“The Indian Space Research Organisation [ISRO] will aim at launching between six and eight missions every year to meet its objectives in the areas of national development and space science,” ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan said here on Thursday.

“We must look to create synergy between the space industry and the aircraft, Defence and atomic energy sectors,” he said in his address at the 23rd National Convention of Aerospace Scientists here. “The Indian space industry is robust, comprising 500 firms and employing a total of 15,000 people.” India’s first launch vehicle with an indigenous cryogenic engine, GSLV-D3 (Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) was in the final stages of preparation, said Mr. Radhakrishnan but did not comment on the date of the launch which is scheduled to be in December 2009.

A hypersonic wind tunnel will be ready in a span of between six months and a year in Thiruvananthapuram for testing model launch vehicles. While ISRO’s unmanned mission to Mars could take place anytime between 2018 and 2030, India will aim to have a “human presence” in space within seven years with its manned space mission.

MAVs to the rescue

Delivering the Vikram Sarabhai Memorial lecture, V.J. Sundaram, Adviser (Micro and Nanosystems), National Design and Research Forum, chose to focus on the humble micro air vehicle (MAV), which he said could prove a useful tool in disaster assessment and surveillance.

Weighing between 20 gm and 400 gm and often imitating the flight aerodynamics and optic flow of insects or birds, mini, micro and nano satellites, it could help with search and rescue operations.

Keywords: ISROspace missionsMAVs