Isro plans 32 space missions, including Chandrayaan-2, in 2019
03 January 2019
India plans to launch 32 space missions, including its second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2, to land on the moon with lander and rover, in 2019, Isro chairman K Sivan has said.
The Rs800-crore lunar mission will be the 25th from the second launch pad of the spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 90 km northeast of Chennai.
”The year 2019 promises to be much more challenging to the Isro community with 32 planned missions (14 launch vehicle, 17 satellite and 1 technology demonstration mission). This includes the most complex Chandrayaan-2, which will be the 25th mission from SLP, and the development flights of SSLV," Sivan said in a message to Isro employees on the New Year on Tuesday.
Gaganyaan activities will go in full steam to accomplish the various development and qualification milestones, he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s announcement of Gaganyaan on August 15 last year has allowed the space agency to fulfill its dream of undertaking a human spaceflight programme, Sivan said.
The pad abort test held on July 5, 2018 to test the escape system of the crew module has given Isro confidence to pursue the human space mission, he added.
Isro is also aiming to re-instate our microwave remote sensing capability through the RISAT series and attain operational geo-imaging capability through the GISAT series. It is planned to progressively improve the payload capability of GSLV and its variants.
The country will meet the high throughput bandwidth requirement of Digital India and also in-flight connectivity with the launch of GSAT-20. On the application side, crop production estimation will be enhanced to cover 10 additional crops and also provide vital inputs for water and energy security, Sivan said.
"It is planned to improve the payload capability of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and its variants," he added.
Isro is organising a yearlong celebration commencing 12 August 2019, which is the birth centenary of the founding father of Indian space programme, Vikram A Sarabhai. Isro will also host of national and international events such as the establishment of Department Chairs/Fellowships/Visiting scholarship in universities, which were connected with Dr Sarabhai during his formative years.
Recounting the year gone by, Sivan said 2018 had many firsts for ISRO, which undertook 16 missions, of which seven were accomplished in 35 days.
"The national confidence in Isro is reflected in the highest ever allocation of about Rs30,000-crore for 23 new and continuation programmes in a single year," Sivan said.
Among the space agency`s achievements in 2018 were launch of the heaviest satellite GSAT-29 (3,423 kg) on November 14 and building the heaviest communication satellite GSAT-11 (5,854 kg), launched on December 5 onboard the Arianespace space agency`s rocket from French Guiana on the north Atlantic coast of South America.
ISRO has received approval for the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), along with a dedicated launch pad, and is working on reusable launch vehicle development, Sivan noted.
"The approval of 30 Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and 10 GSLV Mk-III operational flights, along with development of semicryogenic stage, uprated cryogenic stage and all-electric spacecraft propulsion will accelerate ISRO towards new capabilities, Sivan added.
The space agency has been working on national programmes for the socio-economic security and sustainable development, including that of national geo-spatial energy information system, enhanced earth observational capabilities, real-time disaster management like during floods in Kerala and northeastern states last year.
ISRO has also tied up with the ministry of home affairs to provide technical support for establishing an integrated control room for emergency management, Sivan stated.
The space agency is working to step up its launch capacity through a second vehicle assembly building for the second launch pad, which has been completed and is constructing a PSLV integration facility for the first launch pad.