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ISRO to launch more satellites
Published on 13 Jul. 2010 12:43 AM IST
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After successfully placing five satellites in orbit Monday, India’s space agency ISRO said it will launch more satellites this year and efforts were on to put two Indians in space orbit.
“We will launch GSat-5, a communication satellite, using GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket. The other launch will be Resourscesat-2, a remote sensing satellite, using the rocket PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle),” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan said here.
He was talking to reporters after five satellites, including the advanced high resolution cartography satellite Cartosat-2B, were placed in orbit following the successful launch of the PSLV rocket from the spaceport here, about 80 km north of Chennai.
He said: “The next PSLV rocket will carry multiple satellites - Resourcesat-2 and two small satellites.”
According to ISRO officials, the organisation has all the sub-systems to assemble the PSLV rocket. The launch is slated before October this year.
“The work on assembling the GSLV rocket will start Wednesday and the launch is expected to be by September-end or October first week,” said P.S. Veeraghavan, the director at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. On the manned mission planned by ISRO, Radhakrishnan said the space agency has laid the road map to put two humans in orbit for seven days.
“For manned mission we have to have the orbital capsule-module to carry the humans - life support systems and escape systems for the astronauts in case of an emergency. The systems are being designed and the concept has been reviewed,” said S. Ramakrishnan, the director of the ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre.
“The first phase is to design the orbital vehicle. Once it is built the design will be evaluated by launching it in a PSLV rocket. That will give us confidence. The avionics needed for that rocket is complex and have to be developed.”
“The first phase will look at the critical technologies needed for human flight and the second phase is to get the human rating for the rocket and the orbital vehicle,” said Radhakrishnan.
The second phase of the human flight mission is to build a new launch pad and astronaut training centre.
“The new launch pad and accompanying facilities needed for human space flight will involve an outlay of Rs.1,000 crore,” said M.C. Dathan, the director of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. Earlier in the day, five satellites weighing 819 kg were placed in orbit.
Over 20 minutes after the blast off, the PSLV rocket first released the Cartosat-2B followed by Alsat-2A and the three small satellites. This was the first successful launch after Radhakrishnan took over as ISRO chairman last year.
“With the launch of Cartosat-2B, ISRO will have 10 remote sensing satellites in orbit - IRS 1D, Resourcesat 1, TES, Cartosat 1, 2 and 2A, IMS 1, RISAT-2, Oceansat 1 and 2,” S. Satish, the ISRO director (publications and public relations), told IANS.
India is a world leader in the remote sensing data market and earns a sizeable amount.
PSLV: Workhorse
Since its first launch in 1994, India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has so far placed 41 satellites (19 Indian and 22 foreign) into orbit - making it one of the most successful launch vehicles ever worldwide.
* The PSLV was originally developed and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to launch its Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites into orbit with the help of Russia. It was then used for launching a variety of satellites.
* The Geo-Synchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV) project is of an earlier vintage, initiated in 1990 by ISRO to acquire launch capability for geo-synchronous satellites (which seem to be parked above the earth in a particular spot).
* Until then, India also relied on the erstwhile Soviet Union for the launch of heavy satellites.
* GSLV-Mark I&II, is capable of placing the INSAT-II class of satellites, weighing between 2,000 and 2,500 kg, into orbit.
* The GSLV-III is a launch vehicle currently under development by ISRO.
* GSLV-III is conceived and designed to make ISRO fully self-reliant in launching heavier communication satellites of the INSAT-4 class, which weigh 4,500 to 5,000 kg.
* In April 2008, ISRO successfully launched a PSLV with 10 satellites in one go, breaking a world record once held by Russia. A PSLV costs $17 million for each launch.
* The PSLV has four stages, alternately using solid and liquid propulsion systems.
* The GSLV is a three-stage launch vehicle with the first stage being solid (fuel)-propelled, the second liquid-propelled (with hypergolic fuels) and the final stage being liquid propelled as well as with cryogenic fuels.
* A rocket propellant combination is called hypergolic when the propellants spontaneously ignite when they come into contact.
* The GSLV variants improved on the performance of the PSLV with the addition of liquid strap-on boosters and cryogenic fuel required for the final stage.
* Cryogenic fuels require storage at extremely low temperatures in order to maintain them in a liquid state.

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