Thursday, March 30, 2023
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Just 2.1km short of the touchdown, Vikram lander loses contact with ISRO


By: Talat Mohsin

India had ventured to do something no country had done before- land on the moon’s south pole. But it’s attempt turned into failure when the robotic spacecraft diverged from its path and all communications with the lander was lost. The incident happened 13 minutes after the lander of the Chandrayaan 2 began it’s descent on the surface. The lander had reduced its velocity of 1.6 km/sec to half within the first 7 minutes and had come down to an altitude of 7 km.

ISRO chief Kailasavavadivoo Sivan confirmed the news and also added that the data from the lander has been analyzed and that the bump will not end in the failure of the Chandrayaan 2 mission. Prime minister Modi interacted with chief Sivan on Saturday and also addressed the ISRO team, saying- “When ISRO has it’s an encyclopaedia of success, some hurdles cannot put its a flight out of trajectory. Learnings from today will make us stronger and better; there will be new dawn”.

The mission has been reported to be a 95% success, with the orbiter estimated to go around the moon for over a year. “ the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter is healthy and safe in the lunar orbit”, an ISRO official said.

President Kovind lauded the team for their efforts by saying that the entire team of ISRO has shown exemplary commitment and courage. The whole country has reached out to ISRO and has commended them for their work. Some of the reactions are as follows:

Two women leaders behind the success of Chandrayaan-2


Chandrayaan-2 for the second time successfully sets off from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on Monday making India a powerful space superpower.

Image source: The Business Standard

The project credit goes to the team leading behind the mission, their dedication and immense hard work in the process of creating history in itself. Another interesting thing to be noted- the project was lead by two brilliant women leaders as mentioned by K Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The project leader Muthayya Vanitha, will be the first woman project direct director of ISRO. She is an electronic system engineer who had a heavy task of building a spaceship-like Chandrayaan-2. Her task to handle the data was highly accurate for India’s remote sensing satellites. Dr. M Anndurai, the first project director of Chandrayaan-1 says “ Vanitha is an expert in data handling. She was comfortable in her digital/hardware section and was hesitant to move to a project director role. This role not only involves nearly 18 hours of the work day at its peak, which means many sacrifices but is also in the national limelight bringing heavy responsibility of its own.”

On the other hand, Ritu Karidhal famously called as the ‘rocket woman of India’ was a Deputy Operation Director for the Mars Orbiter Mission in 2013. She has completed her Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. Her responsibility at the agency was to check the spacecrafts outward autonomy system. Also, she has received the ISRO team Award MOM, Women achievers in Aerospace, among other accolades.

The success behind their success is their dedication, patience, hard work and lastly the long tedious hours of work they put up for the project. Chandrayaan-2 will explore the South Pole region of the moon which is going to be the biggest milestone for India’s Scientific capabilities.

New Space PSU incorporated can become the commercial arm of ISRO


Union Budget 2019, presented by the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, incorporates a new space PSU. It will be called New Space India Limited (NSIL) and would function as the commercial arm of ISRO. NSIL is most likely to replace Antrix Corporation as the functionalities overlap each other.

The new entity would be responsible for marketing of space products, transfers of technology and arranging commercial space launches with ISRO.

These functions are currently performed by Antrix Corporation, a fully-owned government company which functions under the administrative control of the Department of Space. Though the Finance Minister did not mention it, the new entity, New Space India Limited, is likely to replace Antrix Corporation and not be an additional entity.

Antrix Corporation has earlier come under trouble due to its strongly overlapping management structure with ISRO.

ISRO launches EMISAT to provide intelligence to Armed Forces


Just after 6 days of the launch of ASAT by DRDO, ISRO launches EMISAT that would locate enemy radar sites. It would certainly enhance India’s military capabilities. This was PSLV’s 47th flight. ISRO also launched 28 other nano satellites as well.

”Today, PSLV-C45 successfully injected EMISAT in a 748-km orbit and 28 other satellites in a 504-km orbit as sought by the customers,” ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said.

The four-stage PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) was launched at 9.27 a.m. from the second launch pad. EMISAT, with its core payload or brain coming from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was released first into its planned slot from the fourth stage or PS4, 17 minutes into the launch.

EMISAT detects electronic signals on ground, especially hidden enemy radars. This capacity will help India in surgical warfare which is supposed to have become a permanent option for India to check Pakistan-sponsored terrorism after Balakot surgical strike. This low-Earth orbit satellite that weighs 436 kg, sources say, will monitor and give locations for enemy radar sites deep in their territory. Till now, India was using airplanes as early warning platforms, but this satellite will give a space-based platform to sniff out enemy radars.

According to the Hindu, ISRO has started reusing PS4 as an innovated, low-cost, space-friendly test bed for its own microgravity experiments and those of others. It has been gradually putting additional support systems also on every new PS4; the power generating solar panels are new this time. This is the third such mission.

The PS4-fourth stage hosts three payloads in this mission. It carries an ISRO test of Automatic Identification System (AIS) related to tracking ships on the sea.

AMSAT, or the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, India, has sent a payload called the Automatic Packet Repeating System. This is expected to help amateur radio operators to get improved locational accuracy in their tracking and monitoring activity.

The third one, the Advanced Retarding Potential Analyser for Ionospheric Studies, has been sent up by ISRO’s university, the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology.

Image Source: Twitter

The other 28 international satellites are 25 3U type, two 6U type and one 2U type nano -satellites. They are from Lithuania (two), Spain (1), Switzerland (1) and the United States (24). All these satellites are being launched under commercial arrangements, ISRO said.

Government hikes research stipend by 24%, much less than the demanded 80%


The wait is finally over. The months-long protest has finally reaped ‘fruits’. The anticipations of the research scholar community can now sleep in peace. The government has increased their stipend by 24%, which is the least increment in since 2010. Adding salt to the wounds, Department of Science and Technology is also considering to reduce the number of fellowships in the future.

According to the new revision, the Junior Research Fellow (JRF) will get Rs 31,000 and Senior Research Fellow (SRF) will get Rs 35,000 as their monthly stipend which will come to effect from January 2019 onwards. After the last fellowship hike that took place in 2014, a JRF fellow gets Rs 25,000 and SRF fellow gets Rs 28,000 as a monthly stipend. There used to be an unofficial hike in stipend after every 4 years. Among those hikes, this is the least in terms of percentage.

The researchers across the nation united for the cause. 2000 even got arrested while protesting in front of MHRD. They went for hunger strikes, candle marches, etc. Their demand was a hike of at least 80% and payment without delays. Even after the hike, researchers protested in front of MHRD on 30th January. 700 were detained by the police.

The pathetic state of research in India needs no introduction. India spends less than 1 percent of its GDP on research and development. The scientists, each year organize rallies for increasing that figure to 3% of the GDP. But, it is of no use. The Government keeps patting its back over the achievements of ISRO, BARC, IITs, and IISc. But when it comes to funding and supporting them, they vanish in the thin air and announce such ‘chillar’ increment (term used by the researchers to describe the move).

Role of research in any country’s development is crucial. Decades of research on materials and basic science takes the foundation for the new technology. These new technologies make help the countries to progress with their utilization in their respective industries. The Ph.D. degree is the gateway of the academic career and research. They are the future lecturers and researchers. Supporting them means supporting the nation. Many researchers opt to go abroad for research as they know that India is not the ideal place for their talent and brain. The government is just proving their point.

GSAT-11: ‘The Big Bird’ launched and is flying high in space


The most powerful satellite of India, GSAT-11, also known as ‘The Big Bird’, launched successfully. It is also the heaviest India-made satellite. It will provide internet to remote villages where cable-based internet cannot reach. 

‘Big Bird’ was successfully launched into space today from the French space port of Kourou in South America. The satellite, launched at 2.07 am (IST). The satellite, weighing 5,854 kg, is the heaviest Indian-made equipment that the agency put into its orbit.

This is the second attempt after the first attempt failed in May earlier this year.

GSAT-11 is the next generation high throughput communication satellite that will play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country. It will also provide a platform to demonstrate new generation applications. 

Dr K Sivan, ISRO chief

Why GSAT-11 is special? 

Apart from the superlatives like being the heaviest and the most powerful Indian man-made object in space, the space agency says it will give users high data rate connectivity, both on the Indian mainland and on the islands, through user and hub beams in two frequency bands: Ku and Ka.

The first uses frequencies ranging between 12 and 18 GHz (gigahertz), and the second, between 26 and 40 GHz, the European Space Agency says.

The Ka band, used in both communication satellites and military aircraft radars, is being introduced in India for the first time through GSAT-11.

“GSAT-11 will boost the broadband connectivity to rural and inaccessible gram panchayats in the country coming under the Bharat Net Project, which is part of the Digital India programme,” Sivan said.

Along with its three siblings, GSAT-19, GSAT-29 and GSAT-20, the satellite will be a “game changer for providing internet access and data communications for India and will aid the digital India program. Dr Sivan adds.

The “Big Bird” has cost about Rs. 600 crore. The Ariane-5 heavyweight rocket was hired from Arianespace by ISRO. The satellite is expected to have a life span of 15 years.

चेन्नई में होने वाले भारत और ऑस्ट्रेलिया के बीच तीसरा वनडे से जुड़े 6 रोचक आंकड़े Test लाड़ली लक्ष्मी योजना में प्रदेश की हर महिला को मिलेंगे 1000 रूपये महीना लाड़ली बहना योजना का ऐसे उठाएं लाभ, हर महीने मिलेंगे 1000 रुपये