Iran: Looking Towards Space!

Apart from its nuclear bravado, Iran is simultaneously exploring new grounds up above in the sky for expanding military influence and that is, space. In early February this year, Iran fired a sounding rocket into the outer space to mark the opening of its first space centre. Such rockets are usually instrument-carrying crafts designed to take measurements and perform scientific experiments during their sub-orbital flight. Iran also proposes to move a step further by launching their first home-produced satellite "Omid" (Hope) in March 2009.

Ajey Lele

China: The PLA Goes To The Moon

China’s October 24 launch of its Chang-e 1 (Moon Goddess) Moon survey satellite has been heralded by the Chinese government as a “giant leap” for China’s peaceful exploration of outer space. But the launch of Chang-e, as well as subsequent Chinese Moon missions, to very likely include manned Moon activities, should also be viewed as a major step into space for China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which controls all of China’s space activities.

Richard D. Fisher, Jr.

ISRO Marching Ahead

Despite more than three decades of international restriction on technology regime, India’s space program has successfully launched INSAT 4CR satellite early this month. The satellite has life span of ten years and it carries 12 high-power Ku-band transponders for direct-to-home television services, facilitate video picture transmission and digital satellite news gathering. The success of this test is very important particularly when viewed at the background of last year’s failure.

Ajey Lele

India Poised for A New High with PSLV-C7 Launch Feat

India’s space research programme has leaped to a new high with the successful launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C7) from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, carrying four satellites, including a recoverable spacecraft on January 10, 2007. This group of four satellites constituted of two Indian makes and two foreign satellites. The foreign satellites belong to the category of micro and nano satellites weighing 56 and six kg respectively.

Ajey Lele