Chethan Kumar Profile picture
Poet | Journalist (Space, Science & More) @timesofindia | @APCSS Fellow | Expert Consultant On Two Space Films For @wbd
May 18 14 tweets 4 min read
#Thread #Update 

In a key milestone, #Chandrayaan3 project team, which is burning the midnight oil to meet the mid-July window for the launch, has begun the process of final assembly of payloads at the UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) in Bengaluru. 1/n Image @isro has adopted a cautious approach for the mission with chairman S Somanath having categorically directed scientists and engineers working on the project to ensure validation of all technologies, systems and subsystems. 2/n
Apr 1 13 tweets 4 min read
#Thread #Space

@isro, as part of plans to expand its ground station network, plans to build one in French Guiana. According to Isro, “technical discussion on establishing” the stn is on with CNES, ties with whom has expanded beyond EO to include human spaceflight & SSA. 1/n A senior Isro scientist said: “This will be what we call a gateway station, which will be used to link the proposed Indian Data Relay Satellites (IDRS). We’ve made the proposal and the site has been identified by our partners in France… 2/n
Feb 4 19 tweets 5 min read
#Thread #Space #UPDATE 

@isro has officially said the NASA-Isro SAR (#NISAR), a LEO observatory being jointly developed with @NASA “shall be launched from Indian soil in Q1 of 2024”, and its science operations will begin 90 days after it reaches the intended orbit. 1/n

Pic: JPL The synthetic aperture radar (SAR) payloads mounted on integrated radar instrument structure (IRIS) and the spacecraft bus are together called an observatory. 2/n
Jan 27 10 tweets 5 min read
#Update (2) #Space #Thread

@isro’s latest rocket, #SSLV, is geared for launch with the space agency aiming for an early Feb launch carrying three payloads. While the main payload will be #EOS7, the mission is also expected to launch #Janus1 from US' Antaris & an Indian sat. 1/n The Earth observation satellite #SSLV is scheduled to carry will be in the small satellite class with its mass not exceeding 200kg, while the other two satellites sharing the ride will be smaller. 2/n
Jan 26 12 tweets 5 min read
#Updates #Space #Thread

Had to be away. But here are some developments. More to follow later this evening or early tomorrow.

First, the #RLVTDLEX date will be fixed after the lifting trial is done. Isro will use Chinook as opposed to Mi17 as planned earlier. 1/n Image courtesy: @isro @isro, which has received a key payload #VELC for #AdityaL1 today, has completed survey and radiation studies at Fiji Islands for a temporary station being designed specifically for the Solar mission, while exploration of other sites is ongoing. 2/n
Dec 9, 2022 9 tweets 3 min read

@isro completed the first blow down test of the newly installed Trisonic Wind Tunnel at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), the space agency’s lead rocket-building agency, on Thursday. 1/n Trisonic Wind Tunnel is a system to aid aerodynamic design of rockets and re-entry spacecrafts by characterising a scaled model by evaluating forces, moments, load distribution, unsteady pressures, acoustic levels etc. 2/n
Dec 7, 2022 10 tweets 4 min read
#Thread #Space #India

In line with its renewed mandate to hand hold and encourage private industry, @isro and @SocialAlphaIN have launched a new innovation platform for the space sector: SpaceTech Innovation Network or #SpIN. 1/n Image This is India’s first dedicated platform for innovation curation & venture development for space entrepreneurial ecosystem. 2/n
Nov 28, 2022 23 tweets 9 min read
#Breaking #Stars #Galaxies #Thread

Today, @RRI_Bangalore (in pic) said in a first-of-its-kind work, using data from an Indian telescope, scientists have determined properties of radio luminous galaxies formed just 200-mn yrs after #BigBang — a period known as #CosmicDawn. 1/n Pointing out that telescopes, both ground and space-based, are aiming to capture faint signals from the depths of the cosmos to better the understanding of our Universe, RRI said they used the Shaped Antenna measurement of the background RAdio Spectrum-3 (#SARAS3) telescope. 2/n
Nov 28, 2022 14 tweets 4 min read
#JUSTIN #Thread #Space

Space-tech start-up @AgnikulCosmos today said it has established India’s first launchpad designed and operated by a private player. The facility, situated at Sriharikota, was inaugurated by Isro chairman S Somanath on Nov 25. 1/n The facility which was designed by Agnikul and executed with support from Isro and Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe) has two sections to it — the Agnikul launchpad (ALP) and the Agnikul mission control centre (AMCC). 2/n
Nov 25, 2022 10 tweets 5 min read
#Update Been under the weather the last couple of days. Another weekend, another key launch. A 3-in-1 mission for @isro on Nov 26: #PSLVC54 to launch 7 commercial, one diplomatic & 1 main national satellites. 

#Thread to put things in one place, I may not be around tomorrow: 1/n Last Friday, a private single-stage rocket became the first non-Isro launch vehicle to ever enter the space agency’s spaceport in Sriharikota, which already boasts of 620 launch missions, including sounding rockets (see image/doesn’t include #VikramS). 2/n
Nov 12, 2022 8 tweets 4 min read
#Thread #Space #India

Space startup @BellatrixAero today opened a new facility in Bengaluru that would expedite the firm's prototyping and rolling out of new models, supplementing its testing lab incubated at the @iiscbangalore. 1/n Image This facility is part of the company’s expansion plans that will also see a $76-million manufacturing facility come up near @BLRAirport by the end of next year. I first reported that Bellatrix signed an MoU regarding this ($76-mn) facility with the state government. 2/n
Nov 10, 2022 10 tweets 4 min read
#Space #UPDATE #Thread

Earth observation satellite by @PixxelSpace #Anand will be among seven satellites @NSIL_India will launch as ride-sharing payloads along with @isro’s #Oceansat3, tentatively scheduled to be launched on a #PSLVC54 on Nov 26. 1/n

Pic for representation Image Anand will be the first privately developed Earth observation satellite to be launched from India and second from the Pixxel stable. 2/n
Nov 10, 2022 5 tweets 3 min read
#UPDATE #Rockets #Thread

Late yesterday, @isro said that the CE20 cryogenic engine indigenously developed for #LVM3 (#GSLVMk3) has been successfully hot-tested “at an uprated thrust level of 21.8 t for the first time”. 1/n Image “This will enhance #LVM3 payload capability up to 450kg with additional propellant loading. Major modifications carried out on this test article compared to previous engines was introduction of Thrust Control Valve (TCV) for thrust control,” Isro said. 2/n
Nov 3, 2022 12 tweets 4 min read
#JUSTIN #Important #Thread 

Indian radar-imaging satellite — #Risat2 — has made an uncontrolled re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere and landed at the predicted impact point in the Indian Ocean near Jakarta. 1/n Image The re-entry happened on October 30, at around 12.06am, the Indian Space Research Organisation — @isro —has confirmed. 2/n
Nov 3, 2022 10 tweets 5 min read
#Space #Update #Thread

An R&D centre & manufacturing factory for #Spacetaxis or #OTVs & propulsion systems for rockets & satellites are expected to begin first phase ops on a 5-acre facility at the aerospace park near @BLRAirport by late 2023. 1/n The new facility, which once fully operational is expected to be worth $76mn will be established by @BellatrixAero, which signed an MoU with the government of Karnataka on Wednesday. 2/n
Nov 1, 2022 14 tweets 6 min read
Here We Go: #Update #Thread

As #GSLVMk3 or #LVM3 prepares for its second commercial launch, @isro efforts on enhancing its weight-lifting capacity is gaining pace. I hear that the qualification tests for semi-cryo (SC120) are expected to be completed in a couple of months. 1/n #GSLVMk3 is India’s heaviest rocket yet. Here’s some perspective: Between May 26, 1999 and Oct 22, 2022, @isro launched 345 foreign satellites, all on #PSLV, which together weigh 9,326.4kg. On Oct 23, 2022, in its first commercial mission, #LVM3 launched 5,796kg. 2/n
Oct 29, 2022 7 tweets 4 min read

Yesterday, @isro successfully carried out the flight acceptance hot test of a CE-20 engine for a duration of 25 seconds at its high altitude test facility in Mahendragiri. 1/n Image This engine is earmarked for the next GSLV-Mk3 mission — the LVM3-M3 — identified for the launch of the next set of 36 OneWeb India-1 satellites. 2/n
Oct 21, 2022 13 tweets 6 min read
#Thread #Space #India

Space PSU @NSIL_India, which as part of a commercial contract will launch 36 satellites for @OneWeb onboard #GSLVMk3 at 12.07am Sunday, is not only hopeful of a successful mission, but also confident of future prospects. 1/n The #GSLVMk3, India’s heaviest launch vehicle, has so far had four missions, including the launch of Chandrayaan-2 after which it was officially declared operational. 2/n
Oct 17, 2022 15 tweets 4 min read
#Thread #Update #Space

@isro, which has completed over 200 missions, developed multiple cutting-edge tech, including spin-offs directly benefiting healthcare and other sectors, is scouting for a consultancy firm to conduct a socio-economic impact audit of the space prog. 1/n That Isro spent most of the first 50 years developing systems & tech meant for societal use in line with Sarabhai’s vision to empower the last citizen using space tech notwithstanding, questions about the need for a Space programme in India has been a recurring rhetoric. 2/n
Oct 2, 2022 11 tweets 4 min read
#Breaking #Update #Mars #Thread

India’s Mars Orbiter Mission — #MOM — which was designed to last for 6 months when launched on Nov 5, 2013, has lost communication with the ground station, bringing an end to its life after 8 long years. 1/n

Pics: 1st image & Mars dust (isro) @isro is working out the details of whether the spacecraft ran out of fuel and battery power, or whether communication was lost because of an automated manoeuvre while moving out of a long eclipse changing the direction of the antenna. 2/n
Aug 8, 2022 12 tweets 4 min read
#Thread #Update #SSLV

Here We Go: @isro, which couldn’t put put satellites into their desired orbit in its maiden launch attempt of #SSLV yesterday, is studying the various salvage options the rocket can employ to achieve a different result. 1/n While an expert committee has begun its investigation into Sunday’s mission and would eventually make a set of recommendations, preliminary findings show that the velocity trimming module (VTM) — the terminal stage of the rocket — could not ignite. 2/n