SEDS Chapters on Google Maps

Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as https://blogs.seds.org/pradeep. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on November 21, 2007 as per the timestamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.

I have been using Google Maps for many small things till now. I have a cycling map among other things, if you wanted to know. I thought I could try and put it together with my activities on the SEDS-Earth Council. And what I came up with a map  with all the international SEDS chapters on one map.

This is what it looks like:

Update: The embed function doesn’t seem to work. So, here’s the link

Now, this is not the end of it. I’ll try and make a map precisely locating all the SEDS chapters in India. If you have 5-10 minutes you can do the same. It doesn’t take a genius to do the maps and it’s great to see where people actually are from and how their places look from satellite images. Kind of like a vicious circle, I would say.

Chandrayaan Video

Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as https://blogs.seds.org/pradeep. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on November 21, 2007 as per the timestamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.

If you like to know what the latest India’s moon mission is about, you might want to take a look at this video.

Sorry, but embedding the video (this video has been disabled) and a higher resolution one is available here.

Update: Found a longer and more descriptive version which can be embedded here:

GLXP Auxillary Event

Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as https://blogs.seds.org/pradeep. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on November 19, 2007 as per the timestamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.

Google Moon is something that I’d like to utilise in connection with the GLXP going on currently. People are designing landers and if you don’t feel confident enough to waste money, effort and time on working a full scale moon lander, I was wondering if we could take some time out to study landing sites for the lander.

NASA is sending the Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter later next year to scout the moon. What I suggest is using Google Moon for the same. Then, after the LRO shares its results with the public (will they?) we can compare our results with theirs. If you’re already a Google Moon fanatic, all this will involve is devoting some of your moon scouting for looking for a landing site. Just an idea!

Also, if anyone can point this blog post to the people at GLXP, nothing like it!!

You can also plan this event as an auxillary to your moon missions. We at SEDS India are certainly thinking about such an event.

India successfully tests its cryogenic upper stage

Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as https://blogs.seds.org/pradeep. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on November 19, 2007 as per the timestamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.

The third stage of India’s latest satellite launch vehicle, the GSLV is cryogenic. On November 15, 2007, ISRO successfully tested the indigenously built cryogenic rocket engine that will power the GSLV third stage. Till now, India depended on Russia for its cryogenic third stage but the test now allows India to use its own.

Developed by the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre and supported by ISRO centres, public and private companies, it’s a milestone worth taking note of.

The press release describes the rocket as:

The indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) is powered by a regeneratively cooled cryogenic engine, which works on staged combustion cycle developing a thrust of 69.5 kN in vacuum. The other stage systems include insulated propellant tanks, booster pumps, inter-stage structures, fill and drain systems, pressurisation systems, gas bottles, command block, igniters, pyro valves and cold gas orientation and stabilisation system. Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) from the respective tanks are fed by individual booster pumps to the main turbo-pump, which rotates at 39,000 rpm to ensure a high flow rate of 16.5 kg/sec of propellants into the combustion chamber. The main turbine is driven by the hot gas produced in a pre-burner. Thrust control and mixture ratio control are achieved by two independent regulators. LOX and Gaseous Hydrogen (GH2) are ignited by pyrogen type igniters in the pre-burner as well as in the main and steering engines.

Congragulations to ISRO for a successful test firing.

Leaving SEDSAT-2

Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as https://blogs.seds.org/pradeep. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on November 12, 2007 as per the timestamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.

After my post on tying things up, this might come as a surprise to many of you. But, things in practise never match up to our plans.

Both, academic and life in my house have been getting stuffy enough so that I can’t concentrate on more technical stuff than I am already handling at school.

Also, working on SEDS India holds a higher priority for me than working on SEDSAT-2. I think we’ve reached a point in SEDSAT-2 where you can be reasonably sure of its success and continuity. It’s been great hanging around with all you guys – discussing, playing around, serious discussions etc. Hope you can launch the baby by the end of 2008 as planned.

I’m now a Zoo Keeper!

Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as https://blogs.seds.org/pradeep. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on July 11, 2007 as per the timestamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.

I saw today in my feed reader that GalaxyZoo is open to the general public one day before it was supposed to open. More coverage here.

I registered today..took the test..passed….I’m now a ZooKeeper (self-assigned title)!!

I always wanted to do this, it’s almost as if someone was reading my mind. 🙂 Register today but you can’t do any work on it today as their circuits are overloaded. Already 🙂 Everything starts with the Big Bang!

Update1: Here are some blog posts talking about GalaxyZoo –

Big Bang and the seconds before it

Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as https://blogs.seds.org/pradeep. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on July 2, 2007 as per the timestamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.

I’ll just give a small brief description here since the Bad Astronomer has already elaborated. Also, the official news post of the story is here.

Till now, our mathematics limited our predictions to the slices of seconds ahead of the actual moment of the Big Bang. Now, it seems, Martin Bojowald, an assistant professor of physics at Penn State University has broken through this barrier to predict what happened at the exact moment of the Big Bang and the moments before it. He did this using (and he’s still working on it) what’s called the Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG for short). In-depth details in the links above.

Poor man’s guide to Astrophotography

Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as https://blogs.seds.org/pradeep. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on June 30, 2007 as per the timestamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.

Dr. Suresh Mohan is one of the few Indian astrophotographers work that I have witnessed in the recent past through the astronomyclubsindia mailing list.

He recently posted an email on a poor man’s guide to astrophotography. Just thought I’d mention it here via a link.The site is also a good resource for more things astrophotography.

Hope it helps. Hat tip to Dr. Suresh Mohan.

 

 

India’s first military satellite and my thoughts

Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as https://blogs.seds.org/pradeep. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on June 29, 2007 as per the timestamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.

I am not a big fan of the militarization of space and also can’t get to spell it properly. So, I was not too happy when I read this.

India’s first military satellite – CARTOSAT-2A is going to be launched on the PSLV sometime in August.

I was so happy that India has been using space for peaceful purposes for so long and despite so many roadblocks put in by the US and Europe. So, it seemed like this was a bit odd. But, not really. What dictates this is basically geo-politics and not the people of our country.

China and Pakistan seems to be what this satellite would be looking at. Basically. And they’re watching them for our own protection. So, doesn’t really make sense to rant about that.

The launch of CARTOSAT 2A has been timed to coincide with the scheduled delivery of the country’s first airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft by Israel. So, basically we get the whole range from the ground to the stratosphere. It’s good to keep all the bases covered. Just in case.

SEDSAT-2 Update

Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as https://blogs.seds.org/pradeep. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on June 26, 2007 as per the timestamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.

I thought now that I don’t have to submit a darn long essay to ISRO since I’m out, I can settle down and think about what has happened with SEDSAT2 all this time. These are my personal opinions..and all that.

SEDSAT2 started out in mid-November about two weeks before my semester exams. Cool no?

Before I could even decide whether I should participate in the project, the wiki page, the mailing list and all were setup. So, all I had to do was join in. We had a very small but great team of people who came together to begin thinking on this project – Chris, Kirk, Tom, Geoff, Michael, ME and Lavina. It was we who finally (after many delays) finally put our heads together and wrote the paper which basically said – yes, this crazy idea is possible.

To describe this crazy idea – we are thinking of designing and building a cubesat (a 10×10 cms 1 kg satellite orignially designed by CalPoly) but not in one university but by linking through a string of universities all throughout the world. The major aim of the project was also to take a look at how international collaboration projects in space look like at the student level of things. The idea, as I have mentioned above was crazy to say the least.

But the more we thought about it, the more we believed that it could be done.

So, we invited people via mailing lists to submit their applications to become members of the team and boy, did we have a great response – 30 people from 12 countries.

In between all of the babble, we finally defined our goal –

to build a cubesat using international collaboration

small and sweet, no?

Also, we got a lot of support from SEDS alumni like Chris, Aaron and Kirk. Aaron gave us a software that he’s being putting together which he calls ProtoForge. Protoforge is sort of like a check list which helps us with our thinking and also makes sure we are following logically and helps us manage our “huge” team. It’s great thing to have on a satellite project.

Fast forward to the present, I’m now looking after the structures team on SEDSAT2. I’ve brushed up on all the basics that I might get hit by and hope that I’m now prepared to read more complicated stuff. Hmm..I think that’s it for now…