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  • Writer's pictureMatt Russell

The Indian Space Race with Gurbir Singh

An astronomer must be cosmopolitan, because ignorant statesmen cannot be expected to value their services

Tycho Brahe

Born on this day - 14 December 1546 – 24 October 1601

  • The lunar crater Tycho is named in his honour,

  • The crater Tycho Brahe on Mars and

  • The minor planet 1677 Tycho Brahe in the asteroid belt.

Tycho’s supernova remnant - SN1572


Gurbir Singh

Talks about his book and the Indian Space Program

Aryabhata was the first Indian built satellite launched by the USSR in 1975.

The satellite on the Bullock cart is the Ariane Passenger Payload Experiment (Apple) from early 1981. It was India's first Communication satellite launched for free on the then-experimental Ariane3 in June 1991.

For your listeners who are interested in buying the book online, the discount of 30% is available through this link Use the code "ATUK" when clicking VIEW BASKET during checkout.


Space Word of the Week

Gravitational Redshift

Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system – has provided the most accurate measurement ever made of how shifts in gravity alter the passing of time, a key element of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.


Space mission of the Week

Chang'e 4

  • The Chinese lunar exploration mission set to achieve the first soft-landing on the far side of the Moon.

  • A communication relay satellite, Queqiao ("Magpie Bridge"), was first launched to a halo orbit near the Earth-Moon L2 point in May 2018 listen to podcast 84/86.

  • We had a chat with David Baker about Chang’’e 4 on podcast 73.

  • This mission will attempt to determine the age and composition of the unexplored far side of the Moon, and develop key technologies

  • Measure lunar surface temperature over the duration of the mission

  • Measure the chemical compositions of lunar rocks and soils

  • Carry out low-frequency radio astronomical observation and research

  • Study of cosmic rays

  • Observe the solar corona, investigate its radiation characteristics and mechanism, and to explore the evolution and transport of coronal mass ejections (CME) between the Sun and Earth.

  • Characterise the "radio environment" on the far side, and lay the groundwork for the creation of future radio astronomy telescopes

  • The lander will carry a 3kg (6.6lb) container with potato and plant seeds to perform a biological experiment aka The "lunar mini biosphere" experiment designed by 28 Chinese universities.

The lander is also carrying

  • Two cameras;

  • A German-built radiation experiment called LND;

  • A spectrometer that will perform the low-frequency radio astronomy observations.

The rover will carry a

  • Panoramic camera;

  • A radar to probe beneath the lunar surface;

  • An imaging spectrometer to identify minerals;

  • An experiment to examine the interaction of the solar wind

As part of the Chang'e 4 mission, two microsatellites (45 kg each) named Longjiang-1 and Longjiang-2 (Chinese for "Dragon River"[26]), were launched along with Queqiao.

  • Longjiang-2 succeeded and is currently operational in lunar orbit. observing the sky at very low frequencies (1 MHz-30 MHz),

  • studying energetic phenomena from celestial sources.not possible in the Earth's ionosphere, offering potential breakthrough science

The planned landing site is the Von Kármán crater (180 km diameter) in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, Theodore von Kármán was the PhD advisor of Qian Xuesen, the founder of the Chinese space program

Space Fact of The Week

NASA astronauts will need quake-proof housing. when going back to the moon

The conclusion of Clive R. Neal, associate professor of civil engineering and geological sciences at the University of Notre Dame after he reexamined Apollo data

There are at least four different kinds of moonquakes:

  • There are at least four different kinds of moonquakes:

  • deep moonquakes about 700 km below the surface, probably caused by tides;

  • Vibrations from the impact of meteorites;

  • thermal quakes caused by the expansion of the frigid crust when first illuminated by the morning sun after two weeks of deep-freeze lunar night; and

  • shallow moonquakes only 20 or 30 kilometers below the surface.

  • Shallow moonquakes can register up to 5.5 on the richter scale,

  • Between 1972 and 1977, 28 shallow moonquakes were observed by the from seismometers placed on the Moon by the Apollo 12, 14, 15 and 16 missions

  • Shallow moonquakes lasted more than 10 minutes. "The moon was ringing like a bell," Neal says.

  • What causes the shallow moonquakes? And where do they occur?

  • some good ideas, among them being the rims of large and relatively young craters that may occasionally slump.

Why not be like Joseph and Havard who joined this week and become a patron of the show ...thank you :)

Special Thanks to our Skylon Contributors, Bob, Darren, Justin, John, Julio, Catherine, Anthony, Kaylee, Matt and Kaarel.

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