Gaganyaan Updates, ISRO Satellite Applications, Pixxel to launch a constellation of 36 satellites, Skyroot completed Series A funding, Podcasts, Job Openings, and more.
Garmin releases NavIC based Hand-held Navigation Devices
Garmin launched NavIC enabled handheld devices GPSMAP 66sr and GPSMAP 65s in India.
The first uncrewed flight for the Gaganyaan Program may not happen in December 2021. ISRO Chairman, K Sivan, said that significant design and development for the project had been completed. Static tests of the rocket's solid-fuel motor are scheduled for September.
Meanwhile, the agency is conducting an internal assessment to review the mission timeline. The article also reported that the astronauts would continue training in India until the mission's launch to ensure physical fitness.
ISRO to help states re-open schools with satellite TV based classroom
A Parliamentary Standing Committee for Education had asked ISRO to provide technical assistance to start satellite TV classrooms to bridge the learning gap in the syllabus due to the pandemic. Last Friday, ISRO officials highlighted their readiness to help states and provide satellite rights. However, they did also questioned the willingness of states to use the technology.
ISRO-ICG developed tech, Indian satellites prove crucial in saving lives at sea
The Indian Costal Guard (ICG) rescued a distressed fishing vessel with seven near Port Blair crew. The Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) received a Distress Alert Transmitter (DAT) on 30th June. Following which ICG tasked ship C-422 from Kamorta, besides ship Vishwast and Dornier aircraft for Search and Rescue. Finally, ICGS Vishwast towed the distressed vessel as on-site repair was possible.
ISRO and ICG jointly develop the DAT system. It transmits distress alerts to the Search and Rescue Authorities through the INSAT series of satellites.
A new Optical Telescope under Netra SSA Program
ISRO released a tender for an optical telescope for scanning space debris of 30 cm or more at Hanle, Ladakh. Following are the specifications mentioned in the document:
Optical Configuration: Ritchey-Chretien/ dual Nasmyth two-mirror telescope (spectral band 0.4- 0.9 micron) with field corrector optics
Telescope Mirrors: Primary mirror (PM) clear aperture of 1- meter diameter *(Major) Secondary mirror of suitable diameter
Field of View: Optimized for circular Field of view ± 0.3Degree or better without vignetting.
Spectral Range: 0.4 to 0.9 micron (Major)
India building ground station for ASEAN countries in Vietnam
ISRO started establishing a ground station, payload data reception, processing, and dissemination facility in Vietnam. The tender for an 11m antenna at the ground station was released. The whole project is part of Space co-operation between Indian and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
A paper on India's Lunar Soil Simulant (LSS)
"A lunar soil simulant (LSS-ISAC-1) for the lunar exploration programme of the Indian Space Research Organisation"
Lunar Regolith Simulants are imperative materials required for In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), simulating physical and chemical properties of the lunar terrain, testing landers and mobility of rovers, and calibration of payloads and sensors. The available simulants do not represent all the lunar terrain environments and are insufficient to conduct the above experiments. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) took up necessary steps to launch the Chandrayaan-2 mission after successfully completing the Chandrayaan-1 mission. The Chandrayaan-2 mission included an orbiter, a lander, and a rover. ISRO's UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) has decided to have a dedicated Lunar Terrain Testing Facility (LTTF) at Bengaluru. URSC has planned for a bulk quantity of lunar soil simulant similar to Lunar highland composition. The task was assigned to the Centre for Geoinformatics and Planetary Studies, Department of Geology at Periyar University in southern India. The bulk quantity of Lunar soil stimulant was produced from the anorthosite rocks collected from the Sittampundi Anorthosite Complex (SAC) exposed in the southern part of India. We report the merit of the source area, geological setting, chemistry, mineral phase, soil characteristics, and grain size distribution of simulant material. The anorthosite rocks collected from SAC have a higher abundance of calcic plagioclase, and the proportion of major oxides is mostly equivalent to lunar highland anorthosite. ISRO's lunar soil simulant LSS-ISAC-1 has similarity with the Lunar highland regolith in the majority and has fidelity to represent the highland terrain. The testing facility, LTTF, was used for testing the soft landing of the lander and mobility of the rover of the Chandrayaan-2 mission.
Skyroot Aerospace completes Series A funding with the recent $11 million capital raise. The company aims to become the most affordable on-demand launch vehicle.
Pixxel aims to launch a total of 36 satellites by the end of 2023 to give daily hyperspectral coverage around the globe. Their first satellite, Anand, is expected to launch by October after the scrub in February due to technical difficulties.
OneWeb in talks to reduce access terminal costs says, Sunil Mittal
Manastu Space releases their own YouTube channel.
Podcasts and Discussions
Clubhouse Space Clubs: Space Smurfs and Small Steps & Giant Leaps
NewSpace India Discord server discussions, every Saturday 9:30 PM IST
All Things Small is coming up with the second season of their podcast Mission ISRO.
Comparing Japan's approach to space industry to the Indian experience
ISRO Offering one-year training apprentices, applications due by 22nd July