Indian Space Program Discussion

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adel ansari
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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby adel ansari » 13 Sep 2009 16:20

For all those who thought Chandrayan1 didn't fulfill its mission....

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news ... 005806.cms

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Selling Space to the Public

Postby Sanjay M » 13 Sep 2009 21:07

vishwakarmaa wrote:ISRO from its inception has focused more on practical purposes of space programmes than going after public all the time, like NASA does.

NASA's motives and aims are much different. They have a responsibility to showcase/market their programme to the world so America can claim world leadership. ISRO is quite different since it never tried to waste money on marketing.

If ISRO's aim was publicity then, taking a video recorder on CY-1 was actually easier than integrating a monochrome one.

So, how many countries today benefit from useless goliath like NASA? Does it share its data with poor countries? Or, it keeps technologies to its greedy chest? If you compare ISRO and NASA, then I think ISRO is more open-minded about sharing its technology with others and more practical with choice of its programmes creating a sensible balance between strategic objectives and scientific programmes.



Look at the constant arguments that NASA has to make before politicians, in order to secure the funding that is their bread and butter.
You may naively think that ISRO is immune to having to do this, but you'll see that public support is very necessary in the pursuit of such high capital endeavours like space exploration.

Look at the sudden outcry after the Chandrayaan-1 mission abort, with every crooked little luddite crawling out of the woodwork to opportunistically screech that the whole mission was a waste of money. Even in spite of the great example set by the Soviets in space endeavours, our crooked Indian communist politicians have instead tried to twist the debate by claiming that "colonization of space is still colonialism"

ISRO people are now scrambling to make improvements to their systems, even as they enlist foreign scientists to come out and parrot the identical mantra that "95% of goals were completed"
(It's amazing how everyone is parroting the exact same phrases, as if from a single prepared text)


Big high-cost undertakings like space exploration require steady public support. And the public is fickle - that's especially true for India. Public support does not come from merely showing people plotgraphs and charts. Yes, you need to inspire people with colour pictures, colour video, soundbites ("One small step for a man...") - and yes, there should even be mass-merchandising. Parents should be able to buy a plastic GSLV for their kids.

Why do people take pictures or videos at weddings and other important events? They want something to preserve that moment. A picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand plotgraphs - especially if it's in colour.


Indian politicians are famous for throwing any important interest under a bus when the political mood strikes them. In order to buffer itself against such political volatility, ISRO needs to cultivate popular support through good marketing, to build up a reserve of public goodwill. Otherwise, they will always be running around in a panic anytime a mission failure occurs, for fear their funding jugular will be cut.

I'm not saying that ISRO needs to have a marching band playing at their launch events. I'm just saying that there are certain emotionally appealing aspects of space missions that can be shared with the public, such as the wonderful sights and sounds of space launches, in order to make a connection with the public, and to have this important work resonate with them. Otherwise, for every space launch we will always be treated to the usual articles that come out about shouldn't the time, money and effort be better spent on helping some old lady wipe her bottom.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby prao » 14 Sep 2009 02:12

I am really puzzled that ISRO has felt the need to recruit all and sundry to proclaim that CY1 was a 95% success. Has there been a backlash against ISRO after the CY1 mission was called off? I can't recall coming across anything on the web (no I didn't go looking for it - I dare say I could find it on Dawn or The News) criticizing the mission. Doth ISRO protest a bit too much?

On a completely different topic: I don't think postings should disappear without a trace unless some forum rule has been broken and even then the poster needs to be informed and allowed to make changes/clarify if appropriate.

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Re: Selling Space to the Public

Postby PratikDas » 14 Sep 2009 02:56

Sanjay M wrote:...
Big high-cost undertakings like space exploration require steady public support. And the public is fickle - that's especially true for India. Public support does not come from merely showing people plotgraphs and charts. Yes, you need to inspire people with colour pictures, colour video, soundbites ("One small step for a man...") - and yes, there should even be mass-merchandising. Parents should be able to buy a plastic GSLV for their kids.
...

I wholeheartedly agree with you.

Your post reminded of the former Indian Airlines engineer B.C. Gupta and the "flying experience" he provided.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby prao » 14 Sep 2009 05:53

Returning to my earlier observation of ISRO protesting too much. I would like answers to two basic questions with regard to CY1:

1. Why did ISRO underestimate the radiation/thermal load at the design orbit of 100 km? Was it a lack of available information? (I'd think that with so many missions to the moon, there would be sufficient data available for ISRO to model and analyze, no?) Was the model incorrect? was it the analysis? etc. etc. My first impression on reading about the thermal overload was puzzlement: For a relatively known body like the moon, I thought it was a little odd to be so far off the mark. Then there was talk about it being "summer" on the Moon by which I think perihelion was probably meant - which again is a known quantity. Here's some info about Lunar temperatures.

2. Did the reported late stage design change to include the Lunar impactor compromise thermal management of the spacecraft?

A clear eyed analysis needs to be made of the failure with all the right questions asked and any systemic issues (particularly systemic issues!) if they arise need to be addressed. This can be done without prejudice to the great achievement that is CY1 if managed well.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby jaladipc » 14 Sep 2009 06:11

PratikDas wrote:
Sanjay M wrote:...
Big high-cost undertakings like space exploration require steady public support. And the public is fickle - that's especially true for India. Public support does not come from merely showing people plotgraphs and charts. Yes, you need to inspire people with colour pictures, colour video, soundbites ("One small step for a man...") - and yes, there should even be mass-merchandising. Parents should be able to buy a plastic GSLV for their kids.
...

I wholeheartedly agree with you.

Your post reminded of the former Indian Airlines engineer B.C. Gupta and the "flying experience" he provided.


Bust ISRO used to do a lot programs likes such.I myself had a mind blowing experience with Satish Dhawan Space Centre when me and my fellow classmates been offered a tour to have a quick glimpse of the facilities and every thing over there.It was a craziest experience and we poor fellaws were astonished for every minute thing shown by ISRO people.
When that trip happened we folks were doing our final year B.Tech.And at the end of our degree few people went into the organistion and got settled there while me being a defense enthusiast got stuck with a diff job.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby disha » 14 Sep 2009 07:39

prao wrote:.... The failure of the Chandrayaan wasn't that long ago and the determination that the onboard computers had failed is even more recent. Any comments?

http://tinyurl.com/rann4w

...A decision to equip the Oceansat- 2 and GSat-4 with a new bus management unit (BMU) instead of the existing one has already been taken. Currently ISRO uses a standard type of central computer unit in all satellites. This in-house developed system is a time-tested control unit which has flown on many satellites. But following the Chandrayaan fiasco due to poor thermal management, every component was scrutinised and re-evaluated.

Following this a high level decision to re-install the most crucial component was immediately taken.

The urgency was such that the replacement was done on Oceansat while it was waiting to be integrated with the launch vehicle.

(Oceansat-2 will be in orbit by the year end to boost India’s oceanographic studies. This satellite will also aid fishermen by giving them a clear indication of the presence and type of fish at various depths.) ...etc. etc.


It maybe a DDM about Oceansat-2, still it talks about maturity of ISRO and the modularization that has been achieved where they can analyse the issue, update, integrate, test and release it. Note that the CY-1 radiation issue has been around for a while and that might have given ISRO some time to fix it.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby disha » 14 Sep 2009 07:58

prao wrote:I would like answers to two basic questions with regard to CY1:

1. Why did ISRO underestimate the radiation/thermal load at the design orbit of 100 km? Was it a lack of available information? (I'd think that with so many missions to the moon, there would be sufficient data available for ISRO to model and analyze, no?) Was the model incorrect? was it the analysis? etc. etc. My first impression on reading about the thermal overload was puzzlement: For a relatively known body like the moon, I thought it was a little odd to be so far off the mark. Then there was talk about it being "summer" on the Moon by which I think perihelion was probably meant - which again is a known quantity. Here's some info about Lunar temperatures.


I should be doing ROFL on both of the statements. Here are the questions you should answer first:

1. When was the last moon landing attempted? By which countries?
2. Why would any country share the "radiation" data? And what kind of radiation data?
3. Why would any radiation data from 1970s will be any valid? Or particularly invalid? (Hint: Solar Cycles)
4. Is moon relatively a known body? Is the origins of the Moon answered and accepted? (Hint: CY-I data)
5. How much of the far side of moon is known? How much of moon is mapped?
6. How much of Polar regions of moon are mapped? What about gravitational anomalies?

If a noob like me has the above questions, can you fathom the questions still unanswered for moon from "experts"?

2. Did the reported late stage design change to include the Lunar impactor compromise thermal management of the spacecraft?


How? Why?

A clear eyed analysis needs to be made of the failure with all the right questions asked and any systemic issues (particularly systemic issues!) if they arise need to be addressed. This can be done without prejudice to the great achievement that is CY1 if managed well.


Do you realize that you just questioned why an analysis and then a change - particularly a late stage change made for Oceansat-I and then you are asking for that same analysis and a change should be made. Further you go ahead and portray ISRO engineers and scientists as dimwits and idiots?

Can you please summarize the science done by the Japanese and Chinese missions w.r.t moon and provide a comparative analysis? You do not have to look beyond this very pages and search on wiki for Kaguya and ChangE.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 14 Sep 2009 10:30

Nair: Our Problem Is We Talk Too Much
Madhavan Nair, chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation, takes stock of Chandrayaan-1’s sudden end and tells Forbes India, there is no plan for a manned moon mission as of now


...

What about the plans for a manned moon mission?
We have to go step by step. First we will go around the earth, the design for which has been completed. We are now in the process of investing in some advanced R&D for that. We are also planning to set up some of the infrastructure for the training of astronauts. 2015 is our target for realising the manned Earth orbit mission. Beyond that it will take another five to six years for the manned moon mission. :eek: For that no programme has been conceived as of now.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby KrishG » 14 Sep 2009 22:05

Sanjay M wrote:
Nair: Our Problem Is We Talk Too Much
Madhavan Nair, chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation, takes stock of Chandrayaan-1’s sudden end and tells Forbes India, there is no plan for a manned moon mission as of now


...

What about the plans for a manned moon mission?
We have to go step by step. First we will go around the earth, the design for which has been completed. We are now in the process of investing in some advanced R&D for that. We are also planning to set up some of the infrastructure for the training of astronauts. 2015 is our target for realising the manned Earth orbit mission. Beyond that it will take another five to six years for the manned moon mission. :eek: For that no programme has been conceived as of now.


From his statements we generally have to assume that ISRO willn't be able to carry out a manned lunar mission until after 2025, more probably by circa 2030. Afterall, it's not so easy. We would need to develop a high-end launcher of UMLV family. It;s got be man-rated and new crew-vehicle has to be designed. The lunar architecture has to arrived at and then built. Our primary focus as of know should remain LEO HSF.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby KrishG » 14 Sep 2009 22:16

disha wrote:
prao wrote:A clear eyed analysis needs to be made of the failure with all the right questions asked and any systemic issues (particularly systemic issues!) if they arise need to be addressed. This can be done without prejudice to the great achievement that is CY1 if managed well.


Do you realize that you just questioned why an analysis and then a change - particularly a late stage change made for Oceansat-I and then you are asking for that same analysis and a change should be made. Further you go ahead and portray ISRO engineers and scientists as dimwits and idiots?

Can you please summarize the science done by the Japanese and Chinese missions w.r.t moon and provide a comparative analysis? You do not have to look beyond this very pages and search on wiki for Kaguya and ChangE.


Its a learning process afterall. The Chinese never publicized any details about Change'-1 except for 2-3 pictures (there are conspiracy theorists who claim even that to be lifted off from Google Moon :roll: :roll: ). Anyway, we shouldn't be comparing especially with someone like the Chinese.

ISRO has seen that the system computers on Oceansat-2 and GSAT-4 are changed even though a fully stacked PSLV-C14 is waiting for payload integration; even though people from the IAA for shouting their heads out over the delays on the launch something very sensitive like Tauvex.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby Bade » 14 Sep 2009 23:07

What areas of weakness did the failure expose?
I think radiation hardening is the prime area of focus. Some of the electronic devices are susceptible to high-energy particles, so we have to either get better devices or provide better shielding for them.


This is the main cause for early termination of C-I mission, and he has said it in plain language. So why all this anguish about not understanding the radiation levels etc. Solar radiation levels are monitored and used the world over and I am sure people are competent enough to compute the expected levels further from the comfort of near earth orbits and geo-stationary ones ISRO is used to. The only difference in this case was access to rad-hard devices.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby hnair » 15 Sep 2009 02:08

Rohin Dharmakumar, the reporter, is indulging in some dubious games on behalf of Forbes. The only inference one can make from this article is this: trash India using a respected Indian who consented to talk to them.

Sanjay M wrote:
Nair: Our Problem Is We Talk Too Much
Madhavan Nair, chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation, takes stock of Chandrayaan-1’s sudden end and tells Forbes India, there is no plan for a manned moon mission as of now




The title gives the impression "ISRO was all talk and no walk", unlike other elderly "whirled powers". But Shree Nair was saying something else and has nothing to do with "we Indians are like this onlee" type of lament that Rohin Dharmakumar is trying to put on his head.

Critics say ISRO needs to be more transparent.
You take any other organisation in the country and compare it to ISRO and show me one which is more transparent than us. In fact, I think our problem is we talk too much. But we will not put out half-cooked data. I must also complain about the media. The media wants only sensation; they want only failures.


A highly disrespectful and flippant attitude that needs to be protested.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 15 Sep 2009 03:21

KrishG wrote:From his statements we generally have to assume that ISRO willn't be able to carry out a manned lunar mission until after 2025, more probably by circa 2030. Afterall, it's not so easy. We would need to develop a high-end launcher of UMLV family. It;s got be man-rated and new crew-vehicle has to be designed. The lunar architecture has to arrived at and then built. Our primary focus as of know should remain LEO HSF.


Well, a lot of things can happen between now and a dozen years from now, including technological revolutions. So I won't absolutely rule out Nair's timetable, even if it is a bit optimistic - but hey, that's what he's paid to be. After all, if you had said 10 years ago that India would be an outsourcing mecca, you might have been laughed at. I'm thinking that if ISRO were to spin off more work to private sector contractors, and if India were to get the right joint tie-ups with other countries for tech development, and if the manned missions are a success, then maybe India could do a manned circumlunar mission before the next decade is out.

If Chandrayaan-2 is successful, then India would have achieved a soft landing on the Moon by 2013, which gives it another 10 years to develop the technology for orbital docking and liftoff from the Moon's surface. A Chandrayaan-3 sample return mission could test out these technologies, to prove their reliability and effectiveness.

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The I-Prize

Postby Sanjay M » 15 Sep 2009 03:38

Anyhow, after seeing the fruits of the X-Prize competitions in the US, I'm wondering if India should likewise start holding X-Prize type competitions - not just for space, but even for technologies that would be useful for all kinds of development. It could be called the I-Prize.

Instead of a Northrop-Grumman Prize for a lunar lander, there could be a Wipro-Infosys Prize, or a Tata Prize, or a Reliance Prize, etc.
How about a prize for the best spacesuit, which would have to meet certain minimum specifications for weight, cost, durability, lifespan, etc.

The whole benefit of the prize competition model is that you don't have to compensate the losing efforts. You only pay for the successful winner. This is a cheaper R&D model, and if you keep holding the competition again each year, then even previous losers can still try again to see if they can win out.

By bringing more entrants into the fray, then there will be more innovation and more new ideas tested out. This could result in more homegrown intellectual property being cultivated.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby prao » 15 Sep 2009 05:24

A clear eyed analysis means that childish emotional/jingoistic outbursts have no place in the discussion. Throwing out a list of questions, creating straw men and calling the fine engineers of ISRO names are only childish attempts at stymieing open discussion about the topic. The reason for analysis is simple – to try and prevent similar problems in the future – not just for Lunar orbiters but for other missions as well. I will explain what I mean.

Exactly what information/parts were unavailable to ISRO for the CY1? NASA/ESA and the others were willing to spend money/effort in providing instruments for CY1 but there was crucial radiation information that they refused to share? [Sarcasm button on] What were they quoting, MTCR? NPT? CTBT? Russia provides technology to integrate the cryo engines into GSLV and the engines themselves and they get really coy when data is asked about lunar radiation? Why? Were they planning to weaponize it? [Sarcasm button off] There have been many successful lunar orbiters to date starting with the USSR’s Luna 10 mission and the US’ Lunar Orbiter 1 (1966). None except the Lunar Orbiter 1 appears to have had problems with radiation like CY1. The Lunar Prospector of 1998 had an identical 100 km polar orbit and didn’t experience the problem. Neither did the Japanese or Chinese probes. Given the thoroughness that ISRO appears to approach each project, I think it’s unlikely that there were basic errors like bad assumptions, unqualified parts, poor analysis, inadequate safety factors, lack of knowledge of the sun or the reflectivity of the moon and the like. I think it is possible that there were other factors that figured more prominently as (one of) the cause of the problem. Which brings me to my original point two:

It seems quite clear that the MIP was an afterthought included on the suggestion of a famous and popular person (name not important). According to the only report I’ve seen on it (not contradicted by ISRO), CY1 was “reconfigured significantly” to accommodate it within a period of 6 months. The mass of the MIP was a significant fraction of CY1’s dry weight and among the design changes were the reduction of the number of thrusters from 16 to eight, two star sensors instead of four and the antenna deployed without a boom. The decision appears to have been at least somewhat political. The question is, did these design changes affect the capacity of CY1 to handle radiation/thermal loads? I think it’s quite possible, even probable.

We all know the kind of ad hoc politically driven decision making that has affected so many Indian institutions. Issues of this kind are precisely the kind of issues that will not show up in any internal probe. This is where external sources are needed to ask questions – not accusingly, not with malice but ask nonetheless to bring any such issues to light.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 15 Sep 2009 08:43

I don't see why we should take it for granted that others should provide us the hard-earned fruits of their own work. That may be a bit of an unreasonable expectation. Others don't owe us a trip into space. Besides, space systems are obviously dual-use for military purposes. Hardening satellites against radiation can also make them more resistant to ASAT weapons, etc. If space is considered a strategic frontier, then we shouldn't take the cocky attitude that others owe us an easier ride, and then fume at them when they don't meet our unrealistic expectations. To me, it's your comments which sound jingoistic and demanding.

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Rocket Idea: Bell-Shaped Pendulum

Postby Sanjay M » 17 Sep 2009 10:51

One idea that just came to me relates to the "pendulum fallacy", whereby people mistakenly think that a rocket is hanging by the nose from an imaginary string, instead of actually resting on top of its tail/thruster.

So then, what if you could position a lot more of the rocket/lander's mass below the thruster?
Then you really would have a little more basis for the pendulum paradigm.
And a pendulum is a little more easy to balance on a vertical centerline than a pencil standing on its end is.

So what if your rocket/lander looked more like a bell shape, where the thruster was located on the inside of the bell near the top, and the fuel tanks with their propellant mass were located on the outside of the bell near the bottom?
Wouldn't that type of mass distribution make it easier to do your balancing act, since your vehicle's mass distribution would be helping you rather than working against you?

Couldn't a Chandrayaan-2 or -3 mission benefit from this? I'm not sure if anybody has tried this before.

Comments? Thoughts?

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby KrishG » 18 Sep 2009 23:29

Additional Indian rover on Chandrayaan-II

http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=Additional+Indian+rover+on+Chandrayaan-II&artid=LpXoT7eca2w=&SectionID=1ZkF/jmWuSA=&MainSectionID=fyV9T2jIa4A=&SectionName=X7s7i|xOZ5Y=&SEO=

A small Indian rover, wheeling the country’s hopes on the lunarscape, will travel to the moon on Chandrayaan-II. This will be in addition to the Russian rover, one of the main payloads on board the second moon mission, making this one of the first missions to carry two robotic payloads on it. While the Russian rover weighs about 50 kg, the Indian one is smaller and weighs only 15 kg.


Good news!!

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby animesharma » 18 Sep 2009 23:44

yeah, its certainly a good news.
Beside, after the partial failure of CY1, now i realize why partnership with russia is so important for CY2. ISRO needs to walk before it can run.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby prao » 19 Sep 2009 06:55

From the Indian Express article:

In fact, the decision to carry 11 payloads on Chandrayaan- I and whether it affected its thermal management is being actively debated. Scientists feel that had the spacecraft been less congested internal heat could have been more effectively ventilated.


The reason for the congestion of course is the MIP that was a late stage addition. The question is how long are those scientists and engineers going to beat around the bush? Are they going to get around to declaring that the design changes were probably the cause of the thermal issue? I doubt it, because it will show ISRO decision makers in very poor light. At NASA it took an external investigating body (with Richard Feynman) to brush away the stories created by NASA investigators and reveal the real cause of the accident - the O-rings between the SRBs (a known problem that was ignored) and the cold temperatures at the time of the launch. Another investigation committed said that it was the then NASA culture and poor decision making process that underlay the Challenger problem. The question to ask now is - Was ISRO's decision making process compromised or bypassed in the MIP decision and the subsequent redesign? What is to be done to ensure it's not repeated? Not a witch hunt to identify individuals but to change the culture and process as necessary to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Enquiring minds want to know: Is the decision to include a second rover (unprecedented) also a late stage design change? At what design milestone is the CY2 right now?

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby ss_roy » 19 Sep 2009 07:23

animesharma,
EDITED If the US and Russia were filled with people like you, they would still be in the dark ages. You have problems understanding that no breakthrough was ever made without taking a calculated risk. Some risks pay off and others fail, but Indians like you want to win every time. Newsflash- It does not work like that!

Do you realize that with the limited budget and constraints on design, CY-1 was spectacularly successful. I suggest you read some history(of space exploration) and compare apples to apples (not oranges).
Last edited by Rahul M on 19 Sep 2009 07:56, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: stop flamebaiting.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby Rahul M » 19 Sep 2009 07:34

The reason for the congestion of course is the MIP that was a late stage addition.

the MIP was ejected almost as soon as CY-1 reached the moon.
why do you think it continued to contribute to the heating problems via congestion ? what could have been the residual instruments left behind by it that would cause such a problem ?

p.s. ss_roy, please be a little less acrid in your posts.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 19 Sep 2009 07:34

Hah, if there was ever a Challenger-style accident in India, then ISRO would never hear the end of it. Our political shenanigans would consume them, as usual.

But why is there a Russian rover hitching a ride on this next mission, and why is it the larger and more dominant rover? I'd originally understood that there was going to be a single rover that was to be Russian-made, but still traveling under the Indian flag as our purchased product. (Just like our fighter planes)

Now it's looking more like a Russian rover mission to the Moon, with India merely being the coolie to deliver the cargo. Oh, and we also get to have our own little kiddie rover on the side.

Who is making the lander to land the payload onto the Moon? Is it the Russians again? If so, then we really are the coolie.

To me, making a rover(s) is not the biggest technical challenge. The biggest challenge is in getting it to the Moon, and landing it onto the surface.

Since we have already demonstrated our ability to get a payload to the Moon, then to me the next demonstration of advancement for us would be in soft-landing a payload onto the Moon's surface.
So we need to be the ones to make the lander. Otherwise, this is mostly a Russian mission to the Moon, which we will haplessly try to present as our made-in-India indigenous achievement, while the more knowledgeable international observers will be smirking knowingly.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby ss_roy » 19 Sep 2009 07:47

Look here-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robotic_ex ... f_the_Moon

Pioneer program

Pioneer 0 (USA, 1958) – failure – orbiter
Pioneer 1 (USA, 1958) – failure – orbiter
Pioneer 2 (USA, 1958) – failure – orbiter
Pioneer 3 (USA, 1958) – failure – flyby
Pioneer 4 (USA, 1959) – partial success – flyby

Ranger 3 (USA, 1962) – failure – impactor
Ranger 4 (USA, 1962) – success – impactor
Ranger 5 (USA, 1962) – partial failure – impactor (became flyby)
Ranger 6 (USA, 1964) – failure – impactor
Ranger 7 (USA, 1964) – success – impactor
Ranger 8 (USA, 1964) – success – impactor
Ranger 9 (USA, 1964) – success – impactor

Surveyor 1 (USA, 1966) – success – lander
Surveyor 2 (USA, 1966) – crashed – lander
Surveyor 3 (USA, 1967) – success – lander
Surveyor 4 (USA, 1967) – crashed – lander
Surveyor 5 (USA, 1967) – success – lander
Surveyor 6 (USA, 1967) – success – lander
Surveyor 7 (USA, 1968) – success – lander

Hiten (Japan, 1990–93) – success – orbiter
Hagoromo (Japan, 1990) – failure – orbiter

Sanjay M
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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 19 Sep 2009 07:50

Let me follow up my previous comments by saying that on second thought, it would be nice to market ourselves as a "space coolie"

We could start a marketing pitch to all comers from around the world, asking them wouldn't they love to have their own payload sitting on the Moon? Wouldn't any country jump at the opportunity of having its own flag directly standing on the Moon? We would offer ourselves as the quickest and cheapest way to do this, after having proven ourselves with Chandrayaan-2. We can offer to hold "joint missions" with any number of countries, bringing their flag to the Moon and prestige to their people.

As our "joint mission partners", they could contribute the majority funding while we would contribute the delivery service -- ie. they would effectively be our customers.
Bringing the flags of other countries to the Moon as part of "joint missions" could effectively become a profit-making enterprise for us.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby ss_roy » 19 Sep 2009 07:50

Hiten
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiten

The Hiten (Japanese: "flying angel"[1]) spacecraft (known before launch as Muses-A), built by the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science of Japan, was launched on January 24, 1990. It was Japan's first lunar probe, the first robotic lunar probe since the Soviet Union's Luna 24 in 1976, and the first lunar probe launched by a country other than Soviet Union or the United States.[2] Hiten was designed to be an Earth orbiting spacecraft and a relay for another spacecraft to the Moon. The spacecraft entered a circumlunar orbit and released a small orbiter, Hagoromo (named after the feather mantle of tennyo, a legendary celestial maiden), into lunar orbit. The transmitter on Hagoromo failed, rendering it scientifically useless, and the orbit insertion burn could only be verified optically. Therefore it was not known that Hagoromo entered lunar orbit thereby achieving success for the Japanese lunar mission as planned. Japan wanted to salvage the mission and proposed a plan to get Hiten to leave Earth orbit and achieve lunar orbit. Unfortunately Hiten only had 10% of the required fuel to make it into lunar orbit. It was determined that Hiten could achieve lunar orbit by using a brand new route to the Moon designed by Edward Belbruno. This low energy lunar transfer used Weak Stability Boundary Theory. This, however, would take several months instead of several days.

and

The primary mission was concluded on March 30, 1991 and the follow-on mission was started. On April 24, 1991 Hiten left Earth orbit and went to the Moon using Belbruno’s route. On October 2, 1991 Hiten reached the Moon at the prescribed distance. After which, it was put into a looping orbit which passed through the L4 and L5 Lagrange points to look for trapped dust particles. No obvious increase was found by the Munich Dust Counter (MDC). After two months in lunar orbit, the spacecraft's orbit was decaying, so the last of Hiten’s fuel was used to crash it into the lunar surface on April 10, 1993.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby prao » 19 Sep 2009 08:00

Rahul M wrote:
The reason for the congestion of course is the MIP that was a late stage addition.

the MIP was ejected almost as soon as CY-1 reached the moon.
why do you think it continued to contribute to the heating problems via congestion ? what could have been the residual instruments left behind by it that would cause such a problem ?
...


The inclusion of the MIP in CY1 meant that the design of the spacecraft had to be changed to accommodate it. Given the extremely tight constraints (space/weight/budget ....) within which spacecraft have to be designed, it meant that other aspects of the design had to be changed - it has already been published that the number of thrusters was halved (16 to 8), the number of star sensors reduced from four to two (remember that both failed) etc. And of course it also meant that the 11 instruments had to now be fit into a smaller space and that would mean that handling of the thermal load of the instruments would be made more difficult. The heat generated has to be channeled and radiated into space to keep the instruments cool.

I think that when the decision was made to include the MIP under tight time constraints, ISRO probably took some shortcuts with the redesign or the analysis or assumptions that formed the basis of the design. These compromises led to the overheating and subsequent loss of the spacecraft.

So to answer your question - it was not the presence of the MIP but its influence on the design that I believe was the cause.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby Rahul M » 19 Sep 2009 08:05

I do understand your point. my question was how can we be sure it is more than just an educated guess ? has ISRO said anything of the kind ? just curious.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby Bade » 19 Sep 2009 08:05

prao, if you want to follow that reasoning, why not also share blame with the foreign payloads ? They were also not in the initial design. Were they not selected to be part of the mission around 2006 or so ?

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 19 Sep 2009 08:08

Well, rather than speculating in the vaguest possible way, I'd like to hear from you in what specific way the addition of MIP caused the thermal overloading? Next you could also claim that any mission delay caused by adding MIP then led to CY1 orbiting while solar activity was harsher, and that the absence of such a delay would have meant success.

I, for one, think it was a major milestone for the Indian flag to reach the Moon, even if it had to crash on it. Next time, I want it standing in full display. I want a rover to be able to photograph the Earth, with our flag standing beside it just as large. I want the photo to be in full colour instead of the crappy black-and-white that ISRO is in love with, so that everyone can see the chakra on the flag looking just as large as the Earth itself.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby prao » 19 Sep 2009 08:29

Rahul M wrote:I do understand your point. my question was how can we be sure it is more than just an educated guess ? has ISRO said anything of the kind ? just curious.


It is an educated guess, no doubt. And no it hasn't and I suspect that it won't since it may show them in poor light. I think what happened is that that particular famous/popular person suggested it and the bigwigs in ISRO wanted to accommodate him. So the design change was effected in six months (per the news report) and pretty severe compromises were made. (Aside: I remember that the TOI had editorially scolded this famous person once for talking far in excess of what his organization was capable of doing - robotic fighter planes and other fancy stuff)

What made me suspicious was the repeated (& strange) assertions that the radiation experienced was much higher than expected and that it was "summer" on the moon. Both should be known quantities - at least the uncertainty would be within limits so that the spacecraft design can accommodate it. Remember that on the Earth, when it is summer in the northern hemisphere, it is winter in the southern! It is never summer all over the Earth - so if you're orbiting in polar orbit you'll always experience both. I'm not sure what was meant by summer on the moon but it could be perihelion (when it's closest to the sun) certainly a known quantity.

Bade: Why should I "blame" the foreign payloads? ISRO invited them (long time ago - ISRO had a kind of contest - the foreign payloads were part of the design early on) and I'm sure they could have decided to reduce the number of instruments to put in the MIP but they didn't. Nobody was forcing ISRO to include those foreign payloads.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 19 Sep 2009 08:40

Clearly, the purpose of the mission was not just to go to the Moon on a joyride, but to do science. And to do science, you need instrument payloads. So CY1 had them.

To me, all your criticisms are mere 20-20 hindsight. If the mission hadn's suffered the premature abort, would you have raised any of these issues? Nah, I don't think so.

Yes, it's certainly nice to get things perfect in all ways the first time, but it's not a catastrophe if that doesn't happen. Most of the things were done right, and too much was gained to call the mission a failure. There may be failures on future missions also, and we should be psychologically prepared for that, instead of scoffing like armchair football players.

I am interested in seeing the Indian flag on the Moon and on Mars. That's no mere vanity exercise, it's about demonstrating and advancing national technical capability, and about charting a path forward into new frontiers. Indians are an historically sedentary people, but it is frontiers and their challenges which make people better than what they are, as opposed to being armchair whiners.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby ss_roy » 19 Sep 2009 08:48

Sanjay M,

Indians are risk averse and have short time horizons, and those attitudes have done a lot of damage to India. Unless we accept that there is a defect, we cannot eliminate it!

I did not chose my current vocation because it was conventional and secure. I chose it because I liked it, and it was intellectually challenging.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby prao » 19 Sep 2009 08:54

I think I've made it very clear that I consider CY1 a great achievement. Please read what I've said carefully.

Failures need analysis and you need to learn lessons from them. Closing your eyes to them only invites more failures.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby Bade » 19 Sep 2009 09:23

With ITAR restrictions, how much information and characteristics of US payloads will actually get shared beyond the general details ?

There was less than 24 months between foreign payload selection and launch. This was a fast turn-around for payloads to be built, tested and integrated before launch. So, there was considerable risk in inviting external payloads on the mission. I am sure there were some gains but with some negative offsets.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 19 Sep 2009 09:32

I certainly agree that we need more analysis and critique of failures, but on the other hand I think that the benefits which accrued from including all the science payloads was greater than what we would have gotten by excluding them. Unfortunately the SAR experiment failed, but hey, it was an important payload that was certainly worth having.

I strongly feel that touching our flag down on the Moon was an important thing worth doing, even at the cost of a premature end to the mission. How much additional science would have been done over the next 300 days anyway? How much did we really lose from this premature failure? I think that's a better way to phrase the question, because the probe would have had to fail at some point anyway.

Chandrayaan-1 is over. I'm more interested in looking at Chandrayaan-2, and we can consider lessons from the first mission in relation to how to avoid failures on the 2nd mission. It's rather useless to keep looking backward over the shoulder and cry over past spilled milk, if it distracts us from looking at where we're going and what's ahead of us. CY2 is the upcoming mission, and I think that any past shortcomings of CY1 should be discussed in the context of correcting them into the future mission, which is CY2.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby vishwakarmaa » 19 Sep 2009 12:11

prao wrote:Exactly what information/parts were unavailable to ISRO for the CY1? NASA/ESA and the others were willing to spend money/effort in providing instruments for CY1 but there was crucial radiation information that they refused to share? [Sarcasm button on] What were they quoting, MTCR? NPT? CTBT? Russia provides technology to integrate the cryo engines into GSLV and the engines themselves and they get really coy when data is asked about lunar radiation? Why?


If world is flat and everything is available openly, why ISRO is wasting money on R&D? We don't even need ISRO then since NASA is dying to tell us space technology secrets?

Reality is bitter. Its not what Friedman writes or Hollywood movies show.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby vishwakarmaa » 19 Sep 2009 12:24

animesharma wrote:yeah, its certainly a good news.
Beside, after the partial failure of CY1, now i realize why partnership with russia is so important for CY2. ISRO needs to walk before it can run.


Absolutely.

Russians are more sensible and open-minded compared to others. They are more confident and comfortable with sharing space technologies with others for benefit of humanity.

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Re: Indian Space Program Discussion

Postby vishwakarmaa » 19 Sep 2009 12:40

prao wrote:Failures need analysis and you need to learn lessons from them. Closing your eyes to them only invites more failures.


ISRO is a mature organization. This CY-1 temperature glitch is a very small thing. More an issue of technology sanctions. They have had 100 of such failures in past and they survived. This time too, they will learn and survive.

ISRO would have been much ahead today in GSLV MK-III if not for silly American sanctions.


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