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Space Science

Indian Rocket Blasts into Space 169

Posted by samzenpus
from the maruta-be-praised dept.
Quacking Duck writes "Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched it's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C7) rocket from the Srikharikota launch-pad. The rocket carried 4 satellites into space, 2 Indian and one each from Argentina and Indonesia. Interestingly, one of ISRO's payloads, Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1), expected to return to Earth 13 days after launch, will be the first test of its re-entry mechanism. This is a step towards ISRO's ambitious goal of designing and building a cheap reusable launch vehicle. ISRO is also planning a manned mission to the moon, Chandrayan-1, which is expected to use a modified PSLV rocket which was used for this launch. This successful launch comes close on the heels of the failed July 2006 GSLV lauch which had ended in an expensive fireworks display over the Bay of Bengal. Another GSLV launch is planned for later this year."
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Indian Rocket Blasts into Space

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Much like the American tests this will prove nicely to Pakistan/China that India can (well at some point in the future) drop a nuke wherever they please on the planet, thus joining the big boy club. Oh and it also proves they can return a space capsule safely.
    • by somersault (912633) on Thursday January 11, 2007 @05:53AM (#17554010) Homepage Journal
      Do you only think of other countries as threats or something? What have India, China or Pakistan ever done to you apart from invent awesome food and provide cheap labour due to their developing economies?

      Though I do think they'll be dropping nukes faster than anyone can say Srikharikota. Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by freakxx (987620)
        well, let me tell you some facts why India or china haven't done anything substantial if u r comparing with USA. India or China were under the colonies until around 60 years ago and during those time, they were not able to produce even a nail by their own because they were not allowed to. After that, freedom came (thanks to Mahatma Gandhi for his excellent non-violent leadership against the Britons and also thanks to Japanese and Germans for initiating the WW2), these countries started everything of their o
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by somersault (912633)
          Actually I didn't first suggest nukes, I was replying to someone else. I also am not racist, I don't think that Indians or Chinese people are dumb, in fact all (well.. most :p ) humans have capacity for intelligence, and India and China really have people who are motivated, and also just plain a LOT of people, which helps to boost their productivity.

          Note that India and China wouldn't have had rockets at the same time America was just growing, even if they had been free. That's entirely to do with how muc
          • by freakxx (987620) on Thursday January 11, 2007 @08:41AM (#17554844)
            Especially since the advent of the internet, anyone can build a nuclear reactor or send a rocket into space if they really wanted to (well, obviously only if they have access to the required resources and funding as well as the information on how to build a rocket, etc). In a day when kids are building nuclear reactors in their back yard, I'm not too surprised to hear that India and China are sending rockets into space!

            well, if u r talking about firecrackers and those stupid Gilbert U-238 toys [strangefunkidz.com], u r correct....but not otherwise, otherwise Osama Bin Laden would have used some nuke rather than air-planes to strike the twin-tower. It is same as you know every thing how to make, say, a petrol engine from book....but when u start putting things together to achieve a real engine, u need to have a lot of expertise and book-knowledge simply doesn't help beyond an extent. Same thing with weapon grade uranium...even a kid knows that U235 can be obtained after processing U238 in centrifuges but how many countries are able to get U235....I would say, very few!

            Don't forget to use capital letters when congratulating India next time on the occasion of successful launch of GSLV scheduled after 6-7 months ;)

            • The thing with using aeroplanes to bomb the twin towers was actually pretty clever - no expensive/difficult to obtain weaponry needed, and it's not like the army are going to blow up a passenger airline, but they are going to take down any missiles heading towards the country.

              If someone really wanted to, they could cause amazing amounts of damage by blowing up their car or something like that. If you're a fanatic that doesn't value your own life then you can do a lot more damage than someone that's tryin
              • by Atheose (932144)
                You're missing the point; the parent was trying to say that if anyone could build a nuclear bomb in their back yard--like the original poster claimed--then it would have happened by now, and probably many times over.

                Sure, the 9/11 attacks were "cost effective", but the ~2000 killed in 9/11 would pale in comparison to the ~8,000,000 (population of NYC) killed in a nuclear blast. Between a few felled buildings and all of Manhattan Island being turned into a flat sheet of class, which do you think would cause
                • The difference being that nuclear materials are strictly controlled, but it's still possible to cause a lot of damage with no specialist tools, if you have the will.

                  I hope nobody would be stupid enough to build a nuclear bomb, I haven't looked into what would be required for it, but even building a tiny nuclear reactor is enough to irradiate people for quite some distance. The effects of that can end up being just as bad as if a bomb had gone off.
        • I find it interesting that this parent gets modded insightful...when there is little of actual substance in it...

          these countries started everything of their own from very scratch and after a course of 60 years, India and China both are doing exceptionally well and will continue to do to in future as well.

          Um, no...while they may be doing exceptionally well, they did not develop everything from scratch. Technology does not exist in a vacuum. India in particular has the British to thank for much of the
        • by SpooForBrains (771537) on Thursday January 11, 2007 @10:08AM (#17555706)
          I'm sorry, I have to take issue with some of this. Firstly, India did not start everything from scratch after the British left. Anyone who has attempted to negotiate the beaurocracy (for example negotiating the release of a container from customs or getting a telephone line installed) can see the shadows of the British establishment that were left behind. The entire Indian system of Government is a very close mirror of the British system - the dual house system for starters.

          Now, don't get me wrong, I don't mean to belittle the accomplishments of the Indian people since Independence, far from it, but to impy that they threw everything away and started again from scratch is just nonsense, and devalues the efforts of all the political leaders who worked so hard to make sure a country so large and chaotic CAN be effectively governed.

          And as for "Others are not going to be as arrogant and barbarous as USA were" are you intending to gloss over the recent period of BJP-dominated politics which was, in my opinion, one of the darkest moments of Indian political history and saw aggression against Pakistan increase SIGNIFICANTLY? Fortunately, unlike the USA, the voting public in your country realised their mistake and voted them the hell out. By the way, that very creative piece of political manouvering by Congress/Sonia Gandhi and associates was quite a joy to watch.
          • There was this Indian joke:
            Q. What do you call one Pakistani on the moon ?
            A. Problem
            Q. What do you call two Pakistanis on the moon ?
            A. Problem
            Q. What do you call all Pakistanis on the moon ?
            A. Problem solved
          • by asliarun (636603) on Thursday January 11, 2007 @12:38PM (#17557796)
            "Firstly, India did not start everything from scratch after the British left. Anyone who has attempted to negotiate the beaurocracy (for example negotiating the release of a container from customs or getting a telephone line installed) can see the shadows of the British establishment that were left behind."

            Yes, but bureaucracy is not exactly progress, is it? The real and meaningful progress that India has made has been in the last 10 odd years, after the economy was opened up and a lot of government controlled industries were privatized. Since then, India's economy has been growing by 8-10%. Before this, India was placidly chugging along at a 3-4% growth rate (and they called it the Hindu growth rate) which was taking the country nowhere. The only reason why China is way ahead of India today is that they had the foresight to liberalize and open up their economy a few decades before India has done.

            "are you intending to gloss over the recent period of BJP-dominated politics which was, in my opinion, one of the darkest moments of Indian political history and saw aggression against Pakistan increase SIGNIFICANTLY?"

            You're correct in the fact that the Gujrat riots were a blot on the country and more so on the party. However, "aggression against Pakistan" should be reworded "firm against Pakistan". Pakistan sends and funds hardcore terrorists, and their intelligence wing, the dreaded ISI (along with their armed forces) completely work hand in hand with the Al Qaeda. They train thousands of terrorists along the border areas and these terrorists camps are well documented and imaged. Most of these terrorists land up in India, and these terrorists kill more people in India every year than the 9/11 attacks.

            Unfortunately, the leadership in India has been too weak to take a firm stand on this issue and the USA turns a blind eye on this issue, as these terrorists do not kill americans (yet) and because they need Pakistan to gain access to neighbouring Afghanistan. Note that these terrorists almost fomented an India-Pakistan war a few years ago and when the Indian army retaliated, the terrorists captured or killed were roughly 50% Pakistani soldiers and 50% terrorists.

            Oh, by the way, what I've said is not a biased point of view, and can very easily be verified on the internet, if you dig around for facts and impartial writings on the India-Pakistan situation.

            So, the BJP was not exactly aggressive against Pakistan but was simply being firm. In fact, BJP went out of its way to mend relationships with Pakistan and introduced bus services between the two countries. Some of the good things about the BJP are their firm leadership, liberal and capitalistic economic policies, and good external affairs. The only reason why they lost the previous election was because their campaign (so-called India Shining campaign) did not connect with the poor Indian at all. Their campaign ended up alienating the poor farmer and poor labourer, who are the ones that actually vote in India, and instead focused on the middle and rich class who like to crib more and rarely vote. Their election loss had no other reason. So many people die in India every year that the average Indian stopped giving a shit about the Gujrat riots after a year or so, even though a few thousands died. Heck, more farmers commit suicide every year because of chronic indebtedness and because of hunger. And see, religion (and casteism and what not) IS the opiate of the masses, especially when the masses are chronically hungry and stare at despair every night.
            • by Chris Burke (6130)
              Pakistan sends and funds hardcore terrorists, and their intelligence wing, the dreaded ISI (along with their armed forces) completely work hand in hand with the Al Qaeda. They train thousands of terrorists along the border areas and these terrorists camps are well documented and imaged. Most of these terrorists land up in India, and these terrorists kill more people in India every year than the 9/11 attacks.

              Unfortunately, the leadership in India has been too weak to take a firm stand on this issue and the U
        • by ozbird (127571)
          Again, I would like to remind that this is only after 60 years of independence.

          What's independence got to do with anything? Claiming that two periods of time 170 years apart are equivalent is disingenuous at best.
        • Oh a policy! I feel so much better now! Haha and to think I was ever worried.

          On a less sarcastic note, the USA at the end of WWII thought pretty hard and carefully about things, and came to the eventual conclusion that ending the war quickly by dropping little boy and fat man would actually result in fewer deaths and less problems in the future for both nations. So you would rather that we had just kept island hopping, probably for another couple of years, killed hundreds of thousands more Japanese and
          • I'd rather a few more hundred thousand Japanese (and indeed American) soldiers than a few hundred thousand civillians. If you're fighting a war, your primary target should be the military, no matter what the opponent's tactics.
      • The purpose of a re-entry capsule (for maned flight) is slightly different from a ICBM re-entry vehicle. The capsule is supposed to land at speed ~= 0 The ICBM re-entry vehicle impacts Earth or is detonated at a speed of Mach 10 or 15 . It's definitely not the same thing.
      • s'ri' hari ko't'a, to properly transliterate the extended vowel sounds. Literaly translates to fort ("koot'a") of sri' hari (either a local ruler called Sri Hari, or, more likely, a reference to Lord Vishnu).

        Think of it as an Indian version of Fort Lauderdale or something. :-)

        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by doomy (7461)
          I thought koota ment dog, for a sec there I was all excited at the possibility that Lassy was going to space.
          • by The Cydonian (603441) on Thursday January 11, 2007 @12:29PM (#17557650) Homepage Journal

            The mods seem to think yours was an attempt at levity, but I'll give you a serious response.

            kuttaa in Hindi certainly means 'dog'. That's 'ku' as in "Kumar" as in "Kumar's at No 42", that rather popular British sitcom with British-Indian characters. The 't' here is a soft 'th', as in 'thalidomine'. Additionally, it is actually a conjunct-consonant; meaning, two 'th's combine together to form an extended 'thth' sound. Finally, the vowel at the end is a long 'a', and is pronounced as in 'fake', thus forming the word, 'kuttaa'.

            The word kooTa, on the other hand, comes from a completely different language altogether. It is from Telugu, the predominant tongue in the region around the launch site. To a native South/South East Asian speaker, 'kuttaa' and 'kooTa' are quite distinct, not just for the first vowel-sound ('u' versus an elongated 'oo'), but also for the second consonant ('th' versus a hard 'T', as in 'Tango') and for the second vowel-sound (an elongated 'aa' versus a shorter 'a').

            Greetings from your friendly vyákaraNa nazi. :-)

          • by jma05 (897351)
            The Kota in Sriharikota is Telugu for "Fort". You are confusing it for Kutta, which is Hindi for dog.
            Telugu is the language spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh where Sriharikota is located. It is one of the 2 main IT/outsourcing states (along with Karnataka) of India.
    • by tomalpha (746163) * on Thursday January 11, 2007 @07:42AM (#17554572)

      Space exploration is often cited as providing a country a tangible goal. Something to aim for, boost national pride, focus industry, provide technological spinoffs (whether product - Teflon etc.) or industrial capacity, and provide a sneaky way of subsidy through government contract. You can well imagine that India, looking to the US (and even some extent the USSR's program) would want in on that.

      Of course, this leaves out the fact that any country that wants to launch satellites into orbit - whether for commercial, military or espionage reasons is at the mercy of the few nations with launch capability, both in terms of cost and possible political veto.

      I, for one, can well understand why any nation might want a space program. (See the recent muttering about the UK's fairly timid [guardian.co.uk] approach to this.

  • Space Race 2.0? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Virtual_Raider (52165) on Thursday January 11, 2007 @05:54AM (#17554024) Homepage
    I wonder if this would spur the USA and Russia to speed up their space programs. I'm not sure about Russia anymore but at least the US has stated that they want to go back to the moon and put some dude up in Mars sometime on this half of the century if memory serves.
    • by ananthap (971180)
      Hi, this is Anantha frpm India. No space race here. Just a small launch catering to the needs of the ISRO trying to go commercial. Maybe offer to launch satellites for other countries etc. I remember earlier launches were for communication satellites etc. Now re-entry=re-use=cost-saving. About CHANDRAYAN-1, it will remain a pipe dream of the pols beacause unlike a satellite launch, there is no way it will be commercially viable. (Race with star wars!?!). End
      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        Hi, this is Anantha frpm India.
        No, there's nothing else you can help me with today, but if you could just give me the balance of my current account - like I originally asked 20 minutes ago - that would be totally fine and dandy. Oh, that fake geordie accent isn't fooling anyone.
    • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Thursday January 11, 2007 @08:36AM (#17554810)

      I'm not sure about Russia anymore but at least the US has stated that they want to go back to the moon and put some dude up in Mars sometime on this half of the century if memory serves.
      Russia is and will remain competitive where it really counts (at the moment at least) which is the business of getting big loads into orbit as cheaply and reliably as possible. That's where the money is at the moment. Just because Russia can't afford to indulge in high profile prestige projects doesn't mean they aren't advancing their space program. Doing well with cargo rockets may not be glamorous but it is valuable work. The Mir space station for example was less glamorous than the American Moon missions but the research work done on Mir concerning for example the effects that spending long periods of time in weightlessness has on the human body was no less valuable. In the long term Russia will probably benefit more from pouring the majority of it's resources into it's commercial cargo-rocket operations than India, China and the USA will benefit from diverting their space program resources into sending more manned missions to the moon or being the first to have one of their citizens leave a footprint on the surface of Mars.
    • They're (the USA) going to have to stop waging wars first. I don't imagine there's enough money available for both.
    • I'd like to nominate George W. Bush! He'd make an excellent dude in Mars. Besides I suspect he's from Mars anyways. It'll almost be like coming home.

      sri
    • I've gotten the impression that Russia is focusing more on a commercial space program. The ESA is probably the biggest competitor to NASA right now, in terms of how likely they are to do something big and impressive. Not that NASA can't trump them, but it would require the American government to reduce the extent to which it engages in cronyism, earmarking, and all of the other things that make accomplishing anything of merit next-to-impossible. The ESA is comparitively lean and efficient and has so many
  • Not bad. Not bad at all! *g*

  • > Indian Rocket Blasts into Space

    Yes. About time. The existing telemarking satellites are choked. Ah excuse me I have an incoming call...

  • WRONG! (Score:5, Informative)

    by YA_Python_dev (885173) on Thursday January 11, 2007 @06:52AM (#17554304) Journal
    Chandrayan-1 (the correct spelling is Chandrayaan-1 [wikipedia.org]) isn't a manned mission.
  • by nietsch (112711) on Thursday January 11, 2007 @07:08AM (#17554402) Homepage Journal
    with 9 launches the rocket has quite proven itself, but why would they design a rocket with 4 stages? Or does that figure include the strap-on boosters? I would expect with material weight going down, it would be more economical to design a rocket with less stages, as 3 stages instead of 4 means 25% less points of failure. Or is life expectancy of their motors so low they need 4 sets to get into orbit reliably?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by imsabbel (611519)
      Generally, more stages== more efficient.
      If you can manage to keep them reliable, and keep the additional mass because of the seperate engines/ect small.
      • by khallow (566160)

        Staging doesn't really have that much to do with efficiency. As the grandparent points out, a stage is a point of failure, which is the ultimate inefficiency. For example, with enough stages, you could launch something into space using just compressed air. But it would take a lot of stages (perhaps several dozen, each stage an exponential factor larger than the one before it).

        Instead, the issue seems to be that the rocket launches satellites into a high inclination orbit (an orbit which is always in the S

        • by MrFlibbs (945469)
          The International Space Station is not "always in the Sun". With an inclination of 51.63 degrees, the ISS enters the Earth's shadow on every orbit. Perhaps you were thinking of a sun-synchronous orbit? It's possible for such an orbit to be continuously in sunlight if the orbital parameters are chosen for this purpose. The ISS orbit is nothing like this.

          The parent's claim that more stages is more efficient is correct. A single stage rocket has to carry the entire mass of the booster all the way to orbit
          • by khallow (566160)

            Yes, I was think sun-synchronous orbit. The Indian launch vehicle was designed to launch satellites into that particular orbit according to Wikipedia, the gold standard for reliability on the internet.

            The parent's claim that more stages is more efficient is correct. A single stage rocket has to carry the entire mass of the booster all the way to orbit. Stages allow you to leave some of this mass behind by ditching the depleted stages as you go. Less mass reaches orbit and hence less energy is expended. M

    • I guess it is related to the thrust-to-weight ratio of their engine. Increasing from 3 to 4 stages improves efficiency a bit but certainly reduces the reliablity. But, if you don't have enough thrust, you leave with little choice. The other option is to strap a bunch of boosters or use heck lot of engines (You can find some very impressive photo on the web for one of the Soviet Union era rocket... It looks like a fire cracker to me)....
    • Reason for 4 stages (Score:5, Informative)

      by amightywind (691887) on Thursday January 11, 2007 @09:27AM (#17555222) Journal

      The US built LTV Scout [wikipedia.org] used for stages, all solid motors. If you use lower Isp [wikipedia.org] engines you tend to need more stages to loft the same payload.

  • We can outsource NASA!

    My impression is they've become arrogant and bloated over the years. A little low-cost competition shouldn't hurt them too bad.

  • The heading is a bit puerile. I thought that yet one after Indian spacecraft crashed after takeoff.
  • to be noted... (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheCybernator (996224) on Thursday January 11, 2007 @08:08AM (#17554670) Homepage
    the PSLV is quite different from GSLV. If am not wrong, the PSLV is powered by Cryogenic Engine developed ingeniously after Russia declined the technology transfer.
  • by eagl (86459) on Thursday January 11, 2007 @08:41AM (#17554846) Journal
    This is such a great example of what is going RIGHT with the world.

    Political decisions led the US to cut off certain space tech transfers to India, and instead of whining about it and complaining that the US was keeping them down, India developed their own space program, filling in the gaps of their technological capabilities as required. They worked hard and made it happen without relying on handouts or whining about how tough their life was.

    Now the political realities have changed, but instead of India once again relying on US, UK, or Russian technology, they can compete and relate with the other space powers on a much more equal basis. They have their own capability, they don't owe anyone for it, and they have their national pride instead of being a nation of victims whining about how the US isn't giving them enough candy.

    WTG India, the aerospace technology success story of the century. Way to be a winner, not a whiner. As an American sick and tired of every little country bitching about how the US doesn't give them enough money/respect/tech/whatever, I wish more countries would do this, even though it would result in the US ultimately having less influence in the world.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SpooForBrains (771537)
      "I wish more countries would do this, even though it would result in the US ultimately having less influence in the world"

      "even though"? I think the less influence the US has over the world the better off we'll all be. That goes for the UK, by the way, IMO.
    • by wall0159 (881759)
      As an American sick and tired of every little country bitching about how the US doesn't give them enough money/respect/tech/whatever

      Care to give some examples of countries whining about unjust treatment?
    • Uh... handouts? No. Most countries are complaining about, you know, little things ... like the US firing rockets into their sovereign territory, the US violating trade deals that the US originally pushed for (spoiled bitches can't handle it when another country embraces capitalism and bests the US at it), the US describing their democratically elected leaders as despots while allowing massive amounts of electoral fraud in American elections, the use of the CIA to assassinate democratically elected leaders
  • Come on people! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Timberwolf0122 (872207) on Thursday January 11, 2007 @10:29AM (#17555992) Journal
    Why does everyone assume that every nation on Earth wants to start a nuclear war?

    Maybe we should all sitdown and watch Wargames + When the Wind Blows and then ask ourselfs if anyone would want to use nuclear weapons in anger.
    I for one would like to see India and China working alongside ESA and NASA establish future for humanity in orbit, on the moon and mars.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BigGerman (541312)
      Every nation on earth does not WANT to start nuclear war. Every nation on earth wants to be ABLE to start nuclear war. Nuclear deterrence is one of the very few basic things that are proven to work in the international relationships. If Saddam actually had operational nukes he would still be in power. That is why Iran wants them so badly and NK exploded the first thing they could. Just basic logic. Sometimes in the future we will actually cooperate, but for now, just respect your neighbour with a big stick.
      • I'm not so sure about that. Every decade that goes by without a major war-related die-off, a society becomes more hateful and aggressive. Americans haven't had a good slaughter since world war 2, and even that one was pretty skimpy. The entire Vietnam war killed fewer people than car accidents in the continental US do in a single year. And look at them now. By contrast, look at the incredible reluctance to get involved in WW2 -- WW1 took all the fight out of the US. And look at how long it took after
  • Yes, but... (Score:1, Redundant)

    by inviolet (797804)

    ...what color curry does it burn for fuel? Red I presume? I just had red curry chicken yesterday, and wow is that stuff hot.

  • Thank you come again!

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