India to soft land rover on Moon next year : ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is ready to soft land a rover on the moon with the Chandrayaan-2 mission in March 2018. The ISRO scientists revealed that the space organisation was getting proposals from private organisations across the globe for joint ventures, after the successful launching of 104 satellites into the orbit in a single mission.

V Kumbakarnan, Project Director of Second Vehicle Assembly Building, SDSC SHAR, G Ramesh Babu, General Manager of SDSC SHAR and other scientists from the ISRO spoke to The Hans India in Ongole on Sunday. They said, “The ISRO is ready to launch PSLV C40 in December and GSLV Mark IV later. We are almost ready to launch the Chandrayaan-2 mission by March 2018 to study the planetary satellite”.

Kumbakarnan said that ISRO was receiving offers from private organisations for collaboration. At this moment, there were discussions in the pipeline with a private organisation and an MoU was possible after launching the joint vehicle.

Once the deal was fixed, the private organisation makes the satellites and ISRO would launch them into the orbit, he added Responding to a query about the said objection of ISRO to the construction of Dugarajapatnam port, the scientists said, “ISRO didn’t object to the proposal for constructing a port at Dugarajapatnam. But if the port is constructed, it should shut down the operations for 2 to 3 hours at the time of launching a mission.”

By: The Hans India

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DRDO hands over tech to defence firm to manufacture bullet-proof jackets

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has handed over its technology to a defence firm to manufacture bullet-proof jackets for the armed forces.

The government has decided to procure 1.86 lakh bullet- proof jackets for the armed forces and majority of them will be manufactured by Kanpur-based private firm MKU Ltd which was given the DRDO-developed technology.

The DRDO and MKU Ltd also exchanged licence agreement and other related documents at an event today, a defence ministry official said.

The MKU will produce bullet-proof jackets which will be lighter in weight than those being used by the armed forces currently.

In his address, DRDO Chairman S Christopher asked the private firm to maintain a strict vigil on the quality of the bullet-proof jackets which will be used by the Indian Army and the paramilitary forces.

By: ET

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‘Several China’s space missions delayed due to failed rocket’

Several of China’s ambitious future space initiatives, including the lunar mission and building of a permanent space station, have been delayed due to the failure of a heavy-lift carrier rocket this year, a senior Chinese space administration official said.

The launch of the new heavy-lift rocket, the Long March-5 Y2, carrying the heaviest ever satellite, failed in July. The same rocket type had been expected to take China’s latest lunar probe to the Moon this year and to return with samples.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the unsuccessful launch of the Long March-5 Y2, Tian Yulong, secretary-general of the China National Space Administration said.

Its failure has led to the delay in several major spacecraft missions, state-run Global Times reported.

The cause of the failure is expected to be released at the end of the year, Tian said.

The rocket carrying Shijian-18 satellite lifted off normally but an anomaly occurred in the rocket, which was launched from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in South China’s Hainan Province on July 2.

The Long March-5 rocket made its maiden flight in November 2016 from Wenchang, successfully sending its payload into pre-set orbit.

With a weight of 7.5 tonnes, Shijian-18 is China’s latest technology experiment satellite and the heaviest satellite China has ever launched into space, official media previously reported.

It was aimed at testing China’s new Dongfanghong-5 (DFH5) satellite platform and carry out in-orbit experiments including Q/V band satellite communication, satellite-ground laser communication technologies and an advanced Hull electric propulsion system.

Due to the failure, the launch of the lunar probe Chang’e-5, which was scheduled to be sent in the second half of 2017 to retrieve lunar samples, and Chang’e-4, which was due to be launched in 2018 to land on the far side of the moon, will have to rescheduled, Tian said.

The construction of China’s space station will also be affected, as the launch of the core module has been moved to 2019, Tian said.

China plans to finalise its space station to rival Mir, the Russian space station currently in orbit by 2022.

By: New Indian Express

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Designed to last 6 months, India’s Mangalyaan completes 3 years in Mars orbit

Launched on September 24, 2014, with an intent to probe the Red Planet, India’s Mangalyaan spacecraft that was estimated to last for 6 months has now completed 3 whole years.

The Indian Space research Organisation’s (ISRO) Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has been one of the most celebrated probes and also completed 1000 Earth days in Martian orbit in June this year, well beyond its designed mission life of 180 days.

The spacecraft is expected to circle the planet for another five years as it has still got about 15kg of fuel left.

“As the country’s low-cost Mars Orbiter Mission completes three years in its Martian orbit, the satellite is in good health and continues to work as expected,” ISRO said.

The scientific analysis of the data received from the Mars Orbiter spacecraft is in progress, ISRO Public Relations Director Deviprasad Karnik told PTI.

The country had on September 24, 2014 successfully placed the Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft in the orbit around the red planet, in its very first attempt, thus breaking into an elite club. ISRO had launched the spacecraft on its nine-month-long odyssey on a homegrown PSLV rocket from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on November 5, 2013. It had escaped the earth’s gravitational field on December 1, 2013.

On the occasion of completion of three years of MOM in its Martian orbit on 24 September 2017, the space body today released MOM second year science data from September 24, 2014 to September 23, 2016. The space agency had earlier launched MOM Announcement of Opportunity (AO) programmes for researchers in the country to use MOM data for research and development.

Citing surplus fuel, ISRO had in March, 2015 announced that the spacecraft’s life had been extended for another six months. Later in June, 2015, its chairman A S Kiran Kumar had said it had enough fuel for it to last “many years”. The Rs 450-crore MOM mission aims at studying the Martian surface and mineral composition as well as scan its atmosphere for methane (an indicator of life on Mars).

The Mars Orbiter has five scientific instruments – Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP), Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM), Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA), Mars Colour Camera (MCC) and Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS).

The Mars Colour Camera, one of the scientific payloads onboard MOM, has produced more than 715 images so far, ISRO had said. During its journey so far, the mission went through a communication ‘blackout’ as a result of solar conjunction from June 2, 2015 to July 2, 2015. It had also experienced the ‘whiteout’ geometry phenomenon (when earth is between the sun and Mars and too much solar radiation makes it impossible to communicate with the earth) from May 18 to May 30, 2016.

An orbital manoeuvre was also performed on MOM spacecraft to avoid the impending long eclipse duration for the satellite, ISRO said. The government had in November last said the space organisation was seeking scientific proposals for Mars Orbiter Mission-2 to expand inter-planetary research.

By: Zee News

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India has the World’s third largest Nuclear Power installations

India is third in the world in the number of nuclear reactors being installed, at six, while China is leading at 20, the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017, released this month, shows. The number of nuclear reactor units under construction is, however, declining globally for the fourth year in a row, from 68 reactors at the end of 2013 to 53 by mid-2017, the report says.

The latest report further reveals that most nuclear reactor constructions are behind schedule, with delays resulting in increase in project costs and delay in power generation. There are 37 reactor constructions behind schedule, of which 19 reported further delays over the past year. In India itself, five out of the six reactors under construction are behind schedule. Eight nuclear power projects have been under construction globally for a decade or more, of which three have been so for over 30 years.

In the foreword, S. David Freeman, an American energy policy expert who led the Tennessee Valley Authority under U.S. President Jimmy Carter, writes that the debate regarding the value of nuclear energy “is over”. “The most decisive part of this report is the final section — Nuclear Power vs Renewable Energy Development. It reveals that since 1997, worldwide, renewable energy has produced four times as many new kilowatt-hours of electricity than nuclear power,” he writes, concluding, “The world no longer needs to build nuclear power plants to avoid climate change and certainly not to save money.”

Data gathered by the authors shows that global nuclear power generation increased by 1.4% in 2016 due to a 23% increase in China, though the share of nuclear energy in electricity generation stagnated at 10.5%. By comparison, globally, wind power output grew by 16% and solar power by 30%. Wind power increased generation by 132 TWh (terawatt hours) or 3.8 times, and solar power by 77 TWh or 2.2 times more than nuclear power’s 35 TWh respectively. Renewables represented 62% of global power generating capacity additions.

Russia and the U.S. shut down reactors in 2016, while Sweden and South Korea both closed their oldest units in the first half of 2017, the report notes.

Financial crisis

The report also documents the financial crisis plaguing the industry. After the discovery of massive losses over its nuclear construction projects, Toshiba filed for bankruptcy of its U.S. subsidiary Westinghouse, the largest nuclear power builder in history. AREVA has accumulated $12.3 billion in losses over the past six years.

French bailout

The French government has provided a $5.3 billion bailout and continues its break-up strategy, the report notes.

In the chapter on the status of the Fukushima nuclear power project in Japan, six years after the disaster began, the report notes how the total official cost estimate for the catastrophe doubled to $200 billion.

The lead authors of the report are Paris-based energy consultant Mycle Schneider, who advised the European Parliament on energy matters for over 20 years, and Antony Froggart, energy policy consultant and senior researcher at Chatham House, a London-based non-profit organisation working on international affairs.

By: The Hindu

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India collaborating with Russia to build a nuclear plant in Bangladesh

India is collaborating with Russia on its first ever abroad atomic venture. The mission is to build the Rooppur nuclear power plant in Bangladesh. It will be the debut initiative under an India-Russia nuclear deal. The deal is to undertake atomic energy projects in third countries.

About the project ::
– The Rooppur Nuclear project will be Bangladesh’s first atomic energy project
– Two reactors of 1200 MWs each will be built with Russia’s help near Dhaka
– Bangladesh will become third South Asian country after India and Pakistan to harness atomic energy for energy purpose after the completion of the project.

More on India’s collaborations ::
– India and Russia had signed ‘Strategic Vision for Strengthening Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy’ back in December 2014
– The main motive was to explore opportunities for sourcing materials, equipment and services from the Indian industry for construction of Russian-designed nuclear power plants in third countries
– India signed a civil nuclear cooperation deal with Bangladesh in April 2017. The deal stated that two sides can supply and manufacture equipment, material for atomic power plant
– The nuclear deal with Bangladesh allows Indian nuclear establishment to grow, internationally as for years it was not been able to grow due to sanctions imposed on New Delhi after the 1974 Pokhran tests.

By: India Today

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To catch up with Mars mission of India, US & Russia, China’s Mars probe to carry 13 types of payloads

China’s Mars probe will carry 13 types of payloads, including six rovers, in its first mission to the red planet scheduled for 2020, as Beijing aims to catch up with the US, India and Russia.

“The Mars exploration programme is well underway,” said Zhang Rongqiao, chief architect of the Mars mission at the Beijing International Forum on Lunar and Deep-space Exploration, which opened on Wednesday.

“The payloads will be used to collect data on the environment, morphology, surface structure and atmosphere of Mars,” Zhang was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

China looks to catch up with India, the US and Russia in sending probes to Mars.

China plans to send a spacecraft to orbit, land and deploy a rover on Mars in 2020. The probe will be launched on a Long March-5 carrier rocket from the Wenchang space launch center in southern China’s Hainan Province.

The lander will separate from the orbiter at the end of a journey of around seven months and touch down in a low latitude area in the northern hemisphere of Mars where the rover will explore the surface.

India’s low-cost Mars spacecraft completed 1,000 Earth days in its orbit in June this year, well beyond its designed mission life of six months or 180 days.

India had on September 24, 2014 successfully placed the spacecraft in the orbit around the Mars in its very first attempt, joining an elite club of countries with expertise in space technology.

By: HT

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