Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)

  • A perfect 10

    The Indian Space Research Organisation makes history by launching 10 satellites in one flight of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.

  • Zooming pride

    The anxiety at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre was palpable. As the countdown ended, ISRO's chairman G. Madhavan Nair and his team could hardly believe their eyes. ISRO's pride was skyrocketing. Despite their optimism, it was a nail-biting launch when Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) lifted off with 10 satellites from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on April 28.

  • Champagne Supernova

    One rocket Ten satellites. ISRO's PSLV triumph helps it zoom into a niche orbit.

  • Switch on and swish off

    Fuel-efficient and low on emissions, hybrid cars are the vehicles of the future

  • ISRO's manned space mission gets Rs 125-cr allocation

    Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) human space mission proposal has got its first significant budgetary share, Rs 125 crore, while the Department of Space has got 24 per cent raise in outlay for its 2008-09 activities. The space budget of Rs 4,074 crore, compared with Rs 3,290 crore last fiscal, partially provides for at least three major projects

  • Space plans get Rs 120-crore boost

    Allocation Will Help Begin Work Related To Manned Flight, Says Isro TEAM TOI India's ambitious plan to launch manned space missions received a boost on Friday with the government sanctioning more than Rs 100 crore for the initiative. With the budgetary allocation jumping from Rs 4 crore to Rs 125 crore this year, the Rs 10,000-crore space programme now seems to be steadily moving from the drawing boards to the launchpad at Sriharikota. Tentatively, the lift off is slated for 2014. Speaking to TOI on Friday, Isrospokesperson S Satish said the massive hike meant that the pre-project activities related to the manned flight would be initiated this year. This will essentially mean preparing the infrastructure for the flight, he said, adding that GSLV MK3 three-stage rocket, now under development, would be used for the mission. The first developmental flight of this rocket is expected to take place in early 2009. Apart from using it for a manned space flight, the GSLV Mk3 is intended to place into orbit four-tonne class of communication satellites in the geosynchronous transfer orbit. The project envisages the development of a number of technologies which include a 200-tonne solid booster, 25-tonne cryogenic engines and 110-tonne liquid-stage engines as core boosters. Welcoming the hike for the project in the budget, India's first and only spaceman Rakesh Sharma said the move reflected the government's

  • Stronger evidence of global warming

    With more recent data on the Himalayan glaciers from the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites, scientists of the Space Applications Centre (SAC) of the Indian Space Research Organisaation (ISRO) at Ahmedabad now have much stronger evidence of the finger print of global warming in the observed alarming retreat of these glaciers. The new results were presented at the ongoing National Space Science Symposium (NSSS-2008) here by Dr. Anil V. Kulkarni of SAC. In 2004 Dr. Kulkarni and his colleagues investigated the spatial extent of 466 glaciers in the basins of Chenab, Parbati and Baspa using remote sensed data and compared them with the 1962 topographic data of the Survey of India. They found an overall reduction of 21 per cent in the glacial surface area. They had also found that the process of deglaciation had led to the fragmentation of large glaciers resulting in the reduction in the mean surface area of glacial extent from 1 sq. km. to 0.32 sq. km. during 1962-2004. The new data pertains to two additional basins of Warwan and Bhut comprising 253 and 189 glaciers respectively. Together with the earlier data on 466 glaciers, the cumulative area of these 908 Himalayan glaciers has been found to have reduced from 3391 sq. km. to 2721 sq. km., implying a total area reduction of 20 per cent. Another new finding is that the snow line

  • India plans to launch satellite to study sun

    India is planning to launch a satellite to study the sun, the Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday. Satellite Aditya will study the corona, the outermost region of the sun, and other crucial parameters of space weather, minister of state in the PMO Prithviraj Chavan said in a written reply. The satellite will also study coronal mass ejection or solar flares, evolution and structures of coronal magnetic field. The mission is intended to enhance scientific knowledge of the sun's radiation and continuous monitoring of its atmosphere, Mr Chavan said. The data generated will also help to design satellites to withstand adverse effects of solar environment, he said. Sources said the 100-kg satellite is expected to be launched by 2012 and likely to be placed in a near-earth orbit of 600 km. The sun's corona is highly active, releasing energy during solar flares in the form of bursts manifesting as geomagnetic storms on earth. These storms can distort the earth's magnetic field and have a huge bearing on near-earth space where satellites are located. Isro has built a mobile launching pedestal at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota as a part of augmentation to the existing second launch pad, Mr Chavan said in reply to a separate question. The launch of Chandrayaan I, India's maiden moon mission, has been shifted to June-July in reply to a separate question. The launch of Chandrayaan I, India's maiden moon mission, has been shifted to June-July

  • ISRO ponders mission to red planet before 2015

    Ambitious space missions drawn up by ISRO's Advisory Committee After the Moon, it could be Mars before 2015 for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) if the ambitious space missions drawn up by ISRO's Advisory Committee for Space (ADCOS) up to the year 2020 are realised in the envisaged time frame. This was disclosed here by Prof. U.R. Rao, former Chairman of ISRO and currently Chairman of ADCOS, in his inaugural address at the four-day 15th National Space Science Symposium (NSSS-2008) which got underway on Tuesday. It was on the basis of the recommendations made by ADCOS that the first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1, which will be an orbiter-cum-impactor mission, and the multi-wavelength X-ray astronomical satellite ASTROSAT have been undertaken by ISRO. Chandrayaan-1, originally scheduled for an April launch window, is now postponed by a few months and will be launched by mid-2008. The mission is chiefly aimed at understanding the chemistry and mineralogy of the lunar surface. It comprises 11 instrument payloads, which include five indigenous experiments, two joint experiments of ISRO with external agencies and the remaining four wholly foreign. According to ISRO sources, four of the payloads have been totally integrated with the lunar satellite and the remaining are in various stages of integration. ASTROSAT is expected to be launched in 2009. ADCOS, Prof. Rao said, had recently constituted four major panels on Planetary Exploration, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Space Weather and Weather and Climate Science. In recent months the deliberations of these panels have resulted in the identification of candidate future scientific missions on the basis of which the Committee has drawn up a perspective plan up to the year 2020, that also includes programmes for the Eleventh Five Year Plan period 2007-2012, he said. The exercises of defining these missions are likely to be taken up in due course. The identified missions include Chandrayaan-2, which ADCOS envisages to be a lunar orbiter mission again but this time with the possibility of including a lander-rover and robotic instruments to carry out, if possible, in situ analyses of lunar samples. Studies related to this mission are already on and Chandrayaan-2 is expected to be launched by 2012. Prof. Rao, in fact, expected this to be followed by more lunar missions. Some other important future scientific missions that ADCOS has identified include: A Mars Orbiter, to be taken up in the time frame 2009-2015, for the exploration of Mars with regard to the effect of solar wind, studies of its surface magnetic field, and search for palaeo-water; Asteroid orbiter or comet fly-by during the time frame 2009-2017, with the near-earth asteroid as the primary target; Space-borne solar coronograph by 2012 in the visible and infrared. A twin-satellite mission is planned to probe the electromagnetic field of the near-earth space during 2008-2010; small satellites carrying primary payloads such as (a) a nadir-viewing multi-angle polarisation imager and multi-spectral sensor; (b) payload for measuring vertical distribution of aerosols; and, (c) IR spectrometer for measuring atmospheric trace gases by 2010. Besides the small satellite scientific mission solar coronograph mentioned above, several other small satellite missions have also been proposed for the period beyond 2010. As for the upcoming near-term scientific missions besides Chandrayaan-1, there is the Indo-Russian mission called RT-2, aimed at hard X-ray spectrometry and imaging, which will be flown aboard the Russian launcher Photon-Coronas and is scheduled be launched this year. The other is the Indo-Israeli mission called TAUVEX, a UV imaging satellite, which will be launched along with GSAT-4 aboard ISRO's launcher GSLV. This is also scheduled for launch in 2008. A dedicated Space Science Instrumentation Facility (SSIF) is also proposed to be established shortly as a separate wing of ISRO.

  • Satellite can supervise Polo forest

    Forest officials believe that satellite images may prove to be their saving grace from the precarious situation created by rebellious tribals, who have stormed the Polo forest, cut over 1,000 thousands and built bamboo huts to prove their ownership of forest land.

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