×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

India's Successful Commercial Satellite Launch

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the join-the-club dept.

Space 168

An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday India successfully launched an Italian astronomical satellite. A BBC article (view video clip) notes that the launch grants India membership in the exclusive group of nations that can sustain commercial satellite launches. India's launch vehicle has less overall capacity than the competition — up to 1,500 kg to orbit — but the country plans to sweep the low end of the market by offering the lowest cost per launched kilogram for smaller payloads."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

168 comments

Next superpowers... (1)

Skippyboy (978787) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859223)

I have read a lot of Sci-Fi books (even the Firefly series on TV) and the general consensus is that the next superpowers will be India and China.. I guess this just fits right into the timeline...

Re:Next superpowers... (4, Interesting)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859337)

Well, I don't know if in a multilateral world (as opposed to the Bi-polarized Cold War world) there is space to the concept of "Superpower" anymore, but if there is (along with India and China), Brazil, South Africa and Australia stands a chance too. A lot of economic and technological development happening barely unnoticed south of the equator too.

Re:Next superpowers... (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#18860135)

I'd put the EU in that list as well. Was the EU left out because it is just assumed they will be a major player, or because they are so socialist and it is assumed they won't be?

Re:Next superpowers... (2, Informative)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 6 years ago | (#18860199)

I left E.U., Japan, U.S. and Russia out because they are already major players.

Re:Next superpowers... (3, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#18860321)

That's the reason I hoped you had left them off, rather than the typical US "dang soshlist ferners cain't do nutin' right!" reasoning. ;-)

Re:Next superpowers... (0, Troll)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861689)

Oh, is that the typical reasoning? Is that anything like the typical US bashing you just demonstrated? Or is the smiley supposed to negate it?

Re:Next superpowers... (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861907)

You don't think people in America have a knee-jerk reaction against socialism for the poor? I say socialism for the poor because our country is founded on the principle of socialism for the rich.

The smiley negated nothing, and here is a raspberry just for you :-P

Re:Next superpowers... (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#18863259)

Socialism for the rich is an contradiction in terms. So is socialism for ehe poor, socialism is for everyone, that is the point of it, it is meant to eliminate both rich and poor and make everyone equal. If not, it's not socialism.

Re:Next superpowers... (2, Interesting)

Semptimilius (917640) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861571)

And the reason you put Australia on the list but left off Canada? Assuming it would be absorbed into the US?

Re:Next superpowers... (3, Insightful)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861675)

Canada is also already one of the big players, and a very nice one too. One of the biggest economies of the world, fierce enough to have entered both world wars as soon as Britain did, but peaceful enough to stay out of most of the conflicts the rest of the world got involved afterwards.

I didn't mentioned the current top dogs because then can't go higher, they are already at the top. But Brasil, India, China, Australia, South Africa, all these countries still have an unfulfilled potential, and I hope that in the next decades they will get their act straight and rise to the place they are supposed to be.

Re:Next superpowers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18863435)

Australia has a tiny population, with a pretty good gdp per capita. Exactly what unfulfilled potential are you talking about? Will they put kangaroos to work?

Re:Next superpowers... (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 6 years ago | (#18860507)

The US won't let any other superpowers emerge. If anybody gets too powerful, the US will just bomb the hell out of them.

Re:Next superpowers... (2, Insightful)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861115)

Good lucky bombing big and populous countries like:

  • China: Most populated country, 3rd biggest country in territory, 2nd GDP
  • India: 2nd most populated, 7th biggest in territory, 4th GDP
  • Brasil: 5th most populated, 5th biggest in territory, 10th GDP


Even if indiscriminately nuking these countries (all of them reportedly with nuclear capabilities) would not ensure Mutual Assured Destruction, the aftermath of this unlikely event would be disastrous for U.S. and worldwide economy in general, and the current politic of alliances would pit the world in another World War, but this time involving the southern hemisphere too. Just think about it: any of these 3 countries mentioned above are bigger than the whole Europe (minus Russia).

Re:Next superpowers... (1)

bheekling (976077) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861511)

Brazil has nuclear weapons? I think not [wikipedia.org].

Re:Next superpowers... (1)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861579)

I said *reportedly* nuclear capabilities [wikipedia.org].

Re:Next superpowers... (1)

bheekling (976077) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861743)

The first line of your link says

"Based on Brazil's history, it is believed that the country does not possess any weapons of mass destruction."

Also, If you scroll down, my link [wikipedia.org] lists Brazil under "States formerly possessing nuclear programs".

Sure, you could say "What idiotic country would dismantle its entire nuclear arsenal", and you're probably right, but thats assuming they actually had nukes in the first place, at which point both of will us run out of evidence to back either of our claims and this conversation will degenerate into something not worth having.

Hence, lets just drop this highly debatable and forever-non-conclusive thread right here :)

Re:Next superpowers... (1)

weekendli (930534) | more than 6 years ago | (#18862211)

US can bring DEMOCRACY to them

Re:Next superpowers... (3, Informative)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 6 years ago | (#18863291)

Well, good lucky bringing democracy to Brasil. Because (don't they teach history and geography around there? wherever there is), Brazil is already a democracy, and a strong one too. The current president, Lula [wikipedia.org], just won the second term receiving impressive 58.2 million votes, after winning his first term with 56.7 million votes, for a population of around 180 million people.

Compare that with 50.4 million votes for Bush on his first term, and 62 million votes on his second term, to measure the strength of Brazilian democracy, taking in account that, differently from U.S.A, not only there are more than 2 effective parties in Brazil but any candidate from any party appears equally on the ballots in the whole federal territory.

Add that to a nationwide deployed electronic voting system (even in the middle of the amazon forest there is electronic voting) that really works, and you can understand how much Brazilian people trust the electoral process there, unlike U.S.A.

I cannot speak for India (that happen to be a democracy too, afaik), but at least Brazil needs no help from U.S. Actually, the more far away U.S. gets from Latin America democracies, the better (go lookup "Operation Condor" and "Escuela de las americas" to understand how U.S. undermine Latin American democracies in the past).

Re:Next superpowers... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18859653)

We're gonna rape your sweet virgin ass tonight

Signed,
Tha Brothas (Niggers)

Small payloads? (-1, Troll)

Himring (646324) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859257)

I guess their first astronaut will be that little, weird, dancing kid who smokes....

Someone link the vid plz?

Re:Small payloads? (4, Informative)

namityadav (989838) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859405)

I think that this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Space_Research _Organisation [wikipedia.org] article has some good details about the Indian Space program, for those interested.

Re:Small payloads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18859535)

you are such a karma wh0re

Re:Small payloads? (2, Interesting)

namityadav (989838) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859619)

No, my dear friend, I am an Indian. And I want people to get to know more about the Indian program before they claim that the money could have been better spent on "sanitation" instead :-)

Re:Small payloads? (3, Interesting)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 6 years ago | (#18860803)

for those interested.
Move along. Most of the people here who get modded up seem to be more interested in poking fun at the Indians because of their food, the way they talk, a fictitious character in The Simpsons, or some done-to-death jokes about outsourcing. But I'm sure they'll stop laughing when they realise that the unipolar world centered on Washington hasn't materialised, and finally gotten the concept of people with dark skin doing something clever.

Article wrong, payload is 1 ton (2200 lbs, 1000 kg (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18861637)


The Fucking Article is incorrect; the payload is 1 ton (2200 lbs, 1000 kg).

Pakistan is said to be doing similar, only with high-yield bombs !!!

Welcome! New muslim overlords - Welcome !!

W00T! (1, Insightful)

eviloverlordx (99809) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859263)

It's a good thing to see another country getting into space. Pretty soon we'll have Bollywood 24/7, but I hope that the Indian government can use their own satellites to help improve the lives of the average Indian citizen.

Re:W00T! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18859401)

I hope that the Indian government can use their own satellites to help improve the lives of the average Indian citizen.

It's possible, but I don't know of any sattelites that have the ability to clean up filth from space. I think the money would probably have been better spent on sanitation.

Re:W00T! (5, Interesting)

namityadav (989838) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859567)

No government spends all it's money on sanitation first before looking into something more progressive like Space research. I appreciate it when a country looks towards the future, and not just the immediate short-term solutions.
The somewhat betterment of the conditions (And I do not turn a blind eye to the fact that these betterments are still only on the surface) in India is largely because of it's new-found IT power, opening of market to the west and getting more exposure to the outside world. Not because India was employing more people in the Sanitation department. Continuing in the same direction will have a good enough trickle-down effect to eventually help sanitation too (I know that you used sanitation only as an example. I am also using it only as an example).

Moreover, unlike most other space agencies, the Indian program still focuses a lot on educational broadcasting and remote sensing. Better than launching those "Spy" satellite, IMHO.

Or, for ICBMs... (1, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859521)

I hope that the Indian government can use their own satellites to help improve the lives of the average Indian citizen.


Or, at least use the rockets for ICBMs to mess up the lives of the average Chinese/Pakistani citizen. Remember, one of the goals of the original space race was to show the enemy that anything could be dropped on them at any time.

I wonder if the U.S. will turn a blind eye to such things (like we did with our recent fissionable materials agreements) because India is currently our friend...

Re:Or, for ICBMs... (3, Interesting)

bommai (889284) | more than 6 years ago | (#18860269)

While I am sure India would like to have a deterrant against China and Pakistan in a military context, satellites in India have been put to good use. Most of rural India can get accurate weather forecasts that helps them figure out when to plant, and harvest their crops. It also predicts weather patterns and climate changes. Television and other broadband communication is also possible. India has several satellites in orbit. The Geosynchronous satellites were all designed and made in India but were launched from French Guyana (typically) from a EU made rocket. With India getting better at making launch vehicles, they could build and launch satellites on their own as well as provide launch support for other countries. I am glad they are doing this and I am glad that gives hope and aspirations to generations of Indians. Remember, hope and aspirations count for a lot in the betterment of a country.

Only PolySci and SocialWork use "betterment" (3, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#18860469)

...in the betterment of a country.


Only political science and social work majors use "betterment" when the rest of the English-speaking world would use "improvement".

Re:Only PolySci and SocialWork use "betterment" (3, Funny)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861957)

Only political science and social work majors use "betterment" when the rest of the English-speaking world would use "improvement".

Why? It's a perfectly cromulent word.

Re:Only PolySci and SocialWork use "betterment" (1)

bommai (889284) | more than 6 years ago | (#18862509)

Well said, and I am an engineer and I find betterment entirely agreeable ;-)

Re:Only PolySci and SocialWork use "betterment" (3, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#18862807)

Proper use of "betterment" embiggens the language.

Re:W00T! (0, Flamebait)

tim620 (1052986) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859891)

...or they could turn into fat mindless slobs who sit in front of their satellite TV's. Then they would be just like an average American...

Re:W00T! (1)

mrokkam (783202) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861231)

Actually, the Indian government has launched many satellites to help it's own people.

India does not really have many known spy satellites. What it does have many of is: Weather and Remote sensing satellites to help farmers through rainfall prediction, actual land usage and study etc.
India also has launched the INSAT series of satellites for communications, telephone lines, Television broadcasting. Some transponders on these satellites have been reserved for distance education programs so that universities like the IITs can broadcast classes to the remote areas.

Indian satellites also supply some of the cheapest high resolution photographs. The IRS series were the first to allow public access to satellite pictures of as high resoltion as 3.5m till the IKONOS was launched in 1999...
Soo... It's a good thing:).

Centre of solar system (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859289)

Astronomical satellite? Are the Italians still trying to prove that Earth is at the centre of the solar system and the universe?

Re:Centre of solar system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18859627)

Not exactly. It's something about gamma-ray and x-ray analysis afaik.
Aside your poor humour, it's a satellite like many other: The news, I guess, it's about the India Launch.

Re:Centre of solar system (0, Troll)

Russ1642 (1087959) | more than 6 years ago | (#18860299)

It took them until 1992 to formally apologize to Galileo. I'll maintain my scepticism of Italian science for the time being.

Re:Centre of solar system (2, Informative)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 6 years ago | (#18860739)

Actually the Italians have what seems to be a productive (if low budget) space agency. While they don't run many of their own high profile missions, they have payloads attached to both the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Casini-Huygens mission.

Not to mention that the top orbital mechanics professor in my department is an Italian, and the Italian grad students I've gotten to work with have been wonderful. Plus of course Galileo himself was Italian as well, even if his government and church weren't the most supportive.

Re:Centre of solar system (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861515)

even if his government and church weren't the most supportive
And the understatement of the year award goes to... Nyeerrmm!

Re:Centre of solar system (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861771)

Do you think that maybe, perhaps, that was my point or do I have to draw you a picture? Really kills a joke when you explain it that way. So here goes: Yes the Italians employ great scientists. They have a history of great science. They also have a history of oppressing and denying that work. Usually this bit of irony is rather funny but not on /. I guess. I promise to be dull and make no attempt at humour in the future. Of course the same joke could be made about the present day USA. (Oops, I broke my promise)

Re:Centre of solar system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18861803)

As an italian, I'm biased, but ok. I should point out that i'm a very critical person with respect to my nation, so I could be biased in the opposite sense.

That said, italian scientists are smart. Really smart. They have a broad range of knowledge, and they are very malleable when comes to finding solutions to new problems. Nevertheless, Italy is damn far from the top in terms of research, innovation and production. why?

so many reasons:

1) first of all, a PhD gets paid around 880 eur per month. this is barely sufficient to sustain yourself in a small city, and it's impossible to sustain yourself in Milan or Rome. This means that most people do their 3 years PhD at a loss. This makes very difficult for the smart guys to continue, because they have no money in their bank account to wait for an available research position, and they leave. This is even more annoying if you consider that a confirmed researcher (a researcher in the position for at least 3 years) earns 1800-2000 eur per month, while a professor earns 4000-6000 or more.

2) Corruption is endemic in the Italian universities. Grants are made "ad personam", questions for the PhD exams are passed by the professor to the students. Professors also behave as barons, they want to keep control of everything, and they harass and stop research, funds and grants to smart people that could represent a menace to their stronghold. Also, professors maintain their position until they are 75 years old, limiting the entrance of fresh ideas and people.

3) we have the pope, very stupid politicians that obey what the pope and his congregation shout every day (you wouldn't believe the crap we are forced to hear every day by our TV news... "the pope did this, the pope said that" every day) and very stupid people that also support them. With the pope, any research involving biology is almost impossible. We also have environmentalists, causing a lot of trouble (read: you have to have a lawyer to buy or dispose something as simple as acetone) for every research involving chemistry, nuclear medicine. Let's not talk about any need of reactants that could potentially be used for cocaine or explosives production... many laboratories spend an awful amount of time and resources dealing with this crap

4) there's no coordination and control of students and PhDs. They are left alone most of the time, so either they learn to swim by theirselfes, or they go down. This limits the skills due to lack of mentoring, but sometimes produces some interesting genius, and in general teaches a strong do-by-yourself attitude.

For these and many other reasons, all the smart italian researchers look for an opportunity outside of italy as soon as possible. I'm one of those. And for this reason, I always say that the typical, stereotypical italian resides in italy. The atypical italian resides outside of italy, but in general is proud and consider himself to be a _real_ italian.

I can hear it now (2, Funny)

Intron (870560) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859295)

ISS: Houston, we have a problem.

New Delhi: Hello, please spell your name and give me your complete customer ID.

Re:I can hear it now (0, Offtopic)

arcite (661011) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859447)

You forgot, (in faux american accent):

Hello! My name is Marry-Beth, how may I help you!? :)

Re:I can hear it now (1, Troll)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859675)

"Have you tried rebooting your spacecraft?"
"Do you have your Emergency Repair CD?"
...long, forehead whapping, circular conversation, going nowhere...
"I am most sorry that I am unable to help you with your meteorite damage problem."
"Is there anything else I can help you with?"

Re:I can hear it now (2, Funny)

zcubed (916242) | more than 6 years ago | (#18860251)

SpaceCo: Thank you for calling SpaceCo technical support, my name is David (pronounced Dahveed) how may I help you?
ISS: I am having trouble with my 2nd lab computer
SpaceCo: What I need you to do is make sure the power cord is plugged in. I will wait while you check.
ISS: Yes, it is plugged in! The mouse pointer isn't moving when I touch the touch pad.
SpaceCo: Ok, now what I need you to do is to plug the power cord into a different device to confirm that is is working correctly. I will wait while you check.
ISS: WTF? I just told you that the mouse pointer isn't moving! The computer is powered on and I can see the screen!
SpaceCo: Ok, now what I need you to do is make sure that the lights are green on the monitor and computer. I will wait while you check.
ISS: Listen skippy this shit isn't funny. The computer is powered on and everything seems fine except for the mouse!
SpaceCo: Ok, now what I need you to do is...

Re:I can hear it now (-1, Flamebait)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 6 years ago | (#18863011)

SpaceCo: Thank you for calling SpaceCo technical support, my name is David (pronounced Dahveed) how may I help you?
Oh, look everybody! See what he did? He made fun of the way Indians talk! Isn't that just hillarious? Let's see what else he can make fun of, like their food, cinema, or maybe the colour of their skin.

Fucking racist prick. It's time you motherfuckers were modded 'troll.' (For the record, I'm not from India, but that doesn't mean I can' tbe offended by racism.)

YEIGH! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18859313)

GO INDIA! Seriously.

Re:YEIGH! (1)

Wolfrider (856) | more than 6 years ago | (#18863323)

Yah, I'm big against outsourcing and all but when it comes to space delivery == cheap AND reliable, I say "Go India" -- if they can do it, FWAG**.

**Fine, well and good

Does anyone know... (1)

CyberLord Seven (525173) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859433)

...how much their atom bomb weighs.

Wonder what Pakistan thinks of this?

Re:Does anyone know... (4, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859563)

Their bomb is very touchy about its weight you insensitive clod. And no it's not fat, it just has an alternative structural framework.

pun (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18859453)

I hope this will help them to curry favor with other space-industrialized nations.

Nice, but not important (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859553)

There more important launch is that of Chandrayaan, India's Lunar Probe. That will show them getting out of Earth's well, as well as ability to send a probe elsewhere. That helps everybody WRT to understanding what is on the moon esp at the poles. Do not get me wrong. I am not trying to be glib about India's success. But they have done numerous other LEO (and I believe a couple of GEO) launches. So other than being commercial, it is nothing.

Could be very important... (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 6 years ago | (#18862821)

I am sure if India establishes itself as a commercial player and can start making a profit from launching satellites, this could prove to be *very* important. If not to the rest of the world (though I am sure the other commercial launchers are watching closely) then at least to India's domestic space program. I am sure the Indian government is far more likely to listen to their scientists requests to send up costly science experiments into space if the space program is closer to financial self-sufficiency.

Obviously the military will be more than happy if a large number of successful launches go ahead as a result: this will be a clear message to potential aggressive neighbours that India has a reliable delivery system to anywhere on the planet for 1000kg nuclear warheads.

Holy Cow... (3, Funny)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859605)

What CAN'T you outsource to India?

And there's a "thank you, come again" joke around here somewhere...

Re:Holy Cow... (1)

Jerry Rivers (881171) | more than 6 years ago | (#18860079)

Not sure this has anything to do with outsourcing, but it appears to have everything to do with good old fashioned commercial competition. Good for India.

This summary seems a bit odd (0, Troll)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859633)

"Yesterday India successfully launched an Italian astronomical satellite [CC]. A BBC article (view video clip [CC]) notes that the launch grants India membership in the exclusive group of nations that can sustain commercial satellite launches [CC]. India's launch vehicle has less overall capacity than the competition -- up to 1,500 kg to orbit -- but the country plans to sweep the low end of the market by offering the lowest cost per launched kilogram for smaller payloads."
From what I understand, if you would give these guys a license http://www.space-rockets.com/arsa.html [space-rockets.com] they would probably launch satellites for a 12 pack and some bragging rights, especially on that 'low end of the market' sector.

conjecture? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18859983)

...but the country plans to sweep the low end of the market by offering the lowest cost per launched kilogram for smaller payloads.
Could the /. rocket junkies comment on that? I'm not up to date. I would have thought there is more cargo to launch than launch capacity.

Having a lower cost would smooth attracting clients to a new player, and make that player most attractive for expansion, but are they really going to "sweep" (replace) the competition in this weight class?

The statement sounds like marketing to deflect attention from having the lowest single-load capacity. ie, 'Our tech isn't the biggest, but it's the most efficient; we know what we're doing - we're not a half-assed national pride effort.'

list please? (3, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 6 years ago | (#18859985)

It is too much to ask, that a link labeled "nations that can sustain commercial satellite launches" might actually include information about which nations can sustain commercial satellite launches?

PSLV- lite (2, Informative)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#18860019)

The PSLV I remember was a 1500Kg class vehicle and the summary said it is on the low end. The article clarifies that in this mission they launched it without the six strap-on boosters that nominally forms the zero stage. Here they have launched 530 Kg in to 550Km orbit. Not bad. But the base vehicle is not the low end of the market. What ISRO has demonstrated is its flexibility in using PSLV to launch 1500Kg sattelites or PSLV-lite to launch 500Kg sattelites.

It is a good job, but launching rockets is not rocket science. One dark possibility is that they are having problems with the six strap on booster configuration and are trying to salvage a reduced capacity vehicle from the detritus of a failed project. I remember the crash of ASLV (a fore runner of PSLV, two strap on booster on their basic SLV-3). My prof was in the post martem committee and was ranting on and on about how dumb their simulation of booster rocket was. "Thrust is 100% for 45 seconds and 0% after that? Why didn't the stupid hacks code up the table of thrust vs time from the static firing?" or something along those lines.

Re:PSLV- lite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18860857)

The reason that the 6 strap-ons were not used is because they were not required to launch something of this weight class. This satellite weight 530kg; WTF do you think they need a full configuration that hauls 3 times the weight?

"launching rockets is not rocket science"
"One dark possibility..."
"... salvage a reduced capacity...."
"...detritus of a failed project..."

You think PSLV is a failed project? This is fuckin' hilarious! You must be Indian --- only Indians take as much pride in running down an immensely successful Indian project with such fancy words, without checking any facts. Do you write for an Indian newspaper? That would explain everything!

Re:PSLV- lite (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861817)

The strap-ons are cheap. Six strap-ons together costs less than the first stage of a PSLV. ISRO would have gotten a bigger bang for the buck, by adding the strap ons and putting 1500Kg in the orbit. Cost goes up by some 25%, payload goes up by 300%. Why didn't they?

Re:PSLV- lite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18862357)

Launch what 1500kg? The contract was for a 530kg satellite, and no other payload was needed to be launched with this vehicle (except for an avionics test package). Should they hump up 1000kg of ballast just so that they could use the strap ons? PSLV is a configurable launcher, and of course they are going to use the optimal configuration for a given mission.

Did you try even try to read ISRO's PSLV-C8 mission page [isro.org]?

So before you tell me what a strap-on costs vs a first stage, could you first give any evidence of your claim that PSLV is a "failed launcher"? I guess nine successive successful launches (including one that launched four satellites on the same mission) isn't good enough.

And, BTW, foolish ISRO is planning to use the same "detritus" of a PSLV to launch India's moon mission Chandrayaan-I. Quick ... send them email and tell them what fools they are.

Re:PSLV- lite (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#18863335)

Indians have this digital mode of admiration. If Dhoni hits a century the install him as a minor God. India crashes out of world cup, they go demolish that poor guy's home. When things are going well with ISRO, fanbois pile on and attack any one daring to cast aspersions on their apple of the eye. If the next rocket blows up in the launch pad you guys will high tail. The time to ask tough questions is when things are going well. That is the time, hangers on and side kicks strut in the reflected glory. The time to show support is when things go wrong. Someday you will realize that. Someday you will learn the difference between praising the effort and worshipping success.

You may have the last word.

And when you need help... (1, Funny)

christoofar (451967) | more than 6 years ago | (#18860051)

and you call the control center that is monitoring the satellite's orbital decay, you get a Bangalore employee named "Bob" who asks you to reboot your PC.

In other news.. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#18860233)

india will be sending another covert operative over the pakistan border to "Fireworks-R-Us" to resupply for their next space launch..

thank you thank you i'll be here all night!

Quandry (1)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 6 years ago | (#18860265)

Do you suppose they have to call the US for technical support with the satellite and then complain because they can't understand our accent?

fantastic news (1)

symes (835608) | more than 6 years ago | (#18860427)

I love Indian cuisine. And now I rejoice in the knowledge that should I ever make it into orbit I can send for a curry!

Racism acceptable on /. where India is concerned (5, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 6 years ago | (#18860887)

I've all but stopped reading /. threads on Indian technical developments. The predictable torrent of snide little stereotypical racist comments that seem to get modded 'funny' is a bit off-putting, and they usually outnumber any vaguely interesting or informative comments by about 7 to 1. The /. crew needs to grow the hell up.

Re:Racism acceptable on /. where India is concerne (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18861359)

I've all but stopped reading /. threads on Indian technical developments. The predictable torrent of snide little stereotypical racist comments that seem to get modded 'funny' is a bit off-putting, and they usually outnumber any vaguely interesting or informative comments by about 7 to 1. The /. crew needs to grow the hell up.


Hits a little too close to home eh? Suck it up! And.. why are you still here?

Re:Racism acceptable on /. where India is concerne (2)

EMeta (860558) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861659)

First, if something gets modded funny by more people than mod it overrated, than it is funny. /.'s mod system is as good as anything else at defining humor, and better than a lot of TV network panels, if you ask me. They're certainly not perfect, but funny is not something individuals can pick so well. Can something be funny and insulting? Sure, but if you're going to get offended by something in that vein, I'm not sure /. (or many public message boards) are for you.

Second, the Indian customer service phenomenon, which is the majority of cultural humor on this topic, is a big deal in India; has made a huge impact on life there--and they have their own sitcom about it!* Do the jokes get cliched and watered down after a while? Certainly. And some are much better than others. But I for one am glad that they are there.

Re:Racism acceptable on /. where India is concerne (3, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861815)

First, if something gets modded funny by more people than mod it overrated, than it is funny. /.'s mod system is as good as anything else at defining humor, and better than a lot of TV network panels, if you ask me. They're certainly not perfect, but funny is not something individuals can pick so well. Can something be funny and insulting? Sure, but if you're going to get offended by something in that vein, I'm not sure /. (or many public message boards) are for you.
Oh, so not only is racism funny, but /. is now a racists-only zone? Thanks for clearing that up.

Second, the Indian customer service phenomenon, which is the majority of cultural humor on this topic, is a big deal in India; has made a huge impact on life there--and they have their own sitcom about it!* Do the jokes get cliched and watered down after a while? Certainly. And some are much better than others. But I for one am glad that they are there.
Well bully for you. Personally I think that racist jokes are as inappropriate as they are cliché and irrelevant to the topics that provoke them. How would you like it if every story submitted about the US space program was met with a deluge of wisecracks about redneck moonshine-distillers, John Wayne, a gun-toting population, and your half-educated president? You'd start to wonder if it were possible to have a sensible discussion on anything, wouldn't you?

Re:Racism acceptable on /. where India is concerne (1)

bheekling (976077) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861997)

How would you like it if every story submitted about the US space program was met with a deluge of wisecracks about redneck moonshine-distillers, John Wayne, a gun-toting population, and your half-educated president?

<confused>I thought they already were... </confused>

Re:Racism acceptable on /. where India is concerne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18863393)

Yes, they already are. But overall, they are in big minority. But when it comes to India, any discussion if full of 'funny' posts.

And _that_ is racism, what the GP was pointing to.

Re:Racism acceptable on /. where India is concerne (1)

starkravingmad (882833) | more than 6 years ago | (#18862805)

In the /. view of the world, India consists of two kinds of people - one who make curry and the other who answer phones. Obviously the rocket scientists who helped launch this were answering phones at night..or making curry in your local Indian restaurant.. it's funny even if it's repeated ad nauseam.

Oh and I love how Microsoft are anti competitive and the RIAA are bullies but /.'ers think nothing of constantly making disparaging remarks about Indians when it's their jobs that are being threatened. For the record I don't like the RIAA or Microsoft, but I don't like hypocrisy either.

can you blame them? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#18862619)

slashdot is a news site for techies.

the tech field has been outsourced out from under them, and what has not been outsourced from under them has been cut off or smothered by the dmca.

indians need to realize that while theyre getting the snyde jabs theyre also walking away with all these people's jobs.

Re:can you blame them? (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 6 years ago | (#18862901)

indians need to realize that while theyre getting the snyde jabs theyre also walking away with all these people's jobs.
So, because they're so competitive, they deserve to be the butt of racist jokes?

Re:can you blame them? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#18863165)

if by competitive you mean undercutting first world by living in "developing" conditions, settling for income which wouldn't qualify to pay for a refrigerator box in the middle of highway 1 let alone raise a family, then yeah.. it's competitive.

so lets see here.. youre really sensitive to racism but youre perfectly ok with the dispossession of the middle class of an entire nation for the sake of another which should be building its own middle class without draining the wealth of another... im confused as to what political affiliation youre supposed to have.

smaller payloads? (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861025)

the country plans to sweep the low end of the market by offering the lowest cost per launched kilogram for smaller payloads

So, more orbital debris. But at least this will be smaller stuff.

I'm still not thinking superpower... sorry (1)

DrBuzzo (913503) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861059)

Yet another sure sign of India's rise as a technological nation, however I think all the talk of a "superpower" is a bit premature. True, the country has come very far and is not a major producer of technology and the de-facto place to have outsourced technical services done. However, it's important to remember that the nation also has some of the worst abject poverty in the world and while they are launching satellite in one area, there are others where people cram onto hundred year old steam trains.

Hopefully, as time passes the standard of living will increase across the board, but as this happens, the price of labor will also increase, which will temper further growth. There are right now people willing to work on shipbreaking and other highly dangerous jobs for pennies a day. That labor force is part of what has made India successful in modern times. The population is huge and while good education exists, it's not available enough to all people or areas of the country.

Whether or not it is wise for a nation like India to invest in space systems and other high tech projects is subject to debate. On one hand, there are a lot of smaller local projects which the money could go to, but at the same time, diving into the world of high technology, electronics and aerospace may be the best bet for bringing such a country to the forfront.

They've come a long way, but lets not forget that they still have a long long way to go. Hopefully countries like India can become a model for how third world nations can rapidly improve their economic and social situations.

But are they competitive? (3, Interesting)

Palmyst (1065142) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861063)

According to various reports, they charged the Italians USD 11 million for the launch of the 350 kg satellite. Roughly $30k per kg while international norm is 10-15k per kg for LEO. Also the launch cost them $15 million. So the launch is still subsidized by the Indian government and they are charging the customer more than the market rate. How is this "commercial", and how is it competitive?

Re:But are they competitive? (2, Informative)

vvmaha2 (1092815) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861955)

Source: http://www.hindu.com/2007/04/24/stories/2007042414 931500.htm [hindu.com] While the international rates for launching a satellite ranged between $10,000 and $15,000 a kg, Antrix Corporation Limited (The marketing agency of the Department of Space, India) charged more because Agile had to be put into a specific orbit of about 550 km at a low inclination of 2.5 degrees to the equator, Mr. Sridhara Murthi said. This was a difficult orbit and inclination to achieve, and hence the premium rates.

Re:But are they competitive? (1)

Palmyst (1065142) | more than 6 years ago | (#18862539)

That makes an attempt at addressing the price itself, but it is not clear what is so "special" about this particular orbit that it deserves double to triple the price. I remain skeptical. It still doesn't address the fact that the launch cost 50% more than the price (which itself looks inflated) charged to the customer.

Sounds sort of like IT (1)

Tyr_7BE (461429) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861113)

"the country plans to sweep the low end of the market by offering the lowest cost per launched kilogram for smaller payloads"

And why not? It's been working VERY well for them so far. Replace "launched kilogram" with "line of code" and "palyoads" with "projects" and you have the very foundation of the Indian tech boom.

Not so subtle difference (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861205)

"nations that can sustain commercial satellite launches."

More accurately, "nations that can support the launching of commercial satellites". If a nation's support is required, it's not a commercial launch, it's a government launch. The parent's wording is misleading. That doesn't matter to most people. It does to those interested in commercial space development.

Governments do these things using peoples' money whether or not they want their money used that way. Companies do things with their own money and make more money by selling it to people who want it. There's no competitive market forces acting on a government, and so no expectation of profitability or even reasonable cost, which depends on being affordable to end users.

Outsourced, again! (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 6 years ago | (#18861617)

> the country plans to sweep the low end of the market by offering the lowest cost

Oh great. I just switched careers from programming to aerospace because my programming job was outsourced to India.

Porn industry, here I come!

Implications for SpaceX? (1)

DeafScribe (639721) | more than 6 years ago | (#18862023)

I'm wondering how this will affect Elon Musk and the SpaceX effort. They've intended to target the low-end of the launch market, and now they're up against a major nation. I would guess SpaceX can rely on some domestic military and academic research contracts, but that could rapidly become a competitive market as well. I wish both the Indians and Elon well, and hope to see vigorous competition that drives down the price per pound/kilo and delivers safe, reliable access to orbit.

hmm... (1)

d3m0nCr4t (869332) | more than 6 years ago | (#18862195)

...the lowest cost per launched kilogram for smaller payloads... What would be the price to get my 67kg mother-in-law into orbit ?

Now Gates Has No Excuse Not to Fly PSLV! (1)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 6 years ago | (#18862409)

As I said two weeks ago [slashdot.org]:

India has a "home grown" polar satellite launch vehicle now so if Gates wants people to take his stand in favor of unlimited H-1b engineers imported to the US seriously, he should launch himself to space on that vehicle.
Come on, Gates! Fly PSLV!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...