India rocket launches asteroid-spotting satellite



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Tuesday 26 February 2013

Last update 26 February 2013 2:53 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

BANGALORE: India launched a rocket yesterday carrying seven satellites into orbit, including a Canadian orbiter that will scan for asteroids that could be hurtling toward Earth.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle blasted off from the Sriharikota rocket launch center located on an island off the coast of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
The launch, witnessed by Indian President President Pranab Mukherjee at the space mission control center, “was perfect,” Devi Prasad Karnik, an official of the state-run Indian Space Research Organization, said.
The suitcase-sized Canadian satellite, which the Canadian Space Agency calls a “sentinel in the sky,” will circle the globe every 100 minutes, scanning space to pinpoint asteroids that may come close to Earth.
Information from the satellite could help deflect asteroids whose trajectory might threaten Earth, Canadian space officials say Earlier this month, an asteroid whizzed safely past Earth the same day a much smaller, previously undetected meteor hit Russia, injuring nearly 1,000 people.
Near-Earth Object Space Surveillance Satellite or NEOSSat “will be the only space telescope dedicated to searching for asteroids,” Canadian satellite scientist Alan Hildebrand was quoted as saying by India’s Hindu newspaper. The Canadian satellite will also scan for chunks of asteroids, comets and space debris — leftovers from old space missions — that can cause collisions.
The rocket was also carrying an Indo-French satellite called “SARAL,” or Satellite with ARGOS and ALTIKA — two climate monitoring tools developed for analyzing ocean currents and sea surface heights by French space agency CNES.
“We will obtain crucial data for climate models and global ocean currents” from the satellite, said CNES project head Pierre Sengenes. Learning more about global ocean circulation is key in understanding how global warming is affecting the planet, scientists say.
The other satellites being carried into space included another one from Canada, two from Austria and one each from Denmark and Britain.
The Indian mission was the 23rd for the country’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or PSLV.
India, which aims to send its first manned flight into space in 2016, has emerged as a significant player in the lucrative global commercial satellite-launch market, according to space experts.
The Indian space agency has launched 35 foreign satellites since 1999 while the maximum number of satellites ever launched by the PSLV in a single mission stands at 10.

Spy arrested
An Indian man has been arrested on charges of spying for Islamabad on military war games staged on India’s border with Pakistan, police said yesterday.
The 35-year-old man is accused of passing on details of the exercises held by the Indian Air Force on Friday in the western desert state of Rajasthan, senior state police officer D.S. Dinkar said.
Dinkar identified the man as an Indian national called Sumaar Khan and said he was allegedly spying for Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, “passing information related to Indian defense installations and military activities.”
Police alleged the man used mobile phones and Internet to transmit information but did not say when he was arrested.
Both India’s President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attended the drill, codenamed “Iron Fist.”
Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan frequently accuse each other of spying on each other’s military activities.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Ministry of Education has suspended all parallel education programs, except in medical and engineering specialties, as well as bridging programs for health diploma certificates.Education Minister Azzam Al-Dhakil gave directions to the rec...
RIYADH: The Cooperative Health Insurance Council said it had suspended operations of six medical insurance companies for violating health insurance regulations by issuing insurance policies without completing the required documentation and violating...
JEDDAH: A local survey found that almost half of Saudis abide by rules and laws in public places outside the Kingdom more than they do inside the country.More than one-third of the respondent sample said they violate road traffic signs and directions...
DAMMAM: A 50 percent decline in the prices of some types of fish in the Dammam Central Market was noted compared to the previous month.Fish sellers attributed this decline to an increased fish supply and fall in demand from hotels and consumers durin...
RIYADH: In a two-day operation, police arrested 343 beggars including women and children during the holy month of Ramadan.A police officer said the raid was carried out in the Salehiya district and 220 of those arrested were women from Ethiopia. “Mos...
RIYADH: Hotels in the capital have made special arrangements by setting up Ramadan tents, where diners can visit to begin and break their fast with special suhoor and iftar meals during the ongoing fasting month.As the Ramadan tent is a popular pheno...
JEDDAH: Kaddadin, or unlicensed transporters, say there is good money to be made during Ramadan especially in transporting Umrah pilgrims from Jeddah to Makkah and back.During this month the number of visitors doubles or triples which means the price...
RIYADH: The holy month of Ramadan is lively at night following Taraweeh prayers. Nights are turned into days during the month in the industrial area where there is a large concentration of automobile workshops.The industrial areas are well illuminate...
RIYADH: The Saudi man behind the green project that ensured 3,400 trees in Khurais in the Eastern Province for a government firm has been approached by a Kuwaiti oil company for a similar project. “After learning about the project in the Eastern Prov...
RIYADH: A total of 1,300 Gambian pilgrims will come to the Kingdom to perform Haj this year, Ambassador Omar Gibril Sallah said on Thursday.“We hope that the pilgrims will observe the fifth pillar of Islam in peace and harmony and may Allah accept th...
RIYADH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) and the Disabled Children’s Association (DCA) have launched a traffic safety campaign, to reduce the number of accidents that cause disability.Prince Sultan bin Salman, the SCTNH...
JEDDAH: The holy month of Ramadan is a period when non-Muslim expatriates too abstain from eating, drinking or smoking during the daytime out of respect for Muslims who fast from dawn to dusk and also because it is healthy. The expatriates are also...
A policeman was killed in an anti-terror operation on Friday in the western city of Taif, according to the interior ministry. An exchange of fire resulted in the death of the policeman after a raid to arrest a wanted person, state news agency SPA quo...
RIYADH: Customs authorities at Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah have foiled an attempt to smuggle 52,850 Xanax capsules into the country.The drug, an anti-depressant, banned in the Kingdom, was found hidden under the clo...
RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has ordered that two men face trial for allegedly insulting the late King Abdullah.Quoting reliable sources, a local online publication said that King Salman has also barred Mohsin Al-Awaji and Ab...

Stay Connected

Facebook