The prestigious Indian Space Research Organization is all set to scale new heights in space as it announced to take two mega projects, Chandrayan-3, country’s third lunar mission and maiden human space flight Gaganyaan with four astronauts, all experienced pilots of Indian Air Force on board.
The two projects, to be launched simultaneously this year, are bound to cement India’s pre-eminence globally as ISRO juggernaut rolls on. These two projects will take Indian clout as a space-faring power to dizzier heights.
Once launched the giant leaps will put India with a select group of countries with proven space technology. India has already launched two lunar missions and one of them Chandryan-2 proved failure as Chandrayaan-2 lender Vikram made a hard-landing on the virgin southern pole of the moon last year, falling short by just a few kilometres during its journey of 384,400 kms, distance between earth and moon.
In many ways, ISRO has become a more effective brand ambassador of India worldwide than the iconic Taj Mahal. No other agency of Indian government has brought India laurels worldwide than ISRO which has already launched over two hundred foreign satellites, thus bringing precious foreign exchange for India.
However, since nothing in this world is perfect or ever can be, ISRO too has to surmount a formidable challenge. It lacks the ability to launch communication satellites heavier than four metric tonnes. But for last two years, ISRO has been working hard to overcome this straitjacketing factor and trying to augment power of electric propulsion for heavier satellites.
ISRO is working on Electric Propulsion System (EPS) which can reduce the dependence on chemical propellant. A 4-ton satellite with EPS can do the work of a 6-ton satellite with the same efficiency. In addition, it will also have a few extra years of life compared to chemical propulsion.
The space agency has planned for more than 25 missions in 2020 and in order to achieve target it has sought Rs. 14,000 crore from the government in fiscal 2021. India has a fleet of nine navigation satellites as part of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. It plans to launch another navigation satellite with a home grown atomic clock — a key instrument that improves accuracy. ISRO has earmarked Rs 600 crore towards Chandrayaan-3, a spacecraft that is designed to land on the moon and a rover that would travel 500 metres on the moon’s surface. Isro is looking at SSLV, a rocket that can be assembled in three to five days for launch, as a vehicle to hurl small satellites.