Monday, January 7, 2019

Launch of India's Second Moon Mission Could Take Three More Months, Says ISRO Head


The launch of India’s second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, which was supposed to be on January 3 but was deferred yet again, could take three more months, said chairman of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), K Sivan in Trichy on Sunday. Sivan spoke about this while delivering the chief guest address at the graduation day at St Joseph's College in the city.

While addressing the crowd about Chandrayaan-2 mission, Sivan did not commit to a specific date for the launch, but indicated that it could take some more time.

“Chandrayaan-2 mission is planned within three months from now. We know that more than 50 percent lunar missions have failed, but we are taking a calculated risk,” he said.

Sivan also said that its landing site would be above 70 degrees altitude.

The launch of Chandrayaan-2 has been postponed for a few times now. In 2018, it was initially slated for an April launch, but was postponed to October and further by around three months to January 2019.

Sivan said that ISRO had chalked out a plan to initiate space technology research in unrepresented areas of the country, with potential of R&D. He added that as a part of it, total six space technology incubation centers would be established across the country, out of which one would be set up in Trichy.

Sivan also mentioned that in the mid-2019, ISRO would be have the first demonstration flight of SSLV, which would be the cheapest launch vehicle in the world with least turnaround time.

He said that the rising imports of electronic items were a risk to the country’s account deficit. This, according to him, was also one of the factors for devaluation of rupee and it could cause the economy to suffer. He said that at $4.4 billion, electronic imports outpaced gold imports of Rs 3.8 billion in April 2018. “Electronic imports is projected to increase to $400 billion by 2020, while the estimated domestic production will rise to $104 billion only, creating a gap of $296 billion. This has to be met through imports,” he said.

Sivan spoke about how the launch of three GSAT satellites – GSAT-19 (launched in June 2017), GSAT-11 and GSAT-29 (both launched in 2018) and GSAT-20, which he said would launch next year, could help India enjoy more than 100 GBPS bandwidth connectivity across the country.

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