India Space Program Goes A Little Closer to The Moon

    May 4, 2005

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will send another rocket into space on May 5th 2005. At a time when NASA is dominating headlines, Indian pushes their program forward by two satellites into orbit.

The primary satellite, the CARTOSAT-1 will be Indian’s 11th satellite since the ISRO program was started in 1969. The unit is a remote sensing satellite to be used primarily for cartographic purposes. It comes with two cameras and will be in polar synchronous orbit. They intended use for the satellite will be land and resource management as well as help with disasters and other civil purposes.

Riding on the back of the CARTOSAT-1 is the HAMSAT. The HAMSAT is for HAM radio operators. Launched as an auxiliary satellite along with CARTOSAT-1, the 42.5 kg HAMSAT will meet the long felt need of the Amateur Radio Operators in the South Asian region who possess the required equipment and operate in the UHF/VHF band based Satellite Radio Communication.

The rocket being used, PSLV C6, has been in India’s stable since 1994. The vast improvement over its initial uses will make it much easier for India to advance their program. PSLV was initially designed by ISRO to place 1,000 kg class Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites into 900 km polar Sun-synchronous Orbits. Since the first successful flight in October 1994, the capability of PSLV has been enhanced from 850 kg to the present 1,600 kg into 618 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit.

India considers the success of this program crucial as they are giving serious consideration to a moon shot.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.