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Old July 1st, 2013, 08:46 PM   #1461
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All hail PSLV

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Old July 3rd, 2013, 07:40 PM   #1462
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Old July 5th, 2013, 06:34 PM   #1463
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GSLV Mk II rocket powered by India's own cryogenic engine carrying communication satellite GSAT 14 will be launched on August 06, 2013. The process of fixing our cryogenic engine with GSLV will begin today (Friday) afternoon. Then various tests will be carried out before the satellite is fixed with the rocket.

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Old July 5th, 2013, 07:19 PM   #1464
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Can't wait..
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Old July 25th, 2013, 07:31 PM   #1465
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A tad too long but very informative.. Interview of ISRO chairman.


In mission mode


Quote:
THERE is excitement at the various centres of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) across the country. It has 12 missions lined up between now and March 31, 2014. But the focus will be on the launch of its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) with an indigenous cryogenic engine in August 2013 to put GSAT-14 into orbit and the Mars Orbiter Mission in October/November 2013 to send a spacecraft into a Mars orbit. “We have geared up for a tough schedule,” said K. Radhakrishnan, ISRO Chairman, in a recent interview to Frontline in his office at the ISRO headquarters in Bangalore. He added: “We are preparing ourselves and are on schedule for the launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission [MOM] any day between October 21 and the second week of November…. A mission to Mars is far more complex than Chandrayaan-1 in terms of the distance involved. At its nearest distance to the earth, Mars is 55 million kilometres away and it can be as far as 400 million km [when it is farthest from the earth]…. We want to tell this country that Mars has a relevance.” Radhakrishnan, who is also Secretary, Department of Space, and Chairman, Space Commission, explained: “The primary objective of our mission is to see if we can reach the Mars orbit. That is the acknowledged objective. There are also scientific objectives and a set of instruments for carrying them out.”

But the big task on hand for ISRO is the development of the GSLV-Mark III. It is a gigantic vehicle which will stand 42.4 metres tall and have a lift-off weight of 630 tonnes. Its experimental mission with a passive cryogenic stage will take place in Sriharikota in January 2014.

Radhakrishnan spoke in detail about the battery of tests that the indigenous cryogenic engine for the forthcoming GSLV-D5 flight had undergone and about three other “important developments” taking place in ISRO: the development of the Re-usable Launch Vehicle–Technology Demonstrator, the semi-cryogenic engine, and air-breathing propulsion.

Radhakrishnan graduated in Electrical Engineering from Kerala University in 1970 and obtained his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (1976). The Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, awarded him a PhD in 2000. He began his career in ISRO as an avionics engineer at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram. He became the VSSC’s Director before taking over as ISRO Chairman in 2009. Excerpts from the interview:


In the coming few months, ISRO’s priority will be the mission to send a spacecraft to Mars. Unlike the Chandrayaan-1 mission, it looks as if the Mars Orbiter Mission has not got the attention it deserves.

We are geared up for six missions in the coming three months. The PSLV-C22 has already put the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System [IRNSS-1A] into orbit on July 1/2. INSAT-3D has already been shipped to French Guiana and the launch is scheduled for July 26 on board Ariane-5. INSAT-3D contains, in addition to its imaging system, a sounder which gives vertical profiles of the atmosphere and, in this respect, it is an advanced meteorological satellite.

The much-awaited GSLV launch with the indigenous cryogenic engine is scheduled for August 2013. The vehicle assembly is progressing at Sriharikota. The S-139-tonne booster and the four strap-on liquid stage have already been integrated. The integration of the second stage has already commenced. The cryogenic stage is already at Sriharikota and it is going through various preparations.

Are the high altitude tests and other tests of the cryogenic engine over?

This flight stage has an [cryogenic] engine that has already gone through 200 seconds of testing and the stage is getting ready for assembly with the vehicle. In this mission called GSLV-D5, we are launching a communication satellite called GSAT-14, which will weigh about 2,000 kg. It is an important mission.

Over the last three years, after the flight of GSLV-D3 with India’s cryogenic stage, which was unsuccessful, we have done a series of ground tests on the sub-systems and the cryogenic engine at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre at Mahendragiri [near Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu] after making the necessary design changes in the fuel booster turbo pump [FBTP] and the oxidiser turbo pump. An important test that was devised this year was testing the FBTP in operating conditions at cryogenic temperatures, which was not done in the past. After doing the test, we wanted to see the ignition of the cryogenic engine in high-altitude conditions. It is called a high altitude test [HAT]. This cryogenic engine had not gone through high-altitude tests earlier.

After the last failure in April 2010, we decided to conduct an HAT and we needed a facility for this. An HAT facility was being established for the development of the high-thrust cryogenic engine required for GSLV-Mark III. That facility was ready and we made modifications to that facility to accommodate the GSLV’s cryogenic engine and this was done on a war-footing. After the commissioning of the facility, we successfully carried out two simulated high-altitude tests [of the indigenous cryogenic engine] in March and April 2013. The duration was 3.5 seconds, when the ignition of the main engine, the gas generator and the two steering engines were expected to take place in a given sequence. This happened. This test was done with a stand-by engine, called A-4 engine, which was used for the ground tests. So today we have completed the design changes required for the FBTP based on the failure analysis done after the last flight of the indigenous cryogenic engine.


When the GSLV flight with the Russian cryogenic engine failed in December 2010, there was the problem of the connectors snapping.

That was a different issue. I will come to that. During the April 2010 flight with the indigenous cryogenic engine, the cryogenic engine ignited. The steering engines and the gas generator ignited. But the ignition could not be sustained beyond 800 milli-seconds and the FBTP stopped. So an experts’ team went into the possible reasons for this failure and it concluded that there were three possibilities. One was related to the clearances of the three bearings of the FBTP, essentially with respect to the differential contraction taking place in the turbo pump because we are using different materials there at cryogenic temperatures. The second possibility was the failure of the casing of the FBTP acquisition. This essentially required a design change in the FBTP. We have taken care of the first and second possibilities.

To take care of the third possibility, we designed and made in India the propellant acquisition system of the hydrogen tank with the necessary volume. The flight engine that we will be using on GSLV-D5 has already gone through 200 seconds of acceptance tests, and after the tests, the necessary inspection and refurbishment have been done.

So, on the one side, based on various flight tests and results, we have taken concerted action. Secondly, we have done extensive test sequences. Thirdly, the flight acceptance test of the engine has been done. Fourth, we have done vigorous inspection and quality control of the components and sub-systems that will go into the cryogenic engine and the stage. In this flight, we are also using indigenously developed polyimide pipes after due qualification. We used to import them earlier from Russia. This has gone through extensive qualification tests. This pipe was developed at the VSSC. This is with respect to the cryogenic stage.

If you look at the last seven GSLV flights, the first flight was aborted. We, however, had a successful flight within a month. But there was a malfunction in the Russian cryogenic stage and the spacecraft had a life of less than two months. The second and third flights of the GSLV successfully placed GSAT-2 and GSAT-3 into orbit. The GSLV-F02 flight in July 2006 failed because one of the strap-on stages stopped functioning after about 55 seconds. The next mission in September 2007 had a problem: the control system of one of the strap-on stages stopped. The vehicle could place INSAT-4C in orbit with an apogee of 30,000 km only [instead of the targeted 36,000 km]. But we were able to recover the spacecraft and place it in the proper orbit. So I will say that it was a partially successful mission.


In April 2010, GSLV-D3 was flown with an indigenous cryogenic stage. The lower stages functioned extremely well, that is S-139, the four strap-ons and GS-2. The cryogenic stage ignited but the ignition could not be sustained. That was the failure. The seventh flight, that of GSLV F-06 of December 25, 2010, was a failure due to the opening of a shroud in the Russian cryogenic stage, resulting in two connector sets getting disengaged, because of which signals from the equipment bay could not reach the control actuators of the strap-on stage. So the vehicle started losing control after 47 seconds of flight and we had to destroy the vehicle. The failure analysis committee’s [FAC] report was published.

We went through an analysis of all the seven GSLV flights and tried to see what the gaps were that we could fill up. In the GSLV-D5 configuration, we are using a heat-shield with a diameter of 3.4 metres and the spacecraft mass is nearly 2,000 kg. We have incorporated a design change in the way the connectors are mounted in the cryogenic stage. The mounting of connectors is redesigned. We have done extensive aero-structural tests of the GSLV. We have also done wind-tunnel tests on the GSLV model.

Where did you do the wind tunnel tests? In Russia?

Both in Russia and at the National Aerospace Laboratories [NAL], Bangalore. We have done structural testing of the modified connector mounting system. We have analysed the test results of the previous seven flights and necessary corrections have been incorporated.

The Mission Readiness Review [MRR] team, headed by Dr B.N. Suresh, former Director, VSSC, and comprising experts from ISRO, and directors and deputy directors of R & D and academic institutions, has been reviewing the work on the indigenous cryogenic engine preparations for the GSLV-D5 mission for nearly two years. The first task was to finalise the configuration of the GSLV-D5 vehicle, incorporating the changes required which are based on our learning from the previous seven flights. The MRR committee and the Flight Readiness Review committee have been monitoring the realisation of the sub-systems and the vehicle stages as well as the results of the tests that have been carried out, and they have already given the clearance for assembling the vehicle. On January 31, 2013, we started stacking the vehicle.

Similarly, in the cryogenic stage, the MRR committee has been overseeing the incorporation of the corrections and the results of the tests before giving clearance to the flight stage. The flight cryogenic stage was moved from Mahendragiri to Sriharikota on May 13, 2013, and the flight preparations are going on.

The next mission is the GSAT-7 communication satellite. That will be launched from French Guiana on August 22. IRNSS-1A, INSAT-3D, GSAT-14 and GSAT-7… we have a tough schedule. The IRNSS-1A is a geosynchronous satellite and the others are geostationary satellites.

After they are put into orbit by the PSLV, the GSLV or the Ariane vehicle, the orbit-raising operations will be performed by our team at the Master Control Facility [MCF] at Hassan in Karnataka and it will be followed by in-orbit operations and the in-orbit evaluation of their payloads.

Will the MCF at Bhopal support Hassan?

Bhopal will support Hassan. In addition to the initial operation of these four satellites, Hassan and Bhopal are engaged in the regular operation of the currently operational nine communication satellites. So this is a challenging period for the MCF and the teams from the ISRO Satellite Centre in Bangalore, the ISRO Inertial Systems Unit, the Space Applications Centre, the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre and so on for managing these four satellites because they have to be put in the right orbit and in the right slot.

We have set up a second Mission Control Centre at Hassan to take care of the overlapping in-orbit operations, and teams have been identified for this. Mission operation rehearsals are going on at the moment at Hassan.

We have set up a ground segment for IRNSS-1A which is essentially a network of satellite control facilities at Hassan where the health of the satellite will be monitored and its station-keeping will be done. Secondly, a set of ranging stations comprising four CDMA [Code Division Multiple Access] and two laser ranging stations to estimate the orbit very precisely, that is, to the extent of a few metres in the CDMA and a few centimetres in the laser ranging, have been set up. Besides, a set of 18 ground stations, geographically distributed across the country, have been set up to monitor the range and integrity of the navigation systems [of the satellites]. Finally, a navigation centre at Byalalu, near Bangalore, has been set up where all the inputs from these ground stations will be brought together and synthesised. This ground network at Byalalu is ready and it was inaugurated on May 20 by V. Narayanasamy, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Chandrayaan-1 was very popular and it fascinated the youth of the country. But the forthcoming Mars mission has not attracted the attention it deserves. Why is the Mars mission being kept low-key?

With the Mars mission, you are talking about opportunities that come once in 26 months when Mars comes the closest to the earth. The first opportunity to launch will be in October 2013 and the next will be in November 2013. On November 27, we have to take the spacecraft from the earth orbit towards Mars and if you look at ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission, we started the feasibility study in August 2010. In 2011, we decided to go ahead with the mission and the Prime Minister announced the programme on August 15, 2012.

A mission to Mars is far more complex than Chandrayaan in terms of the distances involved. At its nearest distance to the earth, Mars is 55 million km away and it can be as far as 400 million km away [when it is farthest from the earth]. Secondly, in raising the orbit of Chandrayaan, we moved the spacecraft from the earth [orbit] to the zone of influence of the moon. We were able to capture the lunar orbit precisely by using the propulsion system of the Chandrayaan spacecraft. In the Mars Orbiter Mission, its propulsion system has to function for 300 days after its first phase of operations in the earth orbit. You need to characterise the propulsion systems to restart after a long delay of 300 days. These tests are being done at the LPSC at Mahendragiri.

The next issue is communicating with the Mars Orbiter. This delay could be as high as 20 minutes from the ground station to the orbiter. This means it will take at least 40 minutes for the signal to come from the spacecraft to the ground station and for the command to go from the ground station to the spacecraft. In addition, you need time to take the right decisions. That means, it will be 40 minutes plus. Sometimes, we will not be able to afford this kind of delay if there is an anomaly in the spacecraft. So we have to build a reasonable amount of autonomy in the spacecraft itself to take care of itself. Thirdly, time is of the essence because the launch has to take place in October-end or the beginning of November, and all systems—the launch vehicle, the spacecraft, the payloads, the ground stations and so on—have to be ready. Once the spacecraft is put into the orbit of Mars, which is the primary objective of our mission, we will do some experiments. The challenge here is that they have to be relevant, simple and meaningful experiments. We should be able to realise the instruments in a flight-worthy condition in a tight schedule.

We have five instruments. Their flight models are ready. It has a colour camera [for optical imaging of the surface of Mars]. Then a methane sensor to detect possible life on Mars. This methane can originate in geological activity or biological activity. To find out whether there is geological activity, there is a thermal infra-red camera. Then the Martian atmosphere will be studied using a Lyman Alpha Photometer. There is a Martian Exposheric Neutron Composition Analyser (MENCA) to study the neutral composition of the Martian upper atmosphere. These are the five instruments. All these are being built by ISRO centres and units. The weight of the spacecraft is 1,350 kg. All the sub-systems are now available at the ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore, and their integration has commenced.

When will the spacecraft reach Sriharikota?

We expect to go through the thermo-vacuum testing of the spacecraft by mid-July. The spacecraft will be moved to Sriharikota in the beginning of September. Once it reaches SHAR, we will have 45 days to work on it. In parallel, preparations will get under way for the lift-off of PSLV-C25. It is the XL version of the PSLV that will put the Mars spacecraft into orbit. The assembly of the launch vehicle will start in the first week of August.

The next major components are the ground stations, and they will be centred around the Indian Deep Space Network [IDSN] at Byalalu with a 32-metre antenna system. We have augmented this system with a 20-kilwatt transmission power as compared to two kilowatt which we used for the Chandrayaan mission, because we have to send the commands from the ground station to the Mars Orbiter over such a great distance. We have also made arrangements with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration], United States, for using their Deep Space Network, required for the global support of our Mars mission. We are using one station in Australia also.

The next important thing is the navigation of the spacecraft from the earth orbit to the Mars orbit. This part is also being done with the necessary mission design analysis, simulation of autonomy and so on. In a nutshell, we are preparing ourselves and we are on schedule for the launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission any day between October 21 and the second week of November. We can choose a day and launch and then do the initial orbit-raising of the spacecraft from nearly 23,000 km to 2.2 lakh km around Mars. The shortest distance [around Mars] will be 370 km and the longest distance 80,000 km.

When you go around Mars, will the apogee be 80,000 km?

Do not put “gee” there. It is a complicated word. We can say the shortest distance and the largest.

How will you take pictures from a distance of 80,000 km?

There are two things. When it comes to a distance of 370 km, there will be a sequencing and measurements will be done. Secondly, there is the environment. There is a science team which is looking at the instruments. The primary objective of our mission is to see whether we can reach the Mars orbit. That is the acknowledged objective. There are also scientific objectives and a set of instruments for doing them. First we have to reach there.

You had thermal problems with regard to Chandrayaan.

When you talk of the thermal environment, it is much harsher compared to what you see in the earth orbit or the moon orbit. This has to be kept in mind.

Since the moon does not have an atmosphere, the albido that the moon gets is five times that of the earth. This compounds the problem. The other scientific mission we are working on is Astrosat. It will be launched in 2014. Its instruments are in the final stages of qualification.

It will be a useful satellite not only for the Indian scientific community but for the global astronomical community because it will be a multi-wavelength observatory. Probably, this is the first time in a multi-wavelength observatory that you will have instruments from one end of the spectrum to another.

What is the progress in ISRO’s Human Space Flight [HSF] programme of sending Indians into space?

We have done critical technologies for the HSF. They are in the development phase.

What is the Unified Launch Vehicle of ISRO?


That comes later. Today, we have the GSLV, and GSLV–Mark III is being developed. Of course, we have plans for an experimental mission of GSLV–Mark III.

I heard that it will be a passive flight of GSLV–Mark III. What is a passive flight?

It will be a passive cryo. You have the configuration of GSLV–Mark III, which comprises two solid strap-ons, S-200 with a propellant loading of 200 tonnes each; the liquid core stage which has a dual engine; and the high-thrust cryogenic stage [above it]. We call it C-25. That is, it will carry 25 tonnes of cryogenic propellants. The S-200 solid stage has already been qualified. One of the critical requirements is that the performance of the two strap-ons should be identical. The liquid stage has been qualified on the ground. Avionics and other sub-systems are ready. We are waiting for the completion of the development of the cryogenic engine and the stage.

One of the essential requirements is the atmospheric characterisation of this launch vehicle configuration. So without waiting for the cryogenic engine and the stage to be ready, we are going ahead with this experimental mission where we will have S-200 strap-ons and the L-110 [110 tonnes of liquid propellants] stages and the cryogenic stage which [the cryogenic engine] will not ignite. It will not give any acceleration to the vehicle. We will get nearly 5 km per second provided by the solid and liquid stages. It will be a sub-orbital flight. The most important part of it is that it will go through the atmospheric phase and we will make all the measurements in flight required to characterise the vehicle and its performance. This is scheduled for January 2014. This is going to be a major milestone in the GSLV–Mark III development.

There are three important developments taking place in the space transportation area. The first is the development of the semi-cryogenic engine.

The second is the Reusable Launch Vehicle–Technology Demonstrator [RLV-TD]. The third is the air-breathing propulsion. We have made good progress in the RLV-TD. We did a review recently. We expect the flight system to be ready within a year. The first stage will be a solid motor with nine tonnes of solid propellants, that is, S-9 rocket motor and a wind-body mounted on S-9.

The second stage is the air-breathing propulsion. We have a large sounding rocket developed for this purpose and we had a test of the sounding rocket with the passive scram-jet module in 2010. The idea is that when you have to test an active scram-jet module, you need to have a specific window of the acceleration and dynamic pressure. We have seen that this is possible to get. So the next flight of the sounding rocket will be with an active scram-jet module. We are preparing for that flight, that is, to find out the effectiveness of the air-breathing propulsion. In semi-cryogenic engine development, we had one test of the single injector element of semi-cryogenics done, the first combustion. But we have a long way to go. There is a massive test facility to be created for testing the semi-cryogenic engine and the sub-systems. All this is in the early phase, I would say.

You asked about the Unified Launch Vehicle. It is a future expendable launch vehicle concept. It is modular in shape, comprising semi-cryogenics as booster, a cryogenics as upper stage and strap-ons of different magnitudes made of solid rockets. It can be S-200, S-139 or S-9, depending on the payload requirement. The ULV is slightly futuristic.

The immediate task on hand is the development of GSLV–Mark III. Its experimental mission with a passive cryogenic stage will be in January 2014. After three years, a developmental flight with an active cryogenic stage will take place.

So the first GSLV–Mark III flight will be in 2017.

Yes. We should have the testing of the engine and the stage conducted.

What is the progress in the development of Chandrayaan-2?

Chandrayaan-2 essentially comprises an orbiter, a lander and a rover. It is a joint mission of India and Russia. The lander has to come from Russia. It will have some experiments from the Russians. In 2012, the Phobos-Grunt mission of Russia to Mars failed and subsequently the Russians have instituted an internal review of their interplanetary missions. They have to make some programmatic changes based on the outcome of that review, and the indications are that the lander will be heavier.

[Phobos-Grunt mission lifted off on November 8, 2011, to collect soil samples from the Martian moon called Phobos and send them back to the earth in a return capsule. “Grunt” means soil in the Russian language. Phobos-Grunt’s main engine never fired after the lift-off and the mission failed.] Chandrayaan-2 was to originally go in a GSLV and it required a four-metre heat shield. We will put Chandrayaan-2 on board the GSLV with an indigenous cryogenic engine after at least two successful flights. But we should have clarity on the lander schedule now.

So Chandrayaan-2 mission will not take place next year.

Earlier, the limiting factor for Chandrayaan-2 was a reliable GSLV. But today, the limiting factor is lander availability.

What is the cost of the Mars mission?

Rs.460 crore. We want to tell this country that Mars has a relevance. Some people ask, “Why are you spending Rs.460 crore?” Others will say that Rs.460 crore is only some four rupees per head in this country. Then some others will say it is only the price of an aircraft. So there are different ways of looking at it.

But it is a scientific mission and it is bound to capture the imagination of the country’s youth.

Science leads to understanding. We want to tell this country that this is a complex mission. Out of 42 missions that have gone so far [to Mars], many initial missions have been failures. That is because of lack of understanding…. People do not know about this complexity. Every step we take moving forward is a success in this mission. It is not only getting into orbit and doing experiments, but the entire mission is complex. This is what we want to sell to our country.

Our country has to be with us because this involves a year of work: once we launch the orbiter in October 2013, we will capture the Martian orbit only in September 2014. It is a one-year job. We have to watch everything. We did it with Chandrayaan-1 in two weeks. We launched the spacecraft on October 22, 2008. On November 14, 2008, we reached the final orbit. But here the engine aboard the Mars Orbiter has to work for 300 days. You should know the characteristics of the engine. You have to characterise what is the performance degradation taking place during that period. That test is going on at Mahendragiri now.
http://www.frontline.in/science-and-technology/in-mission-mode/article4945199.ece?homepage=true
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Old July 26th, 2013, 08:00 AM   #1466
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Superb. The ISRO Chief laid bare the complexities of a mature space program, acknowledging the shortfalls, the various investigations and its remedies and finally the way forward. Failures, deep dive analysis, corrections/remedies are all part and parcel of advancement. Sharing them with the public is what open democracies like India are all about.

Going to Mars is a definite quantum leap for ISRO and given their success to the moon I am sure they are capable. The project would certainly kindle the scientific curiosity in youngsters and motivate them to achieve great things for India.

The shoe string budget for these missions once again proves Indian frugal engineering and its triumph. No one should begrudge the amounts spent on space. Just as aside, the quantum of corruption in India by babus/politicians is mind boggling and could support budgets like those of NASA 10 times or more.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 10:43 AM   #1467
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Weather satellite INSAT-3D launched successfully

Bangalore, July 26: India today successfully launched its advanced meteorological spacecraft INSAT-3D by a European rocket from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana, enhancing the country’s capability in weather forecasting and disaster warning fields.

After a smooth countdown lasting 11 hours and 30 minutes, the Ariane-5 launch vehicle of the French commercial space transportation company Arianespace lifted off on schedule at the opening of the launch window at 1.24 AM IST.

The rocket, after a flight of 32 minutes and 48 seconds, placed INSAT-3D in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO), very close to the intended one.

Soon after the separation of INSAT-3D from Ariane-5’s upper cryogenic stage, the satellite’s solar panel automatically got deployed and ISRO’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka took over the control of the spacecraft.

Ariane 5 rocket also launched Alphasat, a co-passenger of INSAT-3D and Europe’s largest telecommunication satellite-ever manufactured.

In the coming days, orbit raising manoeuvres will be performed on INSAT-3D using the satellite’s own propulsion system to place it in the 36,000 km high Geostationary Orbit, the Bangalore-headquartered ISRO said.

“Preliminary health checks of all the subsystems of INSAT-3D bus were performed and the satellite’s health is satisfactory,” it said.

After placing the satellite at 82 deg East orbital slot, it is planned to turn on the meteorological payloads of INSAT-3D in the second week of next month to extensively test them.

INSAT-3D will add a new dimension to weather monitoring through its atmospheric sounding system, which provides vertical profiles of temperature, humidity and integrated ozone from surface to top of the atmosphere.

“I am happy to inform you that the MCF has already received signals from INSAT-3D,” Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K Radhakrishnan said minutes after the launch.

“We are looking forward to an excellent operational performance of INSAT-3D for the next seven years making a difference for the weather forecasting and disaster warning systems for the country,” said Radhakrishnan, also Secretary in the Department of Space.

Radhakrishnan did not travel to Kourou for the launch of INSAT-3D, designed to provide meteorological observation and monitoring of land and ocean surfaces.

However, senior ISRO officials including INSAT-3D Project Director S C Rastogi and Director of ISRO Satellite Centre S K Shivakumar were among those present at the Kourou spaceport.

With a lift-off mass of 2060 kg, INSAT-3D carried four payloads — Imager, Sounder, Data Relay Transponder (DRT) and Satellite Aided Search & Rescue payload.

The six channel imager can take weather pictures of the earth and has improved features compared to the payloads in KALPANA-1 and INSAT-3A, the two Indian Geostationary Satellites providing weather services for the past one decade.

The 19 channel sounder payload of INSAT-3D adds a new dimension to weather monitoring through its atmospheric sounding system, and provides vertical profiles of temperature, humidity and integrated ozone.

The DRT will be used for receiving meteorological, hydrological and oceanographic data from remote, uninhabited locations over the coverage area from Data Collection Platforms (DCPs) like Automatic Weather Station, Automatic Rain Gauge and Agro Met Stations.

India Meteorological Department and ISRO have established more than 1800 DCPs.

INSAT-3D is equipped with a search and rescue payload that picks up and relays alert signals originating from the distress beacons of maritime, aviation and land based users and relays them to the mission control centre to facilitate speedy search and rescue operations.

The major users of Satellite Aided Search and Rescue service in India are the Indian Coast Guard, Airports Authority of India, Directorate General of Shipping, Defence Services and fishermen.

The Indian service region includes a large part of the Indian Ocean region covering India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Tanzania for rendering distress alert services.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/...cle4955353.ece
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Old July 27th, 2013, 08:29 AM   #1468
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Old July 29th, 2013, 05:43 PM   #1469
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Bangalore, July 29:

US space agency NASA and India’s premier space agency ISRO are in talks for jointly building a satellite for the first time.

“Now, there is a feasibility study going on whether we can jointly make a satellite, with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) payloads working on two frequency bands — L-band and S-band”, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K Radhakrishnan told PTI here.

Charles F Bolden Jr., Administrator of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of United States, visited the Space Applications Centre (SAC) of ISRO in Ahmedabad on June 25.

He had a meeting with Radhakrishnan, also Secretary, Department of Space, along with senior officials of ISRO to discuss the ongoing cooperative activities between ISRO and NASA and also the potential areas of future cooperation.

”...the joint satellite mission is an important step. It’s not making an instrument and plugging it actually. It’s working together. That’s what we are discussing. It (working together) should happen in the next few months”, Radhakrishnan said.

“Both organisations are coming together and saying let’s develop it together... use your strength, use my strength. That’s a good way of working”, he said.

“It (the proposed satellite) is interesting from scientific point of view, it’s interesting from normal resource management point of view,” he said.

Radhakrishnan said NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory would make the radar system “if it (in case of NASA, ISRO deciding to work together on the mission) is getting through“.

On ISRO’s role, he said, “We will be working together. Some will be built by us, some will be built by them. So, this (work-sharing) has to be finalised”, adding, data generated by the mission would be used by both ISRO and NASA.
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Old August 5th, 2013, 08:14 PM   #1470
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ISRO to focus on R&D, industries’ space pie to be scaled up


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Industries’ contribution to India’s space programme would be significantly scaled up as ISRO looks to focus predominantly on Research & Development (R&D), the space agency’s chairman K. Radhakrishnan has said.

Mr. Radhakrishnan said the industries associated with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) are all currently “jobbing partners” but their role would go up further, in view of programmes to enhance the production of satellites and rockets.

According to ISRO officials, more than 500 small, medium and large—scale industries participate in the space programme in the form of hardware development and supply, software and other services.

Mr. Radhakrishnan, also Secretary in the Department of Space, said nearly 80 per cent of direct cost of Polar Satellite Launch vehicle, for example, flows to industries, a figure which would go up further, but hastened to add that ISRO would continue to have a role.

Operational communication satellites and operational launch vehicles should predominantly be carried out through the industrial sector”, he told PTI as he gave an overview of ISRO’s thrust in the 12th plan (2012—2017).

Mr. Radhakrishnan said ISRO is working out a model by which industries would get into the task of integration of stages and rockets. At present, industrial association with ISRO has several layers but the space agency now wants to bring all such partners together.

“It’s an orchestra you have to mobilise with ISRO also being there,” he said.

We have to work out a model in which the amount of energy and resources spent by ISRO for these launch vehicles will be reduced and they (industries) will take up. We (ISRO) want to predominantly focus on new developments and research and development for the future. That’s the basic idea,” added Mr. Radhakrishnan.

Bangalore-headquartered ISRO plans to undertake 58 missions — 25 launch vehicles (rockets) and 33 satellites — during the 12th Plan. Work has already started on building a six—tonne class communication satellite.

Plans are also on to launch an earth observation satellite having capability to get 50 metre resolution pictures from geostationary orbit, the ISRO Chairman said.

ISRO’s upcoming satellites Cartosat-2D and Cartosat-2C would have spatial resolution of 0.6 metres and Cartosat-3 0.25 metres.

Astrosat, an astronomical observatory for study of cosmic sources, would be launched next year, he said.

“Astrosat is going to be a very major initiative for astronomy not only for ISRO and India but for the world.”
http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/sci...?homepage=true
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Old August 6th, 2013, 01:57 PM   #1471
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Isro kicks off Mars mission campaign with PSLV assembly


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The launch campaign for India's Rs 450-crore Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), slated for lift off between October and November, kicked off on Monday as Isro engineers began assembling the four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) at Sriharikota.

The 44.4-metre tall brown-and-white PSLV is the advanced version of the rocket called PSLV-XL. The MOM flight is designated C-25, which will mark the silver jubilee of the highly-successful PSLV. Interestingly, the start of the campaign nearly coincides with the first anniversary of the nail-biting touchdown of Nasa's one-tonne, SUV-sized rover Curiosity on the Red Planet at 11am (IST) on August 6, 2012.
Source: TOI
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Old August 10th, 2013, 01:44 AM   #1472
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Indigenous cryogenic engine to power GSLV-D5 on Aug. 19


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The indigenous cryogenic stage of the GSLV-D5 being mated with the rocket's second stage in the Vehicle Assembly Building of the second launch pad at Sriharikota.

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ISRO expects it will perform smoothly this time; earlier one failed in April 2010

As Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D5) is slated to lift off around 5 p.m. on August 19 from Sriharikota, and various checks showing that the vehicle is in the pink of its health, the mood is one of optimism at the spaceport.

The mission’s significance is that GSLV-D5 is powered by an indigenous cryogenic engine and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has used every expertise available in the country to ensure that the engine performs smoothly this time. The rocket will put India’s advanced communication satellite called GSAT-14, weighing 1,980 kg, into orbit.

ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan told The Hindu, “The Mission Readiness Review (MRR) has cleared the vehicle. The integration of the satellite with the launch vehicle has been completed. On August 11, we plan to move the vehicle to the launch pad.”

There is enormous focus on this mission, as the GSLV flight with an indigenous cryogenic engine failed in April 2010. The subsequent GSLV flight with a Russian cryogenic stage also failed in December of that year.

S. Ramakrishnan, Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, brimmed with confidence when asked whether the indigenous cryogenic engine would perform well this time.

“Of course,” he said. “We are doing well. We have done all the possible tests. As of now, the [cryogenic] stage health is fine. All checks show that the health of the vehicle is all right.”

It would take about an hour for the 49-metre tall rocket, weighing 414 tonnes, to roll on a one-km long rail track from the 17-storey tall VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building) to the launch pad on August 11. A platform with wheels, on which the three-stage vehicle was stacked up inside the VAB, would ferry the rocket to the launch pad.

Mr. Ramakrishnan said, “Once we go to the launch pad, we will connect the umbilicals. During the final countdown, which will be of the order of 35 hours, the rocket will be filled with propellants. The satellite has already been filled with propellants.”

Positive results

M.C. Dathan, Director of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), called the August 6 MRR “a wonderful meeting,” because “there was no apprehension or anxiety” excepting a couple of minor issues. Tests on the vehicle yielded positive results.

Mr. Dathan asserted “we have made use of every possible expertise available in the country” to ensure that the indigenous cryogenic engine performed flawlessly. This included expertise from the academic institutions, and research and development centres.

In April 2010, the indigenous cryogenic engine ignited; the steering engine and the gas generator ignited, but the ignition could not be sustained beyond 800 milliseconds and the fuel booster turbo pump (FBTP) stopped.

Dr. Radhakrishnan elaborated on the steps taken to address the inadequacies of the 2010 flight. He said, “Over the last three years… we have done a series of ground tests on the sub-systems and the cryogenic engine” at the LPSC at Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu, “after making the necessary design changes in the FBTP and the oxidiser turbo pump.” An important test done this year was testing the FBTP in operating conditions at cryogenic temperatures. Ignition of the engine in high-altitude conditions [simulating the vacuum in space] was also done. The duration of this test was 3.5 seconds, when the ignition of the main engine, the gas generator and the two steering engines should take place in a given sequence. “This happened.”

Keywords: Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV-D5, ISRO, GSAT-14
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Old August 10th, 2013, 02:31 PM   #1473
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Is this cryogenic technology indian or russian ?
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Old August 10th, 2013, 02:49 PM   #1474
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Indian.. indigenously built @ Mahendragiri, TN
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Old August 16th, 2013, 10:55 AM   #1475
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GSLV D5 From ISRO Facebook page:

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Old August 16th, 2013, 02:22 PM   #1476
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Bangalore, Aug 16:

India’s proposed human spaceflight programme that generated considerable excitement in the second half of the last decade is off the priority list of ISRO, with the mission being ruled out before 2017.

The ambitious venture that could have electrified the entire space programme and given New Delhi a vantage position as a human space transportation provider after Russia and China does not figure in the Space Department’s 12th plan (2012-2017). The US is out of business with decommissioning of its space shuttle programme.

Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation K Radhakrishnan says “very good progress” has been made in terms of developing critical technologies for the mission (which has been on the drawing board since 2002) but refuses to commit a time-frame for the launch.

“We have not declared it as a programme. We must have a reliable, man-rated vehicle (GSLV). Both are important”, Radhakrishnan, also Secretary in the Department of Space and Chairman of Space Commission, told PTI here.

“We are not going to see the human spaceflight as a programme in the 12th plan. We will see may be later. It has to be seen after that“.

“Even for you to talk about it, you have to have certain new technologies which are involved in the human space flight programme. That’s what we are addressing“.

The programme’s objective is to undertake a mission to carry a crew of two or three members to 300 km Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and return them safely to a predefined destination on Earth.
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Old August 18th, 2013, 05:48 AM   #1477
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Old August 19th, 2013, 03:32 AM   #1478
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Old August 19th, 2013, 10:45 AM   #1479
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Can anyone explain the difference btwn the terms 'Geosynchronous' and 'Geostationary' in simple language?

Thanks!
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Old August 19th, 2013, 12:19 PM   #1480
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for those who want to watch it live

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