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ISRO starting the launch campaign again, Gaganyaan Vikas Engine tested, ISRO merchandise soon, Agnikul tested it's Agnilet engine and more
GISAT-1 launch scheduled for August
ISRO is finally planning to restart their launch campaign. The earth-observation satellite GISAT-1/EOS-03 would be the first one to launch in August. The satellite was scheduled to launch over a year back in March 2020, when multiple reasons halted it, and then the pandemic struck India.
Satish Dhawan Space Centre's webpage also mentions a PSLV launch with the EOS-04 satellite in September. Hopefully, we can once again cheer for the Indian launches soon.
Not only earth observation launches, but we are gearing up for the first Human Spaceflight mission as well. ISRO shared a press release stating the successful testing of the Vikas engine to be used in the Human-rated GSLV Mk-III vehicle. This is the third successful test, and a few more are planned to ensure the human rating of the engine. Similarly, other launch vehicle components, like the S200 boosters, will be tested in the coming months.
The GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle is configured to launch cargo to space. ISRO will make various changes to systems to ensure the safe transportation of humans. The systems should have built-in fail-safes, more reliability and lower launch loads.
ISRO Merchandise coming soon
ISRO released an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for the space agency's merchandise a few months back. Indic Inspirations India Pvt. Ltd., a culture startup, announced an MOU with ISRO. The company CEO and founder, Sunil Jalihal, said, "We will soon be launching a whole collection of ISRO Themed Merchandise that will appeal to all Indians and Science & Space enthusiasts alike."
The overview of the successful Project AstroSat: Five Years of operations and continuing
India's first dedicated multi-wavelength satellite, AstroSat, was launched by PSLV-C30 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota on Sept 28, 2015. AstroSat is India's first multi-wavelength Observatory. AstroSat carries five scientific payloads and is capable of simultaneous observations from Ultra-violet to very hard X-rays. AstroSat completes 5 years of onboard operations by Sept 2020 as a proposal based observatory. Currently, it has close to 1500 global users and has produced more than a hundred and fifty articles in peer-reviewed journals. This paper is an overview that covers a brief description of the AstroSat mission and some recent results using data from this unique Indian space observatory.
Chandrayaan-2 Terrain Mapping Camera-2 Applications
The high-resolution panchromatic stereo camera Terrain Mapping Camera-2 (TMC-2) on-board the Indian Chandrayaan-2 mission sends images of the lunar surface at 5 m resolution with a low to high sun angle from an altitude of 100 km. These images help identify subtle topographic variations and enable mapping of low-elevation landforms, one of which is a prominent ~220 km long wrinkle ridge called the Dorsa Geikie (DG) lying within Mare Fecunditatis. The favourable resolution of TMC-2 images and the digital elevation models provide opportunities for a detailed structural study of the DG and to reveal crustal shortening, cumulative contractional strain and palaeostress regime responsible for thrust faulting for the first time. The time of deformation and formation of dorsa is also estimated for a holistic spatiotemporal understanding of deformation. This study presents an initial analysis of the data received from TMC-2, and the accuracy of the results are likely to improve as the ingredients get amended and evolved in future.
Indian Private Industry
Agnikul successfully completed their Agnilet engine's repeatability & performance validation tests.
Space Surveillance and Space Situational Awareness (SSA) startup Digantara raised $2.5 million in funding from Kalari Capital. This seed funding will be essential for their campaign to launch the first technology demonstrator satellite.
A virtual reality company, Hyper Reality Studios, has finalised the Gaganyaan VR simulator at Human Spaceflight Center (HSFC), ISRO. This simulator will probably be used in the advanced training phase of the astronauts in the Gaganyaan program. The company could release the 1:1 scale, 3D model of the Gaganyaan capsule for commercial use.
Podcasts and Discussions
Clubhouse Space Clubs: Small Steps & Giant Leaps, every Friday
NewSpace India Discord server discussions, every Saturday
Webinar: Register here.
Manish Johari, SVP - Lead Angels in conversation with Sanjay Nekkanti, Founder CEO Dhruva Space on SpaceTech opportunities & why VCs & Angel investors are embracing Rocket science.
Godrej's experience of spin-offs from ISRO technology:
Surendra Vaidya talks about Godrej's experience of taking technology from working with ISRO to solve problems in other sectors.
Junior Research Fellows for India's first Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project at Amity University, Mumbai
ISRO Offering one-year training apprentices, applications due by 22nd July
The Future of Indian Orbital Rockets: An excellent summary of what to expect in the Indian launch vehicle industry in upcoming years.