ஞாயிறு, டிசம்பர் 21, 2008

India sells in space too

Press Trust of India

Bangalore, Dec. 21: India’s space commerce got a big boost today when the first satellite built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for a foreign customer was succesfully put into orbit after being launched by the European Ariane-5 rocket (AFP photograph right), fetching a profit of $40 million.

The state-of-the-art communications satellite, W2M ~ built by ISRO on a commercial basis in partnership with EADS-Astrium of Europe ~ was launched at 4.05 a.m. IST from the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou in French Guiana, ISRO said here today.
Thirty-two minutes after its lift-off, W2M separated from Ariane-5, after reaching its intended geosynchronous transfer orbit. Building W2M signalled ISRO’s foray into the satellite-manufacturing market.

Weighing 3,463 kg at lift-off, it is the heaviest satellite built by ISRO and is capable of operating for over 15 years. It was built for Eutelsat Communications, which is a global satellite communications provider based in Paris.

Radio signals transmitted by W2M were successfully received by ISRO’s Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka and the satellite’s health is normal.

While W2M was built under an $80 million (Rs 400 crore) contract by ISRO, officials said it was a good deal for the space agency which made a profit of $40 million (Rs 200 crore) in this venture. “ISRO builds such spacecraft without payloads for less than Rs 200 crore. That way we made a good profit,” an ISRO official said.

ISRO chairman Dr G Madhavan Nair was present at the French spaceport of Kourou when the W2M satellite was launched along with the Hot Bird satellite built by EADS Astrium, Europe’s leading satellite system specialist.

“It (W2M) is comparable to INSAT-4 series. For the first time, we have built a satellite for a foreign customer. That’s why the launch is important,” Dr Nair said.

The W2M project was undertaken in the context of an accord signed during the visit of the President of France on 20 February 2006 at New Delhi between Antrix Corporation Ltd., ISRO’s commercial arm, and EADS Astrium to jointly build the satellite.

ISRO spokesperson Mr S Satish said “weighing 3,462 kg at lift-off, W2M is the heaviest spacecraft built by the Indian space agency till date”. Dr Nair said ISRO is building another satellite, Hylas, under the ISRO-EADS Astrium alliance

profile of his excellency DR.A.P.J.ABDUL KALAM



  • Born on 15th October 1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, specialized in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology. Dr. Kalam made significant contribution as Project Director to develop India's first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully injected the Rohini satellite in the near earth orbit in July 1980 and made India an exclusive member of Space Club. He was responsible for the evolution of ISRO's launch vehicle programme, particularly the PSLV configuration. After working for two decades in ISRO and mastering launch vehicle technologies, Dr. Kalam took up the responsibility of developing Indigenous Guided Missiles at Defence Research and Development Organisation as the Chief Executive of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). He was responsible for the development and operationalisation of AGNI and PRITHVI Missiles and for building indigenous capability in critical technologies through networking of multiple institutions. He was the Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development from July 1992 to December 1999. During this period he led to the weaponisation of strategic missile systems and the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in collaboration with Department of Atomic Energy, which made India a nuclear weapon State. He also gave thrust to self-reliance in defence systems by progressing multiple development tasks and mission projects such as Light Combat Aircraft.

  • As Chairman of Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) and as an eminent scientist, he led the country with the help of 500 experts to arrive at Technology Vision 2020 giving a road map for transforming India from the present developing status to a developed nation. Dr. Kalam has served as the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, in the rank of Cabinet Minister, from November 1999 to November 2001 and was responsible for evolving policies, strategies and missions for many development applications. Dr. Kalam was also the Chairman, Ex-officio, of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet (SAC-C) and piloted India Millennium Mission 2020.

  • Dr. Kalam took up academic pursuit as Professor, Technology & Societal Transformation at Anna University, Chennai from November 2001 and was involved in teaching and research tasks. Above all he took up a mission to ignite the young minds for national development by meeting high school students across the country.

  • In his literary pursuit four of Dr. Kalam's books - "Wings of Fire", "India 2020 - A Vision for the New Millennium", "My journey" and "Ignited Minds - Unleashing the power within India" have become household names in India and among the Indian nationals abroad. These books have been translated in many Indian languages.

  • Dr. Kalam is one of the most distinguished scientists of India with the unique honour of receiving honorary doctorates from 30 universities and institutions. He has been awarded the coveted civilian awards - Padma Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (1997). He is a recipient of several other awards and Fellow of many professional institutions.

  • Dr. Kalam became the 11th President of India on 25th July 2002. His focus is on transforming India into a developed nation by 2020.

Universe continuing to expand, confirms study

  • Toronto (IANS): Canadian astronomers have rejected the new "void models" that say the earth is near the centre of a region of the universe which is almost empty.
  • Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver said Friday that there is nothing special about earth's location in the universe as proposed by "void theories" that reject the conventional view that the universe is ever-expanding because of an enigmatic dark energy.
  • Explaining their research, post-doctoral researcher Jim Zibin, who along with fellow researcher Adam Moss and his professor Douglas Scott, did the study, told IANS on phone from Vancouver that the new "void theory" was incapable of explaining the data they have accumulated.
  • "We were dealing with two theories that try to explain the universe. The first one, which is more conventional, says the universe is expanding because of some inexplicable mysterious or dark energy," Zibin said.
  • "The alternate theory says that the earth is at the centre of a region in the universe which is very empty, with few stars and galaxies in it. The problem is if this alternate theory is true, you will not be able to explain supernova observations made recently," he said.
  • He said recent supernova studies show that the universe is expanding at ever faster acceleration due to the repulsive force of the inexplicable mysterious or dark energy.
  • "We looked at observations and data collected at various research institutions - even by satellites in space - and found that the alternate 'void theory' cannot explain the latest data," he said.
  • Their analysis of the data, he said, supported the conventional theory that the universe is filled with a mysterious dark energy that is causing the acceleration of the expansion of the universe.

ISRO's commercial Communication Satellite launched

  • A state of the art communication satellite, W2M, built by ISRO on a commercial basis in partnership with EADS-Astrium of Europe, was successfully launched on Sunday at 0405 hrs (IST) by the European Ariane-5 launch vehicle. The launch took place from the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou in French Guiana, says ISRO release.
  • 32 minutes after its lift-off, W2M separated from Ariane-5, after reaching its intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). Radio signals transmitted by W2M were successfully received by ISRO’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka and the satellite’s health is normal.
  • W2M project was undertaken in the context of an accord signed during the visit of the President of France on February 20, 2006, at New Delhi between Antrix Corporation Ltd., the commercial arm of the India’s Department of Space and EADS Astrium to jointly build and deliver a communication satellite (W2M) to Eutelsat Communications, which is a global satellite communications provider based in Paris.
  • Astrium had the responsibility for overall program management and delivery of the communications payload and Antrix/ISRO provided the satellite bus and also performed W2M's integration and testing at ISRO's facilities in Bangalore.
  • W2M satellite, weighing 3,463 kg at lift-off, is the heaviest satellite built by ISRO and is capable of operating for over 15 years. The satellite's solar panels generate a maximum of about 7000 Watts of power.
  • Subsequent to its placement in Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit by Ariane 5, W2M is to be positioned finally at the orbital slot of 16 degree East in the Geostationary Orbit.
  • It carries 32 high power Ku band transponders for telecommunications and broadcasting services over Europe, Middle East and North Africa.
  • Antrix/ISRO is also responsible for the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) operations of W2M, which is being conducted from Master Control Facility.
  • The operations include 3-axis stabilisation of the satellite, repeated firing of its Liquid Apogee Motor to reach the satellite to its final orbital slot and deployment of its appendages.

Indian-built European satellite put into earth orbit

  • Bangalore (IANS): The Indian-built European satellite W2M was successfully placed early Sunday into geosynchronous transfer orbit, about 36,000 km above earth, 32 minutes after its lift-off on board Ariane-5 from Kourou in French Guiana at 4.05 a.m. IST.
  • "Radio signals from the commercial satellite were received by the master control facility of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) at Hassan. The spacecraft's health is normal," the space agency said in a statement here. Hassan is located about 200 km from Bangalore.
  • ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair witnessed the launch of the European launch vehicle from the Guiana space centre at Kourou along with a seven-member team of Indian scientists.
  • "W2M will be finally positioned in the geostationary orbit 16 degrees East from the transfer orbit in the next 12-24 hours by repeatedly firing the liquid apogee motor (LAM) on board the spacecraft from MCF," the statement said.
  • The 3,643 kg communication satellite was separated from Ariane-5 after the accompanying Hot Bird 9 broadcasting satellite of Eutelsat was deployed in the same orbital slot of 13 degrees East.
  • W2M carries 32 transponders in Ku-band, while Hot Bird has 64 transponders in the same band. The high-power transponders will be used for telecommunications and broadcasting services across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
  • "W2M is the heaviest commercial spacecraft indigenously built at the satellite centre of ISRO in Bangalore for a foreign satellite operator (Eutelesat). It is capable of operating for 15 years. Its solar panels generate about 7,000 watts of power," the space agency said.
  • ISRO's commercial arm Antrix Corp was awarded the contract by EADS Astrium for Eutelsat, the Paris-based global satellite communications provider.
  • According to Antrix Managing Director Sreedhar Murthi, W2M has flexibility to operate a wide range of services from television broadcasting to data networks and broadband.
  • The satellite has fixed beam coverage for Europe, North Africa and Middle East and a steerable beam, which can be re-oriented in orbit according to market requirements, notably towards Africa and Central Asia.
  • "As per the contract, we are responsible for manning the satellite launch and its early orbital phase. The technology and sub-systems required for placing the satellite into the final geostationary orbit were developed by our scientists and engineers at the satellite centre," ISRO Director S. Satish told IANS.
  • ISRO-Antrix formed the alliance with EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space) and Astrium, Europe's leading satellite system specialist, in February 2006 during the visit of the then French president to India to build communication and broadcast satellites for the international market.