சனி, ஜனவரி 10, 2009

ISRO to launch ‘Megha Tropiques’


BANGALORE: Megha Tropiques, a satellite devoted to atmospheric and climate research in the tropics will be launched in December 2009, announced ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair.Delivering the KEB Engineers Association’s 22nd Silver Jubilee Commemoration lecture, Nair said that Megha Tropiques (‘Megha’ in Sanskrit means clouds and ‘Tropiques’ is the French word for tropics), a joint venture between ISRO and CNES (French Space Agency), will be launched using ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Sriharikota range.

The satellite would carry multi-frequency microwave and optical sensors to provide information on water vapour and rainfall characteristics over ocean and land surfaces, monsoon radiation budget etc.

The 500 kg satellite will have a unique 20 degree inclined orbit of 867 km so as to provide maximum coverage of the tropical region of interest. “Changes in energy and water budget of the land-ocean-atmosphere systems in the tropics influence the global climate to a great extent and Megha Tropiques could provide the answer,” Nair expressed confidence.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ISRO and CNES was singed in 2001 for the design of a joint satellite mission.

On India’s maiden mission to the moon Chandrayaan-1, Nair said that the satellite payloads have already captured 35,000 scenes and also found traces of minerals like iron and calcium.

“Yes there are traces of minerals, but to say that conclusively, a session will be held in Bangalore in the last week of January 2009 where scientists will discuss and the preliminary analysis of data will be carried out,” he disclosed.

Nair said that the Chandrayaan- 1 was sending signals to the ground stations and in the next six months to one year, the findings will be put on public domain.

On India’s first manned mission to space he said by 2015, India will be able to send a man to space and bring him back by 2015 and following that in next 6-7 years it will be able to send a manned mission to the moon.  

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