Chandrayaan-1 nears 75,000 km height, inches closer to Moon

October 25, 2008 at 6:46 pm | Posted in entertainment, History, India, Information, World | Leave a comment
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Bangalore, Oct 25 (PTI) India’s Chandrayaan-1 has covered 20 per cent of its journey towards Moon as ISRO scientists today performed the second orbit-raising manoeuvre. The lunar spacecraft’s on-board 440 Newton Liquid engine was fired for about 16 minutes from 5.48 am.

With this engine firing, Chandrayaan-1’s apogee (farthest point to earth) has been raised to 74,715 km, while its perigee (closest point to earth) has been raised to 336 km, ISRO spokesperson S Satish said. ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair termed today’s orbit-raising operation as “record-breaking”.

“So far, Indian-made satellites have reached to a height of only 36,000 km. Today’s firing has taken Chandrayaan-1 to something like 75,000 km.

That’s well beyond what we have reached so far. It was a good event, and done precisely,” Nair, also secretary in the Department of Space, said.

Indicating the complexity of the India’s first unmanned lunar mission, he said when the spacecraft is closer to the earth, its gravitational field is well defined and scientists can shape the trajectory. “When you go further and further, earth’s influence comes down.

Influence of Moon and Sun becomes predominant. Even other planets will have an influence on it,” he said.

Moon lies at a distance of about 3,84,000 km from earth. ISRO officials said Chandrayaan-1 is expected to settle into lunar orbit, 100 km above Moon, on November 8.

All systems on board the spacecraft, launched on October 22, were functioning normally, ISRO said, adding that further orbit-raising manoeuvres to take Chandrayaan-1 to still higher orbits are planned in the next few days.


Greatest rail journey: London to Dhaka via Delhi in 23 days

September 4, 2008 at 7:20 am | Posted in entertainment, History, hotels, India, Information, tourism, Travel, World | 1 Comment
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In what would be the world’s greatest rail journey, a new rail link, to be opened later this year, will enable one to undertake a 23-day journey by train from London to Dhaka via New Delhi.
The 7000-mile Trans-Asia railway network will follow one of the old Silk Roads through Istanbul, Tehran, Lahore and Delhi. The world’s “greatest railway journey” will be longer than the Trans-Siberian railway, which spans 5772 miles, world's greatest rail journeyreported the Times Online.

India has already earmarked 90 million pounds to extend its vast rail network towards its border with Burma. From there just 218 miles of missing track stands in the way of an overland rail journey from London to Singapore.

Under a UN-sponsored scheme, Pakistan and Iran will link up their lines in the coming months to join the sub-continent’s track to that of Europe for the first time. The UN said the link would open up new trade routes within Asia and give the former Soviet republics of central Asia rail access to Iran’s strategic seaport at Bandar Abbas on the Gulf.

The route was extended when the Calcutta to Dhaka line reopened earlier this month, more than 40 years after it was blocked during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965.

Last week, senior Indian officials met their Iranian counterparts in Tehran to discuss the progress so far made in the rail network.

The prospect has caused excitement among Britain’s rail enthusiasts. Mark Smith, whose website promotes rail adventures around the world, was planning his first London to Dhaka itinerary. His trip incorporates the Eurostar to Brussels, breakfast in Vienna and onward trains to Istanbul, where travelers must take the ferry across the Bosporus linking Europe with Asia.

The ferry will eventually be replaced by an underground tunnel, but for now passengers will be able to enjoy views of the Aya Sofya and Topkapi Palace.

China, a big supporter of the project, is spending billions on extending rail lines to its Burmese border. Trans-Asia railway sources said the only barrier to eventually connecting London to Yunnan province and Singapore was Burma’s military regime, whose poor human rights record means that no foreign funding is available to rebuild its railways.

– Shantan


August 28, 2008 at 4:18 pm | Posted in 7 WONDERS OF THE WORLD, America, Chichén Itzá, Christ Redeemer, entertainment, Great Wall of China, History, India, Information, Machu Picchu, Petra, Rio de Janeiro, Roman Colosseum, seven new wonders, Taj Mahal, The Pyramid, tourism, Travel, USA, World | 9 Comments
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The Pyramid at Chichén Itzá (before 800 A.D.) Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

The Pyramid at Chichén Itzá

The Pyramid at Chichén Itzá


Chichén Itzá, the most famous Mayan temple city, served as the political and economic center of the Mayan civilization. Its various structures – the pyramid of Kukulkan, the Temple of Chac Mool, the Hall of the Thousand Pillars, and the Playing Field of the Prisoners – can still be seen today and are demonstrative of an extraordinary commitment to architectural space and composition. The pyramid itself was the last, and arguably the greatest, of all Mayan temples.
Christ Redeemer (1931) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Christ Redeemer- Rio de Janeiro

Christ Redeemer- Rio de Janeiro

This statue of Jesus stands some 38 meters tall, atop the Corcovado mountain overlooking Rio de Janeiro. Designed by Brazilian Heitor da Silva Costa and created by French sculptor Paul Landowski, it is one of the world’s best-known monuments. The statue took five years to construct and was inaugurated on October 12, 1931. It has become a symbol of the city and of the warmth of the Brazilian people, who receive visitors with open arms.


 The Roman Colosseum (70 – 82 A.D.) Rome, Italy The Roman Colosseum



This great amphitheater in the centre of Rome was built to give favors to successful legionnaires and to celebrate the glory of the Roman Empire. Its design concept still stands to this very day, and virtually every modern sports stadium some 2,000 years later still bears the irresistible imprint of the Colosseum’s original design. Today, through films and history books, we are even more aware of the cruel fights and games that took place in this arena, all for the joy of the spectators.

The Taj Mahal (1630 A.D.) Agra, India

The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal

This immense mausoleum was built on the orders of Shah Jahan, the fifth Muslim Mogul emperor, to honor the memory of his beloved late wife. Built out of white marble and standing in formally laid-out walled gardens, the Taj Mahal is regarded as the most perfect jewel of Muslim art in India. The emperor was consequently jailed and, it is said, could then only see the Taj Mahal out of his small cell window. 

The Great Wall of China (220 B.C and 1368 – 1644 A.D.) China

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China was built to link existing fortifications into a united defense system and better keep invading Mongol tribes out of China. It is the largest man-made monument ever to have been built and it is disputed that it is the only one visible from space. Many thousands of people must have given their lives to build this colossal construction. 


Petra (9 B.c. – 40A.D) Jordan

The Petra

The Petra

On the edge of the Arabian Desert, Petra was the glittering capital of the Nabataean empire of King Aretas IV (9 B.C. to 40 A.D.). Masters of water technology, the Nabataeans provided their city with great tunnel constructions and water chambers. A theater, modelled on Greek-Roman prototypes, had space for an audience of 4,000. Today, the Palace Tombs of Petra, with the 42-meter-high Hellenistic temple facade on the El-Deir Monastery, are impressive examples of Middle Eastern culture.

Machu Picchu (1460-1470), Peru
Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

In the 15th century, the Incan Emperor Pachacútec built a city in the clouds on the mountain known as Machu Picchu (“old mountain”). This extraordinary settlement lies halfway up the Andes Plateau, deep in the Amazon jungle and above the Urubamba River. It was probably abandoned by the Incas because of a smallpox outbreak and, after the Spanish defeated the Incan Empire, the city remained ‘lost’ for over three centuries. It was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911.

– Shantan Nethikar

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