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Sunday, January 13, 2019

ISRO Plans 32 Space Missions in 2019

GSLV-F11 mission on the launch pad. Credit: ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has proposed 32 missions in 2019 including the Chandrayaan-2 project to the moon. Of these, 14 are launch vehicles, 17 satellites and one technology demonstration mission, according to ISRO chairman, K Sivan.

The launch vehicle line-up includes eight Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLVs), two Small Satellite Launch Vehicles (SSLVs) and two Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicles (GSLVs). The SSLV will record its maiden flight in July 2019, Sivan informed the media.

Weighing only 110 tons, the SSLV will take only 72 hours to integrate and require only six persons to operate.

The entire cost of the on-demand project will be only about Rs 30 crore.

Also on the 2019 agenda is the launch of GSAT-20 satellite that will help in the Digital India initiative, ensuring high-speed data connectivity of about 100 Gbps in Jammu & Kashmir and the Northeast. Once this satellite is launched by September-October, in-flight connectivity could become a reality.

Reusable Launch Vehicle will also be demonstrated later this year. The vehicle will be taken by a helicopter to a certain height. It will be programmed to land on a runway, Sivan explained.

To aid production of PSLV for the industry, ISRO had aided the creation of a consortium of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Larsen and Toubro (L&T). Eventually, this consortium will also make GSLVs for the industry.

An innovation TV and a full year Vikram Sarabhai Centenary celebration beginning in August are also in the pipeline this year. ISRO had carried out 17 space missions in 2018, including seven launch vehicle projects.

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