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India’s Ambitious Mission to Moon Crosses Crucial Milestone

Space officials say the landing module detached from the main spacecraft successfully Monday afternoon and is now about 100 kilometers

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Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman Kailasavadivoo Sivan displays a model of Chanrayaan 2 orbiter and rover during a press conference at their headquarters in Bangalore, India, Aug. 20, 2019. VOA

India’s ambitious mission to the moon has crossed a crucial milestone and is on course to place a probe on the south pole of the lunar surface later this week.

Space officials say the landing module detached from the main spacecraft successfully Monday afternoon and is now about 100 kilometers from the moon’s surface. It is scheduled to touchdown on the moon on Saturday deploying a 27-kilogram robotic rover on the South Pole.

All eyes will now be on that landing. If it takes place successfully, India will become the fourth country in the world to make a controlled landing on the moon after the United States, Russia and China. Space officials say the maneuver is extremely complex.

“All systems of the Chandrayaan 2 orbiter and lander are healthy,” said a statement by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) after the separation of the lander. Chandrayaan, which means “moon vehicle” in Sanskrit, is the name of the spacecraft carrying out the mission.

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India’s ambitious mission to the moon has crossed a crucial milestone and is on course to place a probe on the south pole of the lunar surface later this week. LifetimeStock

The rover will stay on the moon for 14 days examining the lunar surface for presence of water, minerals and studying its topography. The aim is to explore the south side of the moon, which no country has attempted so far.

India hopes that its second moon mission will put it in the league of major space faring nations.

It has been mounted at a time of renewed interest in earth’s nearest neighbor by space faring countries. The country’s first mission in 2008 is credited with having helped confirm evidence of water on the moon.

The current mission plans to build on that. “Chandrayaan-2 has the ability to look for water—identify the presence of water rise at depths of a few meters: an important input for sustaining a future human presence on the moon,” P Sreekumar, a senior official of ISRO, said after the launch of the moon mission nearly six weeks ago.

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Space officials are also optimistic that the roughly $ 140 million moon exploration project will cement India’s reputation for conducting low cost missions at a fraction of what Western countries spend.

The moon mission is being seen as a crucial part of India’s steadily expanding space ambitions and a demonstration of the country’s technological capabilities. It has begun preparing to send a manned mission into space by 2022. (VOA)

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India To Become Global Steel Manufacturing Hub By 2031

The Modi government seems determined to boost the country's crude steel production capacity to 300 MT by 2030-31 in a bid to make India a global steel manufacturing hub

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Modi government seems determined to boost the country's crude steel production capacity. Wikimedia Commons

The Modi government seems determined to boost the country’s crude steel production capacity to 300 MT by 2030-31 in a bid to make India a global steel manufacturing hub.

At present, China is the world’s largest steel producer with a production capacity of 928.3 MT of crude steel (2018), while India, with 106.5 MT of crude steel production, ranks second on the list. Dedicated participation of all stakeholders is a must to achieve the projected capacity target of 300 MT by 2030-31.

To deliberate on major issues plaguing the sector, the Ministry of Steel is organising in Delhi on Monday a day-long conclave, during which Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will seek suggestions from the stakeholders to address its challenges, identify opportunities and arrive at tangible interventions that can aid the growth of the Indian steel industry.

The National Steel Policy 2017 envisages ‘creating a self-sufficient steel industry that is technologically advanced, globally competitive and promotes inclusive growth’.

Being the third largest steel consumer in the world after China and USA, India’s per capita steel consumption at 74 kgs is one-third the global average of 225 kgs.

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Being the third largest steel consumer in the world after China and USA, India’s per capita steel consumption at 74 kgs is one-third the global average of 225 kgs. Wikimedia Commons

Various countries have focused on rapidly increasing their steel consumption in the high growth phase of their economy. At present, India’s majority steel demand comes from construction, infrastructure, automobiles and capital goods, among others.

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Steel intensive construction offers an increased pace of durable and environmentally sustainable construction. Its recyclable nature also contributes to the circular economy.

The government has set a target to make India a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25, therefore promoting domestic steel industry is essential, given its high GDP multiplier and critical role in the construction and infrastructure sectors, said the Ministry. (IANS)