Tuesday, April 24, 2007

AGILE (a gamma ray and X-ray telescope) successfully launched by India

I haven't blogged for a while, primarily because of being busy with work and also preparing for our trip to England, being in England, and recovering from various cold caught on the flights.

One thing worth noting is that the Indian space agency successfully launched the Italian-made AGILE gamma ray and (hard) X-ray telescope yesterday (23 April 2007). As of now (24th April) all appears well, according to the AGILE website.

India and Italy both have surprisingly active space programs that, while currently smaller than NASA in the US and Europe's combined effort in ESA, are really impressive even compared to other G8 countries.

The UK, which briefly dallied with its own space program before scrapping it (for one perspective on its ill-fated history see here), now operates its scientific space program within the confines of the ESA program. Sir Martin Rees, once Astronomer Royal and currently President of the Royal Society, is calling for the UK to adopt a more pro-active national space program (even while possibly still acting within ESA), which sounds like a good thing to me.

[changes from 1st edition: edits for typos]

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