Space notes from Bee

2 July 2009

Note to all readers:

Bee's blog has moved! Its gone an orbit around the Sun and landed at her new startup's blog page: Our World at Big On Good. Please come along and check it out!

Blog address:

Q. What has Bee been upto lately?
After a number of years of consulting, Bijal’s most recent venture is Big On Good Solutions, focused on delivering bespoke engineering and design services harnessing the unique abilities of modular, swarm driven robotics, algorithms and looking at cutting edge cluster behaviours. Big On Good looks for answers to some of the most important questions that will shape better futures for all of us with specialities in process and product design, business strategy, quantitative analysis and operations.

I welcome you to

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21 April 2009

Congratulations for the launch of Anusat

Pradeep Mohandas wrote on India Space List yesterday:
"Yesterday morning, ISRO launched two satellites on board the fourteenth flight of the PSLV, PSLV-C12. In the first launch after the resounding success of Chandrayaan 1, ISRO launched two satellites -

There has been some confusion regarding the RISAT-2 and its end-user millitary application with media houses labelling it as a spy sat. The RISAT-2 is based on the configuration of the Israeli TecSAR, which
Antrix Corp had launched for Israel in 2008. RISAT-2 will enhance India's earth imaging capabilities by providing any weather Earth imagining. It can also aid disaster management and relief efforts during floods, cyclones etc. with images obtainable even during cloudy conditions.

The second satellite that was launched, ANUSAT, may excite and be of interest to members of this list. ANUSAT is India's first student built satellite to be launched into orbit. ANUSAT, weighing 40 kgs and costing Rs. 4 crores, was developed by the student and staff of Anna University, one of the prestigious universitites in India. It has been in development since 2003.

Both, RISAT-2 and ANUSAT were launched successfully. The 300 kg RISAT-2 was launched in a 550 km orbit first followed by the deployment of ANUSAT.

There are also several other Indian universities developing various classes of microsatellites. These have been receiving great encouragement and support from ISRO's Small Systems Satellite Division, ISAC.

We would like to congratulate the student and staff of Anna University for their success, thank ISRO for their continued support and hope that this is not the last student developed satellite that is placed
in orbit."

For more information:
1. ISRO Press Release:
2. ISRO PSLV-C12 integration and launch photos:
3. ISRO brochure on the PSLV C-12, RISAT-2 and ANUSAT:

I had the privilege of hearing out the students as they presented their paper alongside my sister and students from ISU at the IAC2008 in Glasgow - and was very impressed! Well done and congratulations to the team and to ISRO!!

14 April 2009

Design, Theory and Activism

In a few steps - this is what I am working on with a bit of generalizing. More on current projects perhaps needs to be thrown light on here, but all in good time :-)

1) Define intended outcomes
2) Integrate subject matter experts
3) Partner with like minded organizations
4) Build sustainable community
5) Embrace 'wicked problems'
6) Maintain journalistic integrity
7) Measure transference of knowledge
8) Make it fun!

My team at work makes for great inspiration, which helps! :-)

More explaination on this soon.

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7 March 2009

Apologies to those who check here for updates. I have moved to microblogging on twitter - thats kinder on my RSI. You are more than welcome to follow my life's happenings there by following beethakore.

Ad Astra

22 October 2008

A Celebration Bigger than Diwali for me!

Congratulations to ISRO for launching India's dream to the Moon. When you are a young kid in India, several people promise you the Moon, we address the Moon as 'Chanda Mama' - as our maternal uncle. The Moon is hence a part of every kid's family. Today, India finally got me and everyone Indian a taste of the excitement of what it is like to be exploring new worlds. The Moon is a start I hope and I would like to see ISRO, Indian industry and universities explore further and reach Mars and beyond.

Thank you to the dedicated team at ISRO that has been working non-stop on what was initially only envisioned in early 2004 as a 'program'. Paper studies had been done, but the budget line only appeared after that year. So, well done in accomplishing this mission.

Pradeep Mohandas has been blogging and tweetering as @Chandrayaan on twitter - you can follow his microblog there!

A few other noteworthy places to get information on the mission are:

ASI Student Chapter's website:
ISRO Press release: - Emily did a great job of following the webcast till the link broke through!

More to come.
This is bigger than diwali this year for me!

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Updates from the Board of Directors at The Planetary Society

Greetings to all from London!

Do you know of The Planetary Society? The Planetary Society has inspired millions of people to explore our worlds and search for the answers to the questions most pertinent to our place in the cosmos - is there life out there? how does the Earth work and sustain us all? how is it to live on Mars? what new technologies will allow us to ensure our a secure future for all of humanity? and the list goes on...

Established by Carl Sagan, Louis Friedman and Bruce Murray, The Planetary Society is the world's largest non-governmental planetary and space interest group.

With great joy I would like to share an update with you: I have recently been invited on to the Board of Directors of The Planetary Society! In my role as a Board Member, I shall provide input w.r.t the international focus as well as youth mandate via the significance of our work at Space Generation Advisory Council. I would like to represent all your collective voice and not just a personal one in my activities with TPS as I feel that this unique opportunity is an invitation for the youth to stop being a 'consumer' of our space programs. It is for us to become serious, reliable and equal partners in framing today's space policies and programs that will affect our future and make sure that they are strengthened by strong international collaborations. SGAC and TPS have valued each others' activities and have been partnering with the Planetary Society on various projects including the 50 Year Vision Project.

So, I extend this invitation to you to help us become these 'serious partners' that we talk of. My question to you IS: How can youth be more proactive in helping shape our space programs? These can be space programs for mapping Earth processes and understanding them better, for improving disaster management, for exploring new 'earths', to learn how to back up our biosphere, to become multi planet species and to bring about all the cutting-edge technologies that are needed to get there, etc. I invite your comments and suggestions on how we can finally go boldly where no one has been before!

Is it via more outreach? Is it via using our social networks and Web 2.0 tools? How would YOU do it?

I look forward to all your interesting thoughts!

Web Links:
The Planetary Society:
New Board Members:
Planetary Society Board of Directors:

News Release:
The Planetary Society
65 N. Catalina Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91106-2301 (626) 793-5100 Fax (626) 793-5528
E-mail: Web:

For Immediate Release: October 21, 2008
Contact: Susan Lendroth, 626-793-5100 ext 237

Global Economic Crisis Accentuates Need for Science, Earth Observations and Space Programs to Create a Positive Future
International Cooperation in These Endeavors is Imperative, Planetary Society Board of Directors State

Science is an imperative. Space is not a luxury. We cannot walk away from these endeavors without damaging our future on this planet.

In light of the economic turmoil currently roiling nations around the globe, The Planetary Society's Board of Directors believes that it is vital that we not lose sight of the importance and long-term economic benefit of maintaining a strong commitment to scientific research, including space exploration. Today the Board issued the following statement:

To safeguard humanity's home planet and better understand the universe that surrounds it, we need a vibrant and diverse space program, forged through global cooperation that shares the tasks, shares the benefits, and shares the costs. Whatever the immediate economic problems may be, we believe that strong space programs should continue to be important priorities for both the US and other nations.

From monitoring Earth from space to studying long-term climate change on other worlds, the space program enables scientists to paint the big picture - helping us to better understand the global forces that affect us all. No one nation alone benefits from better understanding that picture, and to paint it large and detailed enough, no one nation alone can bear the expense.

Space exploration programs not only provide a peaceful context for global engagement, but also contribute to skilled workforces and new technologies in participating nations, inspiring students to enter science and engineering fields. Observing Earth from space and understanding our planetary environment are as crucial to our survival as are the basics of a good economy.

As Voyager 1 prepared to leave our planetary neighborhood, Carl Sagan, co-founder of The Planetary Society, suggested the spacecraft be turned for one last look at its home planet. The resulting image of Earth as a single blue point of light gave us a profound new view of our world - from a perspective possible only through space exploration.

Sagan wrote, "It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

The Planetary Society's Board of Directors affirmed this statement in Boston, where they held their semi-annual meeting. Planetary scientist Jim Bell assumed the helm as the Society's new president, succeeding Neil deGrasse Tyson, whose term has ended. The Planetary Society also added two new board members: Alexis Livanos, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector; and Bijal "Bee" Thakore, Regional Coordinator for Asia Pacific, Space Generation Advisory Council.

The Planetary Society's other Board members include Chairman Dan Geraci, Vice President Bill Nye, Heidi Hammel, Scott Hubbard, Wesley T. Huntress, Jr., Lon Levin, Chris McKay, Bruce Murray, Elon Musk, Joseph Ryan, Steven Spielberg and George Yancopoulos.

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23 September 2008


I shall be attending the International Astronautical Congress in Glasgow. As every year, the most dynamic group of young space leaders will convene prior to the IAC on 25-27th September. I have Academy and Committee meetings on Sunday followed by the full opening of the IAC 2008!

The highlights amongst the normally super exciting opportunity to meet with all my friends and supporters from the Space world and to see the latest headlines in space research, commercial development and education/outreach would be:

- I am accompanied by young miss Tejal Thakore this year, who is also featuring in the IAC. It is the first time the Thakore Daughters get unleashed on the space world! Tejal will present her paper on NEO Threats at the IAC on the 30th of September.
- I am an invited panelist for the Planetary Society's Town Hall meeting on the future of Space Exploration. I shall be accompanied by Louis Friedman, Bill Nye (The Science Guy) and Steve Owens!
- The new IAF advisory committee on space and society will look at how IAF members can improve global coverage and help bridge the digital divide: a reception is open to all. For an invite, do contact thomas DOT bouvet AT iaf DOT org
- I present the Youth Visions for the Next 50 years in Space with a more indepth study and whats in store from that project on the 2nd of October.

Look me up in Glasgow or drop me a line here (or on facebook, twitter, etc) and I would love to meet up!

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What to see and find on the Moon?

I posted this note on facebook's 'notes' and received some response. GLXP was interested in having it on their discussions too, but I honestly do not know who follows this blog and who all are listening. I got some mind response to the post being very good but my curiosity stills wants to probe more...

Read along and please share with me what you want dusted off on the Moon:

"Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left behind 66 items at Tranquillity Base, from their removable lunar overshoes (which actually stamped the iconic bootprints in the dust) to a “urine collection assembly, large” and sick bag (presumably unused — none of the Apollo 11 astronauts reported throwing up during the mission). Armstrong and Aldrin stuffed personal items in a large bag and threw it overboard just before leaving. Other objects still on the surface include tools; a TV camera, its stand, and cable; and a clothesline-like contraption for hoisting equipment back into the lander at the end of the moonwalk. The astronauts also left a mission patch memorializing the astronauts killed in the Apollo 1 launch pad fire; medals honoring Soviets Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space, and Vladimir Komarov, the first person to die during a space mission; a silicon disk etched with messages from world leaders; and a small, gold olive branch as a sign of peace." - Air&Space Mag, Sept issue.

And this is just Apollo 11. 6 other missions and all the metal Luna missions, experiments, and crashed spacecrafts had to offer!

I wonder what people from our generation would like to
1) See on the moon when GLXP robots get to historic sights
2) take to the moon when GLXP robots blast off, just like humans - something that reflects consciousness towards planetary protection...

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17 August 2008

What have you been upto!?

Blogging on here has had a pause for some while... but in the months that passed, some cool things have happened!

Quick update here:

* Hosting the Google Lunar X PRIZE Team summit at ISU was super cool. I love working with all at XPF and GLXP takes their efforts one step closer to where my heart lies. Euronews did a great feature of the event which captures the key players and their visions to the next step to becoming a 'off-the-planet' community

* I was also able to give a technical talk to the UN Committee of peaceful uses of outer space. You can see the statement and the presentation details here: and view the related photo album on here

* The summer highlight has been organizing the Space Odyssey Institute 2008 in Barcelona and working for a special project at ESAC - ESA's astronomy centre out in Villanueva de la Canada near Madrid!

I have just moved back to UK and started my own projects-based consultancy. My first client is LEGO and its super super exciting to work with a great team there (I keep thinking, won't they love it if I build a LEGO Spaceship?) More to come!

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