Category Archives: Indian space

Space policy roundup – Jan.5.2019

A sampling of links to recent space policy, politics, and government (US and international) related space news and resource items that I found of interest:


** January 5, 2019 Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast | Behind The Black

** Episode T+106: Q&A – Main Engine Cut Off – “This month I tackle questions on future space architectures, companies working in space right now, and finish with a 2018 Top 10 ranking.”

** The Space Show, 12/30/2018Thomas A. Olson ” presented a comprehensive launch, commercial, science, government and private sector overview of 2018 space activities”.

** Weekly Space Hangout: Jan 2, 2019- News Roundup – Universe Today


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‘Mars Atlas’ released with one year of India’s Mars Orbiter images

India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft went into orbit around the Red Planet on Sept. 14, 2014. To celebrate its first year of operation, the Indian space agency ISRO has released an atlas of images (pdf) taken by the orbiter: Celebrating one year of Mars Orbiter Mission in Orbit; Release of Mars Atlas – ISRO

Mars Orbiter spacecraft marks one year of its life around the red planet today. After successfully completing one year of the mission life around Mars, now a large data set has been acquired by all five payloads of MOM. On this occasion Space Applications Centre, (ISRO), Ahmedabad has brought out a Mar Atlas which contains a compilation of images acquired by Mars Colour Camera (MCC) and results obtained by other payload results in a form of scientific atlas.

Cover of Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) Mars Atlas

An example of the images in the Mars Atlas:

Image of a part of Valles Marineris region was taken by Mars Colour Camera (MCC) on 23-04-2015 at a spatial resolution of 35 m from an altitude of 675 km. Layer deposits and erosion caused by flooding marked by (1) and landslides through the steep slopes marked by (2) are seen in this image.


India’s MOM spacecraft reaches Mars

India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) probe successfully  entered into orbit around the Red Planet tonight. (See earlier post about the project.)  Launched on November 5th, 2013, the probe (also called Mangalyaan) needed to fire its engine for nearly 24 minutes to slow down sufficiently to be captured by Mars’ gravity.

The rocket and the spacecraft use Indian technology. Previously, only NASA, the European Space Agency,  and the former space program of the former Soviet Union succeeded in sending a spacecraft to Mars. And India is the first to succeed on its first try.

This follows by just two days the successful arrival of NASA’s MAVEN orbiter (see post here).

There are now five spacecraft (NASA’s Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and ESA’s Mars Express) in orbit around Mars and two rovers (Curiosity and Opportunity) in action on the surface of Mars.


India’s MOM probe to enter Mars orbit on Sept. 24th

[ Update Sept.22.14: The 4 second test of the engine was successful: Mangalyaan engine test-fire successful, all set for Mars now – Hindustan Times.]

Following jus two days after the arrival of NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft at Mars (see previous post), India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) probe will go into orbit around the Red Planet on Wednesday September 24th.

This is the first deep space mission by India. The probe was launched into earth orbit on Nov. 5, 2013 via a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket from the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradeshand.


On Dec. 1, 2013 MOM fired its engine to send it on a trajectory to intersect with Mars this week.



On Monday Sept. 22, there will be a brief 4 second firing test of the engine to insure it is still working correctly after its long dormancy. Then on Wednesday MOM will fire the engine for 24 minutes to go into orbit around Mars.

A top goal of the Mars Orbiter Mission is to strengthen the technical capabilities of the Indian space program. The scientific goals of the mission are to study the Martian atmosphere and the morphology and mineralogy of the planet’s surface.

Articles about the mission:

Indian space agency info about the mission:

A documentary about the mission:

University group in India launches its own sounding rockets

A group in the Aerospace Engineering department at the International Indian University in Navi Mumbai, India has established a sounding rocket program that has achieved altitudes of 4.5 km, 10 km, and 40 km with their rockets. I’m told by Rajesh Muneshwar, head of the department, that their rockets are powered by a sugar based solid fuel. He also says the public demonstrations of the launches “are thrilling, motivating and attracting more students to develop ROCKETS”.

Here’s a report on their rocket projects: India’s First Private Rocket Construction and Launch Initiatives for Space Education – Sept.9.2014 (pdf).

The 4.5 km is rescheduled to launch on 27 September 2014. Also in the coming months the team will have two rocket launch done with altitudes attaining 10 kms and 100 kms with a 500 gms of payload. These two tests in next month’s will be formally offered for all the young space researchers.

These are among the first Indian high altitude rockets developed outside of government programs.

Here are a couple photos:

Rocket in Sangli

IIU Rocket Team