Hyderabad, May 6: Joining the big leaguers in the galactic adventure, the Indian Space programme is all set to make a giant leap to probe the unknowns through a Mars Orbiter, a follow up moon mission, a solar sojourn besides a peep into the space astronomy over the next five years.
A whopping Rs 55,000 crore had been earmarked in the 12th five year plan for the Indian Space pursuit with a crowded schedule awaiting Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to consolidate its past space gains and master both in rocketry and satellite building besides making India a force to reckon with in the space endeavours.
Though the Mars orbiter, planned for 2013-14, would be the major milestone during the plan period, ISRO has planned a series of missions which included 33 satellite missions and 25 launch vehicle missions, according to an ISRO document. It had also planned to build, a third launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Spaceport at Sriharikota where a second launch vehicle assembly building would also be built planned to reduce the turnaround time for launch vehicles.
However, how much of it will be realised is a million dollar question mark taking into account the complexities involved and also having a peep into the past records.
Though the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLV) had record success rate and remains the main workhorse for satellite launchers, it could not be said the same to the Geosynchronous satellite launch vehicles (GSLV) which faltered in many stages for several reasons, both technical and political.
Two back to back failures of GSLV-D3 onApril 15, 2010and GSLV-FO6 on December 25 the same year had put the clock back in the GSLV Launches. The next flight of GSLV-D5 is slated for December this year.
Side by side with the development of space assets and launch vehicles, ISRO is also planning to provide a fillip to the domestic industry to catch up with the high tech and precision oriented components. It had planned to develop space parks across the country during the next five years to enable the private sector play a major role in the space programme.
The Mars orbiter mission would be the country’s first mission to the plant Mars. It was aimed to send a spacecraft that would reach and orbit around Mars and study the Maritian surface features and atmosphere.
The second moon mission — Chandrayan-II that will land a Russian developed rover during 2014-15 at a suitable soft land on the lunar surface to carry out in-situ chemical analysis. the mission would provide an enhanced understanding of the moon and its environment from the analysis of scientific data provided by the spacecraft.
Another galactic venture would be the launch of Aditya-1 that would house a solar coronagraph and benefit solar astronomy researchers across the country. The solar coronagrah would provide a better understanding of physical processes that heat the solar corona, accelerate the solar wind and produce coronal mass ejections.
The year 2013-14 would also see ISRO realising the first of its ASTROSAT series of satellites. Astrosat is aimed to be a unique observatory satellite simultaneously covering a range of high energy radiation hitherto not covered from any other global observatory missions. The satellite would provide multi-wavelength studies of a variety of celestial sources and phenomena using x-ray, Gama astronomy instruments besides an Ultra-Violet telescope.
ISRO aimed to pursue rigorously to secure spectrum for 100 additional KU band transponders and around 50 C band/Extended C band transponders in newer orbital locations during the next five years. This was basically to accommodate the projected demand for 794 transponders from the operational transponder capacity of 187 from INSAT/GSAT satellites.
ISRO planned to launch 14 communication satellites during the 12th plan besides increasing the transponder capacity it aimed to usher in new generation broadbandVSATsystems and introduce KA band systems. It would also build high power S-band satellite mobile communications and introduce new generation geo imaging satellites.
The main focus of space transportation system over the next five years would be to achieve self sufficiency in launching Indian satellites, developing launch vehicles for enhanced payload capability and adopting appropriate outsourcing strategies for assuring production of launch vehicles. It aimed to enhance the level of production of PSLV vehicle systems with vigorous participation besides completion of qualification of indigenous cryogenic upper stage. During the next five years ISRO had planned 16 PSLV missions, six GSLV Mk-II missions and two GSLV MK-III missions (including an experimental mission). (UNI)