Saturday, July 7, 2012

God Particle almost revelaed


Dated: July 4, 2012

God Particle Almost revealed

44 minutes of video on the special show

CERN scientists to reveal God Particle today?

From : NDTV

July 4, 2012

CERN scientists to reveal God Particle today?

India to launch $75m mission to forecast rains

From: BBC

Title: India to launch $75m mission to forecast rains

Date: July 2, 2012

By: Pallava Bagla

 India to launch $75m mission to forecast rains

By Pallava Bagla


 India is launching a $75m (£48) mission using computer models to understand the south-west monsoon and forecast the rains more accurately, officials say. Experts say scientists all over the world struggle to forecast weather patterns

 India receives 80% of its annual rainfall during the summer monsoons between June and September.

A significant shortfall in rain can trigger drought, which can cause great damage to India's 235 million farmers.

There have been reports that this year's monsoons have been less than satisfactory so far.

"Understanding the monsoon will be a major priority of the government for the next five years," says Shailesh Nayak, a senior official in the ministry of earth sciences.

He said efforts will be made to understand the rains using computer models developed by the UK and the US and gathering fresh data.

Forecasting the monsoon is a tricky task, as India's meteorologists have discovered time and again.

Last year they predicted a bad monsoon, but in the end the rains turned out to be in excess of what was forecast.

 The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) admitted later that it was "not very accurate" in its forecasts.

In its 137-year history the IMD has never been able to predict a drought or a flood - the two extremes of a monsoon season - successfully.

Experts say scientists all over the world struggle to forecast weather patterns.

They say the IMD does a "commendable job, putting its reputation on the block" by making monsoon forecasts every year.

Monsoon watchers like Prof J Srinivasan from the Indian Institute of Science says seasonal forecasts for drought and floods are relatively accurate for the Sub-Saharan region in Africa, but no agency in the world has ever been able to predict a drought or flood for the Indian region.

The US weather office also struggles to predict droughts for North America but there have been occasions where they have been able to make seasonal drought forecasts, experts say.

Pallava Bagla is a correspondent for Science magazine

India's rocket launch business is open to industry

India's rocket launch business is open to industry

From: NDTV

Date: July 1, 2012

Title: India's rocket launch business is open to industry

By: Pallava Bagla

See Video:

India's rocket launch business is open to industry

Written by Pallava Bagla, Edited by Mala Das | Updated: June 30, 2012 22:09 IST

 New Delhi: In a bold move, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is opening up to market forces and is hoping to hand over part of the lucrative rocket launch business and satellite manufacturing to the Indian industry.

India's workhorse rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which has completed 20 consecutively successful launches under the eagle eye of ISRO, is one such technology that the agency is hoping to hive off to private players. Today, about 80 % of the vehicle is put together with parts supplied by the private industry. If K Radhakrishnan, the current chairman of ISRO and a manager trained at the Indian Institute of Management at Bangalore has his way, then the entire vehicle itself could well be made and launched by private players.

Mr Radhakrishnan says, "The PSLV is a reliable vehicle...there are requirements of putting Indian satellites, and in the global market, the PSLV too has a niche. Capability is there, demand is there, now how to enhance the capacity to realize more PSLVs? As of now more than 400 industrial firms are working for realizing various elements of PSLV. Can we get the Indian space industry to realize the [entire] PSLV vehicle itself?"

Each PSLV vehicle costs the tax payer about Rs. 120 crores, and today ISRO can, at best, fabricate four PSLV rockets per year. In the next two-three years, almost a dozen launches of PSLV are already slated and ISRO will be stretched to meet these requirements.

The plan is to carve out a 250-acre, dedicated 'Space Park' adjoining the space port at Sriharikota, which could be used by private players to develop the Indian aerospace industry.

ISRO is also thinking of hiving off the money-spinning communication satellite business. Adding further, Mr Radhakrishnan said, "On communications satellites, there is a large demand for transponders today. So, if the proven platforms of communications satellites...if they could be replicated with the help of the industry. With industry taking a major role, that is another way of meeting the national demands at the earliest possible."

Today, the global space business is valued at $ 177 billion and growing. So, will the Indian industry not want a share? M V Kotwal, Board Member, Larsen & Toubro & President Heavy Engineering and head of L&T's space and nuclear business told NDTV, "If ISRO is interested in partnering the Indian Industry in overall management of the entire Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle programme and the communications satellite fabrication programme, it is a very welcome and necessary step. With its wide experience and expertise in project management, L&T would be positively inclined and well placed to take over the complete programme management with technical support from ISRO. In future, we could jointly explore global opportunities in these domains."

 With missions to Mars, moon and sun on the mind, ISRO rightfully seeks to divest itself of repeat and routine manufacturing which is best done by nimble private players, but with the Antrix-Devas fiasco fresh in everyone's mind, will the private players really bite the bait? ISRO now seeks to do what it does best - cutting-edge research. So it now wants to sell off its launcher and communication satellite units to the industry.
Pallava Bagla

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

India's first ICBM launch: Agni-5 full coverage by NDTV

From: NDTV

Dated: April 19, 2012

Title: Agni-5 launch full coverage

By: Pallava Bagla

See all videos and you can download them directly using Real Player from the website itself for your own use.



India's missile woman: Tessy Thomas

From: The Times of India

Dated: April 25, 2012

Title: ‘Leadership or technology doesn’t know gender’: Tessy Thomas, key player Agni-5 missile

By: Pallava Bagla

‘Leadership or technology doesn’t know gender’: Tessy Thomas, key player Agni-5 missile

She was named after Nobel peace prize-winner Mother Teresa - but scientist Tessy Thomas made news for heading the team responsible for India's first missile that can cross continents. With a range of over 5,000 kilometres, the multi-functional Agni V can be used to direct weapons over vast distances - or even launch a 300-kg satellite in a low earth orbit. Thomas, often termed India's 'agni-putri', spoke with Pallava Bagla about her feelings at Agni V's launch, what the weapon gives India - and why being a woman has never deterred her from succeeding in a male-dominated work field:

The Agni V has been successfully launched - after all the effort, how does it feel?

It is a feeling of great satisfaction. The country needed such a defence system and i am proud to be part of the team that made history. This is a game-changer missile that gives India the capability to launch nuclear weapons if required, launch anti-satellite weapons and even launch satellites on demand. This is a 21st century, highly modern missile that gives India the strategic depth it lacked.

Please tell us about your role in the development of the Agni V missile.

I started with navigation and guidance. I designed the guidance for the entire Agni series. I then switched over to the mission design for Agni-plus and for all the Agni series of missiles. I developed the guidance and mission design for the Agni V missile.

You are a leader in this field today - has being a woman and reaching the top been difficult?

No. I have been given this project to head as a leader - and we have proven the system. Leadership or technology doesn't know gender. Science has no gender. Science does not know from where knowledge is coming - it's only the willingness to learn and know things that matters. If you are willing to take on challenges and learn from experience, that's what is required. I have faced no gender discrimination at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It all depends on the type of organisation it is - and we at
DRDO get the support we need. Further, my husband is also from a naval background, so he knows the responsibility of the work i am doing, the importance of this work. My son and my family, my parents, all were supportive towards my work.

But in a heavily male dominated work area like missile technology, is it easy to get male colleagues to listen to you?

I think they listen and do the job like any depends on leadership and the science which we are working out toge-ther. They all take up the work jointly and know their responsibilities while i know how to convey this sense of responsi-bility. We work together...the whole team has been working for this class of missiles.

Do you have a message for young women who want to take up a career in science?

Yes. It's the willingness to learn, to take on challenges that is important. If you are confident that you can do science well, you will excel at it. Science is a subject of great popular interest today and it's vital for our technology. We're seeing people willing to study science at the school and college levels. I also interact with many children, all of whom are willing to take up science as their subject of choice.