With the pandemic having enveloped 2020, ISRO is targetting at least seven more launches, including the uncrewed Gaganyaan mission, from India this year, while PSU New Space India Limited (NSIL) plans to launch one satellite through a foreign launch provider.
Of the six other than Gaganyaan to be launched from the spaceport in Sriharikota, three will be earth observation, including one for ocean studies, one remote sensing satellite, a commercial launch, and one navigation satellite (see graphic).
A science satellite to study the Sun (Aditya-L1) that was initially targeted for this year won’t happen. And, among the launch vehicles, other than the PSLV, ISRO will launch three GSLV missions, including the mark-III as part of the uncrewed Gagnayaan mission. Two more will be SSLV (small satellite launch vehicles) class of rockets.
Aside from this, as reported by TOI earlier, NSIL is planning to launch the GSAT-24, being acquired and launched for a private customer — Tata Sky’s DTH business — through Arianespace.
Isro chairman K Sivan said: “If you look at the number, then we consider it to be 14 more missions as each launch is two missions (one launch vehicle and one satellite). We are confident of achieving this target and top priority is for Gaganyaan.”
He said Aditya had to be pushed to next year as the next launch window — missions to Moon, Sun and other planets have specific windows during which launches can take place — is only available then.
Stating that the human rating of GSLV is progressing as planned, Sivan said 2021 will see multiple indigenous technologies tested.
“We will have two SSLV launch vehicles technology demonstration flights, we will be testing the revamped GSLV in terms of rockets. On the satellite technology front, we are looking to test the election propulsion on satellites, use two atomic clocks developed indigenously on the NVS-01 and also a key component called TWTA (Traveling Wave Tube Amplifiers) in a communication satellite,” Sivan said.
ISRO is hoping to completely stop importing these technologies, in line with the Centre’s Atmanirbhar mission, and this year will prove key in deciding how quickly the space agency can shift to indigenous technology. “Apart from giving us the edge technologically, it will also save us a lot of foreign exchange,” Sivan said. Times Of India