Highlights Preparations are in the full swing for the launch of advanced military communication satellite Gsat-7A
Seven missions are lined up in 2019 and work is also on the human spaceflight mission Gaganyaan by 2021: Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) director Jubilant at the success of PSLV-C43, Isro centres in Kerala are focussed on the launch of advanced military communication satellite Gsat-7A solely for Indian Air Force strategic purposes on board GSLV –MK II rocket on December 19. Preparations are in the full swing after the upper stage assembly of indigenous cryogenic engine last Saturday. It will be followed by the launch of the second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 and PSLV-C44 in January 2019.
“PSLV-C43 was a highly successful launch that placed all 31 satellites including India’s first hyperspectral imaging satellite in orbit, which is an earth observation satellite. Of the 30 commercial satellites, the health of 27 satellites has already been confirmed as perfect. It requires no corrections in the future. Now, the focus is on GSLV-MK II to launch the 2.2-ton communication satellite Gsat-7A for strategic uses. It will be followed by the Chandrayaan-2 mission in January first week and PSLV-C44 mission for the launch of a remote sensing satellite in mid- January,” Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) director S Somnath told TOI on returning to Kerala after the PSLV-C43 launch from Sriharikota on Nov 30. He said, seven missions are lined up in 2019 and work is also on the human spaceflight mission Gaganyaan by 2021.
“PSLV-C43 was a challenging task to launch all the 31 satellites in various orbits including India’s HySIS satellite and commercial satellites of eight countries,” VSSC senior scientist and GSLV MK III Vehicle director J Jayaprakash told TOI. Now, all preparations are on for the GSLV-MK II mission with its upper stage assembly of the indigenous cryogenic engine. On Dec 5, India’s heavy geostationary communication satellite weighing 5.7 ton was launched from France’s Guiana Space centre, he said.
Two more satellites are planned for launch on board GSLV-Mk II rocket which include Geo-Imaging Satellite, GISAT 1, a planned Indian geo-imaging satellite for providing images quickly during disasters by the first quarter of 2019 and a communication satellite GSAT-7C by 2020.
For the human spaceflight Program Gaganyaan as announced by the Prime Minister on August 15, he said work is on for launching the Indian crewed orbital spacecraft with a mass of 7,800 kg by 2020. Ahead of that two unmanned missions are planned with ground tests, reliability tests for a smooth landing and various tests will be done to ensure that its human-rated vehicle valid to carry humans in terms of safety in technology design. Inter-planetary missions including Mangalyaan-2 to Mars, Shukrayaan to Venus and Aditya to Sun’s orbit are in the pipeline.