Monday, March 31, 2008

Bjarne Stroustrup on C++

Bjarne Stroustrup is the inventor/creator of the C++ programming language. The following is the link to an interview with Bjarne published at Dr Dobb's.

Link to the interview
Wiki Page on Bjarne Stroustrup
Home page of Bjarne Stroustrup

Friday, March 28, 2008


XCOR Aerospace of Mojava, CA has announced its plan to develop Lynx, a suborbital rocket plane. Lynx will first take off in 2010 and will be capable of flying several times each day. The total flight would last about a half-hour, including a couple minutes of weightlessness.Lynx is projected to cost $10 million to develop, with ticket prices projected to be about $100,000. Lynx will be about the size of a small twin-engine propeller aircraft

Clean Flight:

Lynx's liquid-propellant engines will minimize the environmental impact of the flights. The engines will be fully reusable, burn cleanly, and release fewer particulates than solid fuel or hybrid rocket motors.

Targeted Market:

The emerging space tourism market is estimated at over a half-billion dollars. Lynx is to be used for scientific and engineering research and commercial applications.Lynx will provide affordable access to space for individuals, researchers and educators.

Flight Profile:

Lynx will have a peak altitude of 61 km. Yet it will provide weightlessness experience and a broad view of Earth for the customers. Lynx will have horizontal take off and landing. It will attain a top speed of Mach 2 powered by 4 rocket engines. The engines will be on during take off. Lynx will descend in a circling glide path with engines turned off. But its engines can be restarted during descend.

Link to an article on Lynx

Monday, March 17, 2008

50 Years of Vanguard-1

Today Vanguard-1 have completed 50 years in Earth orbit. Vanguard-1 was launched in March 17,1958. At present it is the oldest artificial satellite orbiting the earth. It is not functional now. It is the 4th artificial satellite launched.
Vanguard-1 was designed as a part of Project Vanguard to test the launch capabilities of 3-stage launch vehicle and the effects of the environment on a satellite and its systems in Earth orbit. Vanguard-1 had employed solar cells to power radio transmitters for the first time.
Vanguard-1 had helped cartographers in redrawing more accurate maps of islands in the Pacific Ocean. It also revealed that the earth is slightly pear-shaped rather than round.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Recently the US Army has awarded the University of Michigan College of Engineering a five year, $10-million grant to help develop a robotic spy plane. The grant establishes the U-M Center for Objective Microelectronics and Biomimetic Advanced Technology i.e. COM-BAT in short. The US Army may renew the grant for an additional 5 years and $12.5-million.
The objective of the project is to develop a six-inch robotic spy plane modeled after a bat would gather data from sights, sounds and smells in urban combat zones and transmit information back to a soldier in real time.

For details please follow this link.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


SensoCopter is a tele-controlled mini-helicopter developed by Microdrones GmbH. It is equipped with a camera and is to aid police in controlling crime.

Monday, March 3, 2008

ISRO's Manned Space Mission & Budget 2008

India is planning for a manned space mission in the year 2014. A number of technologies need to be developed by ISRO prior to the ambitious undertaking e.g. 200 tonne solid booster, 25 tonne cryogenic engines and 110 tonne liquid stage engines as core boosters. The project requires 10,000 crore of funding. This year the Government of India has increased the grant for this project from 4 crore to 125 crore.