National Space Transportation Policy Draft, Chandrayaan-2 Observes the Moon and the Sun, ISRO collaborating with Ministry of Earth Sciences, Airforce and NOAA on three different projects and more
In-Space releases the National Space Transportation Policy 2020 draft
The Department of Space released the National Space Transportation Policy draft, inviting comments from the public until 21st July ’21. The draft outlines norms, guidelines and procedures for the private space agency working in the space transportation field. Few important takeaways are that private companies are now
allowed to build and launch rockets/launch vehicles.
own and operate launch sites in India as well as around the world
build launch pads on ISRO sites
carry out re-entry and recovery missions
collaborate with international agencies and companies
The majority of these activities would require authorisation from the newly formed In-Space. Read the whole draft here.
Chandrayaan-2 Science Updates
Looking for OH and H20 on the Moon: The Imaging Infrared Spectrometer (IIRS) instrument demonstrated the presence of widespread lunar hydration and unambiguous detection of OH and H2O signatures on the Moon between 29 to 62 latitudes. This presence was already known and used as an “instrument works as intended” experiment, as noted in a paper preprint. Working of IIRS payload: Paper and Presentation.
Observing the Sun: Moon provides a good vantage point to observe the Sun. Therefore Chandrayaan-2 has a Solar X-ray Monitor (XSM) payload onboard. ISRO officially announced the detection of sub-A class solar flares during the quiet phase on the Sun. The article is based on the papers published back in April as shared in the sixth edition of Antariksham.
ISRO is much more than just space vehicles and satellites
ISRO will be developing the unique underwater capsule needed for the recently approved ‘Deep ocean mission’. The Ministry of Earth Sciences has roped in space scientists to design and create the capsule that will dive more than 6,000 mt in the Indian Ocean. The three men mission would carry sensors and tools to look for polymetallic nodules containing copper, nickel, cobalt and manganese worth millions. The Government of India sanctioned Rs 4,077 cr ‘deep ocean mission’ on 16th June ’21.
Meanwhile, the Indian Airforce, in collaboration with ISRO, is developing a real-time aircraft tracking system (RTATS) for its military planes. The industry will develop final hardware, while ISRO would help ascertain the specifications and requirements.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and ISRO are co-leading the CEO COAST project aiming to improve coastal data accuracy based on satellite and land-based observations. The current algorithms can make sense of data for ocean and landmasses, but they fail for coastal areas. The project was recently honoured by the United Nations.
Some other articles
Natural selection in few milliseconds: Shock-induced formation of complex macroscale structures
A team of scientists at the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, have found a possible theory that suggests that the building blocks of life could have polymerised not just on Earth but on other planetary bodies through shock-processing of life-forming molecules. A recently published article explains the experiment on induction of shock of building blocks of amino acids. The molecules tend to take complex shapes similar to those present in life forms.
TIFR zero-pressure balloon programme crosses a milestone
Current Science published an article to celebrate the crossing of the milestone of completing 500 flights in 2018 by the TIFR balloon facility (BF) at Hyderabad. Among its many achievements, BF developed the balloon used for StratEx Mission of Alan Eustace to set the highest high altitude balloon jump record in 2015.
New subreddit for the Private Indian Space Industry: India In-Space
Webinars and Podcasts
GEOKUL - Webinar Series on ISRO’s GeoPortals, streamed on 22nd June ’21 [OFFICIAL]
Second Last Supper | Ep 18 | Tushar Jadhav on Making Fuel For Satellites, streamed on 18th June ’21
To The Point with Dr K. Sivan, Chairman, ISRO, streamed on 15th June ’21
ISRO Chairman address at Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX) 2021 Plenary 2A, streamed on 15th June ’21
Building the space industry in India, every Friday on Clubhouse