Five launches in 5 months, our hands full: ISRO chief

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is focussed on conducting five launches in as many months, including the Chandrayaan-2 mission, and its “hands are full”, said its Chairman K. Sivan.

The missions planned in the first half of 2018 from Sriharikota spaceport are: GSLV-FO8 (GSAT-6A satellite), GSLV -MkIII (second development flight), Chandrayaan-2 and PSLV (IRNSS-1I navigation satellite), he said.

The Bengaluru-headquartered space agency has also awarded a contract to Arianespace to launch the 5.7-tonne GSAT-11 satellite from the European space consortium’s spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana by June.

“Right now, our hands are full”, Sivan, also Secretary in the Department of Space and Chairman of the Space Commission, told.

India currently has a fleet of 45 orbiting satellites and the space agency chief said the demand is for a similar number of spacecraft.

“We are planning to have 15-18 launches per year from next year,” he said, but hastened to add that it’s an “ambition and target”.

“In reality, there are so many other issues. Currently, it (ISRO’s launches per year) is less than half of that (goal of 15-18 launches)”.


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