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ISRO upbeat after successful launch of six Singaporean satellites

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Sriharikota: India on Wednesday successfully launched six Singaporean satellites. As the Indian space agency achieved the milestone of its 50th rocket launch from here, its chief said they are now looking at the way forward and have a lot more to achieve.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle’s core alone (PSLV-CA) variant — standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing around 227 tonnes — took off from the Sriharikota rocket port in Andhra Pradesh, around 80 km from Chennai. It rose into the evening skies, riding majestically on the tail of fierce orange flames.

Expressing satisfaction at ISRO’s performance in 2015, the space agency’s chairman A S Kiran Kumar said it was now way forward to 2016.

ISRO will carry on the activity of putting satellites — both communication and earth observation variants — into orbit, he said.

“We have a lot more to achieve next year,” he said.

Another official said with Wednesday’s successful blast-off, ISRO also achieved the milestone of its 50th rocket launch out of Sriharikota.

Besides launching the six Singaporean satellites, ISRO also tested the rocket’s fourth stage/engine’s ability to restart after it was cut off around 17 minutes into the flight.

Technically speaking, India was testing a multiple burn fuel stage/rocket engine for the first time.

“The restart and shut off of the fourth stage engine is done as a first step towards launching multiple satellites but in different orbits,” an ISRO official told IANS, declining to be named.

Launching multiple satellites with a single rocket is nothing new for ISRO and it has been doing that for several years now. The challenge is, however, to put several satellites into different orbits with one rocket.

This is what ISRO plans to test when the PSLV-CA ejects the six Singaporean satellites.

The PSLV rocket is a four-stage/engine rocket powered by solid and liquid fuel alternatively.

“Restarting a rocket engine soon after it is shut off is a critical technology that has to be mastered. Once a rocket engine is activated, then the heat generated is very high. The trick is to cool it down in space and to restart it after a short gap,” an industry expert said.

“This is entirely different from switching on and off the communication satellite’s engines in space. The interval between two restarts of a communication satellite engine will be in days. But in the case of restarting a rocket engine, the time gap will be in hours,” the expert added.

“By that time, the rocket’s engine has to be cooled down. This part of the experiment is very critical,” he explained.

The PSLV’s fourth stage/engine will be restarted just over 67 minutes into the flight or 50 minutes after the engine was cut off.

At the time of restart, the fourth stage will be in a lower altitude of 523.9 km while the satellites would have been ejected at 550 km altitude.

The engine will be operated for four seconds and is planned to go up to an altitude of 524 km before it is cut off again.

In December 16 blast-off, ISRO is using the ‘core alone’ variant of the PSLV rocket. The rocket did not have the strap-on boosters, its standard feature.

With the successful launch of the six Singaporean satellites, ISRO has put a total of 57 foreign satellites into space.

Out of the six satellites, the 400 kg earth observation satellite called TeLEOS-1 is the main passenger for the PSLV rocket and hence the mission is called TeLEOS mission by ISRO.

TeLEOS-1 is Singapore’s first commercial earth observation satellite designed and developed by ST Electronics.

The other five co-passenger satellites are VELOX-C1 (123 kg), VELOX-II (13 kg), Kent Ridge-1 (78 kg), Galassia (3.4 kg) and Athenoxat-1.

The December 16 mission is the last launch mission for ISRO in 2015.

So far in 2015, ISRO has launched 14 satellites (three Indian and 11 foreign) from its rocket port in Sriharikota. Thirteen satellites were launched with PSLV rocket and one communication satellite — GSAT-6 — with geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV).

Last month, India also launched its communication satellite GSAT-15 using the Ariane rocket of the European space agency which takes the total number of satellite launches in 2015 to 21 (17 foreign, four Indian).(IANS, Image: thecampusconnect)

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20 Amazing Facts About Indian Navy That Everyone Should Know

Indian Navy is also known by the name of Bharatiya Nau Sena. The naval persons are no less than the superheroes.

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The roots of Indian Navy can be traced back to the 17th-century. Wikimedia Commons
The roots of Indian Navy can be traced back to the 17th-century. Wikimedia Commons

NEW DELHI: India is the seventh-largest country in the world and owns the coastline of 7,516.6 km. Here comes the role of the Indian navy, which is responsible for safeguarding and securing such an enormous coastal area. Navy always holds a very strategic role in a country like India.

Indian navy is a prodigious name in itself and budding force to reckon with. Indian Navy is the naval branch of the armed forces of India and works along with the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army. It is the fifth largest Navy and is considered as one of the strongest navies around the world. The headquarters of Navy is located in New Delhi.

Indian Navy is also known by the name of Bharatiya Nau Sena. The naval persons are no less than the superheroes. Their constant will to serve the nation and sheer dedication are commendable.

The current flag of Indian Navy incorporates St. George’s Cross design, a part of the Union Jack. Wikimedia Commons
The current flag of Indian Navy incorporates St. George’s Cross design, a part of the Union Jack. Wikimedia CommonsThe current flag of Indian Navy incorporates St. George’s Cross design, a part of the Union Jack. Wikimedia Commons

Indian Navy Day is celebrated on 4 December and the motto of the naval force is ‘Sham No Varunaḥ’, which means “may the Lord of the water be auspicious unto us”. The current flag of Indian Navy incorporates St. George’s Cross design, a part of the Union Jack.

The roots of Indian Navy can be traced back to the 17th-century. Initially, British East India Company established the naval fleet in India, under the name of East India Company’s Marine in 1612. Later on, it was renamed as Royal Indian Navy but soon after the independence, Royal Indian Navy became Indian Navy.

Here are 20 interesting facts about our naval superheroes of the seas that defend our coastal areas.

  1. Indian Navy is headed by the Chief of Naval Staff. Other high ranks in Navy include Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Personnel etc.
  2. India’s first aircraft carrier was INS Vikrant. INS Viraat of the Indian navy is the largest aircraft carrier in India.
  3. Ezhimala Naval Academy in Kerala is the largest naval academy in the whole of Asia.

    MARCOS is the special operation unit of the Indian Navy. Wikimedia Commons
    MARCOS is the special operation unit of the Indian Navy. Wikimedia Commons
  4. Indian navy holds the distinction of one of the only two naval aerobatic teams in the world. The name of the aerobatic demonstration team is Sagar Pawan which uses 4 HJT-16 Kiran Mk.2 trainer aircrafts. The colour scheme used by the naval aircrafts is dark blue on white. The other aerobatic demonstration team is Blue Angels of the US Navy.
  5. After the terrorist attack of 26/11, Indian Navy came up with patrolling units known as Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB) to keep a check on India’s coastal waters.
  6. The crucial naval bases of Indian Navy are located in Mumbai, Kochi, Visakhapatnam, Goa, Chennai, Pune, Coimbatore, Chilka and Port Blair.
  7. The Navy works under three commands: Western Command in Mumbai, Eastern Command in Vishakhapatnam and Southern Command in Cochin. All these commands are headed by a Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief.
  8. MARCOS or Marine Commandos are the special operations unit of Indian navy like the Para unit of Army. It is one of the most distinguished and efficient special forces in the world. The force is acknowledged ‘Dadiwala fauj‘ by the various terrorist groups, due to as known by their bearded disguises in civil areas. The dropout rate is about 90 percent, which makes it really difficult to make the cut.

    Ezhimala Naval Academy in Kerala is the largest naval academy in the whole of Asia. Wikimedia Commons
    Ezhimala Naval Academy in Kerala is the largest naval academy in the whole of Asia. Wikimedia Commons
  9. The 1971 Indo-Pakistani war is considered as the largest naval conflicts since the Second World War. During the combat, Navy successfully targeted many enemy ships and destroy the oil tank farms by using anti-ship cruise missiles.
  10. During the Britsh rule in 1946, 20,000 Indian sailors rebelled against the British policies of discrimination and trial of ex-INA soldiers. But unfortunately, the mutiny was suppressed due to inadequate support from the INC and Muslim League.
  11. The naval variant of BrahMos missile is the fastest cruise missile in the world. The missile can zoom at a speed of Mach 2.8 – 3.0. This capability makes India the only country with supersonic cruise missiles in all of their defense forces.
  12. Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhosale is considered as the Father of Indian Navy. Chhatrapati built a strong naval presence across the coast of Konkan and Goa to protect sea trade.
  13. Indian Navy has a dedicated multi-brand communication satellite called GSAT – 7. It was launched by ISRO to help Indian Navy in acquiring the blue water capabilities in a much better way.

    Indian Navy has a dedicated multi-brand communication satellite called GSAT – 7. Wikimedia Commons
    Indian Navy has a dedicated multi-brand communication satellite called GSAT – 7. Wikimedia Commons
  14. The Naval soldiers of the Indian Navy have successfully completed an expedition to the North Pole and the South Pole.
  15. Indian Navy was the first navy in the world to send a submariner to an expedition to Mt. Everest. The expedition was led by Lt. Cdr. M.S. Kohli in 1965.
  16. The first independent operation of the Indian Navy’s was against Portuguese Navy during the liberation of Goa in 1961.
  17. The first Chief of Staff of the Indian Navy was Vice Admiral Ram Dass Katari who assumed the office on April 22, 1958.
  18. Indian Navy played a decisive role in the success of Kargil War. However, this information was kept under wraps for a long time. Personals from the MARCOS unit fought alongside Indian army in the Himalayas under the naval operation, Talwar.
  19. INS Arihant is the first ballistic missile submarine to have been built by a country other than the five permanent members of the UNSC. It is a 6,000-tonne vessel and India’s only nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine.
  20. All the ships of Indian Navy are prefixed with INS which means Indian Naval Ship or Indian Navy Station.
There are 11 destroyers deployed by the Indian Navy. Wikimedia Commons
There are 11 destroyers deployed by the Indian Navy. Wikimedia Commons

Indian Navy keeps itself abreast of any adversity by striking a balance between its warships, aircrafts and patrol vessels. The current operational fleet of the Indian navy consists of 1 aircraft carrier, 11 destroyers, 14 frigates, 24 corvettes and 16 submarines. Aiming high on ‘Make in India’ program, most Navy ships and submarines are now manufactured indigenously.