Slew of launches planned by ISRO, says Kiran Kumar

Sriharikota,July 11: Riding high on the successful launch of five British satellites on friday, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said it has planned a slew of launches, including GSLV-Mark II next month and three more navigational satellites before March 2016.

"The next launch going to take place is GSLV-Mark-II.

Satellite has already reached Sriharikota and is going through final tests. We plan to make the next launch in August," ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar said.

The configuration has been finalised and there has been significant changes in the original plan, he said.

On the proposed navigational satellites, Kumar said four had already been launched and three more are expected to be launched before March 2016.

"We expect the next navigational satellite to be launched by November," he said.

Asked about future launches similar to Chandrayaan and Mars Orbiter Mission, he said "right now discussions are going on for one more mission to Mars or Venus or we should look at asteroids. There is a science team which is going through this discussion."

On the status of Mangalyaan, he said there had been no communication between the satellite and ground station for about 15 days recently. "Now we are back on track. Now operations have resumed. Having crossed this hurdle we expect the longevity of the satellite to be quite normal and the health of satellite is in good health".

On the status of Chandrayaan-II, he said, "Right now it is going through the realisation phase. Work is going on".

Kumar said said that with the launch today, ISRO has completed 120 mission and 74 satellite launches.

Asked if this was the heaviest commercial launch worldwide, he admitted it cannot be anything near to that.

"Our maximum capacity is 1700-1800 kg whereas international heaviest launches are somewhere around six to seven tonnes."

"Today's launch is the 30th PSLV launch, so far 29 consecutive launches. This is 17th launch in Solar Synchronous Orbit and the fifth dedicated commercial launch. The first dedicated commercial launch was on May 29, 1999," Kumar said.

"So far, 27 national satellite and 45 international satellites have been launched," he said.

To a query, he said, "ISRO has 28 satellites belonging to six to seven countries in next three years or so. Including today's launch, we have completed 45 commercial launches belonging to 19 countries.

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