India's unmanned moon mission may launch race for lunar landgrab
It will be a small step for mankind, but a giant leap forward for India. In a boost to national prestige, the country will launch its first unmanned moon mission tomorrow - blasting its Chandrayaan satellite into space from an island off the Bay of Bengal Noun 1. Bay of Bengal - an arm of the Indian Ocean to the east of India
Andaman Sea - part of the Bay of Bengal to the west of the Malay Peninsula
Indian Ocean - the 3rd largest ocean; bounded by Africa on the west, Asia on the north, Australia on the east , using a domestically produced rocket system. In doing so, it will match China, which last year became the first Asian nation Noun 1. Asian nation - any one of the nations occupying the Asian continent
country, land, state - the territory occupied by a nation; "he returned to the land of his birth"; "he visited several European countries" to send a satellite to orbit the moon, signalling the possibility of a race for mineral wealth on the lunar surface The lunar surface (or the surface of the moon) differs greatly from that of Earth. Different topography exists and soil composition and properties differ. Environmental factors affect the lunar surface. .
If all goes to plan, India's tricolour flag should be drifting down towards the freezing, airless lunar surface as dawn breaks over the subcontinent on November 11.
The 239,000-mile journey is not straightforward - it took the Americans and Russians almost two decades to master it, from the moment space exploration was born. Once above the Earth's atmosphere “Air” redirects here. For other uses, see Air (disambiguation).
Earth's atmosphere is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth and retained by the Earth's gravity. It contains roughly (by molar content/volume) 78% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0. the launch vehicle's thrusters will have to manoeuvre and fire the Chandrayaan I rocket with precision.
If all goes to plan, the satellite, weighing half a tonne, will enter a lunar orbit In astronomy, lunar orbit (also known as a Selenocentric orbit) refers just to the orbit of the Moon around the Earth. See Orbit of the Moon.
As used in the space program, this refers not to the orbit of Earth's Moon, but to orbits around that Moon by various manned some 62 miles above the moon's surface on November 8 and begin its two-year mission to map the moon in 3D, survey its surface for mineral wealth and start its 11 hi-tech probes, including five from the US, Sweden, Japan, Germany and Bulgaria.
One of India's aims in reaching the moon is the possibility of harvesting helium 3, a key fuel for nuclear fusion nuclear fusion
Process by which nuclear reactions between light elements form heavier ones, releasing huge amounts of energy. In 1939 Hans Bethe suggested that the energy output of the sun and other stars is a result of fusion reactions among hydrogen nuclei. . Although fusion is not commercially viable today, scientists say it one day will be, and that once it is a fuel supply will become a problem, as the Earth is believed to have only 15 tonnes of helium 3. The moon is thought to contain up to 5m tonnes.
Officials at the Indian Space Research Organisation The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is India's national space agency. With its headquarters in Bangalore, the ISRO employs approximately 20,000 people, with a budget around 815 million US$ at March 2006 exchange rate. (Isro) remain tight-lipped tight·lipped also tight-lipped
1. Having the lips pressed together.
2. Loath to speak; close-mouthed. See Synonyms at silent. about the possibility of a lunar land grab land grab
An aggressive taking of land, especially by military force, in order to expand territorial holdings or broaden power: "The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 was . . . . UR Rao, a former director of Isro, was less circumspect cir·cum·spect
Heedful of circumstances and potential consequences; prudent.
[Middle English, from Latin circumspectus, past participle of circumspicere, to take heed : , pointing out that the moon might have "enough [helium 3] to produce energy for 8,000 years". This view echoes that of the head of China's Chang'e project, who told the China Daily in 2006 that "each year three space shuttle missions <onlyinclude> This is a list of missions flown by space shuttles. As of 2006, only the United States has flown human spaceflight shuttle missions, in the Space Shuttle program, while the Soviet Union flew one unmanned flight of the Buran. could bring enough [helium 3] for all human beings across the world".
Last month, a Chinese astronaut completed a 15-minute space walk for the first time. However, India has big ambitions. There are proposals to put the first Indian into space by 2014 and to launch a manned lunar mission by 2020 - four years ahead of China's target date.
The Indian agency's next step is to launch a second unmanned lunar mission in 2011, comprising an orbiting spacecraft, a lander and a moon-rover built with Russian help.
The Chandrayaan mission, at a time of economic belt-tightening, has sparked a national debate about whether a country with hundreds of millions of poor people can afford to play catch-up in the skies.
S Satish, director of public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most at Isro, said that the Indian cabinet had given the go-ahead for the second mission in 2011, but other missions awaited approval.
"We have to consider the costs for a [manned] moon mission. Even with our low costs it will be billions of dollars. You need a good reason to send someone to the moon for that amount," Satish said.
Earlier this year India was ranked by analysts at Futron, a hi-tech consultancy, as only a fraction behind China in global space competitiveness rankings, and well ahead of Japan, Israel and Canada. It is also building a low-cost, hi-tech base. China's Chang'e I cost nearly double India's Chandrayaan I bill of $86m.
This thriftiness was born of necessity. With an annual budget of about $1bn - less than a tenth of Nasa's - Isro has to do a lot with little.
Until now India's space agency has concentrated on putting satellites in orbit. It has 11 communications satellites, using them to bring education and healthcare to remote villages via tele-links with schools and hospitals in cities.
"The whole thrust of [India's space programme] has been to get real benefits," said Gopal Raj, author of Reach For The Stars, a book about the country's rocket programme. Raj pointed out that the Madras Institute of Development Studies recently calculated that for every rupee RUPEE, comm. law. A denomination of money in Bengal. In the computation of ad valorem duties, it is valued at fifty-five and one half cents. Act of March 2, 1799, s. 61; 1 Story's L. U. S. 627. Vide Foreign coins.
2. spent on the space programme, two were generated in "indirect and direct returns".
Critics say that the space mission is a cover for an exercise in "national military-industrial ego".
Ominously, earlier this year India's chief of army staff spoke openly of his fears about China's military space programme, and stressed the need for India to accelerate its own.
"Let's face it we have an arms race here," said Praful Bidwai, a long-time critic of the space programme. "Rockets that can be used to fire satellites can be used for nuclear warheads, too. India could be spending the money on getting clean drinking water drinking water
supply of water available to animals for drinking supplied via nipples, in troughs, dams, ponds and larger natural water sources; an insufficient supply leads to dehydration; it can be the source of infection, e.g. leptospirosis, salmonellosis, or of poisoning, e.g. to the poor, get food in their belly. Instead it chooses to blast its way into a space race."
Reach for the stars
US Nasa put Neil Armstrong on the moon in 1969. Plans include a return manned trip to the moon by 2020.
China Completed its first manned space flight in 2003 and launched a lunar satellite in October last year. This year, Zhai Zhigang became the first Chinese to walk in space. Ambitious plans include its own space station.
Russia First to launch a satellite in 1957, and four years later launched the first human into space.
Europe European Space Agency's Ariane rocket programme became a world leader in commercial space launches in the 90s. Plans a mission to search for signs of life on Mars Scientists have long speculated about the possibility of life on Mars owing to the planet's proximity and similarity to Earth. It remains an open question whether life exists on Mars now, or existed there in the past. in 2016.
Japan First ever minister of space development appointed this year.