India’s 3400-kg communication satellite GSAT-10 is now ready to be shipped to the spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana for launch by European space consortium Arianespace in two months, according to Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman, K Radhakrishnan.
“GSAT-10 with 30 transponders is ready to be shipped for launch. This launch is expected in middle of September,” Mr. Radhakrishnan, also Secretary in the Department of Space and Chairman of Space Commission, said on the sidelines of the 39th Scientific Assembly of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) being held in Mysore.
Officials of Bangalore-headquartered space agency said it is a three-axis body stabilised geostationary satellite based on ISRO’s three-ton structure to provide communication services/augment existing services. It carries 12 normal C band, six extended C band, 12 Ku band transponders. The satellite will have a minimum operational life of 15 years.
Mr. Radhakrishnan said ISRO hopes to conduct flight testing of its Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV) with indigenous cryogenic engine and stage by January next year.
GSLV flight with indigenous cryogenic engine and stage conducted by ISRO in April 2010 and the one with Russian engine and stage in December that year had failed.
“We have done a lot of studies to find out the reason for the failure and taken corrective actions. We have conducted almost 40 tests on subsystems as well as on the engine. A couple of weeks ago, flight engine was tested for 200 seconds.
That’s cleared for assembly as a flight stage,” he said.
Cryogenic engine and flight stage should be ready by November. ISRO needs to conduct two more ground tests before committing the flight, which is expected by the year-end or January next year, Mr,. Radhakrishnan said.
Mr. Radhakrishnan said ISRO planned Chandrayaan-II mission in 2014, after successfully conducting two GSLV flights.
ISRO proposed to launch the 1500-kg Astrosat, a multi-wavelength observatory in space next year. Astrosat is the first dedicated Indian Astronomy mission, which will enable multi-wavelength observations of the celestial bodies, cosmic sources in X-ray,visible and UV spectral bands simultaneously.
“Within one year, we will be able to launch Astrosat because all the instruments are going through final evaluation in the space environment,” Mr. Radhakrishnan said.
He also said the ‘SARAL’ satellite, a joint ISRO-French Space Agency (CNES) mission, is planned to be launched by a PSLV from Sriharikota spaceport by October-end this year. “The instruments are basically to look at ocean parameters,” he said.
ISRO officials said SARAL would provide data products to the operational and research user communities in support of marine meteorology and sea state forecasting, operational oceanography, seasonal forecasting, climate monitoring, ocean, earth system and climate research.