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IDN TAKE: THIRD LAUNCH PAD BY ISRO AT SRIHARIKOTA

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    IDN TAKE: THIRD LAUNCH PAD BY ISRO AT SRIHARIKOTA
    WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2015 BY INDIANDEFENSE NEWS

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    Even with ISRO’s shoe-string annual budget of $1 billion, against $17.6 billion for US space agency NASA, India has emerged a big player in satellite launches, communication and remote sensing technologies with wide applications in coastal soil erosion, remote flooding, management of wildlife cover of sanctuaries, besides 20 other sectors.
    A day after launching the Indian space research observatory or mini-Hubble named Astrosat, the Centre has given an in-principle clearance to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to build a third satellite launchpad (SLP) and assembly line at the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh costing Rs 1,000 crore.
    The prime minister’s office (PMO) has given the go-ahead for building the third launchpad and assembly line as part of a larger plan to make Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) a commercially-viable profit centre.
    The Union cabinet will shortly consider the proposal after ISRO puts together the technical configuration for the SLP and launch vehicle assembly line, to push Sriharikota as the world’s most cost-effective space industrial complex.
    PMO officials hinted to this newspaper that ISRO would be allowed to build a third launch vehicle for its global partners to handle heavy payloads in the range of five to seven tonne, keeping in view India’s expanding space industry complex.
    The two launch vehicles that are operational at present, the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) and geo-synchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV), can handle payloads up to 1.5 tonne.
    “With only two launchers and SLPs, ISRO is restricting its capability to take on more missions,” an official in the loop told FC.
    He added that the proposal on setting up the third satellite launchpad and related assembly centre at Sriharikota would be moved before Union cabinet shortly.
    In March, minister of state in PMO Jitendra Singh had stated in Rajya Sabha that ISRO proposes to build a third launchpad, assembly line and new launch vehicle on geo-synchronous technology. Already, a detailed scientific study, analysis and options are being carried out by ISRO to zero-in on the configuration for such a launchpad given that the two existing pads are already being utilised fully.
    The launchpad and assembly line will be in sync with launching GSLV Mark-III class of rockets that are currently under testing and development.
    Building of third SLP, assembly line and advanced launch vehicle is part of prime minister Narendra Modi’s thrust to make ISRO and its subsidiaries important players in $300 billion global space industry.
    “ISRO and its subsidiary Antrix have realised a fraction of business potential the space industry offers,” the official quoted above said.
    Even the move to build GSLV Mark-III class launcher was part of this larger plan as over half the 60-odd missions were not possible during 2007-12 as ISRO lacked the heavier launch vehicle, third launchpad and another assembly line. In this entire campaign to expand India’s nascent space infrastructure would involve active large partnerships with private companies that would be hand held for expansion of space industry.
    “Already, 125 companies, research establishments and vendors within the country are actively being considered for collaboration at various levels”, the official added.
    ISRO

    IDN TAKE: Third Launch Pad by ISRO at Sriharikota | Indian Defence News