Public Talk – The Indian Space Program

I will be in Keighley, Yorkshire speaking about the Indian Space program operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation – ISRO. I will speak about the its Mars Orbiter mission  has been in Martian orbit  since September 2014. All onboard instruments are returning data and the spacecraft is in good health. Keighley is about 20 […]

Mars – The new space race?

A fascinating day here at in Liverpool. Some of you asked for copies of the slides – now on here on slideshare. More about The British Interplanetary Society, Manchester and Liverpool’s role in the space race – here.

Episode 72: Satish Dhawan Space Centre

Located about 80km from Chennai on India’s east coast, Satish Dhawan Space centre is used by ISRO to launch all of its satellites including those to the Moon and Mars. Also known as Sriharikota, it was established during the late 1960s but today it has a vehicle assembly building, two launch pads and a state of the art mission control centre

Episode 71 – TATA Institute for Fundamental Research

The Indian Space Program was initiated by a brilliant nuclear physicist Homi Bhabha who pretty much immediately handed over the space program to Vikram Sarabhai. Bhabha himself pursued the goal of bringing institutionalised fundamental research to India. At the time he saw that as essential for the new emerging independent India.

Images and video from the partial Solar Eclipse 20 March 2015

Some images and short videos of the eclipse recorded from northwest England during a mostly cloudy morning of 20th March 2015. I used a video camera piggy-backed on my driven Vixen 102mm telescope along with a Cannon 550D at the prime focus for a few stills.  A mylar filter was used most of the time […]

Episode 70 – India’s Deep Space Network and ISRO Satellite Centre

India’s space program is now over half a century old. During this time its Infrastructure has evolved. This episode looks at the current communication capabilities used to support space vehicles during launch, in Earth orbit or on a interplanetary missions. ISRO has an extensive network of ground stations on the Indian mainland, off-shore and neighbouring countries […]

ISRO’s updated website – an overview

On 21st December 2014 ISRO updated its website ( duplicated at  Even over the first few days after the update there have been additional minor updates so some of the screen dumps below may not precisely match what you may see. Although there are still some shortcomings, the new clean, fresh user interface offers simpler navigation […]

Book Review – India’s Rise as a Space Power

Title: India’s Rise as a Space Power Publisher: Cambridge University Press, India Pvt Ltd Author: U.R Rao ISBN-10: 9382993487 ISBN-13: 978-9382993483 In the April of 1971, the USSR approached India and offered to launch an Indian satellite. Vikram Sarabhai asked UR Rao to develop and lead the program. In December 1971 Sarabhai died. Perhaps it […]

Episode 69 Mars Orbiter Mission

Interview recorded at ISRO’s satellite Centre in Bangalore with Mars Orbiter Mission program director Dr Mylswamy Annadurai. This interview was recorded on 26th March 2014 after MOM was launched but before it arrived at Mars.

Philae Landing on 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

ESA’s Rosseta mission highlight is now imminent. Philae will be start its landing phase on 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 11th November and actually land on the 12th November 2014. This PDF detailed timeline lists events leading up separation, landing and just after separation. All the times are in GMT. In the end Philae performed 3 landings,15:33, 17:26 & 17:33. […]