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GSAT-11 could be last Indian satellite to be launched by a foreign rocket

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Chennai: If things pan out as intended, the 5.7-tonne GSAT-11 will be most probably the last heavy Indian satellite to be launched by a foreign space agency, according to K. Sivan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The GSAT-11 communication satellite will be launched by Arianespace’s Ariane rocket soon.

“We are working on a dual concept: Increasing the carrying capacity of our heaviest rocket — the 640-tonne Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mk III (GSLV Mk III) to six tonnes — while producing high throughput and lower weight communication satellites,” said Sivan.

He said nearly 60 per cent of the satellite weight consists of onboard chemical fuel and by opting for electric power for manoeuvring in space the mass of the satellite will be reduced.

The Indian space agency had tried electric propulsion in its GSAT 9 satellite.

At present, the GSLV Mk III rocket has a carrying capacity of four tonnes. The Indian space agency is working on increasing GSLV Mk III’s carrying capacity to six tonnes.

“Now most of the satellites will be contained to four-six tonnes,” Sivan said.

According to Sivan, the capacity enhancement is not restricted to GSLV Mk III alone but also to other rockets as it would bring down the overall launch cost.

But that doesn’t mean ISRO would freeze development of higher payload rockets.

“We have the capability to design and build over six-tonne payload rockets. We will start designing for bigger rockets,” Sivan remarked.

“Our major objectives are to increase the production of rockets so as to increase the number of satellite launches; enhance our rocket’s capability; look at reduction of rocket production cost; develop and realise the small rocket with a carrying capacity of 500 kg and also realise reusable launch vehicle/rocket,” Sivan remarked.

According to him, to increase the production of rockets, the space agency is looking at transferring the technology for making Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket to industries.

“We are working out the methodologies like joint venture for that purpose,” Sivan said.

That apart, ISRO is also open for transferring the technologies developed by it to the private sector for commercialisation and wider use.

“For instance, we will be transferring the technology for making lithium-ion battery that could be used to power automobiles,” Sivan added.

Sivan said ISRO is also focusing on developing a reusable launch vehicle that involves a lot of new technologies and the Scramjet engine which in turn would reduce costs.

According to him, the first half of 2018 will be busy with the launch of Chandrayaan II (moon mission), GSAT 6A and a navigation satellite as the replacement for the first of the seven navigation satellites.

On January 12, ISRO launched its remote sensing satellite Cartosat.

Sixty-year-old Sivan, the new head of the Indian space agency, is not shy of saying that he wore trousers and chappals for the first time when he stepped into the Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) here for a degree in aeronautical engineering.

“I studied in Tamil medium in a government-owned school. I wore only dhoti and shirt without any footwear till I finished my graduation at the ST Hindu College in Nagercoil. Only after joining MIT did I start wearing trousers and chappals,” Sivan told IANS.

Son of a farmer, Sivan used to help his father in farming and also in his vegetables/fruits trading activity during his school days. Today, as the head of one of the world’s premier space agencies, Sivan’s task is cut out.

Sivan’s elder son has completed electronics and communication engineering and the younger son is pursuing a graduate degree in animation while his wife is a homemaker.

Queried about his management style Sivan said: “I delegate work and expect deliverables as promised. Space system is unforgiving. If there is a problem, it will fail.”

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Maoist poster found in Odisha capital threatening to kill missing Kashmiri student

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Bhubaneswar | March 5 2018
A poster allegedly put up by the Maoists was found at Baramunda bus stand creating panic among locals here this morning.
The poster was put up on the wall under flyover with a message demanding the government to release top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda, who is currently lodged in jail, in seven days or else the Kashmiri student studying at Bhubaneswar AIIMS Suhail Aijaz, who is missing since Feb 9, will be killed.
The Maoists in the poster said that Suhail is in their custody. If the government fails to release Sabyasachi Panda, they will eliminate the Kashmiri student.
Also, the red rebels through the poster threatened explosions at Bhubaneswar railway station and police stations on March 11 if their demand is not met as soon as possible.
While there is no breakthrough in the missing Kashmiri student and a team of commissionerate police returned Bhubaneswar from Kolkata with clueless about him, the latest poster indicates Maoist link in connection with missing of Suhail, who is yet to be traced by police. The poster posed as a bigger challenge to the police, who are yet to clear the authenticity of the poster.
The twin city commissionerate police is investigating into the matter to find out alleged abduction of Suhail by Maoists and authenticity of the poster.
We recovered a handwritten poster and it is being investigated, said DCP Satyabrata Bhoi.
Normally, the Maoists put up the posters in their letterhead using red ink. However, this poster found at Baramunda bus stand was written in blue ink.
When asked to Sabyasachi Panda’s wife Subhashree alias Mili Panda about the poster, she refused any Maoist role behind putting up the poster at Baramunda bus stand.
She refuted the allegations that Sabyasachi’s supporters were behind the incident. She clearly said that her husband was never the cadre belonging to the banned CPI(Maoist), which has allegedly put up the poster on wall under flyover at Baramunda.
“Since my husband is facing trial and legal process in a series of cases, it is baseless to say that any of his supporters will do such thing to release him from jail,” Mili Panda said.

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3 sisters found with decomposed body of woman

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Bankura (WB), Mar 2 2018

The decomposed body of a 60-year-old woman was recovered from a house here where her three sisters, all mentally unstable, were also living, police said today.

The police got the information over phone about

the incident yesterday and recovered the body of Archana Pal from her house at Pratap Bagan area here in the district.

Superintendent of Police Sukhendu Heera said possibly she died on Wednesday.

The body was sent for post-mortem examination.

Her three sisters — all mentally unstable and physically ill — were taken to hospital, he said.

One of them was admitted to the hospital while others were released, the officer said.

They four were the only occupants of the house and their parents had died earlier.

PTI

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MoS Defence says situation at LAC sensitive, cautions against increased ISIS threat

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New Delhi | March 1 2018

Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre on Thursday said the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was “sensitive” and has the potential of escalation.

“The situation along LAC (with China) is sensitive. Incidents of patrolling, transgression and standoff have the potential of escalation,” Bhamre said while speaking at the annual army seminar here.

He also said religious fundamentalism was rising and Pakistan was acting as a conduit of eastward spread of Islamic State (IS) ideology.

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