Tuesday, September 8, 2009

India's Lunar Honeymoon Over

By Ameer Alam
The Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO) terminated the Chandrayaan-1 mission 18 hours after losing contact with the spacecraft on Aug 29, 09. The spacecraft completed less than half (10 months) of its two year mission life.

The initial inkling of something amiss came of May 19, 09 when the satellite was suddenly raised from a lunar orbit of 100 km to 200 km orbit. ISRO did not disclose the nature of the problems at that time, instead it claimed that "the higher altitude would enable further studies on gravity anomalies and imaging a wider swath of lunar surface". Later it was revealed that both the primary and secondary star trackers (sensor units), had failed on orbit. Star tracker is a part of the spacecraft attitude control system, which accurately orients the spacecraft and helps keep the cameras and other instruments properly aimed at the lunar surface. The ISRO controllers then switched to a less accurate option of a combination of gyroscopes, antenna-pointing data and lunar landmarks to determine spacecraft orientation.

To make matters worse the Chandrayaan-1 had earlier lost power supply to the satellite primary bus management unit due to overheating. The bus management unit is an on-board computer that performs real-time data, navigation and control processing for the satellite. After the secondary unit lost power the ground controllers stopped receiving telemetry data, radio contact was lost and the mission was abandoned.

Earlier on Aug 20, NASA and ISRO performed joint observations with their lunar orbiters to determine evidence of water/ice at the moon’s North Pole Erlanger Crater, using the US built Mini-SAR/Mini-RF devices. The hope was that bistatic imaging data will reveal whether the radars were actually seeing ice or just surface material with same characteristics. Later on Sep 3, 09 it was announced that the experiment failed because of the pointing problems (gyro drift of 0.8 deg/hr) with Indian spacecraft. Ground controllers managed to get data back from both spacecraft, but it turned out to be unusable. Further experiments were cancelled due to the loss of Indian spacecraft.

These failures are indicative of a lack of understanding of space environment; as a result erroneous thermal profiling caused cascading failures of the spacecraft equipment. Compared to Chandrayaan-1 the Chinese Chang’e-1 and the Japanese Selene lunar missions have performed beyond their expected mission life. The Chinese indigenous space programs continue to thrive despite the technological restrictions imposed by the West.

Nevertheless, Chandrayaan-1 completed 312 days in lunar orbit, circling the moon more than 3,400 times and providing a large volume of data from its suite of sensors which included the Terrain Mapping Camera, Hyper Spectral Imager and Moon Mineralogy Mapper. High-resolution cameras relayed over 70,000 digital images of the lunar surface, providing breathtaking views of mountains and craters, including those in the permanently shadowed area of the moon's polar region. The ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair declared that the mission was a success with 95% of the objectives achieved.

Ameer Alam
The Boeing Co
Space and Network Systems
Huntington Beach CA

Editor's Note: Ameer Alam believes that ISRO is not coming clean with actually what happened to the spacecraft. His view is that it is a great set back to India's space program. Ameer thinks that they are busy analyzing the data and will put out a report in six months (available only to the top govt officials).

Related Links:

India Space Probe Chandrayaan I

India in Moon Race with Big Dogs

Pakistan's Space Capabilities

China's Chang-e I Ends Lunar Mission with a Bang

Iran Launches Homegrown Satellite

Satellite Capabilities of Emerging Space-Competent Nations

Iran's Space Program

An Indian Analyst's assessment of Pakistan's Space Program


Anonymous said...


Let us face it. Every country has a false pride.

Still america is searching for weapons of mass destruction.

Pakistan is still maintain that there is no terrorist.

So is india on chandrayan. However it is not that damaging for itself for other as it is above in case of america or pakistan.

It is part of the learning curve and india will go a long way to perfect the same if not his year some time latter.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Russian report about Chanrayaan-1 suffering a "heat stroke" in space:

NEW DELHI, September 7 (RIA Novosti) - India's first lunar mission may have failed as a result of overheating, a national daily reported on Monday.

Chandrayaan-1 was launched in October 2008 and its main mission was conducting geological mapping of the Moon's surface aimed at producing a complete map of the chemical characteristics and 3-D topography. Chandrayaan means Moon Craft in Sanskrit.

According to The Times of India, Chandrayaan's orbit around the Moon was raised up to 200km (124 miles) from 100km (62 miles) earlier in May this year because of a blunder in calculating the Moon's temperature that led to a faulty thermal protection.

The paper quoted Dr. T. K. Alex, director of the satellite center at the Indian Space Research Organization, as saying that it had been assumed the temperature at 100km above the Moon's surface would be around 75 degrees Celsius (167 Fahrenheit). "However, it was more than 75 degrees and problems started to surface. We had to raise the orbit to 200km."

The paper said heating problems on the craft had begun last November, forcing some of the payloads to deactivate.

In early 2009, the orbiter's two star sensors started malfunctioning and then failed because of high temperatures. The sensors are crucial in determining the orientation of the craft in space.

The project was terminated on August 30, when communication with the spacecraft suddenly failed, although 95% of the scientific aims had been accomplished, according to space officials.

Despite the failure, Chandrayaan-1 managed to transmit excellent images including that of the solar eclipse on July 22.


Anonymous said...

In fairness, I think it was a wasteful project - the money should have been spent on better sewage systems in India. But Riaz Bhai - it was many little failures like this that has made India a reckonable force in space industry. I think most of Pakistani missiles are Chinese technology - they paint it green from red and give some Urdu names(names which reminds me of some Mughlai menu in restaurants)

Zen, Munich, Germany.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "it was many little failures like this that has made India a reckonable force in space industry"

I agree, but the cover-ups are not helpful to further Indian progress, be it failures at DRDO or ISRO.

Anon: . "I think most of Pakistani missiles are Chinese technology"

I disagree. Unable to explain Pakistan's growing capabilities in nuclear, missiles, and defense technologies, critics have accused of copying stuff from a variety of sources, including China, Korea, US etc. The recent allegation that Pakistan modified US Harpoon missiles has been convincingly dismissed by Janes' analyst as follows: “They’re beyond the need to reverse-engineer old U.S. kit,” said Mr. Hewson about Pakistan's current capabilities. “They’re more sophisticated than that.” Mr. Hewson said the ship-to-shore missile that Pakistan was testing was part of a concerted effort to develop an array of conventional missiles that could be fired from the air, land or sea to address India’s much more formidable conventional missile arsenal.

Anonymous said...


Pakistan is known to beg, borrow or steal sensitive technologies. Like that in the past, we'll have to wait for a decade and someone from the inside will spill the beans of how Pakistan acquired sensitive technologies through illegal channels.

Regarding Chandrayaan, the excessive heating of the satellite was immediately made public; as a result, the shorter lifespan of the project was expected. Now, whether the images of the moon collected were enough or not is in question. I disagree with ISRO that the percentage success of the mission can be determined so soon.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Pakistan is known to beg, borrow or steal sensitive technologies."

It just shows your racism and extreme prejudice.

Is there any one among the big powers who has not been accused of the same thing? US borrowed from German scientists such as Von Braun, Russia stole from US, China stole from every one etc etc?

And how about India? Do you think India invented everything? Got nothing from Russia? or Israel? or anyone else? How original are ISRO and DRDO?

Anonymous said...


These are not racist comments or a display of extreme prejudice but opinions formed over period of time. There is one thing called partnership with institutions and the other as acquiring by any means and then braggingg about making it by itself.

In the examples you gave, we're aware how the institutions in other countries partnered to develop weapon systems or how they benefitted with different degrees of success. Unlike Pakistan, these countries had self-made base to build on technologies. For instance, in Pakistan, we know how Pakistan acquired the nukes and the delivery systems during a time when rarely a pin was being made with local expertise. However, those technologies were immediately labeled as 'self-made' until the skeletons came out of the closet in the AQ Khan episode.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "For instance, in Pakistan, we know how Pakistan acquired the nukes and the delivery systems during a time when rarely a pin was being made with local expertise."

Again, you display your ignorance in abundance about Pakistan's industrial and technology base. Without such a base, Pakistan could not have ramped up on its ambitious defense production which now accounts for $300m in exports, in addition to supplying most of the hardware needs of Pakistani military. There is even a private defense sector in Pakistan.

Please read the following: http://www.riazhaq.com/2009/03/pakistans-growing-defense-industry.html

Anonymous said...

Riaz Haq,

I'm not ignorant about the capacities in manufacturing defence equipment in Pakistan. The argument was about sensitive technologies which are not up for sale and no country usually shares with other, such as nukes, their delivery systems or the guidance system for ICBMS etc.

Anonymous said...


What is the 300m USD a percentage to the global arms industry.

78% of the global arms are sold by americans. Further no details of what is being sold to which part of the world is also not clear.

Anonymous said...

"It just shows your racism and extreme prejudice."

Riaz, racism in what sense? Are North Koreans going to use the same argument? Prejudice - could have been the case if Anon. had not made a good argument. You are right in saying that esoteric technologies are barely developed by any country on its own, but as Anon. pointed out, there is a difference between getting it through black market and getting it through partnerships.

What comes to my mind is an article that I had read several years ago in a Western newspaper(couldn't find the link in the net). It was published after the revelation about AQ Khan's illicit activities. The title of the article was "Virtue of sharing". The opening sentence was something like - "In a country where stealing a loaf of bread can result in ones hands getting chopped, stealing and sharing nuclear secrets can be easily forgiven.....". The writer was ridiculing your "justice system" which can be surprisingly compassionate at times and ruthlessly inhumane at some other time.

Zen, Munich, Germany

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "What comes to my mind is an article that I had read several years ago in a Western newspaper(couldn't find the link in the net). I..."

It is a real stretch if you are citing some obscure article as the proof or your source of knowledge about how Pak "acquired" various technologies.

I think you need to study the history of how various great powers have "acquired" their weapons and technologies....each did whatever it had to do to develop their capacities....but eacj acquired it. In fact, the original source for a lot of this stuff was the Nazi German scientists who fled or were taken prisoner by the allies.

To say that Pak "stole" technologies is just nonsense. As Iran and others are learning, there is a lot of stuff that has to be developed and made to work to go nuclear...enriching uranium is a small part of it...you have to build trigger mechanisms, miniaturization, war heads, missile etc. You can't just "steal" all of this stuff from different sources and make it all work. It requires real understanding and expertise to build an arsenal consisting of bombs, missiles, command and control etc.

As to your example about cutting off hands for stealing bread, it is just more of the propaganda you hear through your extremely prejudiced sources.

Riaz Haq said...

If anyone is interested in Pak's technological and manufacturing capabilities, please read http://www.nti.org/e_research/profiles/Pakistan/index.html

It has info about other nations as well.

Anonymous said...

"It is a real stretch if you are citing some obscure article as the proof or your source of knowledge about how Pak "acquired" various technologies."

It was in fact not from an obscure source - rather from a mainstream Western newspaper. I cannot find it anymore in the internet sadly.

"As to your example about cutting off hands for stealing bread, it is just more of the propaganda you hear through your extremely prejudiced sources."

There were no Indians involved and the American newspaper was not anti Pakistani. It was just the writer's style of expressing an interesting observation, ie, only in a country like Pakistan, a crime such as stealing state secrets would be "forgiven", whereas many petty crimes are subject to harsh punishment according to Shariah. In fact the latter point was not the main subject of discussion and was confined to a single sentence.

Zen, Munich, Germany

Anonymous said...


With due respect. After reading your article I remembered a famous saying in hindi roughly translated as "Before laughing at other's butt make sure that your butt is clean". Your criticism about India's Chandrayan program is really a one-sided rant. Chandrayan program is much innovative and modern when compared to pakistan's moon mission (if there is any such kind).


Anonymous said...


anoop said...

Once again you have jumped the gun and declared an important mission by India as failure. Didnt you hear? Chandrayaan found water on the surface of the moon. It is the only mission which has managed to capture 95% of moon's surface. But,the finding of water on the moon takes the cake. Now, space powers can look to colonize the moon and India has plans to go to mars. Who knows India can refuel and goto mars via moon. I'd like to tell you ISRO had already found out water 5 months ago before NASA probe onboard Chandrayaan proved it. But, ISRO couldn conclusively prove as it was important for the world to have approval from NASA about ISRO's findings. Now, they themselves have confirmed our findings.

Riaz Haq said...

India's cryogenic rocket launch failed on April 15, according to the BBC:

India's bid to launch an advanced communications satellite into orbit for the first time by using a cryogenic engine has failed, scientists say.

The rocket took off as planned but the phase powered by the new engine failed to perform and deviated from its path.

Cryogenic engines are rocket motors designed for fuels that have to be held at very low temperatures to be liquid. They would otherwise be gas.

Officials say that only five countries in the world have this technology.

Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) Chairman K Radhakrishnan said that an investigation would now be held to find out what exactly went wrong.

Scientists say the mission failed because control of the two engines controlling the satellite was lost, resulting in loss of altitude and velocity.

Journalists at the scene of the launch said that scientists in the mission control area at Sriharikota in eastern India initially clapped and rejoiced after what appeared to be a successful launch - but their disappointment was apparent as the rocket deviated from its course.

India began developing cryogenic technology after Russia reneged on a deal to supply cryogenic engines in 1993 - following pressure from the United States, which believed India was using the technology to power missiles.

India hopes to emerge as a global player in the multi-billion dollar satellite launch market.

Riaz Haq said...

India's claim of "indigenous" technology are false.

There is plenty of data from Wisconsin Project that shows how India has copied its missiles and nuclear reactors from western nations, particularly US and Canada.

For example, Abul Kalam directly copied Agni from the US Scout missile. Both look identical.

The first Indian reactor was a copy of Cirus and other Canadian reactors supplied to India.

India also got a lot of help from other nations, notably US, Canada, Germany and France in it quest for nuclear and missile technology.

anoop said...


"India's claim of "indigenous" technology are false. "

--> Yes, US,Israel,UK and other zionist countries are arming and giving designs to India to fight the only MUSLIM power with a nuclear bomb. Things dont get more cliched than this.

Let me get this straight. Pakistan with its very low technology base and low level skills can build medium range ballistic and cruise missiles and build fission bombs in a very short span on time but India being bigger and more technologically advanced cannot.

Am I the only one to see conflict in your ideas here?

"The first Indian reactor was a copy of Cirus and other Canadian reactors supplied to India."

-->Technology is perfected through imitation and one tries to build on it. Lets take the example of Mac and Windows. Microsoft imitates Mac all the time. This is not stealing your idea or proliferating but inspiration.

When you know how to build something then you do it and improve upon it. That is how you get ideas. This happens all the time with all kinds of technology.

India took its time and developed its tech. India had sanctions post 1974 remember? There was no way anybody could have given it any technology. The best way to learn its through trial and error.

You can believe Pakistan developed its own technologies but not India who is far more organized and advanced. What rubbish!

Riaz Haq said...

anoop: "Yes, US,Israel,UK and other zionist countries are arming and giving designs to India to fight .."

There is plenty of evidence and documentation to support that, and it comes from the same source that Indians love to quote when accusing Pakistan: The Wisconsin Project

anoop: "You can believe Pakistan developed its own technologies but not India who is far more organized and advanced. What rubbish!"

Neither India nor Pakistan were first to split the atom, or develop missile technology. The Industrial Revolution didn't exactly start in India or Pakistan or Asia; it began in Europe and the rest of the world learned from it, even copied it.

Here's an excerpt about origins of Agni from a report by Gary Milhollin in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
November 1989, pp. 31-35:

"Agni's foreign ancestry dates from the 1960s. In November 1963, the United States began India's space program by launching a U.S. sounding rocket from Indian soil. (Sounding rockets fly straight up into the atmosphere to conduct scientific experiments. They are too small to launch satellites.) The United States was followed by others. Between 1963 and 1975, more than 350 U.S., French, Soviet, and British sounding rockets were launched from India's Thumba Range,[1] which the United States helped design. Thumba's first group of Indian engineers had learned rocket launching and range operation in the United States.

Among them was the Agni's chief designer, A. J. P. Abdul Kalam. In 1963-64, he spent four months in training in the United States. He visited NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia, where the U.S. Scout rocket was conceived, and the Wallops Island Flight Center on the Virginia coast, where the Scout was being flown. The Scout was a low-cost, reliable satellite launcher that NASA had developed for orbiting small payloads.

Soon afterward, in 1965, the Indian government asked NASA how much it would cost and how long it would take to develop an Indian version of the Scout, and whether the United States would help. NASA replied that the Scout was "available . . . for purchase . . . in connection with scientific research," but warned that "transfer of this technology . . . would be a matter for determination by the Department of State under Munitions Control."[2] NASA nevertheless sent India technical reports on the Scout's design, which was unclassified. India's request should have raised some eyebrows: it came from Homi Bhabha, head of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission.

But Kalam had the information he needed. He returned to India and built the SLV-3 (Space Launch Vehicle), India's first satellite launcher. Its design is virtually identical to the Scout's. Both rockets are 23 meters long, use four similar solid-fuel stages and "open loop" guidance, and lift a 40-kilogram payload into low earth orbit. The SLV's 30-foot first stage would later become the first stage of the Agni."

Riaz Haq said...

On page 24 of the Non Proliferation Review Fall 1997, author Wyn Bowen writes as follows abut the Indian acquisition of Russian cryogenic engines as follows:

"The (George H.W. Bush)administration's most notable achievement was gaining the Soviet Union's adherence to MTCR in June 1990. Five months later, however,
the Russian Space Agency signed an
agreement to supply cryogenic
rocket engines and the associated
production technology to the Indian
Space Research Organisation
(ISRO). Although Moscow publicly
viewed the deal as consistent with
its pledge to adhere to the MTCR,
the administration perceived it as a
clear violation. This difference of
opinion resulted in the deterioration
of the administration’s missile nonproliferation
dialogue with Moscow.
Although Russia pledged its adherence
to the MTCR following the dissolution
of the Soviet Union,
Glavkosmos and Russia’s KB Salyut
design bureau continued with the deal
to supply the Salyut-designed cryogenic
technology to the Indian SLV
program. As a result, the U.S. administration
imposed sanctions on
the Russian and Indian entities and
subsequently linked Russia’s entry
into the satellite launch market, and
its participation in the international
space station, to the termination of
the ISRO deal.57 However, this approach
did not produce any concrete
results during the final months of the
Bush presidency, primarily because
of the strength of Russia’s military industrial
complex, which did not
want to jeopardize its freedom to
export space launch technology and
tactical missiles.58

Finally, it has emerged that
Russia continued transferring rocket
engine technology to India in 1993
after its agreements with the United
States to refrain from doing so. This
reportedly resulted in the completion
of 60 to 80 percent of the transfers
to India."

Riaz Haq said...

There are reports that Pakistan is working on developing a satellite launch vehicle (SLV) called Taimur. It'll be based on Shaheen 2 design:

Pakistan successfully test-fired in four times a Shaheen-2 surface-to-surface ballistic missile. It has a range of 2,700 kilometres. It were the first test flights of the two stage solid-fuel Shaheen-2. The Shaheen-2 is the longest-range missile tested by Pakistan so far. Shaheen-2 is not an advanced version of Shaheen-1, which has a range of 700 kilometres.
All the planned technical parameters were successfully validated during the tests. The tests demonstrates Pakistan’s advanced scientific capability in the strategic field.
It is reported that the Shaheen 1 and 2 missiles have been developed by the Pakistan National Defence Complex (PNDC) with assistance from SUPARCO, the Pakistan space research organisation, and from the Atomic Energy Commission.

The Shaheen-1 (Hatf-4) is probably a copy of China's M-9 missile. The Shaheen-2 (Haft-6) is probably a copy of China's two-stage missile M-18.
The Shaheen-2 uses like the M-18, two aerospace solid rocket motors developed by China Hexi Chemical & Mechanical Company. A relevant motor for the first stage is the L-SpaB-140B with diameter of 1.40 m.

The future Space launch vehicle Taimur (three stage solid-fuel, diam. 1.40 m, length ~25 m) can transport a little scientific payload in a Low Earth Orbit. For the Taimur SLV is doubled the first stage of the Shaheen-2.
During the IDEAS 2002 defense exhibition Pakdef spotted two similar models of Pakistani Satellite Launch Vehicles. The first model points out a possible three stage SLV. Judging from other similar SLV's, it is estimated that it can place a payload weighing less than 80 kilogram to an orbit 450 kilometers above Earth's surface. The second model of the SLV seems similar to the first model however, with four extra boosters ( ? Abdali). Exact data are still unknown.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's PakSat-1R launched today in China, according to Spaceflight Now:

China deployed a communications satellite for Pakistan on Thursday aboard a Long March 3B rocket launched from a mountainous spaceport in the southwest China's Sichuan province.

Artist's concept of the PakSat 1R satellite in orbit. Credit: SUPARCO

The fresh spacecraft, called PakSat 1R, replaces Pakistan's aging national communications satellite launched in 1996.

The Long March 3B rocket soared off the launch pad at 1615 GMT (12:15 p.m. EDT). It was 12:15 a.m. local time Friday at the Xichang space center.

The 180-foot-tall rocket streaked off the launch pad with the help of four strap-on boosters, turned east from the Xichang space base and deployed PakSat 1R in orbit about 26 minutes after liftoff, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

The satellite weighed about 11,000 pounds at the time of launch.

PakSat 1R was placed in an oval-shaped orbit stretching from a low point of approximately 110 miles to a high point of about 26,000 miles. Its orbital inclination was about 24.8 degrees, according to independent tracking data.

The spacecraft will reach a circular orbit about 22,300 miles above the equator in the coming weeks. PakSat 1R will enter service after testing of its engineering systems and communications payload.

Stationed at 38 degrees east longitude, PakSat 1R will provide communications and broadcasting services to Pakistan and neighboring regions for at least 15 years. The satellite carries 18 Ku-band and 12 C-band transponders, according to Pakistan's Space and Upper Atmospheric Research Commission, or SUPARCO.

SUPARCO is Pakistan's national space agency, which fields the government's Earth observation and communications satellites.

PakSat 1R was built by the China Academy of Space Technology and is based on the DFH-4 spacecraft platform. China has reached agreements to build DFH-4 communications satellites for several non-traditional players in the space industry, including Pakistan, Nigeria, Venezuela, Laos and Bolivia.

Thursday's flight was the seventh space launch of the year for China. All of the missions have been successful.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Businessweek piece by Bruce Einhorm on Chandrayan embarrassment for Indian ISRO fans:

There was some embarrassment in India after the untimely end of the country’s first mission to the Moon last month. The unmanned Chandrayaan-I spacecraft, which was supposed to last for two years, fell out of radio contact while in orbit around the Moon in late August, just ten months after its launch. That prompted some defensiveness from a fansite of the Indian Space Research Organization, which quickly played damage control by claiming the mission had accomplished much of its goals. Chandrayaan-I.com said in a statement that it’s “not unusual” for things to go wrong in space. “NASA has faced several space mission failures and who can forget tragic end of space shuttle Columbia and the crew perished during entry, 16 minutes prior to landing.” * In other words, yes, our space mission crashed – but at least nobody died!

Now, though, ISRO fans don’t have to resort to poor-taste defensiveness. Indeed, Indians can crow that their nascent space program, through its short-lived Chandrayaan-I, has helped make one of the most important discoveries in the history of human exploration of the Moon. A NASA probe aboard the Chandrayaan-I detected water on the Moon’s surface, and the Indian press is euphoric. “One Big Step for India, One Giant Leap for Mankind,” crowed the Times of India. “If it weren’t for them (ISRO), we wouldn’t have been able to make this discovery,” the paper quoted Carle Pieters, the Brown University researcher who analyzed the data from the NASA probe, saying.

Unfortunately for ISRO, the agency won’t be able to capitalize quickly on the discovery. The next Indian space mission, the Chandrayaan-2 isn’t scheduled to launch until 2013. That means India would be behind China in a 21st-century Asian version of the U.S.-Soviet Union space race. The Chinese ended their first lunar mission earlier this year after 16 months and plan on landing a craft on the Moon in 2012. Japan’s in the race, too, having just completed its first lunar mission. In this Asian race, the Chinese seem to have the edge, but for now the engineers in India’s program can boast that their first mission turned out pretty well after all.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Dawn report on World Space Week observance in Pakistan:

Acting chairman of Suparco Dr Sajid Mirza delivered the welcome address.

He said space had been a mystery as man has been gazing at the stars for thousands of years. However, with the launch of Sputnik I on Oct 4, 1957 the way for human exploration of space had opened up and now manned spaceflight had become routine.

He described the WSW as “the manifestation of the recognition and realisation of human efforts in the domain of space exploration and its impact on humanity”. Dr Mirza said the Government of Pakistan had realised the importance of space exploration early and launched Rehbar I, the nation`s first rocket, in 1962 from Sonmiani. At the time Pakistan was the third country in Asia and the 10th in the world to launch such a craft. He added that Suparco planned to launch a remote-sensing satellite in the next few years.

The inaugural ceremony was followed by the departure of a `space education bus`, which is a custom-built vehicle that will tour the interior of Sindh for the next few days visiting schools to create awareness of space through using multi-media presentations and lectures. A seminar on `50 years of human spaceflight` was also organised, in which experts from Suparco spoke on different topics related to space sciences.

In his presentation, Ayaz Ameen described the benefits of space exploration, which included development of global positioning system technology, weather forecasting and the collection of agricultural data, space weather forecasting, exploration of the universe, searching for new energy sources as well as telemedicine.

Shafiq Ahmed gave a presentation about the development of remote sensing technology at Suparco over the past few decades. Other experts also spoke. However, the running theme throughout the seminar was the shortage of trained manpower in Pakistan as the experts urged the students present to pursue space sciences as a career as this was a national requirement.

Suparco has planned other events to observe Space Week in Karachi as well as throughout Pakistan, which include declamation contests, quizzes, model-making competitions for students, with lectures for teachers as well as general space-related activities.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Business Recorder report on the inauguration of PakSat-1R ground control station in Lahore:

He (Gilani) expressed pleasure that PAKSAT 1R has reached its intended orbit and all subsystems are functioning perfectly.

The PAKSET- 1R was launched on August 12 from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre by China Great Wall Industry Corporation (Cawie).

It was moved to its designated position at 38 degrees East longitude in the geo-stationary orbit to replace the existing satellite Pakistan 1.

It has 32 trans-transponders with three communication antennas to cover the whole of Pakistan and 75 other countries across Asia , East Africa and part of western Europe.

The Prime Minister said that application of space technologies is contributing significantly to socio-economic and security concepts of the developing countries like Pakistan.

He said that with this realisation in mind he approved Pakistan's Space Vision-2040 earlier this year, adding that successful launching and commissioning of PAKSAT 1R marks the first significant step towards realising the Space Vision.

He said that communication satellites were playing a vital role across the world over in bridging the digital divide between backward and remote areas and urban centres in the fields of health, education, entertainment and communication service delivery.

Gilani said PAKSAT-1R would help to extend the communication infrastructure to the entire country thus bringing the fruits of socio-economic development to the remotest corners of Pakistan.

He said that Suparco's space applications programme was already contributing to various fields, the significant ones being agriculture, crop monitoring, yield estimation, food and water security, improvement of water courses, monitoring of environment, disaster monitoring and mitigation, land cover use and many others.

He said with the availability of communication satellite PAKSAT-1R, significant strides would be made in mentioned areas to give impetus to all walks of national reconstruction and development.

The Prime Minister said that besides playing its fundamental role for extending communication facilities, he would urge Suparco and other stakeholders to focus more on tele-education and tele-medicine for improving the quality of life in the remote areas of the country.

He said by doing this benefits of the communication satellite services would be extended to the less privileged strata of society.

The Prime minister said that after successful deployment of PAKSAT 1R, he had directed Suparco to focus on the development of Remote Sensing Satellites to ensure that these satellites are developed and launched as envisaged in the Space Vision 2040.

The Prime Minister urged all federal ministries and provincial portfolios to optimum utilise space technology as an instrument of socio-economic development pointing that it was crucial that the space assets that nation acquired were used at best for the national cause.

He said that he was sure that in view of Pakistan's strategic relationship with China co-operation in space technology and its applications would become yet another hallmark of Pakistan-China friendship.

He said academia has a key role to play to spread knowledge about space technology.

He emphasised that academic and research institutions need to incorporate aspects pertaining to space sciences, space technology and their applications in their curricula.

About close co-operation, collaboration, co-ordination and interaction between Suparco and universities he said it could significantly lead to explore all avenues of space technology.

The Prime Minister expressed pleasure that Suparco, besides other responsibilities was making endeavours to create awareness about the space technology amongst youth.....


Riaz Haq said...

Former ISRO chief Madhavan Nair barred from holding Indian govt jobs, reports The Indian Express:

In an unprecedented disciplinary action, four of the biggest names in the space community, including former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) G Madhavan Nair, have been barred from occupying any government position — current or in future — for their role in the Antrix-Devas deal, in which a private company was accused to have been wrongfully allotted S-band frequencies for radio waves.

A Bhaskarnarayana, former scientific secretary in ISRO; K R Sridharmurthi, former managing director of Antrix which is the marketing arm of ISRO; and K N Shankara, former director in ISRO’s satellite centre, are the others who have been penalised, according to an order issued by the Department of Space on January 13, 2012.

Nair, during whose tenure the contract was signed, is the recipient of the Padma Vibhushan. He is the chairman of the board of governors of IIT Patna.

The order, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, is signed by Sandhya Venugopal Sharma, director, Department of Space. While it does not specify the allegations against these scientists, the order says that the decision comes after the government “carefully considered” the report of the high-powered review committee set up on February 10, 2011 and that of another team set up on May 31, 2011.

The order, sent to all Secretaries of the Government of India and Chief Secretaries of state governments and Union Territories, says that these “former Officers of the Department of Space shall be excluded from re-employment, committee roles or any other important role under the government”.

Further, the order states that “these former officers shall be divested of any current assignment/consultancy with the government with immediate effect”. Ministries and departments concerned have been asked to communicate necessary action taken towards the same to the Department of Space.

The deal involved a contract that Antrix Corporation — whose mandate is to market technologies developed by ISRO — had signed with Bangalore-based Devas Multimedia in 2005. The multi-million dollar deal gave Devas bulk lease — 90 per cent — of transponders on two yet-to-be-launched satellites for supporting a range of satellite-based applications for mobile devices through S-band frequencies. For this, the company was given access to 70 MHz of the 150 MHz spectrum that ISRO owns in the S-band.

The Cabinet approved the building of these two satellites — GSAT-6 for Rs 269 crore and GSAT-6A for Rs 147 crore — in 2009. The cost of the launch of satellites was to be Rs 350 crore. Interestingly, the Cabinet was not informed that these two satellites were meant to be used by Devas, a fact admitted by ISRO. ...


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a China Daily story on China-Pak space cooperation:

China and Pakistan on Thursday outlined their space cooperation plan for the next eight years, which will be an important area for the two neighbors to boost bilateral cooperation as "all-weather friends".

President Hu Jintao and his visiting Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari also agreed to deepen cooperation in areas including security, the economy and trade, investment, transportation infrastructure and energy.

Zardari arrived in Beijing earlier this week for the visit and attended the 12th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit on Wednesday and Thursday. Pakistan is an observer state of the organization, which groups Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

After their talks on Thursday afternoon, Hu and Zardari witnessed the signing of a 2012-20 space cooperation outline between the China National Space Administration and the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission.

Hu said he hopes the two countries expand their pragmatic cooperation, especially in the sectors of trade, energy, transportation infrastructure construction, agriculture, telecommunications, aerospace and technology.

Analysts said China-Pakistan space cooperation is timely and mutually beneficial, and adds a new dimension to their already robust relationship.

"China is looking for a market for its growing space expertise. And Pakistan needs assistance with soft loans, training of its scientists and know-how in space sciences," Ghulam Ali, of the Institute of International Relations of National Chengchi University in Taipei, wrote in an article published on the website of East Asia Forum.

"This cooperation adds a new dimension to their already robust relationship. It brings Pakistan closer to China than ever before."

On Aug 11, China successfully launched Pakistan's communication satellite, Paksat-1R, into space from its Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province.

"China will continue to provide assistance for Pakistan's economic and social development within our capacity," Hu said.

Hu said China encourages and supports its companies to participate in Pakistan's energy and power projects.

He also suggested the two countries enhance law enforcement and security cooperation and jointly combat the "three evil forces" of terrorism, extremism and separatism.

Hailing Sino-Pakistani ties as an "all-weather friendly cooperative relationship", Zardari thanked China for its support of Pakistan's domestic stability, development and assistance to the country after natural disasters.

Zardari said he welcomes Chinese enterprises to expand investments in Pakistan, especially in infrastructure construction and the energy sector, so as to safeguard Pakistan's economic development and improve people's living standards.

"Pakistan will continue to support China on issues concerning China's core interests and be tough on terrorism", Zardari said.


Riaz Haq said...

#IndiaMarsMission hit by snag. Independent experts puzzled by the stated circumstances of glitch. #India #ISRO


India's Mars spacecraft suffered a brief engine failure on Monday as scientists tried to move it into a higher orbit around Earth.

During a fourth repositioning to take it 100,000 kms from Earth, the thruster engines briefly failed, leading the auto-pilot to take over but controllers denied any setback to the ambitious low-cost mission.

Lacking a large enough rocket to blast directly out of Earth's atmosphere and gravitational pull, the Indian spacecraft is orbiting Earth until the end of the month while building up enough velocity to break free.

The Mars Orbiter Mission, which blasted off on November 5 for an 11-month trip in an attempt to become the only Asian country to reach the Red Planet, is being launched on its way via an unusual "slingshot" method for interplanetary journeys.

"It's not a setback at all," Deviprasad Karnik, a spokesman for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), told AFP.

The spacecraft is currently at an orbit of 78,276 kilometres and will be raised again at 5am on Tuesday (23:30 GMT), an ISRO statement said.

"Tomorrow again we'll raise the orbit to 100,000 kms," Karnik said.

ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan has called the mission a "turning point" for India's space ambitions and one which would go on to prove its capabilities in rocket technology.

The $73m cost of the project is less than a sixth of the $455m set aside for a Mars probe by NASA which will launch later this month.

India has never attempted interplanetary trave beforel and more than half of all missions to Mars have ended in failure in the past, including China's in 2011 and Japan's in 2003.


A George said...

Hi mr. haq

SLV 3 is a copy of scout?Whats the proof ?

SLV 3s stages differ from scout on fuel,burn time,L/D Ratio and many more parameters.
Infact even Dr.Von Braun said that 'SLV 3 is geniune Indian design' and he even critisized high L/D ratio of one of its stages,on his visit to ISRO.

And that does not hide Pakistans failure,next year we are going to launch 10 tonne to LEO launcher GSLV mkIII.Now can Pakistan send a basic launcher this decade??

And Indian reactors are copy of Canadian ones?Please tell me how India made 540 & 700 MW PHWRs, 900MW PWRs , 500 MW FBRs and 300 MW Thorium reactors?Copying?We are not Pakistan.
We are a part of ITER project and would have our own fusion test reactor (FTR) by 2022

Pakistan is known to borrow technologies-As of now Pakistan has zero capabilities in designing turbofan engines,Ring Laser Gyros,alloys and composites for aerospace,TPS for reentry vehicles etc.It also doesnt have hypersonic windtunnels or plasma test facilities.

Even then,it cames with claims about developing Indigenous CMs,BMs and the like...

Now on topic,how many moon mission had survived more than an year??

Also,how many decades would it take Pakistan to make a sat weighing more than 100 kg?

Last time I checked India was making sats (3.5 tonne class communication sats) and launching sats for foreign countries..And Pakistan needs china to make a sat and launch it for them...

Vinod said...

Congratulations to all Indians on the great success of the GSLV mission.

This is what you get when you sustain the efforts through thick and thin. India has blazed a trail and I think all people from developing countries other than India also can be prod of this great success.

We share it with them I think India should provide access to launch services and satellite building capabilities to other developing friendly countries and help reduce their dependence on the West that still practices elements bordering racism at times.

Go ISRO, Go India!

Anurag said...

Dear Riaz HaQ,

Now India has Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle
"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geosynchronous_Satellite_Launch_Vehicle_Mk_III" and 2 successful firing done for the world,we have developed Indigenous Cryogenic Engine.

India is developing It's own Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System and 3 satellite are already sent and working ,
The IRNSS would provide two services, with the Standard Positioning Service open for civilian use and the Restricted Service, encrypted one, for authorised users (military).
India will have the full navigational satellite system in place in 2015.

India Has done successful test of OV (Orbital Vehicle) module, this is future Spacecraft for India , India has done 2 + successful attempts of re entry modules all gone well.
OV (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISRO_Orbital_Vehicle)is not a copy of Soyuz Class Russian Spacecraft which Chinese done.This is Based on Indian experiment on SRE "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Capsule_Recovery_Experiment", which came after hard work and experiments. This is Indigenous but you are free to compare with any or transfer of technology but This is truth now.

Now India is planning for Chandrayaan II and a manned mission of Moon upto 2025.
GSLV is the last which was required by India to go to Deep Space for exploration, and now we achieved that.

It is old story now "India's Mars mission suffers glitch" , it is now world most successful mission.

Your criticism gives us Power to achieve more.

Thanks Riaz

Riaz Haq said...

#India's launch of 103 #Satellites in single mission no big deal: Ex #ISRO Chief Madhavan Nair.


Eminent space scientist G Madhavan Nair indicated that India planning to launch 103 satellites in a single mission next month is no big deal as the country has already proved such capability, and advocated the need for Isro to focus on reviving human spaceflight venture and other technology development.

"Multiple launches we have proven (our capability) years back. So, there is nothing new in that. Within the 1500 kg capacity, you can carry as many satellites as possible," the former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation told PTI, when asked about the coming PSLV mission.

"Today, many of the student projects have come to micro and nano satellites weighing even a fraction of a kilogram. So, it (next month's PSLV mission with 103 satellites on board) cannot be talked about as a big milestone," he said.

During Nair's six-year tenure as Chairman, Isro and Secretary in the Department of Space, 25 successful missions were accomplished, according to information on Isro website.

"But at the same time, in last five years, what are the new programmes that Isro has launched? it's zero," Nair said.

Pointing out that India today is reaping the benefits of what it had invested in the space field in the past, he said, "It's like a big flywheel, it's running down. If you don't give occasional kick, the so-called technology advantage and leadership Isro has enjoyed, will slowly come down. It will also become like any other routine department."

On what Isro needs to do, he said the human spaceflight project should be revived and given a kickstart.

"It's not only just mission and hype but a host of new technologies will get developed for that, like life support system in space, and perfecting recovery and reusable technology capabilities," he said.

According to him, Isro had initiated societal programme based on space technologies long back, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also stressed the need for using them to penetrate and reach out to the poor in his first Independence Day speech.

"Nothing is visible, we are just talking. Spacecraft technologies also we have to go a long way. We are still five years behind others (leading space-faring nations) in terms of technical skills and capability," Nair added.

Riaz Haq said...

The mission’s main payload was the Indian Space Research Organization’s Cartosat 2D, a car-sized satellite designed for environmental mapping. Another 88 Dove nanosatellites, each about the size of a toaster oven, will become part of Planet’s Earth-observing constellation.

Eight more nanosatellites were launched for Spire Global, which is filling out a constellation to monitor weather as well as aviation and maritime traffic. This is the second Spire PSLV mission facilitated by Spaceflight Industries, which handles launch logistics.

Spaceflight also arranged to get Israel Aerospace Industries’ BGUSat nanosatellite on the flight. BGUSat is a research spacecraft built by students at Ben Gurion University to perform cloud imaging and measure atmospheric background radiation.

Six more research satellites rounded out the flock, which represented the highest number of satellites launched on a single rocket. ISRO said all 104 satellites were successfully deployed into pole-to-pole orbits within a half-hour after launch.


Riaz Haq said...

#China media: #India launch of 104 satellites "limited success", "not about number of #satellites at one go" #ISRO


A Chinese state-run newspaper in an editorial Thursday said India's record of sending 104 satellites into space was "a limited achievement", with India's space programme still lagging behind China's successes in its manned space programme.
India on Wednesday launched a record 104 satellites on a single rocket, which followed the Mars orbiter mission, which also garnered attention in China. The Chinese government described the Mars orbiter mission as "the pride of Asia" and said it would be keen to work more closely with India on space projects.
The state media, however, struck a different note on Thursday. "The Indians have reason to be proud," said a Thursday editorial in the Party-run Global Times, a widely read tabloid. "However, the space technology race is not mainly about the number of satellites at one go," it added. "It's fair to say the significance of this achievement is limited. In this regard, Indian scientists know more than the Indian public, who are encouraged by media reports."
The editorial pooh-poohed where India's space programme stood in comparison to America's and China's. "India's space technology development tends to project national image. It's reported that India also plans to reach Venus, another programme that is suitable for media hype but lacks follow-up research," the editorial said.
"On the whole, India's space technology still lags behind the US and China's. It has not yet formed a complete system. For instance, the engine of its rockets is not powerful enough to support large-scale space exploration."
The editorial pointed out, "There is no Indian astronaut in space and the country's plan to establish a space station has not started," referring to China's manned space missions, with two astronauts last year spending 30 days in the Tiangong-2 space module, which will be developed into a full-fledged space station.
The paper did add that it was "a hard-won achievement for India to reach current space technology level with a relatively small investment", saying it offered "food for thought for other countries", pointing out that the US space budget in 2013 was $39.3 billion, China $6.1 billion, Russia $5.3 billion, Japan $3.6 billion and India $1.2 billion.
The editorial concluded that India's example was "worth pondering". "The first is its ambition to make India a great power. Therefore, it's focused not only on immediate interests but long-term ones. Second, the country believes it should remain present in space technology development, given its close links with military. And third, India is under pressure to compete with China and refuses to lag behind."
"India's Achilles' Heel is its relatively small economic scale and a weak foundation for national development. As a hierarchical society, it has both world-class elite and a largest number of poor people. Many lessons can be drawn from India. As a rising power, it has done a good job. It is ambitious but pragmatic, preferring to compare with others as an incentive to progress. India's political and social philosophy is worth pondering."

Riaz Haq said...

Jubilation and scepticism greet #India’s world #space record. #ISRO https://www.ft.com/content/f6df149e-fcaf-11e6-96f8-3700c5664d30 … via @FT

the fanfare masks a more modest reality — India has made a small inroad into the lucrative commercial space industry but headline-grabbing advances such as last month’s rocket launch have been far outstripped by China’s investments into a manned space station and robotic missions to the moon.

“The Chinese space programme operates on a very different scale than the Indian,” says Asif Siddiqi, professor of history at Fordham university. “It is much bigger, both in terms of annual launches and annual investments, it does a lot more in terms of actual capabilities and it also has a much more explicit military dimension.”

The new Indian record, which tripled Russia’s previous record of 37 satellites from a single rocket, was only possible because most of the spacecraft were extremely small, he added. India’s space agency received about $1.1bn of funding last year compared with an estimated $7-8bn in China, says Dinshaw Mistry, professor of political science and Asian studies at the University of Cincinnati. 

In Beijing, India’s enthusiasm for its world record has been dismissed as overblown.

“China’s opponents in aerospace is not India but the United States. However, India always makes China its opponent, and every achievement is made into a victory against China and cheered,” ran an editorial in the Global Times, a state-sanctioned tabloid.

“The requirements for Indian rockets are all low cost, so they have a large emphasis on commercial launches, and they are mostly servicing foreign satellites. That is all they are doing,” says Lan Tianyi, chief executive of the Beijing-based aerospace consultancy Yuxun Technology. Most of the technology needed to pack 104 satellites onto one rocket came from foreign companies while “India only provided the rocket and the launch opportunity”, Mr Lan added.

While China has sought to emulate American space achievements and poured resources into high-profile missions like sending a rover to the moon, India has set more conservative targets.

According to Mr Lele, less than 5 per cent of India’s space budget is spent on long-term exploration or international competition. Instead, most is focussed on domestic missions such as environmental and metereological forecasting, or navigation.

India has a 0.6 per cent share of the commercial space industry — compared to China’s 3 per cent — a big growth area for companies that want to send satellites to space for research of commercial purposes, such as mapping or television transmission. The US is the biggest client for the $5.4bn industry, according to data from the Satellite Industry Association, a trade body.