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.

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 (www.isro.org duplicated at www.isro.gov.in).  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.

Why India went to Mars

Here is my piece on Marsdaily about the geopolitics of India’s Mars mission. Despite what the piece states at the top – I am NOT in Bangalore!      

ISRO’s GSLV Launch delayed

ISRO has had three successful launches this year and the planned three more are not quiet on track. Two of the three remaining are the IRNSS navigational satellites. The IRNSS constellation has a 10 year plan but will only work once the complete constellation of seven are in orbit. The first has been in orbit for […]

Episode 66: Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre

November 21st 2013 was the 50th anniversary of a rocket launched from India in to space. The launch itself was an all Indian affair but with lots of international support. The rocket was American, carried a French Sodium Vapour payload with assisted by a computer and a helicopter from the Soviet Union. From this meagre […]

Episode 65: ISRO – The early years

The Indian Space Research Organisation formally came in to being in 1972. By then, India had been developing its space program for almost a decade. The first launch to space from Indian soil was a two stage Nike-Apache rocket supplied by USA with a  sodium  payload from France. The rocket delivered a vertical trail of sodium […]

India’s Mars Orbiter Mission

India launched its Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) with its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launcher and everything, including the weather, performed as expected. The 1340KM Mars bound probe with a 15km  package of five science instruments will arrive at Mars in December next year. Currently MOM is in Earth orbit where it will remain for […]