Gaganyaan updates, Chandrayaan-2 data release, Recent Astrophysics research articles, Launch your own suborbital spacecraft, job opportunities and more
As my semester has started the Antariksham newsletter may be published in rather odd timings. I will be trying my best to build a schedule for weekly issues every Saturday but until then I hope you guys will understand.
A small video on the upcoming NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, NISAR mission
ISRO successfully performed a hot test of the Gaganyaan Service Module Propulsion System on a System Demonstration Model (SDM). Gaganyaan astronauts will be travelling in a space capsule with two modules, the crew and the service modules. The crew module is where astronauts reside and perform their tasks during the whole journey, while the service module provides essentials like water and water etc. The service module will also feature the five thrusters needed to propel the whole capsule. This test is one of the first in many to confirm the working of these thrusters.
Indian astronaut trainees from the Indian Air Force (IAF) recently completed the Russian segment of their training. Their next leg will be starting this week at IAF. Following the two weeks of training, they will travel across India for other theory and academic training. Finally, the astronauts will travel back to Russia for tailoring measurements of their flight suits.
While the Vikram Lander failed during the landing attempt exactly two years ago, the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter produces a lot of scientific data. Indian Scientists have published numerous papers on CY-2 orbiter payload data (previous Antariksham editions). ISRO has announced an AO asking the scientific community to utilize the Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter Payloads data for scientific analysis. The deadline for the submission of the proposal is 31st October. More details for the same can be found here.
ISRO is also organising a Lunar Science Workshop to release more of Chandrayaan-2 data from 6 to 7 September on its Youtube Channel. Details of the various sessions can be found here.
Three entities submit bids for building five end-to-end PSLVs.
Three entities have submitted proposals to Newspace India Limited (NSIL) for performing end-to-end production of five PSLVs in one year. The bids are in response to the Request for Proposals submitted by NSIL earlier this year. In 2019, NSIL had asked Expression of Interests for producing PSLVs from the industry, for which five entities had responded. Now, only three of them have submitted their proposals. A consortium of HAL and L&T, another one of Adani-Alpha Design, BEL and BEML, and finally BHEL has big as a single firm. ISRO-NSIL will give the contract to one of the entities by the end of the year.
Other ISRO updates and News
The Trisonic Wind Tunnel coming up in VSSC will likely be operational by February 2022. The settling chamber sections have been travelling from Mumbai to Trivandrum for the better part of the year. The cargo is expected to reach VSSC on Sunday night after circumventing a roadblock that delayed it for a few days.
INSPIRESat-1, the first satellite of a multi-university program between Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder in the US, National Central University, Taiwan, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Trivandrum will be launching onboard PSLV later this year.
ISRO making minor tweaks to GSLV for Gaganyaan, more emphasis on manufacturing process
Scientific Articles and Papers
Outburst of Cepheus X-4 pulsar inspected with AstroSat
Mukerjee, Kallol, and H. M. Antia. "Studies of Cepheus X-4 during 2018 outburst observed with AstroSat." arXiv preprint arXiv:2107.03608 (2021).
Researchers Discover Three Super-massive Black Holes Merging Together in Our Nearby Universe
Yadav, Jyoti, et al. "A triple active galactic nucleus in the NGC 7733–7734 merging group." Astronomy & Astrophysics 651 (2021): L9. DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/202141210
Dielectric Constant Estimation of Lunar Surface Using Mini-RF and Chandrayaan-2 SAR Data
A. Kumar et al., "Dielectric Constant Estimation of Lunar Surface Using Mini-RF and Chandrayaan-2 SAR Data," in IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, DOI: 10.1109/TGRS.2021.3103383.
IISc, ISRO develop a device for bio experiments in space
Kumar, Aloke, et al. "Bacterial Growth Induced Biocementation Technology,‘Space-Brick’-A Proposal for Experiment at Microgravity and Planetary Environments." bioRxiv (2020).
Ladakh based engineer first Indian to be inducted as Honorary Member of the International Astronomical Union
Gravitational-wave Observatory on Moon for Cosmology: A Wild Ambition
ACOEA completed Earth and Space Exploration Program 2021 at Ladakh
After two weeks, 20 explorers at 4500 m above sea level, completed the Earth and Space Exploration Program 2021 by Amity University's Center of Excellence in Astrobiology. They studied the effects of changing climate on ice, snow and water, trained to hunt for signs of life by studying tough microbes and plants growing in conditions similar to what Mars had billions of years ago, when it was drying up, just like Ladakh today. The program is one of the first to achieve the mission of setting up a research station at the site within 3 years.
Agnikul Cosmos partners with German EOS for 3D printing
German 3D printing technology company EOS and Indian launch vehicle startup Agnikul Cosmos have partnered to 3D print rocket engines for their Agnibaan rocket. A blog post by Agnikul founder Srinath mentions:
We will also install an EOS M400–4 printer in our facilities and will take EOS’ Additive minds technical support in advancing 3d printing of rocket engines all the way to space qualification — one could call it going to TRL 9!
Launch your own suborbital spacecraft
Space Kidz India is hosting a new program called FunSat. You can purchase equipment from the company, learn how to assemble the spacecraft and then the Space Kidz team will launch it onboard their sounding rocket. More details here.
Star Labs announced Exodus Orbitals as their first customer for a planned launch in 2023.
Podcasts and Discussions
International Space Conference from September 13- October 4. Register here.
Clubhouse Space Clubs: Small Steps & Giant Leaps, every Friday and Space Smurfs, regular discussions
MISSION ISRO S02: The story of our first multi-purpose satellite INSAT-1A.
MISSION ISRO S02: Journey of INSAT-1B launched onboard Shuttle Challenger Mission STS-08.
Read more about how the podcast was produced here.
NewSpace India Podcast: Starburst starting an India chapter to support space entrepreneurs locally
Abhi, who is leading Starburst's efforts to support Indian space entrepreneurs to grow and mature, talks about their roadmap and support system which they plan to build locally in India.
Interesting Talk on Manufacturing Processes for Space Materials: Make In Space - Talk by Dr P V Venkitakrishnan, Former Director, CBPO, ISRO, Streamed live on 30th July
Recording of a Google Meet of ex-ISRO scientists who worked on APPLE satellite mission: COMMEMORATING 40 YEARS landmark of APPLE, Streamed live on 19th June
Internship at Manastu Space Technologies
Research Supervisors at SSERD
Assistant Professor/ Research Assistant at Amity Centre of Excellence in Astrobiology
Engineering Graduate, Technician and Trade Apprentices for the year 2021-22 at Space Applications Centre, ISRO
Junior Research Fellows at India's first Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project at Amity University, Mumbai