Rao: Chandrayaan-2 to Obtain Full Coverage of the Moon This Time

ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter

The Times of India has an interesting Q&A interview with U.R. Rao, chairman of the Advisory Committee on Space Sciences that chose the instruments for ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 orbiter and lander. He explains why the U.S. and Europe have been shut out of this mission and describes the failures by its predecessor, Chandrayaan-1, that require a follow-up mission.

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Chandrayaan-1 Project Director Receives Science Award for Moon Mission

ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter
ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter

Chandrayaan-1 Project Director M Annadurai has been honored with the H.K. Firodia award for his contribution to India’s first lunar mission. Scientist Yash Pal also was honored for his work in promoting science communication and education.

The awards, which recognize Indian scientific achievements,  are named after the late H.K. Firodia, a leader of the country’s auto industry. Yash Pal was given a cash award of Rs two lakh ($4,298) while Annadurai received Rs one lakh ($2,149).

India: More Domestic Instruments for Chandrayaan-II

moon_rise_half

India is looking to put more domestically produced instruments on its Chandrayaan-II moon mission. The country’s first lunar spacecraft contained 11 instruments, six of which were supplied by foreign organizations.

Mylswamy Annadurai, Project Director of Chandrayan Mission II, ISRO, on Monday said that there would be more indigenous components in country’s second moon mission….

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Senior Indian Scientist on Chandrayaan-1: Meh!

ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter
ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter

Why fundamental scientific research has not caught on in India (Comment)
Thaindian News

Even as the nation continues to celebrate the success of Chandrayaan, the country’s first space mission to moon, this is not something one of the seniormost scientists in India, Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao, is particularly thrilled about….

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ISRO Clams Up on Spy Case, Declares Nozette Info “Classified”

Accused spy Stewart David Nozette in India.
Accused spy Stewart David Nozette in India.

The Indian space agency has began to clam up about accused spy’s Stewart David Nozette’s visits to the country as part of his work on the Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe. The Deccan Herald reports that ISRO is now stonewalling requests for more information:

When contacted, agency spokesperson S Satish said: “I have consulted the concerned department but that information cannot be divulged as it is classified.”

The silence comes amid speculation that India is the “Country A” named in the government’s indictment against Nozette. Although Nozette was arrested for allegedly trying to sell secrets to an undercover FBI agent posing as a representative of the Mossad, there are suspicions that he might have been already spying for “Country A.”

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Lunar Water Announcement Pulled ISRO Out of the Fire

ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter
ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter

There’s an interesting piece in the Huffington Post by Pinaki Bhattacharya about how the recent announcement about lunar water helped to restore ISRO’s damaged reputation:

For weeks before this, ISRO was being pilloried for the failure and eventual abandonment of the Chandrayaan 1. On 29 August. 2009 the Indian Deep Space Network in Byalalu near Bangalore, lost total contact with Chandrayaan 1. The end was not sudden, nor unexpected. The final failure was a culmination of a number of technical glitches that started to surface soon after the launch of the lunar vehicle.

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Chandrayaan-1’s Early Failure Precluded High-Resolution Data on Lunar Water

ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter
ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter

Scientists would have gathered higher quality data about lunar water if India’s Chandrayaan-1 had fulfilled its full mission at the moon, Aviation Week reports:

M3 managed to map 90 percent of the lunar surface at low resolution before Chandrayaan-1 stopped transmitting signals from lunar orbit on Aug. 29, having completed 10 months of a planned two-year mission.

Had the mission continued, M3 would now be gathering high-resolution data.

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Nair: India’s Moon Impact Probe Also Detected Water on Moon

Chandrayaan-1's Moon Impact Probe on its way down to the lunar surface on November 14, 2008. Credit: ISRO
Chandrayaan-1's Moon Impact Probe took this picture on its way down to the lunar surface on November 14, 2008. Credit: ISRO

India’s own probe also found water on moon: ISRO
The Economic Times

India’s own Moon Impact Probe (MIP) on board the country’s maiden lunar craft had discovered water on the moon, a finding confirmed by US space agency NASA’s probe that was also aboard Chandrayaan-1, India’s top space scientist G Madhavan Nair said here on Friday.

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India Celebrates Role in Lunar Water Discovery

ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter
ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter

India Hails Role Played by its Space Mission in Gathering Evidence of Water on Moon
Voice of America

India is triumphant at the role played by its inaugural moon mission in helping gather evidence that there is water on the moon. Indian scientists hope the latest discovery will bring international recognition to its space program.

The announcement that there is evidence of water on the moon has been made by the U.S. space agency, NASA, after data from their instruments on board an Indian satellite and two other satellites was analyzed…

However, data gathered before the Chandrayan mission was aborted has shown that very fine films of water particles coat the particles that make up the lunar surface. Scientists say it is not enough moisture for homegrown life on the moon but if it were to be processed in mass quantities it might provide drinking water for future moon-dwellers.

The head of India’s space agency, G. Madhavan Nair, called it a “path breaking find” and said that Indians should be proud of the fact that Chandrayan played a role in the discovery.”

Read the full story.

ISRO to Publish Chandrayaan-1 Data Online

ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter
ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter

Public can go over the moon with ISRO data
Express Buzz

In a move that advances the cause of free sharing of knowledge, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to put out the data collected by its Rs 386-crore unmanned moon mission Chandrayaan- I on the internet.

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Space News: ISRO Needs More Candor

ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter
ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter

Space News raps ISRO across the knuckles for its handling of Chandrayaan-1 press operations:

Hopefully, ISRO also has learned something about managing the disclosure of information about civilian space missions, particularly those involving international partners, even if the news is bad. Unfortunately, Chandrayaan-1 stands out as an example of how not to do it. In announcing that Chandrayaan-1’s orbit had been raised to 200 kilometers, for example, ISRO said the probe’s primary mission had essentially been completed and couched the maneuver as a means of carrying out additional studies. No mention was made of the overheating problem that appears to have been the actual reason for the maneuver.

ISRO demonstrated its ability to lead an international mission with Chandrayaan-1, and is collaborating with Russia on a follow-on mission that will include a lander and rover. Part of the responsibility that comes with such a leadership role is being forthright and up front with details when things go wrong. ISRO can and should do better. It can start by including representatives of its partner agencies in the investigation of Chandrayaan-1’s premature failure, and then by making the results of that probe fully available to the public.

Read the full editorial.

Nair Defends ISRO Candor, Lashes Out at Media for Wanting “Only Failures”

nair1Stung by criticism of ISRO’s opaque operating style and misleading statements about its Chandrayaan-1 mission, Chairman G. Madhavan Nair lashed out at the media in an interview with Forbes India:

Forbes India: Critics say ISRO needs to be more transparent.

Madhavan Nair: You take any other organisation in the country and compare it to ISRO and show me one which is more transparent than us. In fact, I think our problem is we talk too much. But we will not put out half-cooked data. I must also complain about the media. The media wants only sensation; they want only failures.

Uh….I hate to interrupt any tirade. But, I think its time for a reality check…

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ISRO Changes Computers on Two Satellites

ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter
ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter

ISRO to replace computers on future satellites
Express Buzz

Stung by the finding that the failure of the Chandrayaan was mainly due to the malfunction of onboard computers, the Indian Space Research Organisation has decided to replace the processing units on all future satellites, including two scheduled for immediate launch.

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Scientists Gather to Assess Chandrayaan-1 Data

ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter
ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter

Space scientists laud India’s moon mission data despite setback
Thaindian News

Top international space scientists Monday lauded India’s maiden lunar mission for the excellent quality of the data sent by Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, a senior space agency official said.

“About 50 scientists from Europe, America and India met here to review the data received from Chandrayaan during its 10-month tryst with the moon and expressed happiness at the excellent quality of its pictures, graphs and imagery,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) director S. Satish told IANS here.

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