Sunday, January 30, 2011

India to launch Estonia

        Here is something  interesting which ``Beyond Moon and Mars (BMM)'' came to know through secretary of India chapter of Moon Society, Pradeep Mohandas. Thanks Pradeep.

        Among the nations which have selected India to launch its satellite is Estonia.  This country which gained independence from the Soviet Union is close to Finland and BMM found that even this tiny nation which is hardly hits the headldines places a lot of importance on science.

       Ask a school kid where Estonia is and do not be surprised if he or she has not even heard about it.

       Estonia's scientific goals include journeying into space. Right now it does not have any rocket programme, but it is designing and developing a satellite. 

       Interestingly, once again it is the students who are working on this project. According to a news report, the satellite is being developed by a group of Tartu and Tallinn students to test a solar sail invented by Helsinki University professor Pekka Janhunen,

      Solar sails are gaining importance these days because once this technology is proved, it can increase the payload capacity. Japan and the US have launched solar sails and more space faring countries are planning similar flights keeping in view its advantage.

      Mart Noorma, a teacher at the University of Tartu, says the best offer for launching the satellite has come from India. The launching would cost 60,000 euros, said Noorma.
      The satellite weighs one kilogram to save on the volume - the biggest limit on cost.  

     Tentatively it is slated for launch in 2012.

     The information comes at a time when hectic preparations are underway at Sriiharikota for the launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (Pslv) carrying to two satellites which involves students---YouthSat, a dream project of APJ Abdul Kalam, and X Sat made by the students of NTU university Singapore. This of course will be with the main payload which is Resourcesat. Provisionally, Isro officials have indicated that the lift off could be around February 20.2011.

     Sure, we can look forward to more student sat projects in the coming days.

     God Speed.



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