Recent Successful Missions of India's Space Program

New Delhi, Aug 3, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C17) in its nineteenth flight successfully launched GSAT-12 communication satellite on July 15, 2011. This is the eighteenth successive successful flight of PSLV which has once again proved its versatility and reliability GSAT-12 Communication satellite with a mass of 1410 kg at lift-off, has 12 Extended C-band transponders and has been successfully placed in Geosynchronous Orbit. GSAT-12 will enhance space based applications in the area of tele-medicine, tele-education and disaster management support.

India's advanced communication satellite, GSAT-8 - weighing about 3100 kg at lift-off, was successfully launched into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) on May 21, 2011 by the Ariane-V launch vehicle from Kourou. French INSAT system and carries 24 high power transponders in Kuband and a two-channel GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload operating in L1 and L5 bands. The transponders will augment the capacity in the INSAT system while the GAGAN payload provides the Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS), through which the accuracy of the positioning information obtained from the GPS Satellite is improved by a network of ground based receivers and made available to the users in the country through the geostationary satellites.

In its 17th consecutive successful flight, India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C16) injected three Satellites viz. RESOURCESAT-2, YOUTHSAT and X-SAT into the Polar Sunsynchronous orbits on April 20, 2011 RESOURCESAT-2 built by ISRO - the primary satellite is an advanced remote sensing satellite facilitating a host of applications and services in the area of agricultural monitoring, natural resources management, disaster management support as well as infrastructure planning and will ensure continuity of remote sensing data currently being provided by RESOURCESAT-1 launched in 2003. YOUTHSAT is a joint Indo-Russian satellite for stellar and atmospheric studies. X-SAT is a micro-satellite for imaging applications built by Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.

HYLAS (Highly Adaptable Satellite)

The satellite jointly built by ISRO/Antrix and EADS/Astrium of Europe for Avanti communications of U.K. was launched successfully on November 27, 2010 by the European Ariane-5 V198 launch vehicle, and was placed in the geostationary orbit.

ISRO Built Super Computer

ISRO has built a supercomputer, which is to be India's fastest supercomputer in terms of theoretical peak performance of 220 TeraFLOPS (220 Trillion Floating Point Operations per second). The supercomputing facility named as Satish Dhawan Supercomputing Facility is located at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram. The new Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) based supercomputer named "SAGA-220" (Supercomputer for Aerospace with GPU Architecture-220 TeraFLOPS) is being used by space scientists for solving complex aerospace problems.

Forthcoming Missions

Preparations are on for launching Megha-Tropiques satellite on board PSLC-C18 during end September. Megha-Tropiques (or MT -Megha means “cloud” in Sanskrit; Tropiques is the French word for “tropics.”) is a cooperative experimental mission of ISRO and CNES, the space agencies of India and France, with the objective to study the convective systems (water cycle and energetic exchanges) that affect the ITCZ (Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone), in particular in the latitudes between 10º and 20º, with satisfactory temporal sampling. Megha-Tropiques, with its unique combination of scientific payloads and its special near-equatorial orbit is expected to provide valuable data to study the tropical climate system (complementary to the data of the other weather satellites in sun-synchronous orbits) and for climate research.

RISAT-1, the satellite imaging mission of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) using an active radar sensor system, namely a C-band SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) imager, an important microwave complement to its optical IRS series observations missions is planned to be launched towards the year end. The overall objective of the RISAT mission is to use the all-weather as well as the day-and-night SAR observation capability in applications such as agriculture, forestry, soil moisture, geology, sea ice, coastal monitoring, object identification, and flood monitoring. SAGA-220 Super Computer HYLAS undergoing Vibration Test

The Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS), an autonomous regional GPSbased satellite navigation system being developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is under development. The IRNSS will comprise a constellation of seven GPS navigation satellites placed in geostationary orbit that will provide an absolute position accuracy of better than 10 metres throughout India and within a region extending approximately 2,000km around India. This paves the way for robust implementation of the strategic satellite navigation programme.

Efforts to realise indigenous cryogenic engine and stage incorporating the recommendations of the review committees have been initiated. Ground testing of the engine is in progress. The first flight of GSLV with the indigenous cryogenic engine is targeted for the second quarter of next year. GSLV-Mark III a more powerful launch vehicle capable of putting 4 tonne satellite into GTO is under development. Already, the 200 tonne solid propellant strap-on boosters have been successfully static tested. The 110 tonne liquid core stage has been successfully static tested for the full flight duration. Necessary test and integration facilities have been set up to meet the requirements of GSLV-Mk III project.

In the coming months, ISRO is poised for several major breakthroughs in the development of advanced technology that are needed for the realisation of future missions which are expected to foster application of space for the benefit of the country.

PIB Features, with inputs from the Department of Space, Govt. of India


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