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Arianespace to soon decide on launching Indian GSAT-15

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Chennai: European space agency Arianespace will have its Launch Readiness Review (LRR) this Friday for the November 10 flight of Ariane 5 rocket with Indian communication satellite GSAT-15, the agency said.

In a statement Arianespace said: “The Launch Readiness Review (LRR) will take place on Friday, November 6, 2015 in Kourou, to authorize the start of operations for the final countdown.”

As of now the Ariane 5 rocket is scheduled to lift off on November 10 from the space port at Kourou in French Guiana between 6.34 p.m. and 7.17 pm or 3.04 a.m and 3.47 a.m. on November 11.

According to Arianespace, the whole mission is expected to last about 43 minutes. The rocket will carry a total payload of 9,810 kg, including approximately 8,962 kg for the two satellites-GSAT-15 and ARABSAT-6B.

GSAT-15 is the 18th satellite built by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and 19th payload launched by Arianespace, the statement said.

“Since the launch of the experimental satellite Apple on Flight L03 in 1981, Arianespace has orbited 86 percent of the contracts for geostationary launches that India opened to bids by non-Indian launch systems,” the European space agency said.

GSAT-15 will provide telecommunications services, as well as dedicated navigation-aid and emergency services for India.

The Indian satellite with a design life of 12 years will have 24 Ku-band transponders (automatic receivers and transmitters of radio signals) and two GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) transponders.

(IANS)

 

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Scientists Track Chinese Space Station as It Falls to Earth

Tiangong-1 was launched into orbit in 2011 as China’s first space lab

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Visitors sit besides a model of Chinese made Tiangong 1 space station at the 8th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, known as Airshow China 2010, in Zhuhai city, south China, Guangdong province. VOA
Visitors sit besides a model of Chinese made Tiangong 1 space station at the 8th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, known as Airshow China 2010, in Zhuhai city, south China, Guangdong province. VOA
  • Scientists track the Chinese Space Station
  • It will fall on Earth soon
  • Scientists are trying to locate the exact location where it will fall

Scientists are monitoring a defunct Chinese space station that is expected to fall to Earth around the end of the month, the largest manmade object to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere in a decade.

The head of the European Space Agency’s debris office, Holger Krag, says China’s Tiangong-1 space station will likely fall to Earth between March 30 and April 3.

Krag said it still not yet known where the space station will hit Earth, but said it would be extremely unlikely for anyone to be injured when it does.

The ISS currently has current six crew members on the orbital laboratory. Wikimedia Commons
The Chinese Space Station can fall on Earth anytime. Wikimedia Commons

Injury unlikely

“Our experience is that for such large objects typically between 20 and 40 percent of the original mass, of 8.5 tons, will survive re-entry and then could be found on the ground, theoretically,” he said.

“However, to be injured by one of these fragments is extremely unlikely. My estimate is that the probability to be injured by one of these fragments is similar to the probability of being hit by lightning twice in the same year,” Krag added.

Also Read: An Out-of-control Chinese Space Station is Falling Towards The Earth! Should we be Worrying About Tiangong-1?

He said the space station is expected to fall between the areas of 43 degrees south and 43 degrees north, and everything outside that zone is considered safe.

“Northern Europe including France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland are definitely on the safe side. Southern Europe, the southern part of North America, South Asia, Africa, Australia and also South America are still within the zone today,” he said.

Where will it hit?

Tiangong-1
Tiangong-1 was used for multiple manned and un-manned space missions before authorities lost control of the Chinese space station. Wikimedia ommons

Scientists say it is hard to predict where Tiangong-1 will hit Earth in part because of its low orbit and high velocity. They say the space station is travelling 17,400 mph and orbits Earth about every 90 minutes.

Tiangong-1 was launched into orbit in 2011 as China’s first space lab. It carried out orbit experiments in preparation for China’s plan to put a permanent space station into orbit by 2023. VOA

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