• Chilka Lake bags international award

  • PSLV lift-off successful, METSAT put in space

  • Chilka Lake bags international award

    THE HINDU [13 SEPTEMBER, 2002]

    NEW DELHI SEPT. 12. Chilka Lake in Orissa has been chosen for this year's prestigious international Ramsar Conservation Award for what the award committee has called as "the outstanding work in the field of restoration and wise use of wetlands involving the local communities''.

    The Chilka Development Authority would receive the award, which includes a cash prize of $ 10,000 and a commendation.

    It would be presented by the Crown Prince of Spain at a function to be held in Valencia, Spain, in November.

    Chilka lake would be the Ramsar site in Asia to win the award.

    It has been chosen from among 59 entries.

    Announcing this, a spokesperson of the Union Environment Ministry said the award was all the more significant as only till recently, the lake was in the black-list of the Montreaux Record of the Convention after its ecology had deteriorated because of pollution and other anthropogenic pressures.

    An expert mission under the Convention visited the lake in January and found that the distress situation had since been corrected through various interventions involving the local communities.

    Consequently, the lake was removed from the Montreaux Record and now it has bagged the prestigious award, he added.


    PSLV lift-off successful, METSAT put in space

    THE HINDU [13 SEPTEMBER, 2002]
    K. Ramachandran

    The PSLV-C4 lifting off from the Sriharikota range on Thursday.

    SRIHARIKOTA (Andhra Pradesh) Sept. 12. Indian space scientists today successfully launched the country's first exclusive meteorological satellite (METSAT), using the versatile Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C4, from Sriharikota. This was the first time the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has used the PSLV to launch a meteorological satellite in the geo-synchronous transfer orbit (GTO).

    In its previous six missions, the PSLV was used to put Indian remote sensing satellites in polar orbit at a height of 800 km. to 900 km. above the earth. The GTO is located 36,000 km. above the earth.

    The massive 44.4 m tall PSLV C4 blasted off from its launch pad near the Bay of Bengal coast in southern Andhra Pradesh, at 3.53 p.m.

    Moments after the massive strap on motors boomed into action, sending the PSLV into space with an earth-shaking roar and a flaming tail, there was spontaneous applause from eager crowds waiting atop buildings in the newly-named Satish Dhawan space centre. The clapping went on till the vehicle vanished into the sky.

    About 21 minutes after the "textbook launch", the PSLV's fourth stage launched the 1,060 kg. METSAT into space.

    The ISRO Chairman, K. Kasturirangan, who shared the "wonderful moment" with scientists and technical heads of the organisation, said reports from the Biak earth station (Indonesia), indicated that the health of the satellite was perfect and its systems were functioning satisfactorily. Immediately, the satellite's solar panel was automatically deployed.

    The launch had once again proved the versatility of the PSLV series of launch vehicles in putting satellites in the near earth orbit, in polar sun synchronous orbit or in the GTO.

    METSAT, built by ISRO, carries a very high resolution radiometer (VHRR) capable of imaging earth in the visible, thermal infrared and water vapour bands. Its data relay transponder can collect data from unattended meteorological platforms and relay it to the New Delhi Met Data utilisation centre. To carry the huge payload, the launch vehicle has been improved. Its four stages use solid and liquid propellants alternately. The third stage solid propellant motor has been optimised and the liquid propellant in the fourth stage has been increased from 2 tonnes to 2.5 tonnes. Besides, the PSLV-C4 has a carbon composite payload adopter resulting in substantial payload advantage.