Raghuvir Srinivasan

ISRO set for busy period of launches

| Updated on: Apr 20, 2011
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The successful PSLV-C16 launch today starts off a busy year for ISRO filled with numerous launches that could culminate with a test launch of the GSLV fitted with a Russian cryogenic engine sometime in 2011-12.

The last few months have been tough for ISRO what with the failure of the GSLV-F06 in December followed by the revelation of the scandalous deal between Antrix and Devas Corporation to sell valuable S-band spectrum.

Launch schedules

According to Mr P.S. Veeraraghavan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, there are three launches scheduled for the PSLV till the end of 2011. The PSLV-C17 is scheduled for launch sometime in the end of June or early July carrying the GSAT-12, a communications satellite with 12 transponders in the extended S-band used for V-Sat applications.

It will be closely followed by the launch of the C18 in August carrying an Indo-French collaboration satellite, Megatropics. The C-19 scheduled for the last quarter of 2011 will lift off with the RISAT-1, a microwave remote sensing satellite.

Next month will see the launch of a communications satellite, GSAT-8, by Arianespace from Kourou in French Guyana. The 3,200 kg satellite built by ISRO will feature 24 Ku band transponders valuable for their application in direct-to-home (DTH) television.

Cryogenic engine

Meanwhile, ISRO is testing the indigenous cryogenic engine for the GSLV with two versions – one to undergo flight trials and the other to undergo on-ground tests. The plan is to integrate this engine with the GSLV with a capacity to launch two-tonne satellites.

Dr Radhakrishnan Nair, Chairman, ISRO, said that the organisation was studying the failure of the GSLV-F06 and they were interacting extensively with the Russian suppliers of the cryogenic engine to fix the problem that caused the launch failure.

Cost of today's launch

Answering a question, Dr Nair said that the approximate cost of the launch today was Rs 250 crore. The launch vehicle cost Rs 90 crore while the two satellites together cost around Rs 135 crore. The X-Sat launch will be paid for by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, but Dr Nair refused to share how much ISRO earned from it.

He said that pictures from the Resourcesat-2 would be shared with 16 countries on a commercial basis with the revenue accruing to Antrix Corporation. The satellite has three cameras that can take pictures with resolution of 56 m, 23 m and 5 m respectively. These would mainly be to survey and monitor natural resources.

Published on March 12, 2018

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