back to article India trumpets seventh navigation sat launch

India yesterday celebrated the launch of the seventh and final "Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System" (IRNSS) satellite - IRNSS-G - which rose from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, in the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh, atop a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). According to the Indian Space Research …

  1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

    I'm no rocket scientist

    So I'd be fascinated as to the benefits of switching between the different fuel types over the course of the launch be it simple financial benefit or if the different types have better performances in the different conditions during the assent?

    Failing that I'll just Google it when I get home....

    1. OrientalHero

      Re: I'm no rocket scientist

      Yes, well the breed that actually does the propulsion chemicals research usually have missing fingers!

    2. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: I'm no rocket scientist

      IIRC India didn't have a reliable, powerful liquid engine for the first stage, but their ICBM programme had given them plenty of experience of building big solid engines, so that made sense for the first stage - which is the third largest solid motor ever fired after the Shuttle SRB and the Ariane V boosters. The second needs to be less powerful and more controllable, so they could use their moderately powerful liquid Vikas engine which is derived from the original Ariane 1 motor.

      I'm not sure why they then stick another solid on top of that. But they do need a more controllable liquid engine to put satellites into orbit.

      India has now mastered big liquid engines and cryogenic engines for the GSLV Mark 2 and Mark 3 respectively, so I'd imagine the PSLV solid-liquid-solid-liquid sandwich won't be repeated.

      I bet it makes an amazing noise though - one day I'll see a rocket launch. The Reg should open a travel tentacle for us space nerds.

    3. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: I'm no rocket scientist

      Solids are a *LOT* cheaper. Only problem is they go BOOM w/o any warning at all. Doesn't happen often but when it does, it's A Bad Day for all involved.

  2. Little Mouse Silver badge

    On the whole, this feels good.

    Preparations A through G were a complete success...!

  3. Ironclad

    Wonder how much they charge...

    ...compared to SpaceX ?

    Could SpaceX have broken the ULA monopoly only to see launches outsourced to India?

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Wonder how much they charge...

      Outsource to India? That'd see the politicos choking on their breakfast cereal. Whether it's ULA or SpaceX, the US is going to keep it in the family.

      1. Arctic fox

        @Lester Haines Re: Wonder how much they charge...

        Indeed Lester. It would not matter how efficient the Indian were or how reasonable their prices, there is not a cat's chance in hell that the US would outsource launches in that way. The Americans love Capitalism and the (we are not worthy, we are not worthy, we are not worthy) Free Market (cue angelic choir and so on and so forth) as long as they are not subjected to it externally as a nation. Their home grown capitalists adore the free market as long as they do not actually have to live with it at home (If one doubts that one just needs to take a look at their cable companies and their telcos).

        1. Mike Richards Silver badge

          Re: @Lester Haines Wonder how much they charge...

          The US currently has a ban on American commercial satellites flying on Indian rockets. Ostensibly it's there because the Indian Space Agency is government owned and the Americans claim its launch costs are subsidised and distort the market. This also affects European satellites containing American components that are launched on Indian rockets.

          It's a real problem for small American satellites as the US doesn't have many rockets designed for small payloads. SpaceX used to have the Falcon 1, but that has been retired in favour of the much larger 9, and the few companies that do have small rockets such as Minotaur and Pegasus aren't competitive against the PSLV.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: @Lester Haines Wonder how much they charge...

          "there is not a cat's chance in hell that the US would outsource launches in that way. "

          <cough>people to ISS</cough>

          1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

            Re: @Lester Haines Wonder how much they charge...

            Also, doesn't ULA buy rocket motors from Russia?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We will determine our own paths powered by our technology"

    That's not going to end terribly well, as anyone who's had to work with the products of the great Indian code-shops will attest.

    1. iRadiate

      Re: "We will determine our own paths powered by our technology"

      hmmm. India have sent a successful mission to Mars. The UK sent a mission to Mars too a few years ago. I believe they've only just found the wreckage.

      Not sure what your experience of Indian code shops is but the UK's experience of their in-house code shops is spread out over a sizable portion of Mars.

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