GSAT-17 – the latest in a long line of ‘Made in India, for India’ communication satellites

GSAT-17, launched on an Ariane 5 rocket today, is the 31st communication satellite to roll off ISRO’s production lines.

The very first one was APPLE, the ‘Ariane Passenger Payload Experiment’, which the European Space Agency launched for free on their fledgling Ariane 1 rocket 36 years ago. This experimental spacecraft was, as an ISRO brochure noted at the time, “conceived as a stepping stone towards future operational national communication satellites which can provide communication, direct TV broadcast and meteorological services from a geostationary orbit.”

The first such operational communication satellite designed and built by ISRO, INSAT-2A, went into space, again on an Ariane rocket, in July 1992.… Click here to read the complete article

Space Entrepreneurship – Indian Space Conclave 2017

Students for Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) is a worldwide student-run chapter that aims to impart knowledge about space and astronomy. SEDS educates people about the benefits of space by providing opportunities. SEDS India is the governing body of all SEDS student chapters across the country.

SEDS – India, founded in 2004, is a parent organisation which currently constitutes 8 chapters in various colleges around India. The headquarters of SEDS India resides at VIT University. SEDS-VIT has contributed immensely to the development of space technology with projects such as NASA’s CanSat, ERC’16 and SpaceX Hyperloop.

The global rise of space start-ups in recent years has triggered a mass shift of young scientists and researchers towards the field of aerospace and space science.… Click here to read the complete article

What It Was Like to Watch the Mk III Launch Live – and Why You Should Watch the Next One

To a space enthusiast, going to watch a rocket launch feels quite like making a pilgrimage. The experiences have interesting similarities. You prepare for your journey with a deep sense of expectation, you plan your travel so that you arrive at the perfect moment, so that you don’t miss out on that moment of truth. Finally, the reward for your journey is that magnificent view, and the emotions stirred within at that awe-inspiring moment. For a space-geek, June 5 was one of those days, when India made history.

I’m also a big fan of spreading the word on how space can be useful to the common man, and the launch made for an opportunity to take some friends who didn’t work in the space sector along and show them how things worked in Sriharikota.… Click here to read the complete article

Providing satellite-powered data analytics to empower lives of farmers

Over 12,000 suicides were reported in the agricultural sector of India every year since 2013. One of the fundamental reasons for such manifestation of unfortunate incidents of suicides in the farm sector in India is a large number of farmers living below the poverty line. The question remains how do you address this problem in short term while you try to double-quadruple the income of farmers over a period of time.

The crop insurance claims in India are likely to touch Rs 13,000 crore (~$2b) in the 2016-17 crop year ending next month, in spite of good monsoon, indicating other risks weighing heavy on the farm sector.… Click here to read the complete article