India Update: Soyuz Flight, Cryo Engines and the Stuxnet Worm

A few brief updates on the Indian space program:

  • RIA Novosti reports that ISRO has nixed a proposal for a solo Soyuz flight that would include two Indian astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut. The mission would be an intermediate step toward India’s effort to launch astronauts aboard its own vehicle. India still wants to cooperate with Russia on human spaceflight. (Via Roscosmos website)
  • Spaceflight Now has a somewhat speculative story about whether ISRO will seek Russian help on its 17-year effort to develop an indigenous cryogenic upper stage. That help could include technical assistance or purchasing additional engines (India has bought seven already). The article notes that the U.S. recently dropped anti-proliferation sanctions against Russia’s Glavkosmos in 1988 that prohibited technical cooperation. ISRO’s attempt to launch its first cryogenic stage failed in April when the engine failed to ignite.
  • ISRO officials have ruled out the possibility that the Insat-4 B satellite was partially crippled by the Stuxnet internet worm, The Economic Times reports. Twelve of the satellites 24  transponders shut down, apparently due to a power glitch.