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Kalam fueled India’s dream to touch the moon

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NewsGram Staff Writer

Bengaluru: Indian space agency’s satellite director M Annadurai said, late former president APJ Abdul Kalam was highly influential in making India touch the lunar surface on its maiden mission to moon in November 2008.

Speaking at a seminar held in the memory of Kalam on Friday, he said, “when we made a presentation to President Kalam in 2004 on Chandrayaan-1 mission which was to orbit the moon at 100 km from its surface, he asked us why not land on it when your spacecraft is going that far all the way.”

The lunar project team, headed by Annadurai then, went back to the drawing board and included Kalam’s moon impact probe (MIP) in the mission, keeping in view the spacecraft’s weight and capacity, as it carried 11 scientific instruments on-board for various experiments while orbiting the moon.

“When we told Kalam that his wish has been fulfilled and the 34 kg MIP will land on the lunar surface, he was delighted and congratulated us for turning his wish into a reality,” Annadurai told 300 scientists, engineers and students in presence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and other dignitaries.

Though Kalam could not be present at the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, when the moon mission was launched on October 22, 2008, he was excited to be at its satellite telemetry, tracking and command network (Istrac) in Bengaluru on November 14 when his “brain child” MIP descended and hit the lunar surface 25 minutes after it was separated from the unmanned spacecraft (Chandrayaan-1) in the lunar orbit.

The landing made India fourth country to accomplish a planned impact of a probe, which had the three colors of the national flag painted on its square shaped box.

Kalam, who was 11th president from 2002 to 2007, was with the space agency from 1969 to 1992 as a rocket specialist and piloted launch of early satellites.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Top 10 interesting facts you need to know about BRAHMOS Missile

The deadly BrahMos is a stealth supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land.

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The name of the missile is taken out from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia. Wikimedia Commons
The name of the missile is taken out from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia. Wikimedia Commons

NEW DELHI: Over the years, India has emerged as a superpower to reckon with. The warfighting capabilities with cutting-edge technological advancements have manifold increased India’s potential at the global level. The man behind the success of India’s missile program is none other than the Late President APJ Abdul Kalam. The BrahMos Aerospace CEO, Sudhir Mishra has also credited the success of Indian missile program to Abdul Kalam.

The deadly BrahMos is a stealth supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land. The strike-range of the missile is over 290 km and is ranked one of the most advanced missiles of this generation.

The missile can be launched from various platforms. Wikimedia Commons
The missile can be launched from various platforms. Wikimedia Commons

The project was a joint venture between Republic of India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia. The both these organization have together formed BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited. The name of the missile is taken out from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.

Let’s take a look at some of the facts related to BRAHMOS Missile:

  1. BrahMos missile is the world’s fastest cruise missile in operation. The missile can travel at speeds of Mach 2.8 to 3.0.
  2.  The missile can zoom at a very low-cruising altitude of 10 meters at the terminal phase and can hit the target with pin-point accuracy.
  3.  BrahMos missile was first test-fired in 2001, at the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur and after that, the missile is tested by DRDO more than fifty times for various platforms.
  4.  The land launched and ship-launched versions are already inducted into service with air-launched and submarine-launched versions in their final phases of the trial.

    BrahMos can travel at a low altitude of 10 meters. Wikimedia Commons
    BrahMos can travel at a low altitude of 10 meters. Wikimedia Commons
  5. DRDO is also experimenting with a hypersonic version of the missile. It is expected that the new variant could attain a speed of Mach 7.
  6.  The land-attack version of BrahMos missile has been developed in many advanced forms of Block I, Block II and Block III variants.
  7.  The trajectory and speed of missile is very unique and thus makes it very hard to detect or stopped. The BrahMos can travel at a low altitude of 10 meters and is also known as terrain hugging missile.
  8.  As per to reports, it is believed that Russia and India are aiming to produce 2000 such supersonic cruise missile in the time frame of 8-1-0 years.
  9.  BrahMos missile is very much advanced in every concept as compared to much hype US’ Tomahawk missile. BrahMos is 4 times larger than Tomahawk missile and 32 times more powerful than it.

    Recently, Brahmos missile has been integrated in India's front-line aircraft, Sukhoi 30 MKI. Wikimedia Commons
    Recently, Brahmos missile has been integrated in India’s front-line aircraft, Sukhoi 30 MKI. Wikimedia Commons
  10. DRDO has already started the work to integrate the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile on 40 Sukhoi combat aircrafts. BrahMos was successfully test-fired from Sukhoi on November 22. Sukhoi’s are counted as the most potent aircrafts in the world.