ISRO to launch navigation, Aditya satellites: Chairman

The Indian space agency is having a busy launch schedule in the coming months including navigation, commercial, sun and other missions, said a top official.

Speaking to the reporters here, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S. Somanath said the space agency has chalked up plans to fly all its rockets with various satellites in the coming months.

The rockets are: Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk (GSLV), LVM3 or GSLV MkIII and Small Satellite LaunchVehicle (SSLV).

Somanath said next year the commercial arm NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL) has contracted two launches.

One of them will be for the UK based satellite communications company OneWeb to orbit the second batch of 36 satellites.

The first batch of 36 satellites was successfully launched recently.

The UK company has contracted with NSIL to pay over Rs 1,000 crore for both launches.

OneWeb is a joint venture between India Bharti Global and the UK government .

The ISRO is also planning to have its mission to the sun with its satellite Aditya-L1, a coronagraphy spacecraft to study the solar atmosphere, with a PSLV rocket next year, Somanath said.

According to ISRO, the spacecraft will be placed in a halo orbit around the first Lagrange point, L1, of the Sun-Earth system. A satellite around the L1 point has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without occultation/eclipses.

Somanath said the space agency will launch a navigation satellite for the country’s NavIC constellation.

The Indian space agency has orbited eight satellites for the NavIC constellation out of which some are not working, Somanath said.

He said ISRO has planned to launch four NavIC satellites and the first one will go up in 2023.

According to Somanath, the space agency will also send up its small rocket – SSLV.

The rocket’s maiden mission this year was a failure.

Necessary corrective action in the rocket has been taken, Somanath said.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at v.jagannathan@ians.in)

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