocket in its high-tech XL configuration was launched into a 647 km [402 miles] Sun-Synchronous Orbit (SSO) with three identical DMC3 Earth observation satellites, each of which weighs 447 kg (985 lb).

    Apart from the satellites, the rocket also carries an 91-kg (200 lb) optical Earth Observation technology-demonstration micro satellite CBNT-1 and a 7-kg (15lb) experimental nano satellite De-orbitSail, developed by the UK University of Surrey Space Center.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/science/20150710/1024477420.html#ixzz3fsHHngJ6


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    Re: Indian space programme:

    Post  George1 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:05 am

    India Earned Over $100Mln Launching Foreign Satellites


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    After 7th navigation satellite, India a step away from ‘GPS club’

    Post  Pinto on Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:47 am

    India on Thursday afternoon successfully put into orbit its seventh and final navigation satellite - IRNSS-1G - with its own rocket in copy-book style.
    With this, India successfully completed putting into orbit all the seven navigation satellites to complete the system in the sky.

    Exactly at 12.50 p.m. the PSLV rocket standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing 320 tonnes tore into the afternoon skies with fierce orange flames at its tail.

    Gathering speed every second, the rocket raced amidst cheers of ISRO officials assembled at the rocket port.

    At the rocket mission control room, scientists were glued to their computer screens watching the rocket escaping the earth’s gravitational pull.
    Just over 20 minutes into the flight, the PSLV rocket ejected its sole passenger - IRNSS-1F - at an altitude of 488.9 km.

    Soon after this, the satellite’s solar panels were deployed.
    The satellite’s control was then taken over by the Mission Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka.

    The MCF will manage the satellite’s orbit raising operations firing the on-board motors till it is placed in its slotted orbit.

    Simply put, the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is similar to the GPS (global positioning system) of the US, Glonass of Russia and Galileo of Europe as well as China’s Beidou.

    While GPS and Glonass are fully functional global systems, the Chinese and the Japanese systems offer regional coverage and Europe’s Galileo is yet to be operational.India will formally join the select group of nations owing such system once IRNSS is declared operational after checking the systems - space (satellites), ground (ground stations) and the user-end signal receivers.

    Only after the system is declared operational, will user-end signal receiver makers seriously get into the manufacture of equipment for use at the retail end, industry officials told IANS.

    According to Indian space agency the applications of IRNSS are: terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, vehicle tracking and fleet management, terrestrial navigation for hikers and travellers, disaster management, integration with mobile phones, mapping and geodetic data capture and visual and voice navigation for drivers.

    In other words, IRNSS could be said to be the “Indian GPS”.
    Apart from the civilian applications, the IRNSS will be used for defence purposes as well.

    Immediately after the 1,425 kg IRNSS-1G satellite was ejected by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C33) rocket, scientists at the mission control centre clapped their hands happily.

    “The launch was succesfull,” ISRO chairman A.S.Kiran Kumar said soon after. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will raise the satellite to its home slot over the next couple of days.
    The satellite, with a life-span of 12 years, has two payloads for navigation and ranging.

    The navigation payload of IRNSS-1G will transmit signals to the users on the L5-band and S-band. A highly accurate rubidium atomic clock is part of the navigation payload.

    The ranging payload consists of a C-band transponder (automatic receivers and transmitters of radio signals) which facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite.

    An Indian-owned satellite navigation system is crucial to get positional accuracy during war or a war-like situation as the country may be denied such information by countries owing similar systems during such times.
    The system will provide accurate position information service to users across the country and the region, extending up to an area of 1,500 km. The full system comprises of nine satellites -- seven in orbit and two on the ground as stand-by.

    Each satellite costs about Rs.150 crore, while the PSLV-XL version rocket costs about Rs.130 crore. The seven rockets would entail an outlay of about Rs.910 crore.

    The total project cost including other facilities is around Rs.1,420 crore, said ISRO officials.

    “The Indian system provides positional accuracy of 10 metres. For civilian usage to bloom and costs to come down, more manufacturers have to start making the navigation signal receivers. That will happen once the IRNSS is formally declared operational,” A.S.Ganeshan, retired programme director of ISRO’s Satellite Navigation Progamme, told IANS.

    Ganeshan said once the IRNSS is ready then there will be more development of application software that would be useful for different segments.

    “The Indian government should mandate the use of indigenous satellite navigation systems by various government agencies and the emergency service providers so that the signal receiver makers are enthused to get into accelerated production mode,” Ganeshan added.
    He said once the mandatory usage is there, more software applications could be developed, thereby widening the usage.

    Agreeing with him, S. Purushotham, director, Accord Software & Systems Pvt Ltd told IANS: “If there is a mandate then it will give a big fillip for the receiver makers’ Make in India efforts.”

    “The IRNSS is a new system. We will wait and see how the market evolves so that we can decide on getting into manufacture of the receivers,” S.Rangarajan, CEO of Chennai-based Data Patterns (India) Pvt Ltd, told IANS.

    An ISRO official told IANS that it may take three to four months for the space agency to check and cross-check all the systems before IRNSS could be d eclared operational

    The first satellite IRNSS-1A was launched in July 2013, the second IRNSS-1B in April 2014, the third on October 2014, the fourth in March 2015, and the fifth, sixth and seventh on January 20, March 10, and April 28 2016.
    Once IRNSS passes all the tests, India need not be dependent on other platforms.

    According to ISRO, even with the operationalisation of six IRNSS satellites, the proof of concept of an independent regional navigation satellite system over India has been demonstrated for the targeted position accuracy of better than 20 metres over 24 hours of the day.

    With the operationalisation of the full system, far better positional accuracy will be provided, ISRO said.

    Indian space agency officials said IRNSS system is unique as it consist only seven satellites while other systems in the world have more than 20 satellites.

    However, while most other systems are global, the Indian system is regional in nature.

    The IRNSS will provide two types of services -- standard positioning service and restricted service. The former is provided to all users and the later is an encrypted service for authorised users.


    http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/with-7th-satellite-launch-india-a-step-away-from-global-gps-club/story-hPftjTSe0XKqrnDJbC6I9O.html

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    Exclusive: Making Of ISRO's Space Shuttle - The Inside Story

    Post  Pinto on Sun May 22, 2016 12:12 pm

    In an unassuming hangar near a fishing village in Kerala, efforts of more than 600 scientists over the last five years have converged to bring India one of its most extraordinary milestones in space exploration.

    It was here that India's very own space shuttle dubbed the Re-usable Launch Vehicle (RLV) was conceived and nurtured by the Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO.

    The project began more than a decade ago at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram - India's main rocket designing and fabrication laboratory.

    NDTV's Science Editor Pallava Bagla was given a very rare and unique access to view first-hand the making of the futuristic spacecraft.

    The 6.5 metre-long scale model of the re-usable launch vehicle weighs about 1.75 tonnes and has been made at a cost of Rs. 95 crore.

    Built as a technology demonstrator, ISRO plans to test two more such prototypes before the final version which will be about six times larger at around 40 metres and will take off around 2030.

    Shyam Mohan, Project Director on the RLV, says his team has spent endless hours over the years trying to make sure that all systems work perfectly.

    Mr Mohan, 53, who has spent three decades at ISRO, said he was chosen to design the RLV for India 15 years ago. "It was a dream come true as making a re-usable launch vehicle is a complex and challenging task," he said.

    Americans successfully flew their space shuttles 135 times until they retired it in 2011 over cost constraints and the Russians flew it only once in 1989. Now India is boldly attempting to go where other space agencies have tried but failed.

    K Sivan, director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, said, "These are just the first baby steps towards the big Hanuman leap."

    Weather and wind conditions permitting, the RLV-TD as ISRO calls this first experiment will be launched from India's rocket port at Sriharikota on the coast of the Bay of Bengal in Andhra Pradesh on Monday morning.

    The spacecraft will be launched atop a 9-ton solid rocket engine that has been designed to burn slowly to accommodate the vertical lifting of a winged body.

    After the launch, the space shuttle will fly to an altitude of 70 kilometres and then engage in a free-gliding flight that starts with an initial velocity five times that of sound. It will then land on a stretch of water in the Bay of Bengal some 500 kilometres from Sriharikota.

    On this first flight, the RLV-TD will not be recovered but the data collected will be used to improve the designs, paving the runway to the final model - one small step for ISRO, one giant leap for India.

    http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/exclusive-making-of-indias-space-shuttle-the-inside-story-1408551

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