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Indian Satellite Lost in Launch Explosion 208

An anonymous reader writes "BBC News is reporting that the recent communications satellite launch in India has met with disaster. The satellite, designed to enhance India's telephone and communications network, was lost when the rocket carrying it veered off course and exploded. This is the second disappointment in recent launch attempts, coming just one day after the failed long-range ballistic missile test launch."
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Indian Satellite Lost in Launch Explosion

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  • well (Score:3, Funny)

    by MrSquirrel ( 976630 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @06:36PM (#15701964)
    I guess it's a good thing NASA doesn't outsource.
    • Re:well (Wrong) (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ZSpade ( 812879 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @06:53PM (#15702079) Homepage
      Outsourced the shuttle to a private company []
      Nasa is looking to outsource even more! []
      The article title made me laugh in light of your comment. []

      Like almost every other branch of the government, NASA does outsource. They contract out the building of almost any sort of vehicle out to private companies who are all competing for it.

      Now if you think I'm just picking apart your statement for fun, you're only half right, look at this:
      In light of this article, scary.
      • Now if you think I'm just picking apart your statement for fun, you're only half right, look at this:
        In light of this article, scary.

        Yes, those brackets can be scary sometimes.


      • by dangermouse ( 2242 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @11:06PM (#15703139) Homepage
        NASA is made for outsourcing. That's partly the point of NASA. It's as much about driving the strategic American aerospace industry as it is about conducting research and space flight missions for their own sake.

        From the National Aeronautics and Space Act [], which established NASA:

        (d) The aeronautical and space activities of the United States shall be conducted so as to contribute materially to one or more of the following objectives:


        (5) The preservation of the role of the United States as a leader in aeronautical and space science and technology and in the application thereof to the conduct of peaceful activities within and outside the atmosphere;


        (9) The preservation of the United States preeminent position in aeronautics and space through research and technology development related to associated manufacturing processes.

      • That explains a lot about the fate of some recent NASA ventures.
    • Re:well (Score:3, Funny)

      by tempestdata ( 457317 )
      Its not like NASA hasn't blown up a few shuttles itself. This literally IS rocket science. Its very easy to goof up. Give the Indians a break. Would you want them posting on slashdot "NASA Should have outsourced" when NASA has its next exploding rocket/space shuttle?
    • Re:well (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I would suggest you find out the number of indians working for NASA. The joke would be on you my friend.
    • One more article to consier... 9/1914236/ []
    • NASA seems to loose more launch vehicles, and definitely more people, per launch than anyone else
      • No manned launch vehicle is more reliable than the shuttle. 114 out of 115 successful launches. 113 out of 114 successful re-entries.

        Most people in the industry consider the shuttle the most advanced manned vehicle ever. It certainly has capabilities unavailable in any other vehicle.
    • Oh, dont be so hard. Shit happens and happens everywhere. Hope you have not forgotten failures within US including Shuttle explosion.

      They are trying, and eventually get there. Unlike their neighbours, who promote terr'rism, they are doing great job and they are moving in positive direction. Let's help and encourage them.

      And yes, as somebody else has pointed out, dont forget that Nasa is full of Indians. Imagine, they all quit and join India, you will have no choice except *outsourcing* the space progr

  • by Durrok ( 912509 ) <calltechsucks@gm a i l .com> on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @06:36PM (#15701966) Homepage Journal
    Monday's flight was also supposed to set the stage for an Indian mission to the Moon.

    Something tells me there may be a lack of volunteers for this now...
    • Sorry but... "Thank-you... PLEASE come again.."
    • Re:Indian Astronauts (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @06:38PM (#15701980)
      The moon mission (chandrayan) is going to be an unmanned one. And yes, it appears that NASA and ESA are indeed in talks to 'outsource' some of their moon probes to that mission.
    • Re:Indian Astronauts (Score:3, Interesting)

      by linvir ( 970218 ) *
      Are you kidding? If they had to resort to calling foreigners at random (India should be quite good at this) in search of volunteers, and happened upon me, I'd be up there in a shot. I'd sell the maximum removable quantity of my organs for a shot at standing on the moon, even if I had to take that shot on an overcrowded Indian vehicle that could explode unexpectedly at any moment.
      • by HoneyBunchesOfGoats ( 619017 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:35PM (#15702302)
        You should keep in mind that it will be a mission to the moon, not a mission to and from it.
      • I would be right beside you if possible.
        I watched N. Armstrong take that "small step" in '69, and have always been wanting to follow in his footsteps, literaly as well as figuritivily...but NASA had some strict requirements that a 20/200 vision, 230 lb., 5'10 geek had a lil' bit of a problem overcoming to that end, so, maybe India will call me- I'll go!

        side note: the pic's from Mars excited me quite a bit, and filled me with wonder.
      • ...even if I had to take that shot on an overcrowded Indian vehicle that could explode unexpectedly at any moment.

        How realistic does the chance have to be? Could we just stick a skyrocket up your ass, light it, and watch :-)?

  • Dang! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Morky ( 577776 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @06:38PM (#15701979)
    Rockets is hard!
    • The parent is right - "rockets is hard."

      In all the history of rocketry, the successes are actually outnumbered by the failures. That's how we got this far.

      Maybe someday, rocketry will be as reliable as, say, telephony or jet travel; but for now, it's an incredibly risky affair.

      Somebody mod the parent up, please.

    • So is grammar. :-D

  • by drpimp ( 900837 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @06:38PM (#15701981) Journal
    Homer Simpson who said it best .... "DOH!"
  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @06:39PM (#15701986) Homepage Journal
    Building rockets is as hard as rocket science.

  • by Erwos ( 553607 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @06:41PM (#15702003)
    I'm not surprised. It sounds easy to launch a rocket (hell, we've been doing it since forever, right?), yet in the light of this failure, North Korea's blown ICBM launch, and SpaceX's spectacular failure a while back, perhaps the difficulty of such things needs to be reassessed in the minds of the average Slashdot reader.

    Certainly, the ESA and NASA have something to be proud of when they actually manage to get stuff into orbit :).

    • It certainly isn't as easy as it looks but it's certainly cheaper (and hence easier in this case) than it costs. The Nazis under Hitler were producing V2 rockets at the rate of about 800/month which cost orders of magnitude lower [about $13,000 / rocket after the first 5000 according to the article linked below] than current rockets back in the 1940s and which could reach low Earth orbit. Modern rockets are definitely better equipped, but still the costs for unmanned rocketry can be brought down a LOT if mo

      • Uh, no. The payload is usually more expensive than the rocket. The economic return from a commercial rocket launch always is more than what the launch costs. Otherwise, nobody would use communications satellites, for example.

        Also, part of the low costs of V2 were due to the fact that the Nazis used slave labor to build them. I wouldn't want any country to get any ideas along thse lines.

        Additionally, the V2 never reached LEO. They were designed to crash into the ground around 300 kilometers from their launch
      • Granted, this commentry is about launchers that put payload in low Earth orbits, and the Indian rocket was likely one which put payload in a GTO. The point still is valid.
        Is it still valid? It's not just that the payload is extra mass to lift, the payload is worth millions of dollars. Surely that affects the cost/benefit analysis of mass-producing shoddy rockets.
    • by EvanED ( 569694 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [denave]> on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:04PM (#15702147)
      What you say is true. Actually, last night I arrived back home after spending about 3 weeks at Norway's Andoya Rocket Range where a little over a week ago there was the launch of a sounding rocket I helped build the payload for as a project at college. Our launch was in conjunction with another launch from actual scientists in Europe called HotPay1. The HotPay launch came 26 minutes after ours. Unfortunately, 7 to 8 seconds into flight either the payload broke off the motor or the motor broke in half. (As of last I heard, they weren't sure what happened.) So these things still do NOT always go well.

      And that was just a single stage sounding rocket too; not even in the same category as an orbital flight.

      P.S. I'd have started this post with "you might even say 'it IS rocket science" but another poster took that joke already...
    • by jd ( 1658 )
      The stresses involved are gigantic and the tolerences are therefore extremely narrow. That alone does not make rocketry a trivial task - assuming that you use a rocket for these sorts of things. (It's entirely possible to replace the first stage of any rocket with some sort of assisted ramjet. Ramjets aren't trivial either, but they allow much wider tolerences and use less fuel. All you have to do is get airflow to 400mph - a gas cannon or adding a high-speed fan to the ramjet is quite sufficient to do this
    • Certainly, the ESA and NASA have something to be proud of when they actually manage to get stuff into orbit :).

      What about Russia?

      Dan East
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @06:42PM (#15702006)
    I have a lot of respect for countries which have a space program and attempt to launch rockets into space, whether they succeed or not.
    • 'Props' aren't going to get them very far, what with the thin air they will have to deal with very soon following lift-off.

      Now, on the other hand, some damn good curry, packed real tight into that shiny 1.8 meter cylinder just might be the ticket...

      ...props...I don't believe it.

      "Props, man, open up!"
      "Props ain't here man!"
      "No, man! I'M PROPS, lemme in, man, I got the stuff!!"
  • by Cherita Chen ( 936355 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @06:45PM (#15702030) Homepage
    In other news, Pakistan is reporting that it will not seek retribution for the explosion which rocked their capital earlier this morning, as no casualties have been reported. Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Azis was quoted as saying, "Satellite my ass, you missed bitch"...
  • loaded it up with thousands of cups and strings.
  • by Harmonious Botch ( 921977 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:22PM (#15702240) Homepage Journal
    It was a communications satellite, right? Anything that limits the possibility of my tech support calls getting routed to India is just fine by me.
  • GSLV exploded... (Score:5, Informative)

    by dracken ( 453199 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:22PM (#15702245) Homepage
    The GSLV [] had 2 successful launches before, launching the GSAT experimental satellite and the EDUSAT [] educational satellite. India's moon mission is unmanned and will use the PSLV [] rocket which has had six successful launches so far.
  • by CodeMasterPhilzar ( 978639 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:25PM (#15702254)
    From the article, it appears the two rockets were different designs/models, and launched from different sites. So probably no correlation there... Still, I'll bet there are lots of engineering types losing sleep over there right now.

    They have had 12 successful commercial launches in a row, a good record. But now they're 0 for 2 in their last to big launch attempts.

    Note to self, stay out of the Bay of Bengal when they're launching. ;-)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:31PM (#15702282)

    Even though this launch failed, I would think the Indian Space Research OPrganizaiton is doing a tremendous job. Given their meagre budget ($700 million ISRO Wiki []) , their past record is definitely impressive [] . Most of their launches so far have been in polar orbits (remote sensing and spy satellites). They used ESA's Ariane rockets till yesterday for their geostationary communication satellite requirements.

    • India got into the game fairly late in comparison to the U.S. let alone the U.S.S.R./Russia. From your own link:

      It was not until 1992 that the first successful launch of the ASLV took place. At this point the launch vehicle, which could only put very small payloads into orbit, had achieved its objective.

      The program starts in the '60s and only launches its first satellite in the '90s? Good for them, but at that rate the U.S. will be sending people to Mars and Russia will have Mir 2 by the time they start s

  • by lelitsch ( 31136 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:34PM (#15702299)
    There was a small, secret "hey, our new invisible space-based laser has worked three times in a row now" party at Vandenberg AFB.
  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:44PM (#15702348)
    You're a better bomb than I, Gunga Din.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Excuse me...I was looking for the new, long-awaited "Rocketboom" video, but it appears I am in the wrong thread.

    Oh wait...........
  • Mumbai (Score:5, Informative)

    by bobbo69 ( 905401 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:49PM (#15702369)
    Offtopic I know, but just wanted to say my thoughts are with India after the bombings today. Fucking terrorists :(
  • by t35t0r ( 751958 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @08:23PM (#15702536)
    we'll get it right eventually. The US didn't get it right the first couple of times either.
  • Follow up (Score:2, Informative)

    by allden ( 748789 )
    Link to the interview with G Madhavan Nair, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation. []
  • by vasanth ( 908280 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @09:37PM (#15702803)
    the satellite dint just explode but was made to explode when its path deviate from the intended one... thats a big difference.. [] "Following this, the vehicle deviated to about 10 degrees, leading to the mission control giving the 'destruct command'."
    • I was born and bought up in the place where the launch took place , My sister is part of the team to give the "Remote" destruct command .1 of the strap on boosters out of the 4 failed during the 1st 60secs of the flight which lead to unstable overall structure . These things happen in this field and eventually ISRO will get right remember ISRO is using idegenious cryogenic engines for the first time . EVERYTHING IS FINE WITH INDIAN SPACE PROGRAM
  • by RelliK ( 4466 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @10:26PM (#15703001)
    The engineers called tech support while assembling the rocket but couldn't quite understand the accent.
  • India is supposed to launch all of NASA's moon probes under the "vision for space exploraration" but clearly their solid fueled rocket is almost as unreliable as the space shuttle. What are they going to do now, hire Americans to launch their moon probes?

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor