U.S., India, China Step-Up Moon Exploration

NASA scientists have plans to visit the Earth-Moon Lagrangian point, or EML-2, about 37,000 miles above the far side of the Moon, where the gravitational pull of two separate bodies creates “parking places” or stable areas to land orbiting spacecraft. There is no clear timeline to this plan yet. China plans to land on the far side of the Moon some time this year. And this summer, India plans a tricky, soft landing on an ancient high plain of the Moon, where scientists think the rock may be 4 billion years old, some 370 miles from the lunar south pole. A landing so far from the lunar equator will be a first of its kind.

India’s ISRO the state-owned Space Research Organization is in the last phase of testing its Chandrayaan-2 mission (in Hindi, chandra means Moon, and yaan means vehicle). Chandrayaan-2 is an unmanned mission with three components: orbiter, lander, and rover, which will represent the country’s second visit to the moon. In particular, ISRO wants to to ascertain the Moon’s temperature near its poles; record moonquakes; gather data about charged particles in its atmosphere; and determine how water circulates on it. (The new mission’s predecessor, Chandrayaan-1 carried an American instrument which found the first evidence that there was water ice on the moon.)

Chandrayaan 1 Lift Off

So far, no country has been able to land on the far side of the moon, or near its shadowy poles. India wants to tackle both those firsts this year.

February 12, 2018   No Comments

India’s Mars Probe Completes 1,000 Days in Orbit

Originally designed to last only six months, India’s Mars Orbiter Mission, also known as Mangalyaan, completed 1,000 earth days in orbit around the Red Planet, exceeding all expectations of the $74 million mission.

Launched by state-owned Indian Space Research Organization on November 5, 2013, Mangalyaan entered Mars’ orbit on September 24, 2014, in its first attempt.

The color camera on the satellite has produced more than 715 images, the Indian Space Agency said, adding that data from the orbiter mission’s first year, released last September, is available for public use.

Regional dust storm activities over Northern Hemisphere of Mars - captured by Mangalyaan's color camera

Regional dust storm activities over Northern Hemisphere of Mars – captured by Mangalyaan’s color camera

The other 4 scientific payloads on board the orbiter are: A methane sensor; an experiment that helps to gauge the solar forcing on the Mars atmosphere; one that measures emitted thermal infrared radiation; and another one that helps to calculate the deuterium to hydrogen ratio (D/H ratio) in the planet’s atmosphere, reports the Hindustan Times.

June 19, 2017   No Comments

India’s Heaviest Rocket Launches Satellite

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk III, christened “Fat Boy”, lifted off from the Sriharikota space center in southern India on June 5, 2017. At 6,914 lb, or more than three tonnes, and the height of a 13-story building, the GSAT-19 satellite is the heaviest that India has tried to put in orbit, India’s Space Research Organization said. The rocket used a cryogenic engine developed in India.

GSLV Mk III has put GSAT 19, which is a next generation satellite, into orbit,” Indian Space Research Organization chief A.S. Kiran Kumar said. “It is a perfect launch. The information from the satellite is being tracked. And it is good.”

GSLV MK III

A 2015 report by Colorado-based nonprofit organization Space Foundation pegged the global space industry at $323 billion, says Reuters. India’s share of the global launch services industry is about 0.6 percent, government data shows.

 

June 5, 2017   No Comments

U.S., India Collaborate on Building Radar Satellite

NASA and India’s ISRO – the Indian Space Research Organization – will jointly build a satellite called NISAR or the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite which could be the world’s most expensive Earth imaging satellite, and will cost the two countries over 1.5 billion dollars.

In a meeting in Toronto, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and K.Radhakrishnan, Chairman ISRO, signed two documents to launch the NASA-ISRO satellite mission.

“NISAR is the first big collaboration between NASA and ISRO, certainly on radar  but just in general as well. This is two frequency radar:  it is an L-band 24 centimeter  and S-band 13 centimeter. S-band is being built by ISRO and L-band by NASA. It is a major collaboration both in terms of the technical building of the satellite as well as working together across the Pacific between India and U.S.,” said Paul A. Rosen, a scientist working on the NISAR satellite project.

The NISAR satellite will be launched in 2021 from India using ISRO’s  Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, reports NDTV.

US and India Flags

May 25, 2017   No Comments

KKR Invests $50 Million in India’s Walchand Nagar Industries

New York City-based private equity firm KKR & Co., will invest $50 million (Rs 300 crore) in Mumbai-based Walchand Nagar Industries, one of India’s oldest business groups.
KKR has so far deployed around $4 billion in structured financing to business groups in India over the past seven years, and has invested approximately $2.5 billion in 12 private equity transactions since 2006. The company’s India strategy has been predominantly into partnership deals and it has developed a niche structured-credit platform, in India.
KKR Logo

The deal will help Walchand retire some of its bank loans, besides providing capital to drive growth. The funds will also be used for expansion of its defense business, reports the Economic TimesWalchand Nagar Industries has a strong presence in India’s defense, aerospace, and nuclear industries, and, according to its website, it works closely with India’s Defense Research and Development Organization, and Space Research Organization.

May 22, 2017   No Comments