Finally, an ISRO launch (PSLV-C52), new VSSC Director, Space Budget, New Launch Vehicle Startup EntherealX, Reliance Jio applies for SATCOM license, and more
First Launch of 2022: PSLV-C52 launched successfully
ISRO finally had another launch after a long wait. PSLV-C52 launched successfully with EOS-04 and two other ride-sharing satellites. EOS-04 is a radar-imaging satellite designed to provide all-weather images for agricultural applications. The satellite is replacing RISAT-1 which became non-operational after a defragmentation event in September 2016.
The secondary payloads included INSPIREsat-1 and INS-2TD. INSPRIREsat-1 is a joint mission between the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado, National Central University (NCU) in Taiwan, and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. It has two scientific instruments: Compact Ionospheric Probe (CIP) and Dual-zone Aperture X-ray Solar Spectrometer (picoSIM). INSPIREsat-1 is alive and active.
INS-2TD is a technology demonstrator satellite from ISRO. It is a precursor to the India-Bhutan Joint Satellite which may launch later this year.
ISRO last launched GSLV-F10 in August 2021 which failed to insert the payload EOS-03 into the orbit. Before that, the last successful launch was back in February 2021, almost a year back. Hopefully, with this successful launch of PSLV, the space agency will bring back the launch frequency to normal.
Being a nighttime launch, a lot of ISRO fans in southern India captured the launch at their own homes. Many of these pictures and videos are surfacing on social media. As I don’t have the right to share their pictures, I wouldn’t. You can find a lot of them at #PSLVC52 hashtag.
Dr Unnikrishnan Nair S assumes charge as the Director of VSSC, Thiruvananthapuram
The senior scientist S Unnikrishnan who is also the director of Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC), Bengaluru has taken charge of the office of the director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). He mentioned SSLV, Chandrayaan-3, and Gaganyaan as main priorities for the year.
Budget for Department of Space in 2022-2023 session
The Union Budget was announced and the budget for the Department of Space got reduced when compared to last year. The total budget announced is Rs 13700 crores while last year it was Rs 13949 crores. Check out this informative video on the same by Gareeb Scientist.
There will be two test missions to establish crew abort and escape systems. This mission will be performed a test vehicle (TV) which is a new rocket system designed for test demonstrations only.
The test vehicle will also be used to test air-breathing propulsion and reusable rocket technology.
The first uncrewed missions after successful testing of the crew abort system will be performed early next year.
The first of the two relay satellites needed for Gaganyaan may also launch in this financial year.
Other ISRO updates and News
Aditya-L1 mission to launch in the second half of this year. If not launched during this time, the next window presents itself in March 2023.
RLD-TD landing and Inflatable aerodynamic decelerator mechanism to be tested this year.
Technology Demonstration Satellite, TDS-01 to be launched on PSLV-C54 in March end. (Source)
The annual report (2020-21) for NewSpace India Limited was released.
ISRO successfully disposes of the INSAT-4B satellite after mission completion on 24th January 2022. The satellite was launched in 2007 for DTH and communication services.
Department of Space demonstrates entanglement based quantum communication over 300m free space along with real-time cryptographic applications
Scientific Articles and Papers
Development of NavIC synchronized fully automated inter-building QKD framework and demonstration of quantum secured video calling
Adarsh Jain, Abhishek Khanna, Jay Bhatt, Parthkumar V. Sakhiya, Shashank Kumar, Rohan S. Urdhwareshe, Nilesh M. Desai, Development of NavIC synchronized fully automated inter-building QKD framework and demonstration of quantum secured video calling, Optik, Volume 252, 2022, 168438, ISSN 0030-4026, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijleo.2021.168438.
Postulating exoplanetary habitability via a novel anomaly detection method
Jyotirmoy Sarkar, Kartik Bhatia, Snehanshu Saha, Margarita Safonova, Santonu Sarkar, Postulating exoplanetary habitability via a novel anomaly detection method, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 510, Issue 4, March 2022, Pages 6022–6032, https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stab3556
TOI article explaining the research.
EntherealX: a new space tech startup developing a medium-lift launch vehicle with tentative plans to test the first one by 2026. They have named their vehicle, Razor Crest Mk-1. Check out their website here: https://www.etherealx.space/
Space tech startup funding increased by 198% y-o-y in 2021. Pixxel, Dhruva Space, Astrome, Agnikul, and Skyroot were amongst who raised the highest funds. While this influx of funding is good, it still may not be enough with new startups coming up and the mature ones requiring a lot more in upcoming phases. The government is planning to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the space sector which could help the booming space startup ecosystem in the country.
Reliance Jio’s satellite unit applies for a satellite communication services license.
Pixxel selects Dawn Propulsion for their imaging constellation. Dawn is a Netherlands and New Zealand based company providing in-space satellite propulsion.
Dhurva Space has been performing deployer tests in thermovac in the past week. @DhruvaSpace
Hyderabad: Anurag University students to launch satellite soon
Podcasts and Discussions
Drawing parallels between European and Indian support systems for NewSpace startups
Lucie talks about her experiences from moving from a traditional space agency setting to supporting young companies trying to conduct NewSpace activities in Europe. We talk about parallels with India and the differences in these ecosystems.
Pawan Kumar Chandana and Naga Bharath Daka at Skyroot on their ambition to launch a rocket a day
In this conversation, Pawan and Bharath talk about their aspiration to be a launch vehicle provider of choice, with the ability to launch a rocket a day, on-demand.
New Web Series on lives of Dr Homi Bhabha and Dr Vikram Sarabhai: Rocket Boys
Sony Liv premiered a new series on the lives of Dr Bhabh and Dr Sarabhai. I have only watched a couple of episodes are like it so far. While it may not be historically very accurate, it is made well to create a buzz in the general public and therefore make more people aware of the rockets boys of India. What are your views comment below?
Special thanks to r/ISRO subreddit which is my major source to reach all these articles and news.
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