Indian Space Research Organisation ISRO is all set to launch a new earth observation satellite GISAT 1 in March this year. The Geo Imaging satellite will be launched from the Sriharikota Satellite Launch Centre. The satellite which will be carried in an Earth Observing (EO) spacecraft will be placed in the geostationary orbit of around 36,000 kilometre. This is the first of the two EO satellites that are going to be launched by the ISRO. The satellite will be fixed at a particular spot so that it looks over the Indian subcontinent all the time.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is readying low-cost satellite launch vehicles costing about Rs 30-35 crore each, which can put into orbit satellites weighing 500 kg. The first such launch from India is expected to take place in the next four months. This capability will give Isro a big commercial boost as it will be able to cater to micro, mini and medium segments of the market, Haridas TV, Deputy Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, taking part in the panel discussions at 'EDGE 2020, The Space Conclave', in Thiruvananthapuram.
India plans to replace more than 10 communication satellites over the next few years as they near the end of their life in orbit. The plan includes launching high throughput satellites that can beam high-speed internet at more than 300 gigabytes per second into remote corners. The first such satellite, GSAT-30, which will replace the 15-year-old INSAT 4-A satellite, was launched on January 17. The satellite carried 12 C band transponders for communication and 12 Ku band transponders designed for direct-to-home transmission.
The French national space agency National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), which is collaborating with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in the Gaganyaan project, will also partner with the latter in the development of India’s planned space station. That the French agency and its industry partners have gained vast experience from the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) and its spin-offs such as rendezvous operations with the International Space Station (ISS). “French and European partners can bring the skills they have acquired in developing and operating systems and dedicated infrastructure for long-term six-month flights of European astronauts on the ISS”.
India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-30 was successfully launched from the Spaceport in French Guiana. The launch vehicle Ariane 5 VA-251 lifted off from Kourou Launch base, French Guiana at 2:35 am IST carrying India’s GSAT-30 and EUTELSAT KONNECT for Eutelsat, as scheduled. After a flight lasting 38 minutes 25 seconds, GSAT-30 separated from the Ariane 5 upper stage in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for an Agreement between Government of the Republic of India and Government of Mongolia on Cooperation in the Exploration and Uses of Outer Space for Peaceful and Civilian Purposes. The Agreement was signed at New Delhi on 20 September 2019 during the state visit of the President of Mongolia to India.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has earmarked 2,300 acres of land in Thoothukudi district, Tamil Nadu, to set up its second launch centre after the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota. The country’s premier space agency is in the process of acquiring the land for a yet-to-be-named new launch centre. ISRO chairman K Sivan said that the new centre was part of ISRO’s capacity-building exercise. The new launch centre will be initially meant for missions involving launching small satellites and small satellite launch vehicles (SSLVs).
The year also marked the 50th launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Dr Sivan said that two new variants of the PSLV were introduced. For the first time, the spent fourth stage of the PSLV was successfully demonstrated as an experimental orbital platform. Indigenously developed Vikram processor by Semi-Conductor Laboratory was flight tested during the year. International mobile standards body 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) approved India’s regional navigation satellite system NavIC which would facilitate NavIC’s use in mobile phones.