Why 2019 is going to be a busy year for ISRO?
New Delhi, Jan 1: The Indian space agency will have a busy year with several rocket launches planned from its rocket port at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. However, Chandrayaan-II, will be the highlight of the space agency's mission this year.
Among ISRO's primary missions India's mission to the sun (Aditya L-1), and two demonstration flights of the small satellite launch vehicle type. ISRO will look to pick up pace from the month of September itself, wherein it will look to launch two UK satellites on the PSLV-C42. In October, the GSLV MK-III D2 is set to launch the GSAT-29. Thereafter, the PSLV-C43 is slated to launch a hyper-spectral imaging satellite with 30 commercial passengers.
"This is the most complex mission by ISRO. To ensure that the first attempt itself is successful, it was suggested that instead of coming straight away to a 100km orbit, it should be 100*30km orbit and land from there. Some changes were also made to the configuration to ensure the safety of the mission," ISRO chairman K Sivan has said.
"With all these changes, the mass increased to 3.8 tonne, which the GSLV Mark II could not carry, so cc, with a carrying capacity of 4 tonne, had to be operationalised," he said.
ISRO will launch its GSAT 20 communication satellite in September 2019 onboard Ariane 5 rocket. It will be the first ISRO-made satellite to attempt to move from a geostationary transfer orbit to a geosynchronous orbit using electric propulsion.
In the same month, ISRO will also attempt to launch its Geo-Imaging Satellite (GISAT) 1 onboard a GSLV Mk II rocket. The GISAT is be a geostationary satellite designed to provide imagery during natural disasters on a near-real-time basis.
ISRO is set to launch first solar mission Aditya-L1 in 2019. It will be India's first dedicated scientific mission to study sun. The mission aims to put 1,500-kg heavy class Aditya-L1 satellite into halo orbit around Lagrangian point L1, a point between Sun and Earth. This point is at a distance of about 1.5 million km from earth.
The main aim of the solar mission is to improve our understanding of "dynamical processes of the sun," and help resolve some outstanding questions in solar physics.
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle
ISRO has been working on a new technology to use the fourth stage of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle for space experiments and this is likely to be demonstrated through the launch of the PSLV-C44 in the first quarter of 2019.
ISRO also developing an app for using Navic, India's own global positioning system, in mobile phones and it is likely to be ready before the end of 2019.
Small Satellite Launch Vehicle
The space agency will also lauch Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), which will be a smaller cousin to the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). While the PSLV can lift 3,000 kg to the low-Earth orbit, the SSLV will be able to lift 500 kg. ISRO has said the SSLV's USPs will be a low cost and faster turnaround time. Its design is ready and the first SSLV test-flight is expected to happen in May, followed by the second one in October.
ISRO eyes on 32 missions in 2019
ISRO's 2019 calendar is dotted with 32 new missions, an ambitious record-making goal for the most number of Indian missions in a year. In contrast, 2018 saw about 14 missions against a goal of 18, including the failed GSAT-6A satellite of April.