India plans to open up its state-run space sector to private companies. The Times of India reports:
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced the entry of the private sector in the country’s future inter-planetary and outer space explorations and allowed private companies to access the facilities and services of Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro).
Whil announcing structural reforms for the eight crucial sectors, the FM said, “India has the benefit of an extraordinary space institution such as Isro, which brought the nation a lot of laurels. However, today the private sector is also doing a lot of work in the space arena. A lot of individuals and startups have spent a lot of time developing space-related technologies. Unfortunately, because of Indian regulations, they are unable to use Isro facilities for even testing their products. To provide a level-playing field in satellite launches and space-based services, we will make a provision for the private sector to benefit from the assets which are available to Isro and for India (in general) to benefit from it.”
Sithharaman said, “We will also provide a predictable policy and regulatory environment for private players. We want them to be co-travellers with us. Therefore, the private sector is being encouraged.
In another big development, the FM announced that “future projects like planetary explorations and outer spce travel (like future Chandrayaan, Venus and Aditya missions) will be opened for the private sector. So, the private sector is being given a good access to the so arena so the industry and Isro can work together for a better ‘Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) Bharat’.”
The government is also working on a new policy for geospatial data to encourage private-sector companies.
STAR CITY, Russia (Roscosmos PR) — The Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) on May 12 resumed training of the Indian cosmonauts under the contract between Glavkosmos, JSC (part of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos) and the Human Spaceflight Center of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
All four Indian cosmonauts undergoing training in Russia are in good health and feel fine. The health of Indian cosmonauts is carefully protected: GCTC continues to observe anti-epidemic regulations according to which sanitary and hygienic measures are carried out at all the GCTC facilities, social distancing measures are applied and the presence of unauthorized persons is restricted; all employees and cosmonauts must wear medical masks and gloves.
This week, the GCTC specialists are giving theoretical classes on the basics of astrogation, the basics of manned spacecraft control and the Russian language to the Indian cosmonauts.
The contract for the training of Indian cosmonauts between Glavkosmos and the Human Spaceflight Center of the Indian Space Research Organisation was signed on June 27, 2019.
Their training in Russia started on February 10, 2020. Since the end of this March, due to the global pandemic of a new coronavirus infection, a lockdown was recommended for the Indian cosmonauts which they carefully observed.
LUXEMBOURG, 19 May 2020 (Kleos Space PR) — Kleos Space (ASX: KSS, Frankfurt: KS1), a space-powered RF reconnaissance data-as-a-service (DaaS) company, has been awarded a contract to prepare Kleos data to be accessed by the Micro-Satellite Military Utility (MSMU Project) Project Arrangement (PA) which is an agreement under the Responsive Space Capabilities Memorandum of Understanding involving the Departments and Ministries of Defense of Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, United Kingdom and United States.
Development of Technologies for Sustained Indian Human Space Program and Space Exploration
ISRO’s Human Space Program will endeavour to send humans to destinations from low earth orbits and beyond. Human Space Mission requires innovations and creative technologies for space explorations which will lead to widening of scientific knowledge, economic growth, value addition to the quality of life of a common man and thus national development. There is need to build capabilities to derive scientific benefits from ISRO’s Human Spaceflight Program.
There is also a need to establish long term research as well as plan for necessary facilities, human resource developments for optimal utilisations of experimental applications and technological developments for societal usage.
PARIS LES HALLES, France (CNES PR) — On Thursday, 12 March, CNES’s Board of Directors convened for its 362nd session at the agency’s Head Office in Paris Les Halles, giving the go-ahead to engage France in the development of the French-Indian Trishna programme and to pursue activities for the new Space Inspire series of flexible satellites, as well as development of equipment for the spacecraft bus and shared payload.
Trishna is a mission to deliver thermal-infrared imagery of Earth’s surface at high spatial and temporal resolution. Its observations will help to gain fresh insights into the water cycle and improve management of the planet’s water resources, at a time when the local impacts of climate change are being felt increasingly around the globe.
MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — This Monday Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) has started the planned training program of Indian candidates for a spaceflight under the contract between Glavkosmos, JSC (part of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos) and the Human Spaceflight Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
After thorough selection, the four Indian Air Force fighter pilots became the ISRO candidates for the spaceflight.
The 12-month training program includes comprehensive and biomedical training of the Indian candidates, which will be combined with regular physical practices. In addition, they will study in detail the systems of the Soyuz manned spaceship, as well as they will be trained in short-term weightlessness mode aboard the special Il-76MDK aircraft.
The Indian pilots will also be trained to act correctly in case of abnormal landing of the manned spaceship descent module in various climate and geographic zones. The most part of the training will take place at the GCTC facilities.
The contract for training of the Indian candidates for a spaceflight between Gavkosmos and the Human Spaceflight Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation was signed on June 27, 2019. The document implies the support of Glavkosmos in selection of candidates, their medical examination, and various aspects of space training.
Exolaunch will support the deployment of Spire’s Lemur-class 3U cubesats on the Indian PSLV early this year.
Singapore (Exolaunch PR) — Germany’s Exolaunch, the leading launch services and separation system provider for small satellites, confirmed that it will arrange a milestone cubesat launch to send four of Spire’s cubesats into low-inclination orbit on the Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in early 2020.
With this launch, Spire Global – a data analytics company with the world’s largest constellation of satellites for weather, maritime and aircraft data tracking – aims to diversify its satellite orbits. The mission will also serve as the springboard for an exciting new collaboration between Exolaunch and Indian launch services provider, New Space India Limited (NSIL) – the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
IANSreports that ISRO has begun buying up land to build a second spaceport to accommodate small satellite launches. ISRO Chairman K. Sivan revealed the plans in a press conference on Wednesday.
“The Tamil Nadu government has begun acquiring about 2,300 acres of land in Thoothukudi district for our second satellite launch port, ideally located for launching smaller satellites in the earth”s lower orbit,” the Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman told reporters here.
“The new location is ideal for launching smaller satellites of less than 500kg in the sun-synchronous orbit,” said Sivan.
India launches it satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota. The PSLV, GSLV Mk. II and GSLV Mk. III boosters are launched from the spaceport.
ISRO is developing a new booster, rather creatively called the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (or SSLV), to serve that market. Currently, small satellites are launched as secondary payloads or as part of dedicated missions aboard India’s existing boosters.
ISRO Chairman K. Sivan confirmed the Indian space agency will launch a new lunar lander and rover to replace the ones that crashed as part of the Chandrayaan-2 mission last year. The BBCreports:
He said the country was aiming to launch the mission in 2020 but that it “may spill over” to 2021….
Mr Sivan said the new mission would land in the same area, and would “have a lander, rover and propulsion module like its predecessor”. The new equipment is set to cost some $35m (£26m), while the full cost of the mission is set to be significantly more.
Jitendra Singh, junior minister for the department of space, has said the new mission will be “quite economical”.
“The orbiter is already there. So we are going to be cutting cost,” he told the Times of India.
ISRO says it has selected four pilots from the Indian Air Force to begin training in Russia later this month for the first Gaganyaan orbital mission. The Hindureports that Chairman K. Sivan made the announcement on New Year’s Day.
The initial tests were conducted in the IAF’s Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Bengaluru, and Russia. The four will leave in the third week of January to be trained at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Centre in Moscow, as per an agreement signed between the space agencies of the two countries last year.
Gaganyaan, announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August 2018, is the ₹10,000-crore Indian human space flight scheduled for 2022. It is designed to have 3-7 crew members spend 3-7 days in space in a 400-km orbit.
Dr. Sivan said Gaganyaan activities were on track. However it was not known yet how many astronauts would finally travel to space.
The first of the two pre-Gaganyaan flights with a humanoid will be launched this year-end along with some of the six shortlisted micro-gravity experiments, Dr. Sivan said.
SRIHARIKOTA, India (ISRO PR) — Today, India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its fiftieth flight (PSLV-C48), successfully launched RISAT-2BR1 along with nine commercial satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.
NEW DELHI (Department of Space PR) — The Human Space Mission: Gaganyaan is targeted for December 2021. The Gaganyaan Programme has been approved by the Government of India. The design and configuration of major subsystem are finalized. The procurement and system/ subsystem realisation for tests and flight has commenced.
The crew selection and training process for Gaganyaan mission is progressing well including the training in Russia under Gaganyaan Mission.
GSLV Mk III launcher which is ISRO’s heavy lift launcher is identified for Gaganyaan mission. It has requisite payload carrying capacity for Orbital module in desired elliptical orbit. Process for human rating of GSLV Mk-III is progressing well.
ISRO has wide experience in technological areas with respect to Launch vehicle, spacecraft management, ground infrastructure etc. ISRO has taken steps for human rating of existing systems to ensure crew safety.
In certain areas where ISRO lacks experience such as Human centric systems, crew training, crew recovery etc., ISRO is planning to collaborate with national and international agencies. MoUs in this regard have already been signed with DRDO labs, Indian Air Force and Russian space agency.
This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.
ISRO Chairman K Sivan is disputing that idea that NASA was the first to positively identified the wreckage of India’s Vikram lunar lander after its location was discovered by Indian amateur astronomer Shanmuga Subramanium.
GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — The Chandrayaan 2 Vikram lander was targeted for a highland smooth plain about 600 kilometers from the south pole; unfortunately the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lost contact with their lander shortly before the scheduled touchdown (Sept. 7 in India, Sept. 6 in the United States). Despite the loss, getting that close to the surface was an amazing achievement.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team released the first mosaic (acquired Sept. 17) of the site on Sept. 26 and many people have downloaded the mosaic to search for signs of Vikram. Shanmuga Subramanian contacted the LRO project with a positive identification of debris. After receiving this tip, the LROC team confirmed the identification by comparing before and after images.
When the images for the first mosaic were acquired the impact point was poorly illuminated and thus not easily identifiable. Two subsequent image sequences were acquired on Oct. 14 and 15, and Nov. 11.
The LROC team scoured the surrounding area in these new mosaics and found the impact site (70.8810°S, 22.7840°E, 834 m elevation) and associated debris field. The November mosaic had the best pixel scale (0.7 meter) and lighting conditions (72° incidence angle).
The debris first located by Shanmuga is about 750 meters northwest of the main crash site and was a single bright pixel identification in that first mosaic (1.3 meter pixels, 84° incidence angle). The November mosaic shows best the impact crater, ray and extensive debris field. The three largest pieces of debris are each about 2×2 pixels and cast a one pixel shadow.