Tuesday, December 29, 2015

ISRO to Build Reusable Launch Vehicles

PSLV, one of ISRO's launch vehicles being transported to the launch pad. Credit: ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will reach yet another milestone in space technology by building its own reusable satellite launch vehicles, the design of which is expected to be complete by next year. Addressing a gathering after delivering a lecture on ‘Space Technology and Societal Applications’, ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar, said on Monday that ISRO is working on designing reusable satellite launch vehicles in an effort to cut down costs. 

At present, ISRO uses separate vehicles to launch satellites and the vehicles cannot be reused. 

“ISRO will complete the design in 2016. The aim is to bring back the vehicle from the orbit and test if this process is economically viable. The objective is to access space with best minimum cost possible,” he added.

ISRO had planned to test reusable satellite launch vehicles in September but things did not go as planned, Kumar added. For the first time, ISRO has planned to launch ‘Geo-Stationary Imaging Satellite’ (GISAT) to observe and study the land, ocean and atmosphere at higher resolutions with appropriate wavelength selection.

ISRO is also working on ‘Geo tagging of post offices’ across the State. The facilities available in many post offices across Karnataka will be mapped under the project for the benefit of people.

In another initiative, ISRO is developing a ‘Space-based information support’ to educate Grama Panchayat members on various schemes available for the development of villages. As part of the project, the Panchayat Raj department will impart training to GP members in 7,000 blocks spread across the country.

Stressing on the ‘Tele-education Programme’ initiated by ISRO, Kumar said that the country needs more such education institutions and expert teaching faculty. To address the need of education, ISRO developed ‘EDUSAT’ — exclusively for educational services, which cater to a wide range of interactive educational delivery modes such as one-way TV broadcast, video conferencing, etc.

The chairman also highlighted various communication satellites developed to address issues during natural calamities, medical services, farmers issues among other issues.

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