Indian Space Program Discussions / ISRO Plans


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ISRO launches Oceansat-2, nano satellites from Sriharikota
TIMES NEWS NETWORK & AGENCIES 23 September 2009, 11:54am IST

NEW DELHI: India successfully launched its 16th remote-sensing satellite Oceansat-2 and six nano European satellites in 1,200 seconds with the help of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV- C-14) from Sriharikota on Wednesday.

The launch was carried out as per schedule at 11.51 am and ended at 12.06 pm. The 44.4-metre tall, 230-tonne Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) freed itself from the launch pad at the spaceport and lifted itself up, lugging the 960-kg Oceansat-2 and the six nano satellites all together weighing 20 kg.

ISRO launches Oceansat-2, nano satellites from Sriharikota - India - NEWS - The Times of India


7 Satellites launched including India's Oceansat 2, 6 are european nano satellites from Germany, Switzerland and Turkey. Launched from PSLV on its 16th mission which is it's 15th sucessful mission. The oceansat was launched in a SSO (Sun Synchronous Orbit)


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India's moon mission quite economical


Mumbai, Sep 27 ( PTI) India's moon mission has proved to be quite economical and cost much less compared to what other countries have spent on their projects, mission director M Annadurai said here.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) would continue to check costs in the Chandrayan-II mission as well, he said.

India's moon mission cost only about one sixth to one tenth of the cost of similar missions undertaken by European Space Agency (SMART) or NASA's LRO or SELENE of Japan or ChangE of China.

Chandrayaan-I was also unique in carrying 11 scientific instruments and 60 detectors, Annadurai said at a seminar organised by National Council of Science Museums yesterday.


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'Chandrayaan-2 will try to get details about water on moon' - OPINION - The Times of India

'Chandrayaan-2 will try to get details about water on moon'
28 September 2009, 12:00am IST

G Madhavan Nair , chairperson of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has played a key role in the design and development of the four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the workhorse of ISRO. The PSLV launched the Indian mooncraft, Chandrayaan-1 on its journey to the moon. The mission has won worldwide acclaim after one of its foreign payloads, NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper, discovered water molecules. Nair spoke to Srinivas Laxman :

What's the impact of the discovery on our space programme?

The discovery of water has really reinforced India's position as a growing space power. Its status has considerably gone up and this is evident from the several congratulatory messages which we have received from different parts of the world and the various space agencies. We will be getting more and more significant data.

What's the next step?

In the mooncraft there are a number of supporting instruments. These will be used for further confirmation of the presence of water molecules. This whole process is expected to take three to six months. In addition, we are also eagerly awaiting the results from NASA's LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) spacecraft that will crashland at Cabeus, a crater near the moon's south pole, on October 9. This mission is also expected to search for water ice.

On Friday, you said it was ISRO's Moon Impact Probe (MIP) which crashlanded near the Shackleton Crater in the lunar south pole on November 14, 2008, that first detected signs of water. Why was this important fact not publicised earlier?

The MIP first detected signals of water while it was descending towards the lunar surface on November 14. Since it was a short duration flight we could not make any positive announcement that it had detected signals of water until we got firm proof and confirmation. This took about 10 months and now that we have concrete evidence about the presence of water we decided to announce the discovery by MIP.

In which part of the moon was water found?

In the polar regions.

What is the status of the second Indian moon mission, Chandrayaan-2?

We expect to launch it in 2013. It is a joint Indo-Russian mission that, apart from the orbiter, will have a lander and two rovers. This mission will also attempt to obtain more details about water.

Has ISRO started receiving scientific proposals for this moon flight?

Yes, suggestions have started coming in and the process of evaluating them will start soon.

Which is ISRO's next mission?

We are preparing for the launch of the Geo Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle towards the end of December that will have an indigenous cryogenic engine. The rocket will carry the GSat-4 communication satellite.


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Great job ISRO. Must push the envelope always and stay on top of things. Be leaders and not followers. congrats on the achievement.

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Bit awkward to start posting in this thread again after more than a decade. I can't really cover all the progress since last decade, but in short:-
  • ISRO operationalized two new rockets: GSLV Mk-II and GSLV Mk-III which had the first of India's indigenous cryogenic engines: CE-7.5 and CE-20.
  • India launched and successfully completed its first orbiter mission to Mars: Mangalyaan-1, currently operational since last 8 years.
  • Second mission to Moon Chandrayaan-2 was a partial failure with the rover and lander crashing but the orbiter (which has the highest resolution camera ever sent to Moon) is operational. Chandrayaan-3 is now planned to retry the lander and rover.
  • India also launched its first Space Observatory: Astrosat as well as the first few dedicated military satellites GSAT-7 series.
  • India operationalized its own Regional Satellite Navigation System (akin to GPS), called IRNSS or NAVIC. Future plans call for global expansion under the name GINS.
  • India launched its first RLV-TD mini-space shuttle (similar to X-37B). Its a Tech Demonstrator of a future reusable TSTO rocket with 11 tons to LEO capacity.
  • ISRO tested its first SCRAMJET engine in flight
  • ISRO operationalized its first space debris tracking system: The Indian technology based AESA radar called (Multi-Object Tracking Radar) MOTR. A full fledged system akin to American Space Fence is being worked on.
  • ISRO started the Indian Human Spacefilght Program with a few unmanned flights to test a crew module and its crew escape system.
  • The most important change is a paradigm shift in India's and ISRO's space ambitions. ISRO's founder Dr. Vikram Sarabhai had famously said:
    • "There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation. To us, there is no ambiguity of purpose. We do not have the fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations in the exploration of the moon or the planets or manned space-flight. But we are convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally, and in the community of nations, we must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society."
    • India seems to have shed this self-imposed inhibition and has for the first time in an official capacity enunciated that it plans for manned space exploration, including missions beyond LEO to Moon and Mars. This is the first clear enunciation that India will now actively try to chase after other advanced spacefairing nations like USA, Russia and China.
Moving on to stuff being worked on right now at ISRO:-

  • HAL just delivered the first SC-120 stage LOX tank for the first Indian Semi-Cryogenic Stage. The stage is meant to replace L110 hypergolic stage that currently powers the GSLV MkIII. This will increase the rocket's capacity from current 4 tons to GTO to 5 tons to GTO.
  • The stage is set to herald the arrival of the future mainstay rocket engine for ISRO for the next couple of decades: The SCE-200. Once the single-engine SC-120 stage flies successfully, the focus will immediately shift towards building the SC-400 stage which has a cluster of 4 SCE-200 engines. These fill form the core stage of India's Heavy Launch Vehicle (HLV). Four variants of HLV to be developed this decade include:-
    • HLV (Core alone), similar payload capacity to reusable mode Falcon-9.
    • HLV-HSP (Human-rated version of core-alone HLV)
    • SHLV (HLV with two SC-120 booster stages) similar payload capacity to expended mode Falcon-9 or Angara-5.
    • SHLV (HLV with two SC-400 booster stages) similar payload capacity to New Glenn.
  • Re-usability plans:-
    • Tech demonstrator called VTVL (Vertical Take-off Vertical Landing) similar to Space X Grasshopper.
    • Followed by turning the core stage of the HLV/SHLV rocket family (the SC-400 stage) into reusable vertical landing booster.
    • Followed by creating a 6 ton reusable unmanned scramjet and cryo engine powered shuttle (based on RLV-TD) to carry 11 ton payload into LEO being mounted on the SC-400 stage to get an almost completely reusable rocket.
    • Work on a Methalox engine started.
  • Space Probes:-
    • Chandrayaan-3 with lander and rover planned right after Gaganyaan manned mission.
    • Aditya solar coronagraph to L1 Lagarange point.
    • Shukrayaan-1 first mission to Venus with a planned balloon
    • Mangalyaan-2 second Mars mission
    • Missions to asteroids hinted at, plans unclear.
  • Human Spacefilght:-
    • Currently prime focus of ISRO is first Indian Manned Spaceflight. Mission scheduled for 2022 already delayed due to pandemic to 2023.
    • To be followed by space docking experiments mid-2020s.
    • To be followed by first Indian space station with inflatable habitats and 23 ton space station modules by 2030.
    • Further plans to Moon and Mars being worked out.
  • Small Satellite Launchers:-
    • ISRO created SSLV with 500 kg to LEO capacity. First launch next year.
    • Multiple Indian Private Space Startups working on their own rockets including completely 3D printed rockets, methalox engines, etc. Few of them have achieved static firing of their engines, among other hardware realizations. First launches expected from next year onwards. Companies include:-
      • Skyroot
      • Agnikul Cosmos
      • Bellatrix Aerospace
      • many others I don't keep track of including at least one that has had static fire of its engine recently.
    • Defence Space Research Organization under DRDO has teased its own Small Sat Launch Vehicle for wartime for the military under the name Project Veda. Details sparse.
All this on an annual budget of $1.7 Billion.
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