Archive for the ‘launch’ Category

India eyes larger slice of satellite launch sector

October 23, 2008

NEW DELHI (AFP) – India’s first moon mission not only makes it a serious player in space exploration but also holds the prospect of a bigger slice of the lucrative satellite launch market, analysts say.

The country staged a flawless launch Wednesday of its first unmanned lunar orbiting spacecraft Chandrayaan-1 — the Sanskrit word for Moon Craft — with an Indian-built rocket from its southeastern coast.

“The launch has considerable political significance as it’s an assertion of India’s credibility in the area of space exploration,” said New Delhi-based strategic analyst Uday Bhaskar.

If all goes to plan, the 1.5-tonne satellite should be flying over the pockmarked lunar surface November 11. It’s being sent on a two-year mission to map in-depth the moon’s topography and its mineral and chemical properties.

The launch, greeted with chest-thumping patriotism, “demonstrated the nation’s growing technological potential,” said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

India sees the space journey as further boosting its diplomatic weight in the wake of the recent deal on civilian atomic cooperation with the United States that ended its nuclear pariah status.

The main exploration goal of the thrifty lunar mission — it cost just 79 million dollars, less than half that of similar expeditions by other countries — is to assess and map lunar mineral resources, Indian officials say.

India aims to launch the first Indian into space by 2014 and maybe to put a man on the moon by 2020.

Indian Space Research Organisation head G. Madhavan Nair has said the current mission will “unravel the mystery of the moon.” But some analysts argue that enhanced global status was a far stronger motive.

“It’s a moustache kind of thing — and moustache matters,” said Jane’s Defence Weekly analyst Rahul Bedi, referring to India’s national pride.

Asian nations have recently been at the forefront of space exploration — a field that was previously dominated by the United States, Russia and the European Space Agency.

China, whose space programme is far more advanced than India’s, was the first Asian nation five years…

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Iran launches rocket, opens space center

February 4, 2008
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran launched a research rocket Monday and unveiled its first major space center, which will be used to launch research satellites, state-run television reported.

The report said the rocket was the first launched by Iran “into space.” But analysts have expressed doubts about similar technological achievements announced by the country in the past.

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Asia’s space race heats up as China heads for moon

October 24, 2007

by Robert J. Saiget

BEIJING (AFP) – Asia’s space race heated up on Wednesday as China launched its first lunar orbiter, an event hailed by the world’s most populous nation as a milestone event in its global rise.

China’s year-long expedition, costing 1.4 billion yuan (184 million dollars), kicks off a programme that aims to land an unmanned rover on the moon’s surface by 2012 and put a man on the moon by about 2020.

The launch of Chang’e I, which will explore and map the moon’s surface, came after Japan last month launched ….

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High Tech meets peasant farmers in China.  Background:
China’s Lunar mission is ready for launch.  Foreground:
Peasant farmers evacuate prior to launch today, October
24, 2007.  Note the lady with the big hat is carrying her
rice cooker. Photo from the Communist Party news service

China: Countdown To Space Ambitions, Moon Landing