Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to launch the country’s first regional navigational satellite, IRNSS-1, in June, ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan said on Saturday.

The remaining six spacecraft that form the regional navigational constellation may follow over the next 18 months after tests on the first one, he said on the sidelines of a symposium on remote sensing being held here.

IRNSS-1 is being assembled at the centre here and is to be flown on the domestic PSLV-C22 rocket from Sriharikota. The navigational spacecraft are expected to provide a sub-continental system similar to the GPS and vastly improve location and movement on ground, air or sea when they are fully in place.

ISRO is also readying the ambitious long haul mission, the Mars orbiter, ahead of its planned launch in October or November. It would be sent on board the indigenous PSLV-C25 rocket.

There would be 12 missions (including both satellites and launchers) in the next 12 months, said Dr. Radhakrishnan, who is also Secretary, Department of Space.

On the launcher programme, he said some tests were lined up for the long-pending indigenous cryogenic stage of the GSLV rocket. Its advanced version, the GSLV MkIII, is also in the works.

Prior to the launch of the GSLV-D5 this year, “we plan to move [the cryogenic stage] to Sriharikota by the end of April” after a second high vacuum test, he said.

Apart from IRNSS-1, three satellites were in the final stages of integration — the GSAT-7, GSat-14 and the advanced meteorology satellite INSAT-3D. GSAT-7 and INSAT-3D are planned to be flown on the European Ariane rocket around August and September depending on the schedule of the launch service agency Arianespace.

As for Chandrayaan-2 which is to place a lander-rover on the Moon in a joint venture with Russia, Dr. Radhakrishnan said he could not give details as ISRO was discussing the issue with Russia. As per the original plan, ISRO is to make the rocket and the orbiting spacecraft.

  • The Mars orbiter might be ready ahead of its planned launch in October or November

    Twelve missions, both satellites and launchers, planned in the coming 12 months