India cheers satellite launch
Three-stage morale booster
Indian space scientists were celebrating yesterday after the successful launch of a new communications satellite, INSAT-4CR, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
The satellite was originally to launch on Saturday, but bad weather meant officials had to delay proceedings for 24 hours. A technical hitch almost caused the launch to be scrapped again as the rocket's computers reported anomalous readings. However, engineers were able to get everything back in shape, and the launch was only delayed a further two hours.
The rocket, a 49 metre, three-stage vehicle with two liquid stages and a final cryogenic stage, carried the satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit. Once there, its on board thrusters will fire to move it into its final orbit at 36,000km altitude. It will spend the next 11 years relaying direct to home (DTH) TV services that observers say will revolutionise the television industry in the country.
Another DTH TV satellite was scheduled for launch in July, but the launch was aborted half way through, when a faulty liquid propellant stage meant the rocket veered off course. That failure to launch meant India's digital TV rollout had to be delayed.
According to the Hindustan Times, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) officials were also mourning the loss of three colleagues in a car accident last week in the temple town of Tirupathi in Andhra Pradesh.
The car was carrying two senior officials, Rajeev Lochan, scientific secretary, and S Krishnamurthy, director of publications and public relations. The driver was also an ISRO employee, named Chandran. He and Lochan died immediately, while Krishnamurthy passed away in hospital on Saturday. ®
@ Kamal Hashmi
the estimates for funding of domestic US abstinence-only education range from 1 to 1.75 billion USD over the last 11 years, depending on whom you ask. funding for foreign medical aid programs is supposed to be $1 billion a year, and 33% of that has to be abstinence-only education, or the funds are withheld.
the impact of this policy is negligible domestically and catastrophic internationally.
i think the US would be better off investing this money into India's space program. NASA could use their booster rockets for free, to make the US space program more effective (it's rather inadequate just now, what with all the war and abstinence education spending).
Re: Could be worse
By b shubin:
"the money India spends on its space program (and therefore national prestige, something very important to huddled masses) is a fraction of what the US spends on sexual abstinence education over the same period of time.
the latest surveys indicate that females exposed to this education are from 4 to 6 times more likely to engage in sexual acts, depending on the act. i'd say putting up satellites is a better investment. ....."
Hahahahahah. This was a funny post. Some figures would help though - I only found this http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2058066,00.html with a number for the program. Of course it'd fail, the sexual hypocrisy of the USA and England is pretty well known.
Is the Indian space program really costing less than $1G? Cheap. Well done guys!
Indian space launch
I feel totally dismayed by the comments such as India needs to spend money on drinking water!! The comments show a dismissive and ignorant attitude of typical westerners who doesn't want rest of the world to develop and compete in today's globalised world. In Britain, there are huge problems with unemployed asbo teens, many years of NHS wait lists, very poor pensioners, industrial run down towns in North, massive debt on young population, substandard and unreliable railways, un-affordable housing. So does this mean Britain must stop spending money on things such as its high-tech industries in Surrey or Cambridgeshire, cut down funding for researchers at Universities, or divert money from science education, or prevent people from wasting money on text messages for stupid tv programmes such as Big brother? Please stop preaching to Indians, historically the Indian civilisation fairs far better than ours. They were building super massive carved monuments and writing philosophy and medicine when our civilisation was living in forests. In last 60 years they have progressed far better considering their totally exploited and impoverished condition left behind by British rule.