Flush with the success of the GSLV-D5, which used an indigenous cryogenic stage to put the GSAT-14 into orbit, the Indian Space Research Organisation is getting ready for the next GSLV flight with its own cryogenic engine within a year. It will put the communication satellite GSAT-6 into orbit.
Announcing this at a press conference at the spaceport at Sriharikota on Sunday, ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan said there would be a series of GSLV flights with indigenous cryogenic engines and they would put into orbit GSAT-6, 7A and 9, GISAT, Chandrayaan-2 and a few more communication satellites of the two-tonne class. “We are proceeding with the development of the GSLV-Mark III which will put a 4,000-kg satellite into orbit. Within a few months, we will have an experimental mission of the GSLV-Mark III to understand the vehicle’s performance during the atmospheric phase,” he said.
Answering a question on the commercial potential of the GSLV with India’s own cryogenic engine, Dr. Radhakrishnan said that while the trend now was to build 5.5-tonne satellites, there was a niche market for two-tonne communication satellites. Satellites weighing 3.2 tonnes to 4.5 tonnes were being built in the world. “So there is a set of satellites” which could be put into orbit by the GSLV.
A number of satellites had been lined up to be put into orbit by the ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, he said. The heaviest of them will be an 800-kg satellite from Germany. The PSLV would orbit three satellites from the U.K, each weighing about 200 kg.
Indeed, the ISRO will have a busy schedule, with five navigational satellites under the Indian Regional Navigational Satellites System (IRNSS) in the orbit by March 2015. They will all fly onboard the PSLV. The IRNSS-1VB will be put into orbit in March this year from Sriharikota. The IRNSS-1C, 1D and 1E would follow. A PSLV placed the IRNSS -1A into orbit in 2013.
India has been invited to take part in experiments onboard the International Space Station, Dr. Radhakrishnan said.
The ISRO and NASA would jointly build a satellite with synthetic aperture radar for earth observations. A.S. Kiran Kumar, Director, Space Applications Centre of the ISRO, Ahmedabad, was working with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for preparing the project report related to the spacecraft, he said.