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Work on space science data centre proceeding apace

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Deep interest: Students looking at the exhibits on display at the national conference on ‘Chandrayana and ancient Indian concepts on moon’ at Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering in Bangalore on Thursday.
Deep interest: Students looking at the exhibits on display at the national conference on ‘Chandrayana and ancient Indian concepts on moon’ at Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering in Bangalore on Thursday.

Staff Reporter

‘It will be ready well before the April launch of Chandrayaan’

Bangalore: Now that a giant antenna has been installed on the outskirts of Bangalore in anticipation of the launch of Chandrayaan I, the Indian Space Science Data Centre (ISSDC) is being readied to retrieve, process, archive and disseminate scientific data retrieved from the moon mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

“The data centre, being built at the Indian Deep Space Network campus at Byalalu, will be completed by February 2008, well before the April launch,” said S.K. Shivakumar, Director, ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), here on Thursday.

He was speaking at a conference on “The scientific aspects of Chandrayaan I and ancient Indian concepts of the moon.”

“The ISSDC will be built at a cost of Rs. 60 crore and will have the capacity to store hundreds of terabytes of data retrieved from the scientific experiments conducted by the moon mission. The data will be transferred through high speed Internet links, first to the principal investigators, and then to any one who is interested,” he said.

The data centre is meant for all science missions of India, not for Chandrayaan alone, he added.

‘Introspection’

The Chandrayaan project came through after much “introspection,” admitted Mr. Shivakumar, speaking of the genesis of the mission.

“The Rs. 360-crore cost of the mission had to be justified in a developing nation like India. There was much debate within ISRO and in national seminars, but there soon emerged a consensus that India cannot afford to ignore the moon mission.”

“There is so much to be learnt about the moon – the process of its evolution, what lies on the dark side, the extent of ice and minerals on its surface, and finally Helium-3, the fuel of the future, one tonne of which could fuel the whole world for a year,” he said.

Chandrayaan I would be fitted with microwave and visible sensors, and its camera would have a resolution of five metres, he said.

Payloads integrated

Four payloads had already been integrated into the body of Chandrayaan I, which would include 11 payloads in total – for imaging, scientific experiments, mapping and to study mineralogical content, Mr. Shivakumar said.

The two-day conference was organised by Dayananda Sagar Institutions, and will conclude on Friday.

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