CHENNAI: Many may find it a crowning glory, but Indian Space Research Organization (Isro) scientists think it’s just an acknowledgement long due. The US, which imposed sanctions on India, will take India’s help to launch one of its satellites soon.
Isro has a track record of launching satellites for 19 countries including space-faring nations, but this is the first time the US would be using an Indian vehicle, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, to put one of its satellite in orbit.
“US will be the 20th country to sign up for a commercial launch by India,” said Isro chairman A S Kiran Kumar, on the sidelines of the 5th convocation of AMET University. “It’s the cost-effective technology we have.”
India has so far launched 45 satellites for 19 nations. Kiran Kumar said another 28 foreign satellites will be launched in the next two years. “The need of the hour is to increase our capacity,” he said.
ISRO, at present, is gearing up for the launch of GSLV-Mark-II, probably around August 27. “The 2.1-tonne capacity GSLV-Mark-II will be carrying a communication satellite,” he said. “By March 2016, we will launch seven satellites.”
Isro, meanwhile, has put to long-duration test its indigenously developed cryogenic engine for GSLV-Mark-III, which can carry satellites weighing up to four tonnes. “We will launch it by December 2016,” Kumar said. India’s big missions including the proposed manned mission rests on the shoulders of GSLV-MIII.
Having successfully launched a Mars mission, India is planning a mission to Venus. Isro is also on the lookout for a launch pad outside Sriharikota, in Kulasekharapattinam in southern Tamil Nadu.