Τετάρτη, 22 Οκτωβρίου 2008

India launches first moon mission


http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE49L0HG20081022?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews
SRIHARIKOTA, India (Reuters) - India launched its first unmanned moon mission on Wednesday following in the footsteps of rival China, as the emerging Asian power celebrated its space ambitions and scientific prowess.
Chandrayaan-1 (Moon vehicle), a cuboid spacecraft built by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) blasted off from a southern Indian space center shortly after dawn in a boost for the country's ambitions to gain more global space business.
Chinese astronauts were feted as national heroes last month after their country's first space walk, and India did not want to be left behind.
"What we have started is a remarkable journey," G. Madhavan Nair, chairman of ISRO, told reporters.
India's national television channels broadcast the event live. Some scientists thumped their chests, hugged each other and clapped as the rocket shot up into space.
Greeted with patriotism in the media, the launch appeared to have helped India regain its self-confidence, which has taken a beating in recent weeks amid signs of an economic slowdown as well as international criticism over Hindu attacks on Christians.
Perhaps remarkably in a country where hundreds of millions of people still live in desperate poverty and millions of children remain malnourished, the cost of the moon mission has scarcely been questioned.

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Indian Space Research Organization
Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft carrying 11 scientific instruments weighs about 1400 kg at the time of its launch and is shaped like a cuboid with a solar panel projecting from one of its sides. The state of the art subsystems of the spacecraft, some of them miniaturised, facilitate the safe and efficient functioning of its 11 scientific instruments.
The launch of Chandrayaan-1 takes place from the Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR, Sriharikota in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh state. Sriharikota is situated at a distance of about 80 km to the North of Chennai.
Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft begins its journey from earth onboard India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C11) and first will reach a highly elliptical Initial Orbit (IO). In the Initial Orbit, the perigee (nearest point to earth) is about 250 km and apogee (farthest point from the earth) is about 23,000 km. ..
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PSLV-C11: The Launcher
Hoisting thethird & fourth stages
PSLV C11 stages at a glance
http://www.isro.org/pslv-c11/brochure/page10.htm
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A distinct feature of India's space effort is its openness and, as a result, willingness to cooperate with anyone ready for a dialogue. In practical terms, this has translated into effective collaboration with two leading space powers - the U.S.S.R./Russia and the U.S. Both helped New Delhi in the fields where they led: Russia gave advice on launching techniques, and supplied a number of up-to-date cryogenic devices. It also trained Indian cosmonauts for manned flights aboard Russian orbiting platforms.
The Americans contributed to the creation of India's satellite system. In the mid-1970s, NASA leased India its ATS-6 communications satellite for a year to beam TV programs directly to the country's agricultural areas. Also, India's first regular communications satellite was manufactured in the U.S. Aside from helping with communications satellites, the Americans also assisted India in developing its own remote sensing, or earth observation satellites, which are essential in a country engaged in farming and livestock breeding in hard-to-reach terrain. The result is that India today has a constellation of six remote sensing satellites, the largest inventory after America's.
In manned flights, India relies on Russian experience. In 1984, its first and so far only Indian cosmonaut visited the Soviet Salyut-7 station. In March 2008, according to ISRO's Advanced Technology and Planning Department, India asked the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) to host an Indian cosmonaut on Russia's Soyuz craft in preparation for India's own manned expedition in the middle of the next decade. Prof. Sastri, the director of the department, said Russia reacted positively to the Indian proposal. India's Moon program is directly linked with Russia. Last year, the two countries signed an agreement on a joint lunar expedition in 2011-2012. This time a space ship consisting of two modules is planned to fly to the Moon. The first module will stay in lunar orbit, while the second one will make a soft landing. A lunar rover will roll out of it to collect data on the Moon's mineral resources.
http://en.rian.ru/world/20081022/117877523.html



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